Victor Piţurcă

Football_manager_infobox
playername = Victor Piţurcă


fullname = Victor Piţurcă
nickname = "Piţi"
dateofbirth = birth date and age|df=yes|1956|5|8
cityofbirth = Orodel, Dolj County
countryofbirth = Romania
currentclub = N/A
position = Striker
youthyears = 1970–1974
youthclubs = Universitatea Craiova
years = 1974-1975 1975-1977 1977-1978 1978-1979 1979-1983 1983-1989 1989-1990
clubs = Dinamo Slatina Universitatea Craiova Pandurii Târgu Jiu FC Drobeta FC Olt Scorniceşti Steaua Bucureşti Racing Club de Lens
caps(goals) = ? (?) 8 (0) ? (?) 0 (0) 98 (28) 175 (138) 28 (4)
nationalyears = 1985-1987
nationalteam = Romania
nationalcaps(goals) = 13 (6)
manageryears = 1992 1994-1995 1996-1998 1998-1999 2000-2002 2002-2004 2004-
managerclubs = Steaua Bucuresti Universitatea Craiova Romania U21 Romania Steaua Bucureşti Steaua Bucureşti Romania

Victor Piţurcă (born 8 May 1956 in Orodel, Dolj County) is a former football (soccer) striker and current coach of the Romanian national team. Piţurcă won the European Cup with Steaua Bucureşti in 1986.

On 25 March 2008 he was decorated by the president of România, Traian Băsescu with Ordinul "Meritul Sportiv" — (The Order "The Sportive Merit") class II for his part in winning the of 1986 European Cup Final.

Club career

Piţurcă was one of the finest strikers Steaua Bucureşti ever had, being one of the team's top scorers – he scored a massive 165 goals in 175 games played for the team. During their European Cup winning season, Piţurcă scored five goals in nine games, including one of the fastest goals ever scored in an official football game – the goal scored in the 36th second of the game against Budapest Honvéd FC.

He joined Universitatea Craiova as a youth in 1970, aged 14, and four years later he was loaned to Dinamo Slatina, a club from Romania's Liga II, in order to gain more experience, before being called back to Craiova in 1975, making his debut for the team in November that year.

As he was not used much by Universitatea, Piţurcă left the club in 1977 to join Pandurii Târgu Jiu and then FC Drobeta Turnu-Severin, from where he was signed by FC Olt, thus returning to play in Liga I.

In 1983 he was requested by Steaua Bucureşti, helping the club to reach its highest peak in European football.

Piţurcă's team won the European Cup in 1986, the European Supercup in 1987, were finalists in the European Cup in 1989 and semifinalists in the same competition in the previous year. As for domestic performances, Piţurcă won the championship with Steaua five times and the Romanian Cup four times.

At the end of the 1987-88 season he was the top scorer of Liga I and won UEFA's Bronze Boot.

A very funny moment happened in 1989 during the European Cup semifinal played by Steaua against Galatasaray in İzmir when the Turkish side's goalkeeper relieved the ball hitting Piţurcă's back and from there the ball went straight into the goal. However, the goal was not validated because the referee did not see what happened.

International career

Despite being a prolific striker, Piţurcă only won 13 caps for Romania, scoring six times.

Career as coach

After playing for Racing Club de Lens during the 1989-90 season, Piţurcă called it a day and retired from professional football to take over as coach. His first appointment was with Steaua in 1991, followed by another one with Universitatea Craiova in 1994, finishing second in the championship at the end of 1994-95 season.

In 1996 he was named coach of the Romania Under 21 side, leading the team to its best performances ever, including a qualification to the Under 21 European Championship in 1998, hosted by Romania.

In 1998 he was appointed as Romania's manager and qualified the team to the 2000 European Football Championship. However, despite finishing the qualification group undefetead, Piţurcă was sacked before even taking his squad to the Euro 2000. The reason was an argument he had had with Romania's best players, Gheorghe Hagi and Gheorghe Popescu, both managed by Ioan Becali. Becali was Piţurcă's worst enemy because Piţurcă did not want to promote the players he managed to the national team, but he was great friends with Romanian Football Federation president Mircea Sandu.

In December 1999 he took over as manager of Steaua Bucureşti, winning the championship in 2001, but resigned in 2004 after an argument with the club's chairman, Gigi Becali, who wanted to sack a player whom Piţurcă wanted to keep on the team.

In December 2004 he was appointed manager of Romania for the second time.

tatistics

*Divizia A: 301 games - 165 goals
*Divizia B: 28 games - 4 goals
*Top scorer of Divizia A: 1987-88 (34 goals)
*Romanian Cup: 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989
*European Cup: 1985-86
*European Super Cup: 1985-86 (game played in 1987)

References

* [http://www.romaniansoccer.ro/ Romaniansoccer.ro - history and statistics]
* [http://www.steauaonline.com/ Steaua Bucureşti Online]
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2008/jun/15/euro2008.romania/ Get Thee Behind Us All, Satan]
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2008/jun/10/romania.euro2008/ Cunning Piturca Makes Light Of The Devil's Own Job]
*Other sources


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