FC Rapid București

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This article is about the football club. For the sports club, see CS Rapid București.
FC Rapid București
Rapid Bucharest.png
Full name Fotbal Club Rapid București
Nickname(s) Giuleștenii
(The people from Giuleşti)
(The White and Burgundies)
(The Railwaymen)
Vulturii Vișinii
(The Burgundy Eagles)
Short name Rapid
Founded 25 June 1923; 93 years ago (1923-06-25)
Ground Giulești-Valentin Stănescu
Ground Capacity 19,100
Chairman Horia Manoliu
Manager Mihai Iosif
League Liga V
2015–16 Liga II, Seria I, 1st
Website Club home page

Asociația Fotbal Club Rapid București (Romanian pronunciation: [raˈpid bukuˈreʃtʲ]) is a Romanian football club. It was founded in 1923 by a group workers of the Grivița workshops under the name of "Cultural and Sporting Association CFR" (Asociația culturală și sportivă CFR). Rapid won the Romanian championship three times, 1967, 1999 and 2003, and the Romanian Cup on 13 occasions. On 14 July 2016, the club was declared bankrupt[1] and subsequently replaced in Liga I by ACS Poli Timișoara.[2]



In June 1923, Teofil Copaci, Grigore Grigoriu, Aurel Kahane, Geza Ginzer and other Romanian railroad workers agreed the fusion of two amateur clubs, "CFR" (ex-"Rampa Militari") and "Excelsior". After a few years, the team started competing in the first league in 1931.

During the pre-war years, Rapid was one of Romania's top teams, regularly winning the cup but never the championship although they came close. Once Rapid lost the championship because of fair play. One of Rapid's players touched the ball with his hand in the penalty area during a decisive match against Venus Bucharest. Rapid needed a win to finish first in the league. In the first place the referee did not see the incident but when hearing the audience protest the referee asked the player if he touched the ball with his hand, the player admitting. Venus converted the penalty and managed to draw 1–1 and to finish first in the league.

The railway workers were not the selection pool any longer, but a strong supporting audience. Some players were also selected in the national team. During those years, but also during the war, the competitions' formats changed for various reorganizations and Rapid won the "Bassarabia" Cup, in 1942. The strangest of all might be the qualification in the final of the Mitropa Cup (precursor of the UEFA Champions League) at a moment when the competition was taking its last breath.


In 1940, Rapid played two ties in the Mitropa Cup semi-finals and were drawn to the final, which was never played due to the outbreak of World War II. Rapid managed to secure the Romanian title in 1967.


In the 1970s and 1980s, Rapid reached the quarter-finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup and won the Romanian Cup in 1972 and 1975 before declining, eventually confined to the second league for six-straight seasons. Even with Stănescu as coach, Rapid could not do better than returning to the lower ranks of the first league. The club was slowly starved, with less and less money in a championship where Romania's leading teams were successfully competing at the European level (Steaua București played two European Cup finals in 1986 and 1989, winning the former, and an additional semi-final in 1989; Dinamo București reached the European Cup semi-finals in 1984 and the Cup Winners' Cup semi-finals in 1990; and Universitatea Craiova reached the UEFA Cup semi-finals in 1983). Rpaid narrowly avoided relegation in 1987 in the last match of the season.


In 1990, the fall of communism brought only partial solutions until 1992, when Traian Băsescu, then-Minister of Transportation, appointed a new manager, Marcel Pușcaș, and a new coach, Mircea Rădulescu, both of whom were experienced, having previously worked with the Romania national team. In the UEFA Cup, Rapid was defeated by Internazionale (1–3; 0–2). It was the moment when George Copos started managing the Rapid business, finding strong corporate sponsorships and winning political capital.

In the following years, the club won the most important official honours (two league titles and four national cups) and had the most important European achievements, especially due to a careful appointment of coaches. The most notable coach that managed Rapid in this period is Mircea Lucescu, the man who transformed the club into a force in the Romanian championship again. Also, his son Răzvan Lucescu has been the manager with the greatest achievements in the European competitions with Rapid. However, the coach who won the most trophies for the club is Mircea Rednic.

