|Full name||Alexandru Apolzan|
|Date of birth||6 February 1927|
|Place of birth||Sibiu, Romania|
|Date of death||23 December 1982(aged 55)|
|Place of death||Bucharest, Romania|
|Playing position||Central Defender / Sweeper|
|1945–1946||23 August Bucureşti|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Alexandru Apolzan (6 February 1927 in Sibiu – 23 December 1982) was a Romanian football player, who played mainly for Steaua Bucureşti and also for Romania. He is in fact the inventor of the sweeper role and is considered as one of the best sweepers in the history of Romanian football, only Miodrag Belodedici and Gheorghe Popescu, in the recent years, being able to play at a similar level.
An inventor of modern football
The history of football suggests that Franz Beckenbauer was the one who invented the role of sweeper or libero in football, but this is wrong. It was the Romanian Apolzan who first played in this role, while at Steaua Bucureşti. However, Apolzan played during the darkest period in the history of Romania, when the connections with the outside world were almost cut completely.
Apolzan signed his first contract with Şoimii, a local team from Sibiu, in 1941. After the war he joins the squad of CFR Bucharest and then between 1949 and 1962, at the end of his career, played for Steaua Bucureşti.
The great Hungarian coach Gusztáv Sebes, the builder of the great Hungarian team from the first half of the '50s - the Magical Magyars, said in 1954, after the 1954 FIFA World Cup that Apolzan, Ion Voinescu and Titus Ozon are at the same level as his own Hungarian players and that he would be proud to be able to coach them.
- Steaua Bucharest
- Romanian League (6): 1951, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1960, 1961
- Romanian Cup (5): 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1955
Gheorghe Popescu I