Pantilimon (left) on Manchester City's Premier League victory parade, May 2012
|Full name||Costel Fane Pantilimon|
|Date of birth||1 February 1987|
|Place of birth||Bacău, Romania|
|Height||2.03 m (6 ft 8 in)|
|Current club||Manchester City|
|2005–2006||Politehnica Timişoara II||26||(0)|
|2011–2012||→ Manchester City (loan)||0||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 24 September 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Costel Fane Pantilimon (born 1 February 1987) is a Romanian footballer who plays for the Premier League club Manchester City as a goalkeeper. At the height of 6'8" (203 cm), he is presently the tallest player in the Premier League.
Born in Bacău, Pantilimon started his career at Aerostar Bacău and got his share of limelight at the Romania national under-19 team before transferring to Timișoara on 1 February 2006, his nineteenth birthday.
Initially Pantilimon was Timișoara's second-choice goalkeeper, behind Marius Popa; however, in May 2008 the owner of the club, Marian Iancu, transferred Popa to the second team, and Pantilimon took the pole position. He made his debut in the Romanian Liga 1 against Dinamo Bucharest, in March 2007.
Pantilimon was part of the Timișoara team that defeated UEFA Cup winners Shakhtar Donetsk in the qualifying rounds of the 2009–10 Champions League campaign. He played all 90 minutes of each leg.
His first start was in the League Cup win against holders Birmingham City on 21 September 2011. His next game was on 26 October, against Wolverhampton Wanderers, in the League Cup, where City fielded a second-string team, although still comprehensively won 5–2. Pantilimon got his next Manchester City start during the 1–0 League Cup quarter final win against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. In the Arsenal game he won the Man of the Match award, mainly for two stunning saves made in the 1st half. He started the 3rd Round Tie of the FA Cup against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium. Pantilimon saved Wayne Rooney's penalty but was unable to save the follow up. Manchester City lost the game 3–2 in January 2012.
Pantilimon's loan deal was made permanent for a fee in the region of £3 million. He is contracted to City until 2016. During the 2012–13 FA Cup, he kept four clean sheets in a row and managed an outstanding performance against Chelsea in the semi-final, conceding just a single goal in five games. In response to this performance the Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini immediately promised that the Romanian would keep his place when the team return to Wembley to face Wigan Athletic on 11 May. However, he was a substitute in the final with Joe Hart starting, which saw Manchester City lose to Wigan 1–0. It was later revealed that Mancini had promised on the eve of the FA Cup Final that the Romanian would play, but then deputing the goalkeeping coach on match day morning to say there had been a change of plan.
Pantilimon was given his first start of the season for City in the 2013–14 Football League Cup third round match at home to Wigan on 24 September 2013, which City won 5–0; he was praised for his extraordinary effort in keeping a clean sheet by manager Manuel Pellegrini. Five weeks later, Pantilimon was also selected to start in the next League Cup match away to Newcastle on 30 October 2013; once again, he conceded no goals, as City won 2–0 and progressed to the last eight of the competition. Three days later, on 2 November 2013, he made his Premier League début at home to Norwich, keeping his third clean sheet in a row in an emphatic 7–0 victory. On November 7th 2013, he started in Champions League game against CSKA Moscow that ended in city winning 5–2. He started his second Premier League game on 10 November 2013 away against Sunderland that ended in a 0-1 defeat. As of 2 December 2013, Pantilimon has kept three clean sheets in four Premier League starts, while allowing only a single goal in that span.
Statistics accurate as of 4 November 2013
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- "Manchester City 5-0 Wigan". BBC. 24 September 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- "Capital One Cup: Manuel Pellegrini praises Costel Pantilimon in Manchester City win". Sky Sports. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- "Capital One Cup: Newcastle United 0-2 Manchester City (aet)". BBC. 30 October 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- "Manchester City 7-0 Norwich City". BBC. 2 November 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- "Costel Pantilimon: Another Clean Sheet". RotoWire. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- "Drama gigantului din poarta Romaniei" (in Romanian). sport.ro. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
- Costel Pantilimon club profile at the Official Manchester City website
- Costel Pantilimon's career at RomanianSoccer.ro
- Profile at SkySports.com
- Profile at UEFA.com