Apolzan in 1955
|Full name||Alexandru Apolzan|
|Date of birth||6 February 1927|
|Place of birth||Sibiu, Romania|
|Date of death||23 December 1982(aged 55)|
|Place of death||Bucharest, Romania|
|Playing position||Central defender / Sweeper|
|1945–1946||23 August Bucureşti|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Alexandru Apolzan (6 February 1927 – 23 December 1982) was a Romanian footballer, who played as a defender, mainly for Steaua Bucureşti and also for Romania. He has been credited with the invention of the sweeper role and is considered as one of the best sweepers in the history of Romanian football, with only Miodrag Belodedici and Gheorghe Popescu, in recent years, being able to play at a similar level.
It was the Romanian Apolzan who first played as sweeper, while at Steaua Bucureşti. However, Apolzan played during the darkest period in the history of Romania, when the connections with the outside world were almost cut completely.
Apolzan signed his first contract with Şoimii, a local team from Sibiu, in 1941. After the war he joins the squad of CFR Bucharest and then between 1949 and 1962, he played for Steaua Bucureşti until his retirement.
The great Hungarian coach Gusztáv Sebes, the builder of the great Hungarian team from the first half of the 1950s – the Magical Magyars, said in 1954, after the 1954 FIFA World Cup that Apolzan, Ion Voinescu and Titus Ozon are at the same level as his own Hungarian players and that he would be proud to be able to coach them.
- Steaua Bucharest
- Romanian League (6): 1951, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1960, 1961
- Romanian Cup (5): 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1955
- "Evolution of the Sweeper". outsideoftheboot.com. 29 August 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "The Evolution of the Sweeper: One of Football’s Greatest Inventions". bethut.co.uk. 6 October 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
- "Piţi“ Apolzan, primul libero din istoria fotbalului" (in Romanian). Adevărul. 2 October 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
Gheorghe Popescu I