Tuesday, October 5, 2010

We have moved...

Sorry for all the delays and non-activity.
We now have a blog about world football, although we will be posting many articles about Romanian football on there as well.

Occasionally you can come back here for other things we might post, but much of the action is now here:

The Football Critic

All the best,


Friday, July 30, 2010

Vuvuzelas banned in Romanian football championship

The famous vuvuzelas from the World Cup 2010 in South Africa
Romania’s Professional Football League (LPF) boss Dumitru Dragomir said today (Tues) that all vuvuzelas will be banned at Romanian stadiums for the championships on 23 July.

And anyone caught bringing a vuvuzela to a League I match will be denied access to the stadium, the LPF president added.

"There will be no vuvuzelas at a League I championship! Who liked what happened at the World Cup?" Dragomir said.
Please feel free to comment on this subject. Do you think what he did was right? or wrong?
Personally I think he did well to ban them as Romania isn't of the same culture as South Africa, and anyway those things were extremely noisy and irritating to other fans as well as the players not used to such things.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

ProjectFooty.Com - A Great Football Community Forum

Hey guys, I know I haven't posted for a long time, but I'm back. I will cover a lot as we approach the new Liga I season, a lot has happened this summer. Spain has won the World Cup with a 1-0 win over the unlucky Dutch, many transfers and rumours have been made (Fabregas to Barca, Henry to NY Red Bulls, etc), and soon Romania will be playing in the Euro Cup 2012 Qualification Groups. Steaua and CFR Cluj seem to have very strong teams this year and I think they will do some damage in the continental cups.

Friendlies so far:

Steaua beat Olympiakos 1-0
U Craiova beat Fleetwood Town 3-0 and an Austrian second division club 14-0
CFR defeated Anderlecht by a score that I do not fully recall

I found a great football/soccer forum the other day, it is new and looking for members and staff. I highly recommend it to all of my readers. There is even a Romanian football forum area, it is great! :)

Please join, I'm Hagibest on there. http://projectfooty.com

Monday, May 31, 2010

Zenga wishes Romania played for the World Cup

Former Italian international, Walter Zenga, said the South Africa World Cup would have been much more beautiful with Romania playing, it was reported today (Thurs).

Zenga was quoted making the remarks at the Football Academy in Mogosoaia, saying: "It would have been more beautiful with Romania playing at the World Cup. I am sorry it didn't qualify, but I trust Razvan Lucescu will qualify the team for the Euro 2012."

Romania failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, in Group 7, where it played against France, Serbia, Austria and the Faroes Islands

Zenga trained in Romania in the League I teams: FC National, Steaua Bucharest and Dinamo Bucharest. He is also married to a Romanian, Raluca, and they have a baby girl.

He is currently coach of Al Nasr, in Saudi Arabia.

CFR Cluj won Romania´s Cup for third year in a row

CFR Cluj has won the Romania's Cup competition for the third time in a row after beating FC Vaslui last night (Weds) 5-4 (0-0) in Iasi.

CFR Cluj won on penalty kicks after 120 minutes of play ended 0-0.

Gabriel Muresan, Nicolae Dica, Ciprian Deac, Cristi Bud and Ricardo Cadu scored for CFR Cluj, while Nemanja Milisavljevici failed to score for FC Vaslui.

CFR Cluj also won the Romanian League I this year, while Vaslui finished third in the local championship.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sabau resigns from Timisoara

Ioan Ovidiu Sabau resigned from his position as coach of FC Timisoara, Gazeta Sporturilor reported today (Weds).

Sabau refused to give any explanation for his reasons, saying only that financer Marian Iancu accepted his resignation.

Sabau, 42, came to train Timisoara in June last year.

FC Timisoara finished only 5th in the local Liga I.

Romania will reach Euro 2012, says coach


Romania's national football team will qualify at the European Championship in 2012, coach Razvan Lucescu said today (Mon).

Lucescu said he was "convinced" Romania would play for the Euro 2012.

Romania failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, in Group 7, where it played against France, Serbia, Austria and Faroes Islands.

He also said Cristian Chivu is the symbol of the Romanian national team, referring to the fact that Chivu won on Saturday the Champions League final, as he played until minute 68 for his team Inter Milan.

The team is preparing for three friendly matches scheduled for May and June.

Chivu: I have never dreamed of winning the Champions League

Chivu enjoying his glory with Mourinho and the staff
Romanian international Cristi Chivu won the Champions League title with his team, Inter Milan, after securing a 2-0 (1-0) victory against Bayern, on Saturday, in Madrid.

This is Chivu’s third success this year following Inter winning the Italian Series A championship, the Italy's Cup competition and the Champions League.

Defender Cristi Chivu, Romania's national team captain, told ProSport:
"When it was difficult for me, I never dreamed of winning the Champions League title, I barely hoped for it."

Chivu played the match in a specially designed helmet after suffering a head injury in January.

He was back on the pitch at the end of March, after 77 days.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Boloni wanted at FC Porto

Romanian coach Laszlo Boloni is wanted by former Champions League winner, FC Porto, according to the Portuguese press.

Boloni, 57, is wanted to replace current coach Jesualdo Ferreira, who ends his contract this summer.

Boloni trained Standard Liege until recently and he is well known in Portugal for his succes with Sporting Lisbon.

Boloni is the coach who discovered and encouraged Cristiano Ronaldo, while he was playing at Sporting Lisbon (2001-2003).

Mutu´s price dropped five times

Fiorentina striker, Adrian Mutu, is wanted by AS Rome, for a price five times smaller than what it offered two years ago, according to La Nazione.

The Romanian football player, who is currently suspended for failing anti-doping tests, is wanted for 4 million Euros, while the same team offered 20 million Euros two years ago.

Mutu, 31, will return to the pitch in October, after being suspended for nine months by the Italian Olympic Committee for twice testing positive for sibutramine, a banned substance.

The sports press previously reported Mutu was also wanted by Buniodkor Taskent, Fenerbahce Istanbul and Besiktas Istanbul.

