Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Victor Piturca

Victor Piţurcă (born 8th Of May 1956 in Orodel, Dolj County, Romania) is a former football striker. He was one of the prolific strikers of Steaua Bucharest, being one of the team's top scorers – he scored a massive 165 goals in 175 games played for this team.
Piţurcă 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 second football league, 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 too 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, helping the club to reach its highest peak in European football. Piţurcă's team won the UEFA Champions League in 1986 and the European Supercup in 1987. Piţurcă won the Romanian Championship with Steaua Bucharest 5 times and the Romanian Cup 4 times. At the end of the 1987-88 season he was the top scorer of Liga I and won UEFA's Bronze Boot. For Romanian National football team, Piţurcă only get 13 caps, scoring 6 goals.

After playing for Racing Club de Lens during the 1989-90 season, Piţurcă retired from professional football to take over as coach. His first appointment was for Steaua Bucharest in 1991, followed by another one with Universitatea Craiova in 1994, finishing second in the table 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.

In December 1999 he took over as manager of Steaua Bucharest, winning the championship in 2001, but resigned in 2004. In December 2004 he was appointed manager of Romania for the second time. At first Romania did well under his coaching, defeating several important European teams both in friendlies (Germany, Spain) and official matches (Czech Republic in Group 1 of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualification and the Netherlands in Group G of the UEFA 2008 Qualifying Round).
After topping their qualifying group (and thus qualifying for their first international tournament in 8 years), Romania was drawn in Group C at UEFA Euro 2008, alongside the Netherlands, Italy and France. At the time of the draw, these countries' respective Elo rankings among European teams were 1st, 2nd, 4th and 8th. After drawing their first two games against the finalists of the previous World Cup (0-0 against France, 1-1 against Italy), Romania lost 0-2 to the Netherlands, finishing the group in third place and thus being eliminated from the competition.
In 2009, the Romanian Football Federation released Victor Piţurcă from his job from the Romania national football team on April 9th, 2009. A few weeks later, Răzvan Lucescu was appointed as his successor.
In July 2010 Victor Piţurcă accepted to be Steaua Bucharest's manager. He prepared this team for the first 2 games in the season. Both were victories. After them he resigned his contract and starting with the 6th game of the season he accepted a 3 years contract as manager of Universitatea Craiova. After 15 years we may hope again. Long live Victor Piţurcă!


john said...

Hi a question from Australia:

How did you rate Michael Baird - who is now playing for Perth Glory?

john said...

How many games did he play for Universitatea Craiova?

Che Guevara said...

Michael Baird was a very good striker of Universitatea Craiova. He scored a lot of important goals. He did not score too much, but he had great goals. He has a really good head strike, he is very versatile and mobile in the field and he runs a lot. Michael Baird has a great attitude during football games and makes a good defensive job even he is a striker.

Che Guevara said...

Michael Baird - performance data
5 games - 2 goals
18 games - 4 goals
16 games - 2 goals
3 games - 0 goals
2005-2006 (Second league)
8 games - 1 goal
He could do better, but he was only third option for a striker in our team and he had a lot of injuries. That's why he spent a lot of time off the field.

john said...

Thank you Che Guevara

What was Josh Mitchell's performance like?


Che Guevara said...

Josh Mitchell was very good in his first year in Romania. He came here when our team was in the second football league. Actually he was the reason why we had in our team around 11 or 12 football players coming from Australia in the last 5 years. The main problem of him was the frequency of yellow and red cards he took. In the begining they were not so many. But in the last two years he gathered a lot of them.

Che Guevara said...

Joshua Mitchell - performance data
9 games, 1 own goal, 3 yellow cards
16 games, 1 own goal, 1 scored goal, 3 yellow cards, 1 red card
29 games, 1 scored goal, 9 yellow cards, 1 red card
3 games
second football league - all the season games (34)