Adrian Neaga

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Adrian Neaga
Adrian Neaga.JPG
Personal information
Full name Adrian Constantin Neaga
Date of birth (1979-06-04) 4 June 1979 (age 37)
Place of birth Pitești, Romania
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
ACS Poli Timișoara (sporting manager)
Youth career
0000–1997 Argeș Pitești
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–2001 Argeș Pitești 52 (15)
1998–1999 Dacia Pitești (loan) 20 (10)
2001–2005 Steaua București 59 (27)
2003 Al-Nassr (loan) 1 (0)
2005–2006 Jeonnam Dragons 47 (13)
2006–2007 Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma 26 (4)
2007–2009 Steaua București 33 (3)
2008–2009 Steaua II București 5 (4)
2009–2010 Neftchi Baku 43 (16)
2010 Unirea Urziceni 6 (0)
2010–2011 Volyn Lutsk 4 (0)
2011–2013 Mioveni 26 (0)
2014 Argeș Pitești 1953
2016 National II Sebiș 1 (0)
Total 312 (92)
National team
2000–2004 Romania 6 (0)
Teams managed
2013 AS Bascov
2013–2014 Atletic Bradu
2014–2015 Urban Titu
2015 SCM Pitești
2015–2016 Național Sebiș
2016 Atletic Bradu
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Adrian Constantin Neaga (born 4 June 1979 in Pitești) is a Romanian football player.

Early career[edit]

  • Neaga's career started once he signed his first professional contract with Argeș Pitești in 1997. He was then playing in the same team with Adrian Mutu.
  • He only played three games in his first season, scoring a goal, and then played two other games in the first half of the following season, before the club decided to loan him to Dacia Pitești, a club from the second league, where he played 20 games and scored 10 goals, therefore gaining the right to be part of Argeș Pitești again.

Drugs scandal[edit]

In 2001 Neaga failed a drug test which had been performed at the end of a Divizia A game. He tested positive for the anabolic steroid metenolone.[1] He was not sanctioned for it, however.

Steaua București[edit]

  • By the time of his transfer to Steaua București, Neaga was considered one of the most talented players from Romania's Divizia A.
  • After he moved to Bucharest his life changed dramatically. He purchased a Maserati, lived in a very expensive neighborhood and he was rather interested in the city's nightlife than in football.
  • After two mediocre years with Steaua București, he was sold to the Arabian club Al-Nasr. It was the turning point of Neaga's career. Away from friends and family, Neaga re-discovered himself and, more importantly, re-discovered the pleasure of playing football. Mircea Rednic, the coach of Al-Nassr, played a major role in that change.

Saudi Arabia[edit]

  • Neaga was sacked from Al-Nassr by the owner of the club, after an incident from the match with Al-Khaleej. Neaga had stayed at Al-Nassr just 20 days.

Return to Steaua[edit]

  • After he ended his contract with Al-Nassr, Neaga returned to Steaua București. He was a different player. During the 2003-2004 season he scored 13 goals in 15 games.
  • Walter Zenga was appointed head coach of Steaua București in the summer of 2004 and he soon made Neaga one of the two team leaders, alongside Mirel Rădoi, and in the first half of that season Neaga played 15 games in Divizia A, scoring six goals, while in the UEFA Cup he scored five times in eight games, finishing Steaua's top-scorer in Europe that season.
  • In February 2005 however, everything changed again. Gigi Becali received a buying offer from the Korean club Chunnam Dragons for USD 1.5 million. Becali accepted the offer, even though Neaga and the team were due to play a very important game against Valencia CF, then the La Liga champions and UEFA Cup winners, in the second round of the UEFA Cup.

Korean life[edit]

  • In February 2005, more or less against his will, Neaga was sold to a Korean club. In the meantime he became an important part of the Romania national football team, for which he won five caps in 2004. His run in the national side ended with his move to Korea.
  • During his time at Chunnam Dragons, Neaga was selected in the Team of the Season and was awarded the Bronze Boot for finishing third in the goalscorers standings. After 18 months at Chunnam Dragons, Neaga made a statement saying that he would like to return to Steaua București. His club agreed to the transfer, on the condition that the Romanian club pay a USD 1.5 million release fee. But Steaua București refused, and Neaga joined Korean club Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma instead. With his new team, Neaga won the Korean title for the first time and, also for the first time, played in the Asian Champions League, scoring a goal in his first game, against Vietnam's champions.

Second comeback to Steaua București[edit]

  • In the early months of 2007, Neaga stated that he would love to return home to Steaua București. Steaua agreed to pay the Korean club a sum of USD 800,000, which was not enough to gain his services for the following period. Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma's officials requested a sum of USD 1,000,000 to release Neaga, so the only solution was that the player would pay the difference of USD 200,000 to his former club, which he did. As a result, Neaga was a member of Steaua București again in June 2007. Back at Steaua, he scored a goal in the 2-0 home victory against BATE Borisov of Belarus, thus qualifying for the first time in his life for the UEFA Champions League, where he played against the likes of Arsenal and Sevilla. Perhaps his best moment came in the game against arch-rivals Dinamo București, a game in which he scored the only goal. But his club missed the chance of becoming champions of Romania, as Steaua București finished second, after CFR Cluj, in the 2007-2008 season. The 2008-2009 season proved to be very difficult for Neaga, after failing to impress coach Marius Lăcătuș. After an altercation with Gigi Becali, he was sent to the second team, but he was called back into the first squad by new coach Dorinel Munteanu, who took charge of the team after Marius Lăcătuș resigned from the club.
  • On January 2009, Neaga was released by Steaua București and signed for Azerbaijani club Neftchi Baku.

Career as coach[edit]

After he ended his player career, Neaga started a career as coach, and his first job came at the beginning of 2013, when he signed a contract with Liga IV team AS Bascov. In December 2013, Neaga signed a contract to manage Atletic Bradu, in Liga III. In July 2014, Neaga signed a contract to coach ACS Urban Titu.

Honours[edit]

Season Club Title
2004–2005 Romania Steaua București Liga I
2006 South Korea Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma K-League

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Claudiu Răducanu
Steaua Top Scorer
2003–2004
Succeeded by
Nicolae Dică