They progressed 9/40. What are the Romanian players doing, one year after they no longer tick the U21 Rule

Article by Liviu Manolache, Alexandru Barbu – Posted on Friday, June 10, 2022, 3:40 PM / Updated on Friday, June 10, 2022 4:54 PM

What happened to the Romanian players born in 1998 and 1999 who did not check the U21 rule since the recently concluded season? Only 9 of the 40 used consistently progressed.

  • 40 players were considered, those with at least 10 matches as starters in the 2020-21 season of League 1, the last one in which the rule was valid with two U21 footballers on the field.

Since 2016, when FRF implemented the U21 rule, which gave young people a huge chance to play on the first stage, the subsequent careers of players eligible for the youth national team have been an important stake. Basically, what do they do after they are no longer protected by the Federation measure.

For those born between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 1999, the 2021-22 championship was the first after exceeding the U21 limit.


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What do Romanian players do a year after leaving the U21 rule

Some of them have reached certainties in the top teams in League 1, as Olaru and Adrian Shoot at the FCSB or Aioane at the lighthouse.

There are also footballers who have remained at about the same level, even if there is not necessarily an equal relationship between them. For example, Stahlcurrently at Rapid, is at a lower point in his career than Dennis Man, but the analysis is related to the independent evolution of each player. From the L1 goal scorer, Man reached Serie A, and now he is ranked with Parma in the middle of the hierarchy in Serie B.

Unfortunately, most of the players of this generation have regressed, a sign that some have even been used only to comply with the U21 rule. Alexandru Vodă, Andrei Sîntean or Stephan Drăghici are some of the examples that disappeared from League 1 immediately after they could no longer help the clubs to tick the rule.

Below, the evolution of the Romanian players who have stopped being eligible for the U21 rule starting with the 2021-22 season.

9 progressed:

  • Cristian Costin (23 years old, far right) – with 27 appearances in the league, he seriously contributed to the best season in the history of FC Voluntari in League 1 (6 goals, a decisive pass)
  • Ion Gheorghe (22, offensive midfielder) – after a successful season at FC Voluntari (5 goals and 5 assists), the former Dinamo player signed with Sepsi
  • Virgil Ghita (24, stopper) – due to solid developments, was transferred from Krakow in February in exchange for 1.2 million euros; In Poland, the central defender ticked most of the minutes
  • Marius Stefanescu (23, far left) – summoned to the national team, Ștefănescu had a very good season at Sepsi, crowned with winning the Cup; has 12 goals and 5 assists in 42 official matches and a was named “May Player” in the GSP Survey
  • Adrian Shoot (23, defensive midfielder) – won his place in the FCSB team
  • Darius Olaru (24, central midfielder) – is one of the best footballers in League 1, designated “April Player” in the GSP Survey
  • Andrei Cordea (22, far right) – last summer he caught the transfer of his career, from Clinceni to FCSB, and managed to prevail in the first “11” of the red-blues (5 goals, 5 assists)
  • Marco Dulca (23, central midfielder) – had appreciated developments in Chindia and is on Rapid’s shopping list
  • Mihai Aioani (22, goalkeeper) – after a promising season in Chindia, he became the head of the Lighthouse and became the focus of the national team
According to rule U21, the flood!  Who disappeared from League 1 once the age limit was exceeded

Darius Olaru, one of the leaders of the ’98 -’99 promotion in Romanian football

12 are stagnant:

  • George Ganea (23, striker) – loaned by Farul to FC Argeș in the second part of the championship, Ionel Ganea’s son has not exploded yet (3 goals in 27 stages)
  • Răzvan Onea (24, right defender) – basic man at Poli Iași in the 2020-21 season, Onea arrived at Rapid at the beginning of this year; injured, he hasn’t played since February
  • Raul Opruț (24, left-back) – remained at Hermannstadt, with whom he returned to League 1 after only one year in “B”
  • Mihai Velisar (23, right defender) – after parting ways with Gaz Metan, he signed with Petrolul, newly promoted to League 1; he was not an exponential footballer for the people of Prahova
  • Dennis Man (23, far right) – although he left FCSB in Serie A for 11 million euros, Man has since relegated to Parma, a team that finished only 12th in the second league in the Iberian Peninsula.
  • Olimpiu Morutan (23, offensive midfielder) – did not win at Galatasaray, 13th place in Turkey, has only 13 matches as a starter in the league
  • Gabriel Simion (24, defensive midfielder) – returns to FCSB after a loan from Aris Limassol; In the Cyprus play-off, he caught the starting formula only once
  • Tiberiu Căpușă (24, right defender) – just like in the 2020-21 season, Căpușa was a basic man in Chindia; the people of Târgoviște were saved in-extremis from demotion, dam won in the tiebreaks with Chiajna
  • George Merloi (22, offensive midfielder) – after relegation with Astra, he became a reserve at FC Voluntari
  • Denis Haruț (23, stopper) – not confirmed at FCSB, was transferred in January of this year to FC Botoșani, in the form of a loan, and will return to the red-blues
  • Denis Ciobotariu (24, stopper) – removed from the squad by CFR Cluj during last season, he caught 15 matches at FC Voluntari, where he was loaned at the request of his father, Liviu Ciobotariu, the coach of Ilfov
  • Albert Stahl (23, far right) – left Astra and became a midfielder of medium importance for Rapid; in the play-out he had only 3 appearances
According to rule U21, the flood!  Who disappeared from League 1 once the age limit was exceeded

