Nicoliță with Steaua Bucureşti in 2011
|Full name||Bănel Nicoliță|
|Date of birth||7 January 1985|
|Place of birth||Făurei, Romania|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Playing position||Winger / Right back|
|2013–||→ FC Nantes (loan)||17||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:00, 17 May 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Bănel Nicoliță (born 7 January 1985 in Făurei, Brăila County) is a Romanian footballer of Romani descent, currently playing for Ligue 1 side Nantes. Nicoliță is nicknamed Jardel after the famous Mário Jardel of Brazil. He can play as a right winger or left winger and has been used on occasion as a right back. He is known for his electrifying pace and very high work rate.
Brăila and Politehnica Timișoara
He made his debut in Romanian Liga II, playing for Brăila. After, he joined Politehnica Timişoara, making his Divizia A debut at the age of 19. However, he made only 15 league appearances for the club before moving to Steaua Bucureşti, at the beginning of 2005, he signed a 5-year contract with Steaua Bucureşti.
Shortly after joining Steaua, Nicoliță won his first Liga I title upon his first season with the team. He is known as a humble and hard-working, though not very technical, speed and quickness are his strengths. In the spring of 2006, he scored twice in the match against Real Betis, his goals opening Steaua's door to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup, and then he scored again in the quarterfinals, this time against Rapid Bucureşti to help his team reach the semifinals.
On 1 November 2006, he scored an own goal against Real Madrid in a Champions League encounter. Unfortunately for him and the Romanian side, this turned out to be decisive in the outcome of the match. He claimed he couldn't sleep for 48 hours after scoring it. After a game with FC Argeş, Romanian newspaper Gazeta Sporturilor named him Bănelinho.
On 27 August 2008, he has scored one goal in the match against Galatasaray, in the third qualifying round of UEFA Champions League, which sent Steaua Bucureşti in to the group stage for the third consecutive year.
On 30 August 2011, Saint-Étienne announced on their official website that they had found agreement with Steaua for Nicoliță's transfer and that the player would fly to France and undergo a medical the following day. Being in his last year of contract with Steaua Bucureşti the transfer fee was €700.000. He signed a contract worth €400.000 per year.
On 6 November he scored his first goal helping Saint-Étienne draw against second place Montpellier. In a game against Sochaux Nicoliță offerd the assist for teenager Zouma to give Saint-Étienne the win. After only six months with the French team he became a leader scoring 3 goals and offering 3 assists after hist first 11 appearances. In February 2012 Nicoliță hit a rough patch, having a couple of not so convincing games, being described as monotonous. In March, he was sidelined for a couple of weeks, due to ligament problems. He recovered in late March 2012 and played in the games against Montpellier and Olympique Lyonnais, both 1–0 defeats.
Nicoliță won 34 caps for Romania up to date and scored one goal. He also used to be a Romanian U21 international.
On 25 March 2008, he was decorated by the president of Romania, Traian Băsescu for the results on Qualifying to EURO 2008 and qualification to UEFA Euro 2008 Group C with Medalia "Meritul Sportiv" — (The Medal "The Sportive Merit") class II with two barret.
He was captain for the first time in the friendly against San Marino on 11 August 2011.
- Scores and results list Romania's goal tally first. "Score" column indicates the score after the player's goal.
|1.||2 June 2007||Arena Petrol, Celje, Slovenia||Slovenia||2–0||2–1||UEFA Euro 2008 Qualifying|
Nicoliță is an ethnic Romani, one of six brothers raised by his mother in the small, impoverished town of Făurei, Nicoliță grew up determined to succeed and his speed and diligence on the field are proof of his unalloyed passion for the game.
One of his brothers, is also a professional footballer who plays for CF Brăila.
Statistics accurate as of match played 2 September 2013
|2004–05||Steaua Bucureşti||Divizia A|
|2005–06||Steaua Bucureşti||Divizia A|
|2006||Steaua Bucureşti||Supercupa României|
|2010–11||Steaua Bucureşti||Cupa României|
|2012–13||Saint-Étienne||Coupe de la Ligue|
- Nicolita debut
- Nicolita la Poli AEK Timisoara
- Nicolita, din vara la Steaua
- Nicolita brace against Betis
- http://www.ziare.com/articole/autogol+banel+bernabeu Nicolita autogol cu Real Madrid
- Goal against Galatasaray
- Nicolita named captain
- Accord pour Nicolita et Gradel (French)
- http://www.gsp.ro/fotbal/liga-1/nicolita-va-avea-la-st-etienne-un-salariu-mai-mare-decit-al-lui-torje-257887.html Contract Nicolita
- Nicolita at his first goald for Saint-Étienne
- Banel assists for Zouma
- Nicolita becomes a leader for Saint-Étienne
- http://www.gsp.ro/international/stranieri/nicolita-a-devenit-monoton-l-equipe-i-a-dat-nota-4-301833.html Nicolita a devenit monoton
- http://www.ziare.com/banel-nicolita/stiri-banel-nicolita/accidentarea-lui-nicolita-mai-grava-decat-se-credea-initial-1153776 Accidentarea lui nicolita grava
- http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/soccer/03/24/france.roundup.ap/index.html France roundup
- Jonathan Wilson: The rags-to-riches tale of Banel Nicolita at guardian.co.uk