Lazio Rome player ditched from national team

Lazio Rome player, Romanian Radu Stefan, has been ditched from the national team for not answering phone calls from team coach Razvan Lucescu.

Speaking on Thursday Romanian Football Federation manager Ionut Lupescu said: "Radu Stefan hasn't been answering the phone for three months. It is a problem of attitude on his part. If he doesn't answer the phone, I don't understand how can he be called in to the national team."

Romania meets Ukraine on 29 May, Macedonia on 2 June and Honduras on 5 June in friendly matches.

Steaua Bucharest to move to stadium in small town

Steaua Bucharest financer Gigi Becali said yesterday (Thurs) the team would play at Buzau, a small town nearly 120 km from Bucharest.

His decision comes after the Defence Ministry said yesterday that the lease contract for the Ghencea stadium had ended, as Steaua Bucharest had not paid rent for more than 60 days.

"It is clear the team is not going to play in Ghencea anymore. Now I'll start to take out all seats. I won't leave anything there, in Ghencea sports base. I'll take all! The lightning equipment for night matches, the scoring panel...all that I can take, legally, I'll take!" Becali said.

Becali added he may appeal to the CFR Cluj stadium in case Steaua reaches the Champions League, as the stadium in Buzau is not approved for CL matches.

Buzau is a small town nearly 120 km eastern Bucharest, with around 130,000 inhabitants. The town's team, Gloria Buzau, is currently in the second league.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Steaua has no stadium!

Legendary football team Steaua Bucharest may lose its stadium because it hasn’t paid rent for over 60 days.

The stadium’s owners - the Romanian Defence Ministry - said today (Weds) that because it hadn’t received any payment for either March or April the lease contract for the stadium had been cancelled.

According to the contract Steaua Bucharest has to pay 21,600 Euros per month for the 90,000 sqm stadium and buildings. The club has also failed to pay a further 5,000 Euros (20,000 lei) expenses.

Steaua financer, MEP Gigi Becali said Defence Minister Gabriel Oprea had increased the rent to 65,000 Euros per month, but this was flatly denied by the Ministry which issued a statement saying: "The Army Sports Club hasn't modified the contract clauses and hasn't increased the value of the rent."

Steaua is fifth in the local championship, one match before the end of League I season.

Unirea Urziceni to play in the preliminaries of the Champions League

Unirea Urziceni has secured second place in the Romanian football championship after victory last night (Mon) against Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt.

Unirea Urziceni, last year's champion, is now through to the preliminaries of the Champions League.

This year's champion is CFR Cluj, which also won in 2008, and will represent Romania in the Champions League.

Unirea won 4-0 against Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt on Monday night, in an away game.

Also on Monday night, FC Timisoara drew 0-0 against Pandurii Targu Jiu and lost the chance for the two first positions, dropping on third in the Romanian League I.

CFR Cluj are crowned new champions of Romania

Romanian football team CFR Cluj has won the Romanian First League Championship after beating International Curtea de Arges on Saturday.

It is the second time in the club's history that the team has won the local championship.

CFR Cluj beat International Curtea de Arges 2-1, in a home game, winning the championship one match before its end, with 66 points.

CFR Cluj won its first Romanian Championship in the 2007/2008 season.

Last year's champions, Unirea Urziceni, are currently second, with 60 points and one match ahead.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Forlán double gives Atlético glory

Club Atlético de Madrid 2-1 Fulham FC (aet)
Diego Forlán struck twice, the second four minutes from the end of extra time, to decide the first UEFA Europa League final.

Forlán double gives Atlético glory

Diego Forlán struck with four minutes of extra time remaining as Club Atlético de Madrid ended a 48-year wait for major continental silverware, beating Fulham FC 2-1 in the inaugural UEFA Europa League final.
There had been little to choose between the sides throughout. Forlán and Simon Davies exchanged first-half goals then, as fatigue set in, they matched each other for endeavour. Yet as those around him tired the Uruguayan international gained energy. With the lottery of a penalty shoot-out looming, he did just enough to divert Sergio Agüero's cross into the far corner via Brede Hangeland. The wait was over.

If this was to be the night Fulham introduced themselves to the big stage after 131 years in the shadows, there were few obvious signs of nerves. They started confidently, expansively, passing from the back. That almost proved their undoing on 12 minutes, as Agüero pounced on a loose Danny Murphy pass just inside the Fulham half. He fed Forlán with only Mark Schwarzer to beat from the angle but the striker, in such fine form, fluffed his lines – his low shot across goal hitting the upright.

Fulham heeded the warning, finding a more natural rhythm and, midway through the half, a long-range shot from Davies to warm David de Gea's hands. Agüero was knocking on the door in more subtle style at the other end, ever a threat cutting in from the left flank. His contribution to the opener, though, was less refined. José Antonio Reyes outstripped Dickson Etuhu on the right, lofting a pass for Simão to direct into Agüero's path. The striker miscued his effort but it fell perfectly for the lurking Forlán, who made no mistake this time.
But Fulham have performed so many Lazarus acts this term that they could reasonably have the feat renamed in their honour, and within five minutes it was all square. Bobby Zamora did well to turn inside Luis Perea on the left though the opening it brought had all but closed when the ball rolled to Zoltán Gera. The Hungarian international steadied himself and crossed towards the far post where Davies lashed in.

After surviving more Atlético pressure as half-time approached, Fulham emerged for the restart a renewed force. The Spanish side were indebted to the reactions of De Gea, the goalkeeper wary to the threat of Gera after a brilliant Murphy pass, then beating away Davies' shot after the ball dropped fortuitously for the winger. In between Zamora, a major injury doubt before the game, had made way for Clint Dempsey – it failed to stem the Fulham tide, though as the game became more and more fractious Atlético got on an even keel.