At the age of 23, George Ganea remains hopeful

19 involved:

  • Alexandru Mățan (22, far left) – no longer catches the team at Columbus (MLS), a club that paid him 1.5 million euros in March 2021
  • Radu Boboc (23, right defender) – Former U21 international has gone through a weaker season, 16 appearances in Hagi’s starting lineup (League 1)
  • Andrei Ciobanu (24, offensive midfielder) – Farului player had a championship below expectations, with only 2 goals and 3 assists
  • Balazs Csiszer (23, right-back) – After 11 games at Sepsi, Csiszer took a step back in League 2 at Csikszereda
  • Alexandru Vodă (23, far right) – 11-a-side footballer at Hermannstadt in the 2020-21 season is now active at Selimbar (League 2)
  • Andrei Sîntean (22, striker) – considered a hope of Romanian football, Sîntean left Hermannstadt last summer, after relegation, to sign with another team from the second echelon, Politehnica Timișoara
  • Lucian Buzan (23, far right) – the footballer with 10 matches as a starter at Hermannstadt in the 2020-21 season is also active at Șelimbăr, just like Vodă
  • Sergiu Ciocan (23, far right) – from League 1, from Gaz Metan, reached League 3, to Minaur Baia Mare
  • Andrei Vlad (23, goalkeeper) – continued to make mistakes and lost the position of holder at FCSB, in his place being now preferred Ștefan Târnovanu
  • Robert Grecu (24, far right) – holder 20 times at FC Argeș in the 2020-21 season, Grecu arrived last summer at Astra, recently relegated to League 2, from which he parted ways in the middle of the season
  • Florinel Coman (24, far left) – the footballer on whom Becali paid 3 million euros has not been in League 1 since December 2020
  • Mihai Eșanu (23, goalkeeper) – “seriously put his shoulder” to Dinamo’s demotion and failed to reduce decisive errors
  • Ricardo Grigore (23, stopper) – once a promising footballer of Dinamo, present at the 2019 European Youth Championship, the defender gathered one minute in the play-out
  • Andreas Mihaiu (23, far right) – has been a starter only 4 times at Dinamo in the 2021-22 edition
  • Stephan Draghici (24, far right) – 18 times holder at FC Argeș in 2020-21, the past player at CSU Craiova currently plays at CSA Steaua; even at “military” he failed to become a crucial player at the moment
  • Ștefan Vlădoiu (23, right defender) – seen at a certain moment a great hope of Craiova, Vlădoiu was passed on the bench by Reghecampf in many moments, in his place being preferred Bogdan Vătăjelu, at the base left defender
  • Andrei Chindriș (23, stopper) – from FC Botoșani he arrived in Portugal, in Santa Clara, where he did not impose himself, being removed after only half a season; he is still free of contract
  • Valentin Costache (23, far left) – in the last season in which the U21 rule was checked, the CFR footballer had 35 appearances in League 1, of which 26 as a starter. In the 2021-22 season, the former Dinamo player caught only 11 more games as a starter in the league
  • Mihai Itu (22, defensive midfielder) – he started the season at CFR, then he was loaned to Dinamo and returned to the Transylvanians in winter; he played two more games in 2022
According to rule U21, the flood!  Who disappeared from League 1 once the age limit was exceeded

Valentin Costache fails to impose himself at CFR Cluj

9 of the players involvedafter not respecting the U21 rule, they are in lower league formations in Romania: Csiszer, Al. Voda, Sîntean, Buzan, Sergiu Ciocan, Stephan Drăghici, Mihaiu, Ricci Grigore and Eșanu. Man is in Serie B Italy, while Robert Grecu and Chindriș do not have a team

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