Keșerü training for Angers in 2012
|Full name||Claudiu Andrei Keșerü|
|Date of birth||2 December 1986|
|Place of birth||Oradea, Romania|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|2008–2009||→ Libourne (loan)||17||(11)|
|2009–2010||→ Tours (loan)||12||(7)|
|2010||→ Angers (loan)||14||(4)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 October 2018|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14 October 2018
Claudiu Andrei Keșerü (Romanian pronunciation: [klaˈudju anˈdrej keˈʃeru]; born 2 December 1986) is a Romanian professional footballer who plays mainly as a striker for Bulgarian club Ludogorets Razgrad and the Romania national team.
He started his senior career with hometown club FC Oradea, but soon after moved to France in 2003. Over the course of nearly eleven years, Keșerü represented five teams, most notably Nantes and Angers, and amassed Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 totals of 240 appearances and 67 goals. He returned to his native country in January 2014, signing a contract with defending champions FC Steaua București. He also had a brief spell with Al-Gharafa in Qatar, before moving to Bulgarian side Ludogorets Razgrad in the summer of 2015. Keșerü is currently the foreign player with the most goals in the Bulgarian First League, having netted 71 times, and also the only foreign player to become top scorer on more than one occasion.
A youth product of Bihor Oradea, Keșerü played a season in the second division for his hometown club and scored 2 goals in 13 matches, as "the Red and Blues" earned promotion to the Liga I. His first match in the latter competition was on 23 August 2003, a goalless draw with Petrolul Ploiești.
In 2003, he was brought to France by Nantes. Initially included in the second team, he was promoted after a season and made his Ligue 1 debut. He played for Nantes for four years, scoring 11 goals in 81 matches. He was relegated with the club to Ligue 2 in 2007 and promoted a year later.
In 2008, Keșerü was loaned by Nantes to the Ligue 2 side Libourne. Mainly a substitute, he scored 11 goals in 17 matches. The following season, he was loaned to another second division side, Tours, where he netted 7 times in 12 matches.
In 2010, Keșerü was loaned by Nantes to Angers. In his first season spent there, he scored 4 goals in 14 matches, and was bought from Nantes after the end of loan period. He spent three years with Angers, imposing himself as a regular starter.
Despite interest from Steaua București and Olympiacos Piraeus, Keșerü remained in France, where he signed with Bastia. On 31 August 2013, he scored his first goal for Bastia in a 2–1 win over Toulouse. He played 16 matches in Ligue 1, but failed to impress, and left the club in the winter of 2014.
In January 2014, Keșerü joined defending Romanian champions Steaua București, with whom he won the league title and played the final of the Romanian Cup. His first goal in a European competition came in the 2–2 draw against Aktobe in UEFA Champions League's third qualifying round.
Keșerü broke the club record for goals in a single game, scoring all six goals in a 6–0 win against Pandurii Târgu Jiu on 15 August 2014. The record was previously held by his coach, Constantin Gâlcă, who scored five times in a 5–0 victory over FC Brașov in 1994. It was the first time that a player scored six goals in a Liga I game since 9 June 1993, when Marian Popa of Farul Constanța accomplished the feat in a 6–3 success against Oțelul Galați. On 18 September 2014, in the first matchday of the Europa League group stage, a 6–0 win over Aalborg, Keșerü netted a hat-trick in just 12 minutes, between the 61st and 72nd minutes, resulting in the fastest hat-trick in the competition's history.
Keșerü then signed a three-year contract in August 2015 with Bulgarian club Ludogorets Razgrad worth €700,000 per annum, becoming the highest-paid player ever for The Eagles. In his first season, the team won the championship, and Keșerü became its top striker with 15 goals.
Keșerü scored an equalizer against Red Star Belgrade in the first leg of third qualifying round of the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League, and then another equalizer in the second leg away match against Viktoria Plzeň in the play-off, helping his team to qualify for the group stage. He scored his maiden goal in the Champions League groups to give a 2–0 lead in the home match against English club Arsenal, but Ludogorets eventually lost by 2–3. On 28 October 2016, Keșerü scored his first hat-trick for Ludogorets in a league match against Dunav Ruse, a feat that he repeated later in the season against Lokomotiv Gorna Oryahovitsa. Eventually, with 22 goals, Keșerü became top goalscorer of the 2016–17 Bulgarian championship and won back-to-back titles with Ludogorets.
