Pantilimon with Romania, June 2014
|Full name||Costel Fane Pantilimon|
|Date of birth||1 February 1987|
|Place of birth||Bacău, Romania|
|Height||2.03 m (6 ft 8 in)|
|2011–2012||→ Manchester City (loan)||0||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 06:23, 22 May 2015 (UTC).
Costel Fane Pantilimon (born 1 February 1987) is a Romanian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for English club Sunderland A.F.C. and the Romania national team. At 6'8" (203 cm) tall, he is currently 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 first 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 was 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 2013–14 season for City in the Football League Cup third round match at home to Wigan Athletic on 24 September 2013, which City won 5–0; he was praised for 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 United 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 City, keeping his third clean sheet in a row in an emphatic 7–0 victory. On 7 November 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.
On 2 March 2014, Pantilimon started for Manchester City in the 2014 Football League Cup Final at Wembley Stadium. The team won 3–1 against Sunderland with goals from Yaya Touré, Samir Nasri and Jesús Navas.
Overall, Pantilimon made seven appearances during the 2013–14 Premier League season, keeping three clean sheets as Manchester City won a second league title in three years. He was also the team's first choice goalkeeper for their Football League Cup and FA Cup matches.
On 16 June 2014, Pantilimon joined Sunderland on a free transfer from Manchester City. On 27 August, he made his first appearance for the club in the second round of the Football League Cup against Birmingham City, keeping a clean sheet in a 3–0 win. At the start of the season Pantilimon lost the battle for first choice keeper but after poor performances in an 8-0 loss to Southampton and a 2-0 loss to Arsenal, first choice keeper Vito Mannone was subsequently dropped and Pantilimon made his Premier League debut for Sunderland in a 3–1 win at Crystal Palace on 3 November 2014.
- As of Statistics accurate as of 3 June 2015
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
- Manchester City
- "Premier League Clubs submit Squad Lists" (PDF). Premier League. 2 September 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- "Premier League Player Profile Costel Pantilimon". Premier League. Barclays Premier League. 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- "tallest Premier League 2013". Retrieved 31 August 2013.
- "Pantilimon, gigantul României" (in Romanian). Adevărul. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
- "Marian Iancu: "Marius Popa este netransferabil"" (in Romanian). onlinesport.ro. Retrieved 17 May 2008.
- "Pantilimon, căpitan în premieră" (in Romanian). violamania.ro. Retrieved 17 October 2009.
- "Fernandinho comes to Shakhtar's rescue". UEFA.com. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
- "Timisoara – Shakhtar: match report". shakhtar.com. Retrieved 5 August 2009.
- "City sign Romanian keeper Pantilimon". mcfc.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- "Manchester City 2–3 Manchester United". BBC. 8 January 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
- "Pantilimon signs permanent deal at City as Mancini bolsters keeper options". Daily Mail (London). 20 April 2014.
- Taylor, Daniel (14 April 2013). "Manchester City resist late Chelsea siege to face Wigan in Cup final". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
- "Manchester City 0 Wigan 1: Latics lift FA Cup". Manchester Evening News. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- "Pellegrini aiming for top of tree over Christmas period". Irish Independent. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- "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.
- "Man City 3-1 Sunderland". BBC. 2 March 2014.
- "Sunderland: Costel Pantilimon happy with Vito Mannone rivalry". BBC. 17 July 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
- "Manchester City v Sunderland: Joe Hart prepared to sit out League Cup final is Manuel Pellegrini sticks with Costel Pantilimon". The Independent. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
- "Costel Pantilimon: Sunderland sign ex-Man City keeper". BBC Sport. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Birmingham 0-3 Sunderland". BBC. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
- "Player Profile of Costel Pantilimon". ESPN. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- "Drama gigantului din poarta Romaniei" (in Romanian). sport.ro. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
- Wheeler, Chris (10 May 2013). "Going out on a high: Pantilimon will seize big chance at Wembley". Mail Online. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
- Surulescu, Daniela (26 February 2013). "EXCLUSIV! Fostul portar al lui Poli, Costel Pantilimon s-a casatorit, la Dumbravita, langa Timisoara! VEZI FOTO si VIDEO!" (in Romanian). Opinia Timișoarei. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Costel Pantilimon.|
- Costel Pantilimon career statistics at Soccerbase
- 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