Extra time was increasingly inevitable, a test for any side let alone two who have played over 60 games of the season. Forlán has played the majority for Atlético but ominously for Fulham he looked fresh – Quique Sánchez Flores's greatest regret must have been that his No7 was not on the end of his own surging run and cross on 105 minutes as Eduardo Salvio and Agüero both failed to capitalise. And then, with penalties approaching he was in where it mattered; nearly half a century after Atlético beat ACF Fiorentina to claim their first major European honour, they have a second.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

CFR Cluj wins with penalty kick in minute 93

Leaders CFR Cluj won with a final goal in the third minute of extra time giving them a 3-2 victory in Monday’s match against Universitatea Craiova.

CFR Cluj managed to win despite playing with only ten players after Hugo Alcantara was sent off with a red card in the 37th minute.

Universitatea Craiova seemed to have the match in the bag as half time finished with them 2-0 up with goals from  Alexandru Piturca in minute 12 and Mihai Costea in minute 21.

But CFR Cluj came out fighting in the 2nd half with goals from Lacina Traore (minute 63), Cristi Bud (minute 84) and then Rocardo Cadu (minute 93) with a penalty strike.

CFR Cluj has now secured another step towards winning the local championship, having 63 points, four more than FC Timisoara, with 59.

Chivu suspended for one match

Romanian international Cristi Chivu has been suspended after his team Inter Milan won the Italy Cup for obscene gestures he made against AS Rome supporters a week earlier.

Inter Milan won this year Italy Cup, 1-0, against AS Rome.

Francesco Totti has also been suspended for four matches, after a violent attack against Mario Balotelli, in the same match. And Balotelli has been suspended for one match, for protesting.

Chivu, who is the captain of the Romanian national team, played for AS Rome between 2003 to 2007, when he transferred to Inter Milan.

Inter Milan has also qualified in the Champions League final, where it meets Bayern.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Chelsea (Emphatically) Wins Premier League

Chelsea’s Didier Drogba celebrates following an 8-0 victory over visiting Wigan on Sunday. Drogba scored three goals in the game giving him a Premier League-best 29 for the season.
Didier Drogba celebrating Chelsea’s 8-0 victory against Wigan. Drogba scored three goals, giving him 29 this season, to edge Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney for the Premier League scoring title.

Chelsea is the best team in England, and anyone who disputes that need only look at the scoresheet from its final victory — an 8-0 thrashing of visiting Wigan on Sunday. Chelsea’s Premier League crown was its third in six years.
Didier Drogba led the way Sunday with three goals, giving him a Premier League-best 29 this season, though it would be just as easy to list the players who didn’t find the net.
Nicolas Anelka gave Chelsea the lead in the sixth minute, and Frank Lampard doubled it with a penalty kick in the 32nd. Wigan defender Gary Caldwell drew a red card for the challenge that brought down Lampard, leaving his teammates defenseless for what was to come: Salomon Kalou, Anelka again, Drogba (three times) and a 90th-minute left-footed rocket by Ashley Cole. (Drogba had a full-bodied hat trick, scoring left-footed, right-footed and on a header.)

Manchester United beat Stoke, 4-0, to finish 1 point behind, but all a disappointed Sir Alex Ferguson could do was try his best to be gracious.

“When we heard Wigan was down to 10 men, our hopes evaporated then,” Ferguson said. “We know how difficult it is to win the Premier League and that’s why we congratulate Carlo Ancelotti and his team.
“It’s a great achievement to beat Manchester United. Losing this title makes you appreciate the achievement of winning the last three and also getting so near. We’ve got to try again.”

Ancelotti’s team finished with 103 goals, becoming the first Premier League team to top the century mark and the first to do it in England’s top division since Tottenham in 1963.

The Blues finished with an astonishing goal difference of 71, and went a perfect 6-0 against the rest of England’s big four — Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool. And they did it all despite not one but two sex scandals, Drogba’s pining for his Marseille days, and an injury list that, had it competed on its own, probably could have finished in the top half of the Premier League.

Not a bad year (not an unbeaten one, but still …). And it will only get better if they beat Portsmouth in F.A. Cup final on Saturday at Wembley.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Chivu wins Italy´s Cup

Romanian international Cristi Chivu's team, Inter Milan, beat AS Roma last night (Weds) in the final of the Italian Cup.

Inter Milan won 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome with Diego Milito scoring in minute 40 for Inter.

This is the sixth Italian trophy won by Inter Milan in their history.

The captain of Romania's national team, Chivu played the whole game but got a yellow card in minute 47.

Chivu is also through to the final of the Champions League, where Inter meets Bayern in Madrid, on May 22nd.

Lucescu wins fourth title in Ukraine

Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu had led his team Shakhtar Donetsk to victory for the fourth time in Ukraine.

Shakhtar Donetsk went six points ahead of its main rival, Dinamo Kiev, with a 1-0 victory on Wednesday in a home game.

Ilsinho scored for Lucescu's team in minute 15.

Lucescu also won the title in Ukraine, with Shakhtar Donetsk, in 2005, 2006 and 2008.

Lucescu, 64, was ranked as the fifth best coach in 2009 by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS).

Wotte suspended from Craiova for poor results

Football coach Mark Wotte has been suspended from coaching his team, Universitatea Craiova, for poor results obtained until now and indiscipline, according to the club.

The club posted on its website an announcement saying Mark Wotte and his deputy, Gerard van Ruitenburg, have been suspended from their positions for 30 days, following poor results obtained by Universitatea Craiova.

The club also said, in another statement, that Wotte has been suspended for "lack of professionalism" and "repeated indisciplinary acts".

The club also announced that player Eugen Trica and George Bita are going to train the team until the end of the championship.

Football club Universitatea Craiova announced in January that its new coach was Dutchman Mark Wotte.

Wotte should coach the club for a year-and-a-half, according to his contract.

Universitatea Craiova currently ranks 13th in Romanian League I, with 33 points. On Saturday, Craiova lost by 3-1 against International Curtea de Arges.