After a few years during which their experience in the European competitions was limited, Rapid started to perform better, and for the third time in the post-war history, in the 2005–06 season, the team reached the spring, upper-level, phases of the UEFA Cup, up to the quarter-finals. Rapid was stopped by Steaua București after a 1–1 draw at home and a 0–0 draw away. In 2006, Rapid became an incorporated company with George Copos as its largest shareholder. After the 2006–07 season, Răzvan Lucescu left Rapid and went to manage Brașov. Cristiano Bergodi was named as the main coach, but after winning the Supercupa României and an unbeaten run in the championship, he was sacked by club owner George Copos.

In 2008, Fathi Taher became the new owner of Rapid. He named José Peseiro as his new coach and brought an important number of players, investing a considerable sum of money. The club's performances under Peseiro, however, were poor, and he was sacked several months later. Rapid finished the 2008–09 season in eighth place, outside the European qualification positions. In 2009–10, Viorel Hizo was named coach of Rapid, but the team missed Europe again. In 2010–11, Marius Șumudică came as the new coach and Dinu Gheorghe returned as the club's chairman. Rapid finished fourth and qualified for Europa League after a two-year absence.

The 2011–12 season started with high hopes, as Răzvan Lucescu had returned as coach. Rapid finished fourth at the end season and lost the Romanian Cup final against Dinamo București, with the score of 1–0. In the summer, Lucescu resigned and Ioan Ovidiu Sabău was brought in as new coach, along with many free agent players. However, after the elimination from the Europa League against Heerenveen (4–0 away and 1–0 at home) and several surprising defeats in the league, Sabău was sacked and Marian Rada was appointed as manager.

In December 2012, funding problems became serious and the club entered insolvency. This led to 16 players leaving the club, along with the president Constantin Zotta, during the winter break. Many youth players were brought in from the third league satellite team Rapid II. In 2013, Copos sold the club to another businessman, Adrian Zamfir. In July 2014, Rapid changed again its owner, Valerii Moraru buying the club from Zamfir.

Rapid won the promotion play-offs in 2015–16 Liga II but the club was declared bankrupt in June 2016[1] and was denied promotion to Liga I. The club now plays in the 5th Romanian football league as AFC Rapid București.

Former names[edit]

  • 1923–37: Asociația culturală și sportivă Căile Ferate Române București
  • 1937–45: Rapid București
  • 1945–50: CFR București
  • 1950–58: Locomotiva București
  • 1958–94: Rapid București
  • 1994-02: UFC Rapid București
  • 2002-06: AFC Rapid București
  • 2006-16: FC Rapid București
  • 2016–present: AFC Rapid București



Rapid supporters make an important part of the club's image. They call themselves Legione Granata (The Crimson Legion). The group's presence is signaled by banners bearing their names:

T2: Piratii, Torcida Visinie, Ultra' Stil, Chicos del Infierno, Niste Baieti, Collettivo, Radicals, OldSchool;

Peluza Nord: Official Hooligans, Original, BOMBARDIERII 1998;

Dissolved groups: Ultras Unione, Maniacs, Brigada 921, Grant Ultras, Ultra Latina, Legione Titan, DsG 07, Alianza, Legiunea Chitila.

Traveling with the team for away matches being a custom since the first years of the club, local derbies being no exception. Immediately after the fall of the communist regime, on 14 February 1990, the Rapid Supporters League (Liga Suporterilor Rapidiști, LSR) was legally established.

A unique organization in Romania is the Rapid Aristocratic Club. The club's members are well-known artists, their purpose being spreading and defending Rapid's history and tradition.

Rapid's supporters are creating some of the most impressive shows in Romanian sport singing most of the time during matches and sometimes before the matches start. They often end by being arrested. The most impressive moment in the Giulești Stadium is when Rapid's anthem is being played at the beginning of each match and every supporter is standing on their feet, waving a flag in the colors of the club or displaying a white and crimson scarf.


From the historic point of view, Rapid's traditional rival is Petrolul from Ploiești. Rapid fans and Ploiești fans have never ended their rivalry, even if the teams didn't meet (as either would often play in the second tier of Romanian football). On a national basis, Rapid's greatest rivalries are with the two other teams from Bucharest, Steaua and Dinamo. Matches between the three Bucharest rivals often end up with clashes between the rival supporters after or before the match in which the police force is often caught in the middle.

