Bănel Nicoliță

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Bănel Nicoliță
Banel Nicolita in Vointa Sibiu vs Steaua, 1-1, July 23, 2011.jpg
Nicoliță with Steaua Bucureşti in 2011
Personal information
Full name Bănel Nicoliță
Date of birth (1985-01-07) 7 January 1985 (age 29)
Place of birth Făurei, Romania
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Winger / Right back
Club information
Current team
FC Nantes
Number 15
Youth career
1992–1993 Unirea Făurei
1993–2001 CF Brăila
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2004 CF Brăila 75 (23)
2004 Politehnica Timişoara 15 (3)
2005–2011 Steaua Bucureşti 188 (23)
2011– Saint-Étienne 25 (3)
2013– FC Nantes (loan) 17 (1)
National team
2003 Romania U-19 5 (1)
2004–2005 Romania U-21 13 (1)
2005– Romania 37 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:00, 17 May 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 4 June 2014

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.

Club career[edit]

Brăila and Politehnica Timișoara[edit]

He made his debut in Romanian Liga II, playing for Brăila.[1] After, he joined Politehnica Timişoara, making his Divizia A debut at the age of 19.[2] 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.[3]

Steaua București[edit]

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,[4] 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.[5] 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,[6] which sent Steaua Bucureşti in to the group stage for the third consecutive year.

Starting with the 2010–11 season, Bănel was the new captain of Steaua,[7] but with the arrival of new coach Ilie Dumitrescu, he soon gave his armband to Cristian Tănase.

Saint-Étienne[edit]

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.[8] 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.[9]

On 6 November he scored his first goal helping Saint-Étienne draw against second place Montpellier.[10] In a game against Sochaux Nicoliță offerd the assist for teenager Zouma to give Saint-Étienne the win.[11] After only six months with the French team he became a leader scoring 3 goals and offering 3 assists after hist first 11 appearances.[12] In February 2012 Nicoliță hit a rough patch, having a couple of not so convincing games, being described as monotonous.[13] In March, he was sidelined for a couple of weeks, due to ligament problems.[14] He recovered in late March 2012 and played in the games against Montpellier and Olympique Lyonnais, both 1–0 defeats.[15]

FC Nantes[edit]

On 2 September 2013, Ligue 1 club FC Nantes confirmed Nicoliță was signed on a season long loan from Saint-Étienne. He made an assist for his first match against FC Sochaux.

International career[edit]

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.

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Romania's goal tally first. "Score" column indicates the score after the player's goal.
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 2 June 2007 Arena Petrol, Celje, Slovenia  Slovenia 2–0 2–1 UEFA Euro 2008 Qualifying

Personal life[edit]

Nicoliță is an ethnic Romani,[16] 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.

Career statistics[edit]

Club Season League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
CF Brăila 2001–02 27 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 27 4
2002–03 28 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 28 9
2003–04 20 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 20 10
Total 75 23 0 0 0 0 0 0 75 23
Politehnica Timişoara 2004–05 15 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 16 3
Total 15 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 16 3
Steaua 2004–05 14 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 15 2
2005–06 29 7 0 0 17 4 1 0 47 11
2006–07 32 2 4 1 12 0 1 0 49 3
2007–08 27 3 0 0 8 1 0 0 35 4
2008–09 26 3 0 0 7 2 0 0 33 5
2009–10 28 2 1 0 11 3 0 0 40 5
2010–11 27 4 2 1 6 0 0 0 35 5
2011–12 5 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 8 0
Total 188 23 7 1 64 10 3 0 252 34
Saint-Étienne 2011–12 19 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 20 3
2012–13 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
2013–14 3 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 5 1
Total 25 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 28 4
Nantes (loan) 2013–14 14 0 2 0 2 1 1 0 19 1
Total 14 0 2 0 2 1 1 0 19 1
Career total 303 52 9 1 66 10 3 0 381 63

Statistics accurate as of match played 2 September 2013

Honours[edit]

Season Club Title
2004–05 Romania Steaua Bucureşti Divizia A
2005–06 Romania Steaua Bucureşti Divizia A
2006 Romania Steaua Bucureşti Supercupa României
2010–11 Romania Steaua Bucureşti Cupa României
2012–13 France Saint-Étienne Coupe de la Ligue

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Petre Marin
Steaua captain
2010
Succeeded by
Cristian Tănase