Wotte has previously coached RKC Waalwijk and Southampton.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Steaua loses to last-place Unirea Alba Iulia

Legendary Steaua Bucharest has dropped to fifth place in the Liga I after its shameful 1-2 defeat by last place Unirea Alba Iulia in an away match this past week-end.

Unirea Alba Iulia thereby improved its chances of avoiding relegation to the second league. It is in 17th place with 26 points in the 18-team league.

Veljovici and Florin Dan scored for Alba Iulia in the 24th and 83rd minutes, respectively, while Arman Karamyan scored in the 43rd minute for Steaua.

Steaua lost for the second time this season to the last-place team in the Liga I, having earlier been defeated by then last-place Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt.

Steaua is currently in fifth place with 53 points, six fewer than leader CFR Cluj has.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mutu makes way for Jovetic at Fiorentina

Stevan_JoveticStriker Adrian Mutu has been put on the transfer list by his team Fiorentina after his suspension for nine months following positive testing for sibutramine in January.

According to the Italian press, Mutu has been put on the transfer list although his contract runs until 2012.

The Italian club also decided this week that Mutu would be only paid half of his salary.

Romanian striker Mutu transferred to Fiorentina for a 2.2-million-Euro annual salary.

Fiorentina sports manager Pantaleo Corvino was quoted by the Italian press as saying:

"Mutu made a severe mistake. We're going to talk with Prandelli (the coach), but one thing is certain. The future of Fiorentina is named Stevan Jovetic".

Jovetic, 21, transferred to Fiorentina in 2008 for a reported eight million Euros from Serb club Partizan.

Mutu, 31, called "Il Fenomeno" at Fiorentina, was one of its most-admired players.

Mutu is wanted by Turkish clubs Galatasaray and Fenerbahce, according to the local press.

Mutu will be back on the field at the end of October after testing positive for sibutramine, a banned substance in sporting activity.

He was suspended in February, and his team Fiorentina dropped to 10th place in the Italian Serie A league.

I honestly think Jovetic deserves his spot in the lineup, most of the time he plays for them he does fantastic and he creates a lot of goals and scoring loads himself. I'm happy for Serb, but also (still) very disappointed at Mutu for having done this twice in his career... even if it was a very obscure substance and he may not have known it was illegal (doesn't do much anyway, more medical than anything), it's still been regarded as something he shouldn't have used according to the FIGC or whatever. He should get picked up by a team like Galatasaray or Fehnerbace or that Al-Sadd club... not the best teams but still not bad at all, I would like to see him play for the same team as Hagi did for a bit of his career (Galatasaray).

Lucescu criticises Mourinho for defensive play

Romanian football coach Mircea Lucescu has criticised Inter-Milan coach Jose Mourinho, who has taken Inter into the finals of the Champions League.

Lucescu said, as quoted on the website of his team Shakhtar Donetsk: "It is really a shame for a world-class team to stay on defence instead of attacking. I do not like such football. It is a pity that such teams can advance, unlike those who play spectacular football."

Lucescu, 64, was ranked as the fifth best coach in 2009 by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS).

Lucescu won the UEFA Cup with his team FC Shakhtar Donetsk, but it was then eliminated from Europa League play.

Two referees arrested on suspicion of corruption

Two football referees were arrested by anti-corruption prosecutors on Thursday night, who want them placed in preventive detention for 29 days.

Marius Martis and Ionica Serea have been accused by anti-corruption prosecutors of taking bribes. The Arges court has jurisdiction in their case.

The two arrests are thought to be connected to the FC Arges case last year.

Football team FC Arges was demoted to the second league by the Professional Football League (LPF) last year after club manager Cornel Penescu and national refereeing committee head Gheorghe Constantin were arrested in April on bribery charges related to match-fixing.

The two face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty of giving or receiving bribes.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Inter push away Barca

Internazional Milano defeated FC Barcelona today in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final, the final score 1-0 for Barca at Camp Nou. The previous leg was won by Inter at the San Siro by the score of 3-1. Inter win 3-2 on aggregate and are through to the final where they will face Bayern Munich.

Inter were down to 10 men (thanks to Thiago Motta) just before the end of the first half, yet were able to retain aggregate win. Players such as Cristian Chivu, Diego Milito, Sneijder, and others did much for Inter in this match. Pique scored a great goal in the 84th minute to give Barcelona a bit of hope in sight. Barca even scored in stoppage time thanks to Bojan but because of a handball by a Barcelona player, it did not count.

UEFA.com Report:
The Italian champions survived Thiago Motta's early red card and Gerard Piqué's late goal to reach a first final since 1972.

 Barcelona dethroned by resilient Inter

An immense display of intelligent defending and sheer determination took FC Internazionale Milano into the European Champion Clubs' Cup final for the first time since 1972 and ended FC Barcelona's hopes of becoming the first team to defend the UEFA Champions League.

Once again José Mourinho's tactics proved decisive, Inter overcoming the loss of Goran Pandev minutes before kick-off plus the dismissal of former Barcelona midfielder Thiago Motta after 28 minutes and even a fine 84th-minute goal from Gerard Piqué. That late strike was the only moment when it looked as if Inter, who gave everything to protect their 3-1 first-leg lead, were not going to thwart the reigning European and world champions at every turn as they look to win the trophy for the third time.

The atmosphere had been febrile for an hour before kick-off, although amid the tension there were warm embraces between Xavi Hernàndez, Samuel Eto'o and Víctor Valdés. There was no let-up in the intensity on the pitch, however, although Inter had been forced into an emergency reshuffle even before Motta's red card. Pandev broke down in the warm-up and Mourinho opted for Cristian Chivu as his replacement.

Inter's counterattacking tactics meant that there were often nine white shirts behind the ball while the European champions tested their version of safe-breaking skills. Try as they might it was impossible to unpick the Italian champions although Pedro Rodríguez darted in front of Motta and Maicon to prod Daniel Alves' cross narrowly wide. Inter's response was instant. An excellent combination between Diego Milito and Wesley Sneijder down the right sucked Seydou Keita, an experimental left-back, towards the danger and so suddenly that Eto'o was alone with the ball in sight of goal. Only the timely arrivals of Gabriel Milito and Pedro spared Barcelona.