Originally, Universitatea Craiova and Rapid fans formed an alliance, but this ended in 1998 when Universitatea refused to concede a match against Rapid in the final round of the league, which would have guaranteed Rapid their first title in over two decades. After that, Rapid fans declared the alliance broken, which might have ended in 2013, as Craiova's fans supported the rapidists when they started the hunger strike to protest against Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) decision to expel the team from Liga I for the 2013–14 season, demanding the resignations of the leaders of the Romanian football, Mircea Sandu (FRF president) and Dumitru Dragomir (LPF president), and Rapid's fans boycotted the friendly match with CSU Craiova, the main Universitatea's rival.

Rapid supporters consider Politehnica Timișoara supporters to be their allies, as both have nostalgic supporter segments who think they had been "wronged" during the communist regime. Fans of both teams had the opportunity to support the other during matches. Most recently, Rapid fans supported Timișoara during their games in Bucharest, and Timișoara fans supported Rapid during Rapid's Romanian Cup game against Pandurii Târgu Jiu, played at Timișoara's Stadionul Dan Păltinișanu.

Another rival is one team non-communist from capital of Romania Progresul Bucuresti.


The second stand

The history of Giulești Stadium begins in 1934; on 31 March, CFR began the construction of a field on the Giulești Road. The field would have a width of 65 m and a length of 105 m.

At first, the mayor of Bucharest did not want to authorize the construction of the stadium because it did not fit in the systematization of the capital. Eventually, the authorization was given and in April 1936 it was estimated that the stadium would be ready in September. The construction did begin in that year but it lasted more than two. The chief architect was Gheorghe Dumitrescu.

The stadium was inaugurated on 10 June 1939. At the time, it was the most modern stadium in Romania, a smaller replica of Arsenal's Highbury Stadium with a capacity of 12,160 seats. Among the guests at the opening ceremony was King Carol II and his son, future King Michael of Romania.

The construction of the north stand was ended in the mid-1990s, the capacity being increased to 19,100 seats. The pitch was changed in 2003, being considered the best in Romania at the time.[3] The floodlight was installed in the summer of 2000. The stadium got the name of "Valentin Stănescu" in 2001, in respect to the manager who won the second championship for Rapid, but it is still commonly known as "Giulești Stadium", by the name of the neighborhood it is located in. Landmarks near the stadium are the Grant Bridge, Giulești Theatre, Gara de Nord (North Station) and the Grivița Railway Yards.

The stadium will be demolished in 2015, making room for a 22,000–25,000-seat modern stadium. The renovation will be funded by the Romanian government and UEFA after Bucharest was announced as one of the host cities for UEFA Euro 2020.[4]


Current squad[edit]

As of 14 September 2016

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Romania GK Stefan Toma
2 Romania DF Adrian Boian
3 Romania MF Marian Cocu
4 Romania DF Daniel Geambașu
5 Romania MF Silviu Dachin
6 Romania DF Daniel Ursescu
7 Romania MF Narcis Ioniță
8 Romania MF Alberto Stancu
9 Romania MF Marius Pilă
No. Position Player
10 Romania FW Costi Berechet
11 Romania FW Cătălin Bărbălău
12 Romania GK Rareș Dragne
13 Romania FW Orlando Țonea
14 Romania DF Dragoș Manole
15 Romania MF Lucian Nemuc
16 Romania DF Alexandru Costache
17 Romania MF Andrei Dovleac

Club officials[edit]

Honours and achievements[edit]


Campioana Romania.pngLiga I

Campioana Romania.pngLiga II

Campioana Romania.pngCupa Eroilor (Heroes Cup) [5][6]

Roundel of Romania.svgCupa României

Roundel of Romania.svgSupercupa României



UEFA Cup Winners' Cup

Balkans Cup

Mitropa Cup / Central Europe Cup

  • Semi-finals (1): 1940 (The two-legged encounter ended in a tie, and Rapid were drawn to the final, which was never disputed because of the World War II.)

