Cosmin Contra

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Cosmin Contra
Contra as a Getafe player
Personal information
Full name Cosmin Marius Contra
Date of birth (1975-12-15) 15 December 1975 (age 39)
Place of birth Timişoara, Romania
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Right back / Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Guangzhou R&F (coach)
Youth career
1988–1993 Politehnica Timişoara
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1993–1995 Politehnica Timişoara 51 (1)
1996–1999 Dinamo Bucureşti 101 (8)
1999–2001 Alavés 66 (5)
2001–2002 Milan 29 (3)
2002–2006 Atlético Madrid 34 (0)
2004–2005 West Bromwich (loan) 4 (0)
2005 Politehnica Timişoara (loan) 14 (0)
2005–2006 Getafe (loan) 24 (0)
2006–2010 Getafe 60 (3)
2010–2011 Politehnica Timişoara 22 (4)
Total 405 (24)
National team
1996–2010 Romania 73 (7)
Teams managed
2010 Politehnica Timişoara
2012 Fuenlabrada
2012–2014 Petrolul Ploiești
2014 Getafe
2015– Guangzhou R&F
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Cosmin Marius Contra (born 15 December 1975) is a Romanian retired footballer who played mainly as a right back, and the current manager of Guangzhou R&F FC.

Offensive-minded, he could also appear as a midfielder, and played professionally in four countries (his own included), mainly in Spain where he appeared for mainly Getafe, which he helped consolidate in La Liga. He amassed totals in the competition of 188 games and eight goals over the course of one full decade, also playing with Alavés and Atlético Madrid.

A Romanian international for nearly 15 years, Contra represented the nation in two European Championships.

Playing career[edit]


Early years / Alavés[edit]

Born in Timişoara, Contra started his professional career at local FC Politehnica, and moved in January 1996 to arch-rivals FC Dinamo Bucureşti.

After three 1/2 seasons with the capital-based team, he was transferred for $800.000 to Spain's Deportivo Alavés, where he was a vital player in the Basque side's runner-up run in the UEFA Cup, his performances earning him in a place in the season's UEFA Team of the Year;[1] he also scored five La Liga goals in his two years combined.

Milan / Atlético[edit]

In the 2001 summer Contra moved to Italian giants A.C. Milan, but his spell there lasted only one season. In September 2002 he changed clubs once more and went to Atlético de Madrid,[2] playing with the Colchoneros two seasons, though he appeared very rarely in his second year due to a serious ankle condition;[3] a player of character he was involved, while still with Milan, in an incident with Juventus FC's Edgar Davids.[4]

Contra signed for West Bromwich Albion on loan in August 2004,[5] making his debut in a 1–2 defeat at Colchester United for the campaign's Football League Cup on 21 September.[6] His maiden Premier League appearance occurred almost two months later, when Albion lost 1–2 at home against Middlesbrough.[7]

Overall the loan was not particularly successful, with Contra playing just six games and receiving a red card in the last game of his spell, a 0–5 home defeat to Liverpool. He then returned to his country and Liga I, at the club which brought him up as a player, Politehnica Timisoara, where he managed to be recalled to the national side due to his good performances.

Getafe / Late career[edit]

In August 2005 Contra returned to Spain, agreeing to a season-long loan with Getafe CF[8] which was subsequently made permanent. He was used regularly by the Madrid outskirts side, battling for position with David Cortés.

In the 2007–08 UEFA Cup Contra netted in both legs in an epic quarterfinal bout against FC Bayern Munich, which ended in an extra time 4–4 aggregate elimination.[9] Earlier in the competition he scored a penalty kick against AEK Athens FC,[10] appearing in that match even though his father had died just hours before; in September 2006, he also became a naturalized Spanish citizen.

In late January 2010, after being ousted from the team's lineups by manager Míchel, Contra left Getafe and returned to his country, rejoining hometown's FC Timișoara initially until June. On 26 February 2010 he made his debut in his second spell for the club, netting from a 30-yard a free kick against FC Politehnica Iaşi; two months later, against FC Steaua Bucureşti, he again found the net from two set pieces, one from a penalty kick; during this new stint, he played mainly as a central midfielder.

On 29 August 2010, Contra scored again from a free kick and again against Steaua, in a late 1–1 equalizer.[11] One day after, his contract expired. On 9 September he signed a new contract with the club and,[12] only six days later, was announced Timișoara's new player-manager.[13]


During 14 years Contra gained 73 caps for Romania, scoring seven goals. He appeared for his country at UEFA Euro 2000 and 2008.[14]

On 1 April 2009, after a match with Austria, Contra announced his retirement from international football. On 30 August 2010, however, the 34-year-old was recalled for two Euro 2012 qualifiers against Albania and Belarus.[15]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results table. Romania's goal tally first:
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 28 March 2001 Boris Paichadze, Tbilisi, Georgia  Georgia 2–0 2–0 2002 World Cup qualification
2 14 November 2001 Ghencea, Bucharest, Romania  Slovenia 1–1 1–1 2002 World Cup qualification – Playoffs
3 16 October 2002 Josy Barthel, Luxembourg, Luxembourg  Luxembourg 4–0 7–0 Euro 2004 qualifying
4 16 October 2002 Josy Barthel, Luxembourg, Luxembourg  Luxembourg 5–0 7–0 Euro 2004 qualifying
5 16 October 2002 Josy Barthel, Luxembourg, Luxembourg  Luxembourg 7–0 7–0 Euro 2004 qualifying
6 28 March 2007 Stadionul Ceahlăul, Piatra Neamţ, Romania  Luxembourg 2–0 3–0 Euro 2008 qualifying
7 6 June 2007 Dan Păltinişanu, Timişoara, Romania  Slovenia 2–0 2–0 Euro 2008 qualifying