Keșerü went on to score 2 goals in the second leg home match against FK Žalgiris in the second qualifying round of the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League which Ludogorets won 5-3 on aggregate. Keșerü won the Bulgarian championship for a third time in the 2017–18 season, also becoming top goalscorer of the league with 26 goals. He also scored the winning goal in the 2018 Bulgarian Supercup final. On 7 October 2018, he contributed 3 goals in the 4:1 away win over Botev Vratsa, thus becoming the foreigner with the most hat-tricks in the A PFG, having managed the feat on 5 occasions.
He was selected in Romania's squad for UEFA Euro 2016, playing the full 90 minutes in the second group match against Switzerland. This was Keșerü's only appearance of the tournament, as his country finished bottom of the group.
Keșerü has been married since 2012. On 22 December 2016, his spouse Laura Dorina gave birth to a son.
- As of 7 October 2018
- As of 14 October 2018
- As of 5 October 2017 (Romania score listed first, score column indicates score after each Keșerü goal)
|1||11 October 2013||Estadi Comunal, Andorra la Vella, Andorra||1||Andorra||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|2||18 November 2014||Arena Națională, Bucharest, Romania||3||Denmark||Friendly|
|4||29 March 2015||Ilie Oană, Ploiești, Romania||6||Faroe Islands||UEFA Euro 2016 qualification|
|5||3 June 2016||Arena Națională, Bucharest, Romania||15||Georgia||Friendly|
|6||5 October 2017||Ilie Oană, Ploiești, Romania||21||Kazakhstan||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
- Bulgarian First League: 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18
- Bulgarian Cup: Runner-up 2016–17
- Bulgarian Supercup: 2018; Runner-up 2017
- UNFP Ligue 2 Team of the Season: 2012–13
- Romanian Footballer of the Year: Runner-up 2014
- Bulgarian First League top scorer: 2016–17, 2017–18
- "Кешерю на гол от историческо постижение (ВИДЕО)" (in Bulgarian). blitz.bg. 27 April 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
- "Claudio Keșerü s'engage pour deux ans" (in French). SC Bastia. 19 June 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- Europa League matchday one facts and figures, uefa.com, Saturday 20 September 2014
- Steaua record double-first against AaB, Thursday 18 September 2014, 23.00 CET
- Andrei Crăițoiu (18 February 2015). "După două runde de negocieri, Keșerü a semnat în Qatar » Contract pe doi ani și jumătate cu Al Gharafa" (in Romanian). Gazeta Sporturilor.
- "Лудогорец с нов трансферен удар, подписа с румънски национал" (in Bulgarian). ludogorets.com. 13 August 2015.
- "Claudiu Keșerü a semnat contractul cu Ludogorets. Va fi jucătorul bulgarilor pentru următorii 3 ani" [Claudiu Keșerü signed the contract with Ludogorets. He will be the Bulgarians' player for the next three years] (in Romanian). Sport Total FM. 13 August 2015.
- "Камбуров стана голмайстор на "А" група за пети път" (in Bulgarian). monitor.bg. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
- "Ajax held by PAOK, Shakhtar defeat Young Boys". UEFA.com. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
- "Porto, Monaco, Celtic lead charge to group stage". UEFA.com. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
- "Осем гола и много екшън изпратиха Лудогорец на върха" (in Bulgarian). gong.bg. 28 October 2016.
- "Кешеру записа името си в историята на българския футбол" (in Bulgarian). topsport.bg. 9 October 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
- "Andorra - România 0-4 » Tricolorii au înscris de patru ori, dar s-au întrecut şi în ratări" [Andorra - Romania 0–4 » The Tricolours netted four times, but also missed a lot of chances] (in Romanian). Gazeta Sporturilor. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
- "Romania Euro 2016 squad". The Daily Telegraph. 3 June 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
- "Tricolori de valoare, cu rădăcini maghiare" [Valuable "tricolours", with Hungarian roots]. Click! (in Romanian). 9 October 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
- "Totul despre stelistul Keşeru! Povestea BOMBARDIERULUI" [Everything about Steaua player Keșerü! The story of the BOMBER] (in Romanian). Fanatik.ro. 14 September 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
- Claudiu Keșerü at Soccerway. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
- "Claudiu Keșerü". European Football. Retrieved 5 October 2017.