Gheorghe Craioveanu

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Gică Craioveanu
Personal information
Full name Gheorghe Craioveanu
Date of birth (1968-02-14) 14 February 1968 (age 50)
Place of birth Hunedoara, Romania
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1981–1986 Olt Scornicești
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1986–1988 Constructorul Slatina 65 (37)
1989–1990 Metalurgistul Slatina 27 (11)
1990 Drobeta-Turnu Severin 18 (18)
1991–1995 Universitatea Craiova 129 (61)
1995–1998 Real Sociedad 90 (26)
1998–2002 Villarreal 120 (28)
2002–2006 Getafe 120 (16)
Total 569 (197)
National team
1993–1999 Romania 25 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Gheorghe "Gică" Craioveanu (born 14 February 1968) is a retired Romanian footballer who played as a striker.

He spent most of his professional career in Spain – 11 years out of 18 – representing three teams and amassing totals of 330 games and 70 goals, both major levels combined.

A Romanian international in the 1990s, Craioveanu represented the nation at the 1998 World Cup.

Club career[edit]

Craioveanu was born in Hunedoara, Transylvania. After playing for modest clubs he reached Liga I in January 1991 (one month shy of his 23rd birthday) after signing with FC Universitatea Craiova. On 3 March he made his competition debut in a 0–1 away loss against FC Steaua Bucureşti, but his team would eventually win the national championship with three goals in 13 games from the player; during his spell in Craiova, they never ranked lower than fourth and also won two domestic cups, while he was also crowned the league's top scorer in 1994 and 1995.

In the 1995 summer, after 49 goals in his last two seasons at Universitatea combined, Craioveanu joined La Liga side Real Sociedad,[1][2] netting 11 times in his first season to help the Basques finish in seventh position. Two years later he moved to Villarreal CF which was having its first top flight experience,[3] scoring a career-best – in Spain – 13 goals as the latter was immediately relegated back.

Craioveanu was again a very important attacking unit – 38 games, eight goals – as Villarreal promoted back in the year after and, already a veteran, helped to the club's top division consolidation. In 2002 the 34-year-old moved to Getafe CF in the second level, scoring 16 goals in 120 appearances over the course of four seasons, and helping the Madrid team achieve a first-ever top flight promotion in his second year; he retired in June 2006 at the age of 38, having appeared in 459 league matches during his professional career, scoring a total of 131 goals.[4][5]

International career[edit]

Craioveanu earned 25 caps for Romania, his debut coming on 8 September 1993 in a 4–0 win in the Faroe Islands for the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign. His only major tournament was the 1998 World Cup in France, where his output consisted of 33 minutes in the round-of-16 0–1 loss against Croatia.[6]


After retiring, Craioveanu settled in Getafe (the city of his last club) in Madrid's metropolitan area. During the local elections of 2007 he won a sports adviser seat on the local council, running as an independent with backing from the People's Party;[7][8][9] this was the first suffrage during which Romanian citizens were eligible in other European Union counties, following Romania's European integration.

On 16 June 2007, as a result of a local alliance between the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party and Izquierda Unida, which took away PP's control over the Sports Adviser seat, Craioveanu convened with the PP not to hold a political office, and resigned from the council.[7][9] He also worked as a co-presenter in La Sexta's football programme Minuto y Resultado, and a radio commentator on Onda Cero; after his first marriage ended in divorce, he remarried with a Spanish woman named Gemma, and eventually fathered two children, one from each union.[7]

Personal life[edit]

His son Alejandro plays for the youth team of Villarreal.





External links[edit]