Then came five minutes that made Inter's task even harder. Motta had already been booked but his use of an outstretched hand on the face of Sergio Busquets brought him a straight red card in the 28th minute. As Inter looked to reorganise yet again, it was another Brazilian who came to their rescue. Yaya Touré released Lionel Messi and the competition's leading scorer bent in a vicious drive which Júlio César finger-tipped round the post.

Even though it needed an immense diving block by Samuel to prevent Zlatan Ibrahimović getting off shot just before the break, Inter were impressive. Diego Milito and Sneijder worked tirelessly to win possession and always stretched the home side when they had the ball. The degree to which Inter remained largely untroubled was shown as Guardiola first replaced Ibrahimović with Bojan Krkić, then urged Piqué to push up as an auxiliary centre-forward. Another striker, Jeffrén, followed as time began to ebb away and Inter's relentless blocking and retreating forced the normally slick Barcelona to shoot wastefully from distance.

Searching for inspiration Messi drifted left and curved in a cross which, at last, eluded Samuel only for Bojan to nudge a free header past the post. Then came the breakthrough. Xavi slipped a trademark pass to Piqué, he turned substitute Ivàn Córdoba and slid a shot into the open net. It proved too little too late for the holders, however, Inter holding out for the remaining six minutes plus added time to end their reign and set up a meeting with FC Bayern München on 22 May.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lyon hold firm to oust Bordeaux

FC Girondins de Bordeaux 1-0 Olympique Lyonnais (agg: 2-3)
Marouane Chamakh's goal at the end of the first half was not enough to prevent the visitors reaching the semi-finals for the first time.

Lyon hold firm to oust Bordeaux

Olympique Lyonnais withstood a barrage of pressure to clinch a gritty aggregate win against FC Girondins de Bordeaux and book their place in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League for the first time.
Leading 3-1 from the first leg, the visitors defended with fierce determination to protect their advantage, although it took another sensational Hugo Lloris save in the closing moments to ultimately seal the triumph. Marouane Chamakh had halved the deficit with his fifth European goal of the season just before the break, setting up a thrilling second half in which Les Girondins poured forward relentlessly. Lyon stood firm, however, thus ensuring they will compete in a semi-final after falling in the last eight three times in the previous six years.

Les Marine et Blanc entered the contest boasting a perfect home record in this season's competition yet three defeats from their last three outings was clearly playing on the French champions' confidence. As Laurent Blanc's men struggled to find their passing game, OL warmed to the task and twice threatened to extend their aggregate lead early on. Michel Bastos rifled a powerful free-kick narrowly wide and Bafétimbi Gomis nodded César Delgado's corner over before the hosts gradually got a foothold.

Not surprisingly, when Bordeaux stirred on 18 minutes the danger came from a free-kick. Wendel's superb delivery from the right drew Lloris off his line but Yoann Gourcuff failed to add to Bordeaux's 11 set-piece goals this term, glancing his header over. The opening brought the crowd to life, though, and suddenly the momentum was firmly with Bordeaux. Only a series of towering headers from Cris kept Claude Puel's side afloat as Benoît Trémoulinas and Wendel fizzed over crosses from either flank.

Les Girondins were out of luck on 44 minutes when former Lyon midfielder Alou Diarra thundered a dipping volley against the crossbar from distance, although the home fans were soon celebrating. Seconds before the interval, the marauding Trémoulinas collected Jussiê's return ball on the left, surged to the byline, and when Jaroslav Plašil flicked on his near-post cross, Chamakh was on hand to force in his second goal of the tie from close range.

If Les Gones were struggling to create chances without their suspended talisman Lisandro, his replacement Gomis was quick to show in the second half. Directly from the restart, the French international broke free on the right side of the penalty area and evaded the advancing Cédric Carrasso, only to shoot tamely at covering defender Marc Planus from a testing angle.

Bastos then fired a volley wide before the French champions seized control and threw everything at Lyon in the last half-hour. Chamakh was a constant menace yet with Cris and Jean-Alain Boumsong typically combative, the Moroccan international could not forge a clear opportunity. Bordeaux always looked capable of scoring the all-important second from a set piece, but for once their favoured weapon failed to deliver. Ludovic Sané headed Gourcuff's corner wide with ten minutes remaining and Lloris pulled off a stunning save from Wendel's header on 87 minutes as time ran out on Bordeaux.

At a glance

What happened
Marouane Chamakh struck on the stroke of half-time but Laurent Blanc's side were unable to find the goal that would have sent them through.

Key moment
With three minutes remaining Wendel sent a bullet header towards the Lyon goal but, not for the first time in the tie, Hugo Lloris pulled off a fabulous save.

Numbers game

Bordeaux won all five of their home games in this season's UEFA Champions League but it was not enough to keep them in the competition. 
One on one
Cris was outmanoeuvred for Chamakh's goal but otherwise held the Moroccan striker in check with a typically combative and imposing display.

Crowd pleaser
In the 44th minute former Lyon midfielder Alou Diarra unleashed a thunderous shot from 25 metres only for the crossbar to intervene.

What it means
After three quarter-finals Lyon are in the semi-finals for the first time – Ligue 1's first representatives in the last four since 2003/04.

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United buckle under Bayern strain & yesterday's UCL results

April 7th 2010

 United buckle under Bayern strain

Manchester United FC 3-2 FC Bayern München
(agg: 4-4, Bayern win on away goals)

United buckle under Bayern strain

A magnificent volley from Arjen Robben capped a stunning Bayern recovery with the home side having taken a 3-0 lead before Rafael's dismissal.

FC Bayern München fought back from three goals down on the night to oust Manchester United FC from the UEFA Champions League on away goals.

