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Best players of the season in Romania: right-backs

  1. Vasile Maftei, 30 years old.

    VASILE MAFTEI – Unirea Urziceni

  2. Rui Duarte – FC Brasov
  3. Eder Bonfim – FC Timisoara
  4. Florin Popete – Pandurii Targu Jiu
  5. Anthony da Silva “Tony” – CFR Cluj

My view: Excellent example for Romania’s lack of options at right back in the national team, with a winner who has been playing as a centre-back until two years ago and the only other Romanian in the top five – a below average 32 years old like Popete, who relegated with Pandurii at the end of the season. In such a mediocre company – Tony could have done more, but has rarely played for CFR, while Dananae from Universitatea Craiova was out for a long, long time, after a severe injury -, Maftei fully deserves to take this.

My choices: I’m honestly surprised to see FC Vaslui’s Milanov missing the top five (affected by Gazeta’s marks and the bonus system that involves the team’s performances, not just the player’s), who has been very consistent, has adjusted immediately after his transfer and was as impressive on the right, as he was on the opposite flank. Rapid had two good right backs, Helder and Sapunaru (why in the world was this guy left out from the national team?), I would have liked to see more Craiova’s Barboianu on this position, as he was used too much as a defensive midfielder, but everyone’s mad this summer about Otelul’s Cornel Rapa.

Note: the top five is taken from Gazeta Sporturilor, a newspaper that uses the service of Digital Soccer Project. These results are based on a series of specific criteria for each position, include only players that have collected at least 1.200 minutes on the pitch in the past season and the only subjective part of the analysis consists in the average marks received by the newspaper’s writers.

Today’s press

January 31, 2010 Leave a comment
  • Rapid continues to surprise with its aggressive presence on the transfer market, given the financial status of the club. The latest ambitious target for the Bucharest side is getting back Cristian Sapunaru (25), from FC Porto. The right back, who was sold in Portugal in the summer of 2008 and collected so far 22 matches in the Liga Sagres, would take this opportunity in case he will be suspended for hitting a steward after the match against Benfica.
  • The Slovakian defender Marian Cisovsky (30) has returned to full fitness after four months spent on the sidelines. Cisovsky, who had played in 27 matches and scored three goals in his first season in Romania,  had suffered a knee injury in the Champions League qualifying match against VFB Stuttgart. After Milos Brezinsky (25), he’s the second important defensive player that returns from a long injury and, with the adition of Cosmin Contra, coach Ioan Ovidiu Sabau has every reason to look forward to the second half of season, in which the Viola outfit will be pushing for the title.
  • Former Romanian international and Barcelona captain, Gheorghe “Gica” Popescu, intends to invest in a second football academy, in Targoviste. He already has one located just outside Craiova, spread over 50.000 square meters, which produced a number of valuable players. The first good “products”  were the established Ovidiu Burca (Energie Cottbus), Ionut Rada (ex Rapid and Steaua Bucharest), Mihai Dina (Universitatea Craiova, but now there’s a new generation that includes the promising Sebastian Mladen, Alexandru Pena, Alin Petrea and Adrian Stoian (all transferred to AS Roma), Sabrin Sburlea (FC Brasov), Liviu Ganea (Dinamo), Lucian Filip (Steaua).
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