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Denis Alibec – getting stronger, older, but not any wiser

Everybody was excited about the skinny forward from Constanta a few years ago and Inter moved quickly to get the signature of Denis Alibec, in spite of the failure to get anything out of Ianis Zicu, who was definitely more talented. I remember watching him playing for Romania’s U19, soon after his move to Milano, and his arrogance and selfishness were difficult to digest. Had a gut feeling he’s not going to make it and something similar I felt not long ago, when I’ve seen Chievo’s Adrian Stoian – praised in Italy for his quality and potential – pull on the yellow shirt nobody really seems to care about these days…

alibecYears went by and Alibec failed to make it in Italy, although his performances with the nerazzurri’s Primavera certainly hadn’t gone un-noticed, Jose Mourinho wanting to have a look at the Romanian forward and offering him the chance to train with the seniors and even play. But, when everything seemed to go right, something changed the path of his career. He was sent on loan to Mechelen, in Belgium’s top flight, to get more experience among the seniors, but his difficult character was too much to deal with in what was supposed to be the quiet, calm environment that should have helped him blossom. Left the club after a fight with the coach and without a backup plan and a return to Romania, further away from the professional world, remained Inter only rehab solution. But Alibec isn’t surrounded by enemies and people who don’t see and appreciate his talents, as he probably thinks, and Gheorghe Hagi sacrificed a place in his newly promoted team, Viitorul Constanta, at the expense of one of his Academy’s better products (93 born Gavra barely got the chance to play last season). Alibec, “who seems to gain weight when he breaths”, played 23 matches in Liga 1 and, although his numbers might not be great, with 5 goals and 5 assists, he definitely impressed with a combination of physical strength and technical ability difficult to find in any other Romanian striker. This and Hagi’s word were enough for Steaua to really consider a move for him this summer, on condition Inter can be tricked to get nothing in exchange of what was considered now a player able to help the Bucharest side get into the Champions League’s groups stage. Talks were fueled by the press, but several Italian scouts were adamant the move would not go through, as “there’s interest for the player from the Serie A”.

They were right, Bologna moved for the 22 years old, who should have been more than happy at getting a second chance in Serie A. He’s not… “I’m sorry I have to leave behind my friends and my family. I hoped to be able to move to Steaua, but my faith is decided by Inter”, he stated to the press immediately after the deal was announced, without a second thought about the impact of his words on his near future. If a colder reception both from the staff, his colleagues and the fans should await in Emilia-Romagna, he should look back and think about his words. Or think about thinking before speaking. But the nightmare of having a second chance to impress in Serie A should not be long. He can wake up from it whenever he feels like it. It wouldn’t be the first time, he’s getting quite experienced at throwing away his chances to really make it…

 

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Adrian Stoian, just another typical Romanian talent?

June 6, 2012 3 comments

Stoian, 21, is considered one of the leaders of his generation.

Socks pulled above the knees, plus a constant care about how the shirts covers his otherwise fragile upper body, with extra care for his flashy haircut (shaved on the sides and at the back, long enough on top to have it in the eyes every once in a while) – this is the way Adrian Stoian “listened” to the national anthem before Romania U21 – Slovakia U21. He was the only player coming from abroad in a Romanian first eleven fueled by relegated teams like Sportul Studentesc, FCM Targu Mures and CS Mioveni. An average team in terms of talent, but the type of squad that should only help him stand out even more. A couple of runs down the left flank, one decent cross, a well placed shot and another poor attempt from long range animated the first half. In the second, he did a lot less, but got the penalty that allowed Mihai Radut to open Romania’s account and show the way to a second consecutive 2-0 win against Slovakia. In both, he rested when the others were defending, rearranged his shirt, pulled up his socks over his precious knees and, after Romania scored the opener, ran to the bench and desperately asked for a bottle of water. It wasn’t that hot, quite on the contrary, and he wasn’t that thirsty either: but he needed it to fix the hair messed-up by the spectacular fall inside the penalty box…

Is this THE Adrian Stoian? The little winger who impressed at Bari, who belongs to AS Roma and is wanted not only by a few other Serie A clubs, but also by Zenit St Petersburg? Probably not. He probably gives a lot more at club level (featured in 29 matches last season) and will probably get a break at some point in a bigger club. But will he cope with that move?

Denis Alibec, a player I saw pull something similar at U19 level for Romania, a year before he got the chance to feature in a couple of games for Inter Milano, in Serie A, tells me that Stoian needs to have a serious look in the mirror and not to admire once again his tattoo and haircut. Because Alibec managed to shot himself in the foot in no time: failing to impress in Milano, was sent on loan to Mechelen, where he lasted for a dozen of matches before being kicked out of the club, and is now hoping that someone else will offer him another chance to start over.

Alibec and Stoian are both 21. Hopefully for their otherwise promising careers, I’m talking only about their age, not their IQ’s…

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