On a pulsating evening, United stormed into a three-goal lead through Darron Gibson and a Nani double. Yet Ivica Olić's goal just before the break raised Bayern hopes and after Rafael's 50th-minute dismissal, Bayern capitalised on the extra man thanks to a stunning Arjen Robben volley 16 minutes from time.

It was a repeat of the Dutchman's decisive goal in the identical away-goals win against ACF Fiorentina in the last 16 and means Bayern can look forward to their first semi-final since 2001, the year of their last European crown when they also beat United at this stage.

The home fans had a lift before kick-off with the news that Wayne Rooney would be starting, just days after Sir Alex Ferguson had said he faced "two to three weeks" out with the ankle injury sustained in the first leg.
United then made a dream start with a third-minute goal involving two other surprise names on the team sheet. Rafael, in for Gary Neville, dispossessed Franck Ribéry and played the ball to Rooney, who laid it on to Gibson. The Northern Irishman, making only his second start of 2010, side-footed a low shot inside the near post from the edge of the box for his first UEFA Champions League goal.

After seven minutes United had their second. Antonio Valencia teased Holger Badstuber out on the right before driving in a low cross that Nani, ghosting beyond the Bayern back line, turned in with a cute flick of his heel. Michael Carrick, with a shot, and Rooney, a header, then went close with Bayern were struggling to live with the pace of United's play, even with Rooney now hobbling. They duly made it 3-0 as Valencia broke down the right and crossed for Nani to drive the ball high into the net.

Two minutes later, however, Bayern pulled a goal back through Olić. Latching onto Thomas Müller's flicked header, the Croatian shrugged aside Michael Carrick and beat Edwin van der Sar from a tight angle.
Louis van Gaal sent on Mario Gómez for Müller at the interval and within five minutes Bayern found themselves with a man advantage when Rafael collected a second yellow for pulling back Ribéry.

With Rooney making way for John O'Shea, Bayern pressed for a second and Van der Sar punched clear a Ribéry drive just before the hour while Gómez skimmed the crossbar with a header. It was not all one-way traffic, not with United's counterattacking threat – twice Butt saved well from Nani, while Carrick and Gibson spurned half-chances.

With 16 minutes remaining, though, Robben broke United's resistance by levelling the aggregate scores at 4-4. Ribéry's corner found him on the edge of the box and the Dutchman drove the ball on the volley past a helpless Van der Sar and into the far corner. For United, the dream of a third successive final was over.

April 6th 2010 

Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal
Short Summary: All of Barca's goals scored by the world's best player, Lionel Messi, and one early goal from the Gunners' Nicklas Bendtner.

CSKA Moskva 0-1 Internazionale
Short Summary: Only goal of the match was scored by Sneijder, launching Inter into the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2003.

Click here for more details and football articles at SWU

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Chivu will meet Messi in the semi finals of the Champions League

Romanian international Cristi Chivu is the only Romanian player to play in the semi finals of the Champions League after his team Inter Milan beat CSKA Moscow last night (Tues).

Wesley Sneijder scored for Inter in the sixth minute qualifying his team for the semifinals.

Inter Milan is the first team to qualify for the semi finals, after Barcelona who humiliated Arsenal London by 4-1, all four goals being scored by Lionel Messi.

Defender Cristi Chivu was back on the pitch only two weeks ago, after having undergone head surgery in January.

He had suffered a fractured skull during a match his team won against Chievo on 6 January in Italian Series A play. Chivu, 29, injured his head in a duel with Sergio Pellissier.

Another Romanian in the Bundesliga

Another Romanian could be set to play in the Bundesliga, it was revealed today (Tues).

Football player Paul Parvulescu, from Gaz Metan Medias, is going to be transferred to Hoffenheim, according to Prosport.

Parvulescu, 21, is reportedly in discussions to sign a contract for five seasons and the Romanian club will get 1.5 million Euros, Prosport wrote, quoting sources from the club. The transfer has not been confirmed officially.

Currently, Romanian Ciprian Marica is playing for VfB Stuttgart.

Another Romanian, Alexandru Ionita, from Rapid, has signed a three and a half years contract with FC Koln, starting this summer.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mutu wanted by Al-Sadd

Romanian striker Adrian Mutu has been offered a king-size salary of 6 million Euros per season in Qatar by Al-Sadd, Calciomercato revealed today (Tues).
The Fiorentina striker is among ten players the club wants to sell in the summer along with Frey, Vargas and Pasqual.

But his leaving is conditional on the suspension he faces for two positive doping tests. Caciomercato says he will be sold if he gets a suspension of more than 6 months.

His case will be tried by the Italian National Antidoping Court on 19 April.
Italian anti-doping prosecutors have called for a one-year suspension of Romanian international Adrian Mutu after the Fiorentina player was suspended indefinitely in February for failing anti-doping tests.

Mutu, 31, tested positive for sibutramine in tests carried out on 10 January after a match with Bari and on 20 January after a match with Lazio.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Goal.com apologises to Romanians for racist blunder

The well-known sports website Goal.com has apologised today (Mon) to Romanians after using a racist term referring to the team Rapid Bucharest.The blunder has been highly criticised by the Romanian sports press, which spotted the Rapid Bucharest team was named "Ciorile vopsite", which means "the painted crows", which is a racist name used for gipsies, called by other team's supporters against the Rapid team.

The article referred to the recent appointment of Ioan Andone as Rapid coach.

The later edit of the article reads:
"Note: An earlier version of this article contained what Goal.com now realises is an ethnic slur. Goal.com utterly rejects all forms of racism and ethnic discrimination and apologies deeply and sincerely to readers in Romania and elsewhere for our accidental use of an unacceptable phrase."

The blunder was also pointed out by readers in tens of comments: "Priceless! The ciorile vopsite :))", "Mr. Robin, I'm not a Rapid fan, but I have to tell you that there are "ciori vopsite" all over Romania and a team like Steaua Bucharest , Dinamo Bucharest but other teams too have among their fans a higher percentage of "ciori vopsite" than Rapid Bucharest. Anyway , the word "cioara" is a nasty nickname by which gipsy are called and you may be in big trouble if any of them (romanian or not) intends to sue you in the court of law. If I were you, I'd just ERASE these two words from the article."