Managerial career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Contra made his Timişoara debut as a manager in September 2010, with a win against FC Sportul Studențesc București.[16] Even though the club never lost a game under his guidance, he was sacked after 11 matches (six wins, five draws) because of a conflict with the team's owner.[17]

In July 2012 Contra returned to Spain, being appointed at Segunda División B side CF Fuenlabrada.[18] He started the campaign well and, after ten rounds, the team found itself in a play-off position; however, after an offer from FC Petrolul Ploieşti in his homeland arrived, he asked to be released from his contract.[19]


Contra took over at Petrolul in October 2012, replacing Mircea Rednic. In his first season in charge he reached the final of the Romanian Cup, defeating CFR Cluj 1–0;[20] additionally, the club finished third in the domestic league, thus securing qualification to the Europa League after an 18-year-absence.

Petrolul managed to knock-out Víkingur Gøta in the Europa League second qualifying round and Vitesse in the third, but were eliminated in the play-offs by Swansea City after being defeated 1–5 in Wales and winning 2–1 at home.[21]


On 10 March 2014, Contra returned to Getafe and the Spanish top flight after four years, replacing Luis García who was sacked after a long run of bad results which led the club to only a point above the relegation zone, and without a league win since November.[22][23] His first match in charge came four days later, a 3–3 home draw to Granada CF;[24] on the 30th the team finally won a game, emerging victorious at Valencia CF 3–1.[25]

On 19 May 2014 Contra managed to leave his team above the relegation zone, after a 2–1 win at Rayo Vallecano.[26]







Petrolul Ploiești

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 17 December 2014.[27][28]
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L GF GA Win %
FC Timişoara Romania 15 September 2010 5 December 2010 14 8 5 1 25 16 57.14
Fuenlabrada Spain 21 July 2012 29 October 2012 10 5 3 2 19 14 50.00
Petrolul Ploiești Romania 29 October 2012 10 March 2014 58 33 20 5 99 48 56.90
Getafe Spain 10 March 2014 Present 28 10 7 11 28 32 35.71
Total 110 56 35 19 171 110 50.91


  1. ^ Contra voted Romania's finest;, 18 December 2001
  2. ^ "Contra deal goes through". BBC Sport. 2 September 2002. Retrieved 14 March 2008. 
  3. ^ Contra set for surgery;, 2 October 2003
  4. ^ Contra and Davids suspended after scuffle;, 12 August 2002
  5. ^ "Baggies snap up Contra". BBC Sport. 31 August 2004. Retrieved 14 March 2008. 
  6. ^ "Colchester vs WBA". West Bromwich Albion. 21 September 2004. Retrieved 14 March 2008. 
  7. ^ "WBA vs Middlesbrough". West Bromwich Albion. 14 November 2004. Retrieved 14 March 2008. 
  8. ^ Contra seals Spanish switch;, 4 August 2005
  9. ^ Crushed Contra defiant in defeat;, 11 April 2008
  10. ^ Getafe debut run goes on;, 21 February 2008
  11. ^ "Steaua – Poli 1–1" (in Romanian). Romanian Soccer. 30 August 2010. 
  12. ^ "Contra: "M-am înţeles cu Poli. Sunt mulţumit că am rămas acasă"" [Contra: "I understand Poli. I am glad i have stayed home"] (in Romanian). FC Timişoara. 9 September 2010. 
  13. ^ ""Guriţă", Velcea, Rotariu şi Bratu în stafful Timişoarei / Contra all inclusive!" [Contra announced new coach of Poli] (in Romanian). Viola Mania. 15 September 2010. 
  14. ^ "Cosmin Contra – International Appearances". RSSSF. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  15. ^ "Imediat după anunțul că se lasă de fotbal, Contra a fost convocat la "naţională"!" [Immediately after retiring from football, Contra is called to the national team!] (in Romanian). FC Timişoara. 30 August 2010. 
  16. ^ "Victorie la debutul lui Contra ca antrenor al lui Poli: Timisoara – Sportul 2–1" [Victory for Contra on his debut for Poli: Timisoara – Sportul 2–1] (in Romanian). Sport 365. 18 September 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  17. ^ "Contra, demis de la FC Timişoara" [Contra, sacked from Poli Timişoara] (in Romanian). RFI. 5 December 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  18. ^ "Cosmin Contra, nuevo entrenador del Fuenlabrada" [Cosmin Contra, new coach of Fuenlabrada] (in Spanish). Tuzonaes. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  19. ^ "Contra deja Fuenlabrada por el Ploiesti rumano" [Contra leaves Fuenlabrada for Romania's Ploiești] (in Spanish). Marca. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  20. ^ "Petrolul edge past Cluj to win Romanian Cup". Chicago Tribune. 1 June 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  21. ^ "Petrolul Ploiesti 2–1 Swansea (agg 3–6)". BBC Sport. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  22. ^ "Presentación Contra" [Presentation of Contra] (in Spanish). Getafe's official website. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  23. ^ "Garcia does not fear Getafe sack". FourFourTwo. 9 March 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  24. ^ "Granada, Getafe battle to wild draw". CBS Sports. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  25. ^ "Valencia 1–3 Getafe: Getafe sucker punch Valencia to escape the relegation zone". Inside Spanish Football. 30 March 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  26. ^ "Contra: It’s been a very tough road since I came here as manager". Inside Spanish Football. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  27. ^ Cosmin Contra; at Labtof (Romanian)
  28. ^ Contra: Cosmin Marius Contra; at BDFutbol

External links[edit]