European Railways Cup

  • Winners (1): 1968

European record[edit]

Competition S P W D L GF GA GD
UEFA Champions League / European Cup 3 8 1 3 4 9 11 – 2
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup / European Cup Winners' Cup 3 12 5 3 4 19 17 + 2
UEFA Europa League / UEFA Cup 13 72 33 16 23 104 72 + 32
UEFA Intertoto Cup 1 4 2 1 1 8 5 + 3
Total 20 96 41 23 32 140 105 + 35

Top scorers by season in all competitions[edit]

Season Winner Goals
1932–33 Romania Vasile Chiroiu 12
1933–34 Unknown -
1934–35 Unknown -
1935–36 Romania Ștefan Barbu 23
1936–37 Unknown -
1937–38 Unknown -
1938–39 Romania Iuliu Baratky 15
1939–40 Romania Ștefan Auer 21
1940–41 Romania Ionică Bogdan 21
1941–42 Romania Florian Radu 19
1942–46 War period
1946–47 Unknown -
1947–48 Romania Bazil Marian 32
1948–49 Romania Ștefan Filotti 16
1950 Romania Andrei Rădulescu 18
1951 Unknown -
1952 Unknown -
1953 Unknown -
1954 Romania Iacob Olaru 12
1955 Unknown -
1956 Romania Iacob Olaru 15
1957–58 Unknown -
1958–59 Romania Gheorghe Ene II 17
1959–60 Romania Titus Ozon 12
1960–61 Unknown -
1961–62 Unknown -
1962–63 Romania Ion Ionescu 20
  League topscorer
  League winner
  Cup winner
  Second Division
Year Winner Goals
1963–64 Romania Ion Ionescu 15
1964–65 Unknown -
1965–66 Romania Ion Ionescu 24
1966–67 Romania Ion Ionescu 15
1967–68 Romania Emil Dumitriu II 10
1968–69 Romania Alexandru Neagu 17
1969–70 Romania Alexandru Neagu 16
1970–71 Romania Alexandru Neagu 12
1971–72 Romania Alexandru Neagu 16
1972–73 Unknown -
1973–74 Unknown -
1974–75 Unknown -
1975–76 Unknown -
1976–77 Unknown -
1977–78 Unknown -
1978–79 Unknown -
1979–80 Unknown -
1980–81 Unknown -
1981–82 Unknown -
1982–83 Unknown -
1983–84 Unknown -
1984–85 Unknown -
1985–86 Unknown -
1986–87 Unknown -
1987–88 Unknown -
1988–89 Unknown -
1989–90 Unknown -
Year Winner Goals
1990–91 Unknown -
1991–92 Unknown -
1992–93 Unknown -
1993–94 Romania Iulian Chiriță 12
1994–95 Romania Ion Vlădoiu 18
1995–96 Romania Dumitru Târțău 12
1996–97 Romania Dumitru Târțău 14
1997–98 Romania Lucian Marinescu 16
1998–99 Romania Marius Șumudică 20
1999–00 Romania Sergiu Radu 15
2000–01 Romania Daniel Pancu 17
2001–02 Romania Daniel Pancu 18
2002–03 Romania Florin Bratu 12
2003–04 Romania Sabin Ilie 13
2004–05 Romania Daniel Niculae 14
2005–06 Romania Daniel Niculae 14
2006–07 Romania Ianis Zicu 13
2007–08 Romania Ionuț Mazilu 9
2008–09 Brazil Juliano Spadacio 16
2009–10 Romania Alexandru Ioniță 10
2010–11 Romania Ovidiu Herea 11
2011–12 Romania Ovidiu Herea 14
2012–13 Romania Ovidiu Herea 10
2013–14 Romania Mădălin Martin 9
2014–15 Romania Cristian Săpunaru 4
2015–16 Romania Iulian Popa 16

* Season in progress.


  1. ^ a b "Romania: Rapid Bucharest club declared bankrupt". The Washington Times. 14 July 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016. 
  2. ^ "Rapid Bucharest will not play in Liga 1". romaniajournal.ro. 21 July 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016. 
  3. ^ "Hotarare pentru Copos". Retrieved 10 November 2016. 
  4. ^ http://www.prosport.ro/fotbal-intern/euro-2020-sansa-imensa-pentru-fotbalul-romanesc-veste-excelenta-doua-noi-arene-de-lux-pot-aparea-in-bucuresti-12543232
  5. ^ "Romania Final League Tables". Retrieved 10 November 2016. 
  6. ^ "Divizia A - Tables - statistics". Retrieved 10 November 2016. 

External links[edit]