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CFR Cluj remains at the top

CFR Cluj remains at the top of the Romanian League I after victory over Gloria Bistrita on Saturday night in Cluj-Napoca.

Yssouf Kone scored for CFR in the first half and kept the team in first place, with 49 points.

Beating Unirea Alba lulia 3-0, Vaslui now take second place in League I, with 47 points.

Steaua Bucharest also won 1-0 against FC Brasov and it is currently in third place, with 46 points.

Romanian scores against PSG

Romanian AJ Auxerre striker Daniel Niculae scored against Paris Saint Germain in a 1-1 home game.

Niculae scored in the opening 11 minutes with PSG’s Sankhare equalising five minutes later.

Niculae's team is currently third in the French championship, after Lyon and Montpellier.

Daniel Niculae has a contract to play for Auxerre until this summer.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Steaua player out for a month

Steaua player Ianos Szekely is out of action for at least a month after sustaining an injury during training, the club announced yesterday (Fri).

Szekely, 26, suffered a knee injury and he will be operated on next week, the club said, but added he is unlikely to be back in the game for at least one month.

Szekely played in 15 matches for Steaua this season and scored five times.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Prosecutors ask for one year suspension of Mutu

Adrian Mutu - Fiorentina (Getty Images)Italian anti-doping prosecutors have requested a one-year suspension of Romanian international Adrian Mutu for doping, they announced yesterday (Weds).

His case was sent to the Italian National Anti-doping Court, which indefinitely suspended the Fiorentina player in February after he had failed anti-doping tests.

Prosecutors have announced that the case was sent to the Italian National Anti-doping Court for admission of responsibility in the breaching of article 2.1 in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code.

Prosecutors are asking for a one-year suspension of the Romanian player in accordance with article 10.4 in the WADA Code.

Mutu, 31, tested positive for sibutramine in tests carried out on 10 January after a match with Bari and on 20 January after a match with Lazio.

Mutu scored two goals in the match against Lazio Roma that Fiorentina won by a score of 3-2. His team thereby qualified for the Italy Cup semi-finals.

Sibutramine is an anorectic or appetite suppressant that reduces a person’s desire to eat.

Last year, Mutu was ordered to pay Chelsea more than 14 million GBP in compensation for having tested positive for cocaine in 2004 while playing at Stamford Bridge.

His agent believes that if the ban is longer than 6 months, his career with Fiorentina could well be over.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Andone resigns as coach of CSKA Sofia

Romanian coach Ioan Andone has ended collaboration with Bulgarian team CSKA Sofia after two and a half months, the Bulgarian media reported yesterday (Tues).

Andone, 49, had signed a year-and-a-half contract. He has coached United Arab Emirates champion Al Ahli, Dinamo Bucharest and CFR Cluj.

According to sportal.bg, club president Dimitar Borissov said a new head coach would not be appointed and Andone's assistant, Adalbert Zafirov, would be interim coach of the team.

He is the new coach of Rapid Bucharest, GSPTV announced yesterday (Weds).

Andone will coach Rapid until summer and continue on as its coach for three more years.

He is Rapid's third coach this year after Viorel Hizo and Nicolae Manea.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bud helps the Liga I Leaders get past Brasov in an away match

Today, CFR Cluj played away and defeated FC Brasov 1-0 with a goal from Bud early in the first half of the match, assisted by the top class Yssouf Kone.

This is Brasov's fourth lost match in a row, and they now lie in 9th place in the top-flight Romanian league, only 1 point ahead of Gloria Bistrita.

FC Brasov - none.
CFR Cluj - C. Bud (19').

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Vaslui overpower FC Timisoara

Wesley Lopes

FC Vaslui won 1-0 today versus FC Timisoara, in Timisoara.

FC Timisoara had many chances to score in this match, especially near the end, and it was a very aggressive game.

FC Timisoara - none.
FC Vaslui - C. Costly (12')

FC Timisoara - none.
FC Vaslui - M. Pavlovic (red card; 37').

Also, you can watch the Brasov - CFR Cluj match coming up in a little over an hour (after the end of this match) using the SopCast channels.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Craiova defeat Rapid Bucuresti 1-0 added time!

U Craiova won 1-0 yesterday (Sat.) in Bucharest thanks to a goal from Constantin Gangioveanu, who is a very technical player. He scored a formidable goal in the second minute of stoppage time (92nd minute), it was a diagonal from nearly outside the box and it passed through a Rapid defender's legs and into the back of the net!

I thought we were going to tie, which isn't bad against Rapid, especially since we were playing away, but we managed to get the full 3 points here! We are now in 12th place, we started the season off very bad but now it looks like the new Dutch coach, Mark Wotte (who coached the Dutch National Team for several years), has cleaned up some of our problems and doing a better job than our previous Italian manager. I hope we continue all these wins we're getting and hopefully clinch a Europa League spot!! :-)

We also didn't have Florin Costea for two matches, so that's a big blow... he will be out for the rest of the season.

Constantin Gangioveanu's goal:

Unirea and Dinamo play to a 4-4 draw

Unirea Urziceni and Dinamo Bucharest played to a 4-4 (2-2) draw today (Sun).

Urziceni is currently in fifth place in the top football league, with 42 points, the same as Dinamo in fourth and Timisoara in third, but they have scored more goals.

CFR Cluj is the leader with 43 points, followed by Steaua Bucharest, also with 43 points but with fewer goals scored.

Unirea Urziceni - M.D. Onofras (2'), A.P.S. Semedo (10'), and M.I. Bilasco (70'; penalty and 90').
Dinamo Bucuresti - B. Fernandes (6'; own goal), A. Cristea (8' and 64'; penalty), and G. Torje (48').

