Cristian Chivu

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Cristian Chivu
Chivu.JPG
Chivu lining up for Romania in August 2010
Personal information
Full name Cristian Eugen Chivu
Date of birth (1980-10-26) 26 October 1980 (age 34)
Place of birth Reșița, Romania
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 12 in)
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996–1998 Reșița 24 (2)
1998–1999 Universitatea Craiova 32 (3)
1999–2003 Ajax 107 (13)
2003–2007 Roma 85 (6)
2007–2014 Internazionale 115 (3)
Total 363 (27)
National team
1997–1998 Romania U18 12 (1)
1998–2000 Romania U21 13 (0)
1999–2010[1] Romania 75 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14 October 2013.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17 November 2010

Cristian Eugen Chivu (Romanian pronunciation: [kristiˈan ˈkivu]) (born 26 October 1980 in Reșița) is a former Romanian footballer. He usually played left back, but preferred playing centre back.

He began his career at his hometown club FCM Reșița before moving to Universitatea Craiova in 1998, leaving Romania to join Dutch club Ajax a season later. His performances as captain at Ajax inspired an €18 million transfer to Roma in 2003. Chivu won the Coppa Italia in his last of four seasons at Roma before a transfer to Inter Milan, where he spent the rest of his career before retiring in 2014. His honours at Inter included a treble of league, cup and the UEFA Champions League in 2010.

Chivu earned his first of 75 international caps between 1999 and 2010, and was part of Romania's squads for UEFA European Championships in 2000 and 2008.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Chivu's first professional club was FCM Reșița. After moving to Universitatea Craiova, his reputation began to rise and his performances sparked interest from some larger clubs outside of Romania. Dutch club Ajax was particularly impressed with Chivu and signed him in 1999.

Ajax[edit]

At Ajax he developed a reputation as a reliable fullback and a free-kick specialist. Then-manager Ronald Koeman appointed him as captain of the club. With Chivu as captain, Ajax dominated the Dutch Eredivisie with an exciting young squad. Playing alongside Chivu were future stars such as Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder, Johnny Heitinga, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Maxwell. Chivu played a pivotal role for Ajax in their Champions League run in the 2002–03 season, when they came to within a minute of the semi-finals. That season Chivu was in a trio of Ajax players – himself, Maxwell and Andy Van der Meyde – who all went on to join Internazionale.

Roma[edit]

In 2003, Roma expressed their interest in signing Chivu. At the time, Roma had an enormous debt and there were questions raised over Roma's ability to pay any proposed fees. Seeking to silence the increasing doubt over their financial situation, Roma sought a bank guarantee, which was subsequently denied. However, after much speculation Roma finally completed the purchase of Chivu in September, ending the long and protracted saga. The fee was 18 million.[2] Though he became a regular in defence, he made limited appearances due to injuries. He won the 2007 Coppa Italia in his last season with Roma. During the summer transfer window, he was once again a subject of transfer speculation, with newly crowned La Liga champions Real Madrid reportedly making a formal bid whilst FC Barcelona and Internazionale were also interested in signing the defender.[3][4][5]

Internazionale[edit]

Chivu playing for Inter in 2011, wearing his protective headguard

Chivu was reported to be in the middle of a tug-of-war between Barcelona and Real Madrid during the 2007 summer transfer window. After a four-year spell which yielded a Coppa Italia, Chivu left Roma and signed a 5-year contract with Inter on 27 July 2007. The transfer fee was €16 million,[6] which €3M of the transfer fee paid via defender Marco Andreolli moved to Roma in a co-ownership deal.[7] His first season with the defending Serie A champions was a successful one as he won the Serie A title that had eluded him during his time at Roma.

During the Champions League match at home to Manchester United in the 2008–09 season, Chivu had a terrific game, denying Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo many times, and won Man of the Match ahead of goalkeeper Julio César.

Chivu was a regular at left back during the 2009–10 season as Walter Samuel and Lúcio became the preferred centre back pairing. On 6 January against Chievo Verona, he was stretchered off early in the second half after colliding heads with Chievo striker Sergio Pellissier.[8] He was in two hours of surgery for a skull fracture[9] and later cleared of any danger. Although it was initially thought he might be out for the rest of the season,[10] he returned to Serie A on 24 March. After this, he needed to wear a headguard in matches.[11] A month later Chivu scored his first goal for Inter in a game against Atalanta, a terrific 30-yard strike. On 22 May 2010, he was in Inter's starting line-up in the UEFA Champions League Final against Bayern Munich, which Inter won 2–0. He scored his second goal for Inter in the 2010–11 season against Cesena which turned out to be the game winner in a 3–2 win for Inter. He also scored the winning penalty for Inter in their Coppa Italia win over Napoli on 26 January 2011.[12]

Chivu left Inter Milan after his contract was terminated by mutual consent on 31 March 2014.[13] The very same day he announced his retirement from football on his Facebook page.[14]

International career[edit]

In 1999, Chivu was chosen to represent the Romanian under-21 team and quickly made the step up to play for the full side. He played for Romania in Euro 2000 and Euro 2008. Despite being capped only four times prior to the Euro 2000, he started all four matches and scored his first international goal. During the Euro 2008, he earned plaudits for his performance, keeping previous World Cup champions Italy and runners-up France at bay, despite being played in a less familiar role as a holding midfielder. He captained Romania through World Cup qualification but they failed to make the play-offs, finishing fifth in their group. On 21 May 2011, Chivu announced his retirement from the national team.[15]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results table. Romania's goal tally first:

Personal life[edit]

Chivu can speak Italian, Dutch, Spanish and English as well as his native Romanian.

He is currently married to Adelina Elisei. According to Calcio Italia magazine, Chivu has been involved in opening football schools around Romania for the past few years, and he said "I hope that he is proud when he looks down on me" in reference to his late father who was a youth coach.[citation needed]

On 12 February 2009, his wife Adelina gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Natalia.[16]

Career statistics[edit]

Club Season League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
FCM Reșița 1996–97 1 0 0 0 1 0
1997–98 23 2 1 0 24 2
Total 24 2 1 0 25 2
Universitatea Craiova 1998–99 26 3 2 0 28 3
1999–00 6 0 0 0 6 0
Total 32 3 2 0 34 3
Ajax 1999–00 23 1 1 0 4 0 28 1
2000–01 26 5 0 0 4 0 30 5
2001–02 32 1 4 0 6 0 42 1
2002–03 26 6 3 0 12 0 1 0 42 6
Total 107 13 8 0 26 0 1 0 142 13
Roma 2003–04 22 2 2 0 4 0 28 2
2004–05 10 2 4 0 1 0 15 2
2005–06 27 2 7 0 4 0 38 2
2006–07 26 0 7 0 8 0 1 0 42 0
Total 85 6 20 0 17 0 1 0 123 6
Internazionale 2007–08 26 0 3 0 6 0 1 0 37 0
2008–09 21 0 3 0 2 0 1 0 26 0
2009–10 20 1 3 0 9 0 1 0 33 1
2010–11 24 1 3 0 6 0 4 0 37 1
2011–12 14 0 1 0 6 0 1 0 22 0
2012–13 10 1 2 0 3 0 0 0 15 1
Total 115 3 15 0 32 0 8 0 168 3
Career total 358 27 44 0 74 0 9 0 486 27

Statistics accurate as of match played 14 October 2012

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Ajax
Roma
Internazionale

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Tomáš Galásek
Ajax captain
2001-2004
Succeeded by
Rafael van der Vaart