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Hagi signs Culio, a former bricklayer, in an attempt to build a new foundation for Galatasaray

January 6, 2011 1 comment

The Argentinian who, in his youth, worked as a bricklayer eight hours a day, while playing for a third division club, signed today a three and a half years long deal with Galata, the same period he spent in Cluj. A consistent player, he collected 89 matches for CFR, but scored only 3 goals in Liga I, a rather poor record for a midfielder who’s more valuable in attack than in defense. He’s been a key player nevertheless and leaves Romania after two triumphs in the league and some memorable performances, like this amazing brace (who said he doesn’t score enough?) against AS Rome:

A versatile two-footed player, he can cover several roles in midfield, can provide very good service from the flank, and is a reliable set-plays taker. Has good work-rate and will play his part in getting the ball back, but has one major problem: he keeps the ball too much, trying to find space and time for the decisive pass, often slowing down the build-up. At least once per game you’ll see him crossing from one side to the other with the ball at his feet, paralyzing his team-mates, who ran out of ideas and space in the opposition’s half. This might be seen more rarely in Istanbul, though, as I expect Culio to lose some of the freedom he enjoyed in Cluj, where he was often the only midfielder able & in charge of opening up the opposition’s defense.

Culio, happy to have given up a career as a worker in constructions

The financial details of the move presented in the Romanian press: 1,5 million Euros upfront + 0,5 million Euros in the summer for CFR Cluj. In February 2009, CFR had turned down a 4 million Euros from Rubin Kazan!

  • Culio, on the move to Galatasaray: “It’s a dream move for me, I’m delighted. It’s an honor to have Hagi as a coach and I’m impressed with the conditions at this great club”.
  • Culio, in November 2008: “Cluj is just a station in my career, I hold an Italian passport and my dream is to be able to play in Serie A at one point”.

Today’s press

January 9, 2010 Leave a comment
  • Gheorghe “Gigel” Bucur (29) is very close to a move away from Timisoara. The prolific striker (17 goals in 2007-2008, 16 goals in 2008-2009 and 8 goals midway through the current season) is most likely to join his former coach from Sportul Studentesc, Dan Petrescu, who is currently managing second league club Kuban Krasnodar in Russia.
  • The Australian group from Universitatea Craiova will suffer some changes this winter, as the club is trying to part ways with defnders Joshua Rose (28) and Josh Mitchell (25). Rose can play anywhere on the left, but is a mediocre midfielder/winger, so is more useful as an attacking left back. Has been a consistent player for Universitatea, playing 113 games in the blue and white outfit and scoring 9 goals in the process. Mitchell is also left footed and can play as left back in a flat back four or as a central-left defender.  Has featured in 107 games in 4 and a half seasons and is currently in a conflict with Universitatea’s board. If both players will leave, Universitatea will keep only two Aussies in the squad: tenacious midfielder Spase Dilevski (24) and striker Michael Baird (26).
  • The board from CFR Cluj has been advised by former team captain Eugen Trica to accept any decent bid for talented forward Lacina Traore. Good advice, as Traore is currently followed by several important clubs from England and Germany and CFR has missed several opportunites so far to cash in on other good players that now are feeling jaded and playing below their ability. Sebastian Dubarbier and Juan Culio impressed last season when playing in the Champions League’s group stage, but CFR refused to lower inflated demands when the offers came in and now have every reason to regret that, as both players seem unable to raise their performances back to that level.
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