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dinamo and CFR play to a 1-1 draw

Dinamo and CFR Cluj played to a 1-1 draw last night (Weds) in the semi-finals of Romanian Cup competition in Bucharest.

Lucian Goian scored in the 10th minute for Dinamo, and CFR Cluj got the equaliser by Yssouf Kone 15 minutes later.

The second-leg match will be played in Cluj on 14 April.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Messi may spend Easter in Romania

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, the world's greatest footballer, may spend the Easter holidays in Romania, it was revealed today (Weds).

The information was made public by the president of the local council in Suceava in northern Romania, Gheorghe Flutur, who said that Messi was going to visit the Bukovina region.

Flutur added that Messi was coming at the invitation of former Romanian international Gica Popescu, who played for Barcelona in 1995-1997.

No further details were provided about Messi's schedule.

Bukovina is a region in northern Romania famous for its colourful 14th-century monasteries.

On UNESCO's list of world heritage monuments, they are unique in the world for their architecture and the paintings on their facades.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Romanian international praised by the German press

Romanian international Ciprian Marica was praised today (Tues) by the German press for having scored five goals this year in the Bundesliga for his team Vfb Stuttgart.

Marica scored two goals at the end of last week in a match with Hanovra.

The German newspaper Bild wrote about the "miraculous" Marica: "It looks like Marica, it talks like Marica, has always been said. But now, there is a new Ciprian Marica, the one we've been seeing in the last three months."

Under new coach Christian Gross, Marica is playing well. Before this season, he had scored only five goals in 56 matches in the Bundesliga.

Marica transferred to VfB Stuttgart in 2007 for 8.3 million Euro from Shakhtar Donetsk and was often criticised by the German press, which considered the transfer a bad one. Until now.

Monday, March 22, 2010

CFR Cluj still the leader in Romanian football

Unirea Urziceni defeated Unirea Alba Iulia in an away football game today (Mon) by a score of 2-1.

Bucurica scored for the host team in the 39th minute, but Unirea’s Brandon managed to score the equaliser in the 48th minute, and Onofras made it 2-1 in the 53rd minute.

Romanian League I leader is CFR Cluj, with 43 points, after its 1-0 defeat of Pandurii Targu Jiu over the weekend.

FC Timisoara is second, with 42 points, and Steaua Bucharest is third, also with 42 points but with fewer goals scored.

Romania to have three friendly football matches


Romania will have three friendly football matches starting in May, the Romanian Football Federation has announced today (Fri).

Romania's national football team will meet Ukraine on 29 May in an away game. Romania will then begin training in Austria and have two friendly matches with Macedonia on 2 June and with Honduras on 5 June. Romania missed qualifying for the South Africa World Cup competition and is presently fighting to qualify for Euro 2012.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dinamo defeats eternal rival Steaua

Dinamo se impune solid in fata Stelei

Dinamo Bucharest won the match with its eternal rival Steaua Bucharest at Stefan cel Mare stadium in Bucharest last night (Weds) by a score of 2-0 (1-0).

Marius Alexe scored in the 40th minute and Adrian Cristea in the 81st minute.

The match was full of yellow and red cards as the tension was at maximum level. Dinamo players got five yellow cards, while Steaua players received three yellow cards and one red card, for Golanski in the 66th minute. Steaua had to play with only 10 men thereafter.

Over 15,000 spectators attended the match.

Dinamo is fourth in the top league, with 38 points, the same as Rapid but with more goals scored. The leader is still CFR Cluj, with 40 points, followed by Steaua, with 39 points.

Match Highlights:

Only three stadiums suitable for Euro 2012 preliminary matches


Only three stadiums in Romania can host preliminary matches for the Euro 2012 competition, the Romanian Football Federation  (FRF) said today (Weds).

FRF said that UEFA standards had been raised and only the following three stadiums would be allowed to host such matches: Steaua in Bucharest, Dr. Constantin Radulescu in Cluj and Dan Paltinisanu in Timisoara.

The FRF will ask UEFA to inspect other two stadiums, Ceahlaul in Piatra Neamt and Ion Oblemenco in Craiova.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dinamo claims Steaua fans want to set fire to the stadium

Dinamo Bucharest football club Executive President Cristian Borcea said today (Tues) that Steaua supporters intended to set fire to the Dinamo stadium during the match scheduled for tomorrow (Weds).

The two rivals - Steaua and Dinamo - are meeting in a match tomorrow at Dinamo stadium Stefan cel Mare in Bucharest.

Borcea said Steaua supporters wanted to take revenge on Steaua owner tycoon Gigi Becali and set fire to the part of the stadium reserved for visiting team fans. Borcea added that all measures had been taken to prevent such a thing from happening.

Borcea said only 676 tickets have been sold to Steaua supporters, based on a protocol between the two teams.
What a stupid thing to assume, but I guess you can never be too careful in football. I want to see a Steaua win here!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fans fined at the Dinamo-CFR Cluj game

Eight fans were fined by gendarmes at the Dinamo-CFR Cluj match on Saturday evening in Cluj-Napoca.

Five were fined for trying to scalp tickets before the match, and three others were fined for throwing items at gendarmes and starting a fight.

CFR Cluj managed only a 2-2 (0-1) draw at the match on Saturday night against Dinamo.

CFR Cluj continues to lead the top league with 39 points, followed by Steaua, with the same number of points but fewer goals scored, and Rapid Bucharest with 38 points.

Mutu to find out about his suspension at the end of April

Fiorentina football club striker Adrian Mutu is going to find out the results of the investigation of his doping case at the end of April, according to the newspaper Corriere Fiorentino.

Mutu risks from one to four years’ suspension since prosecutors consider him a recidivist because he tested positive for cocaine in 2004 while playing for Chelsea.

Mutu, 31, has been questioned by Italian Olympic Committee anti-doping prosecutors in Rome in his sibutramine doping case.

Mutu was suspended indefinitely after testing positive for sibutramine in tests carried out on 10 January after a match with Bari and on 20 January after a match with Lazio.