Mihai Neșu

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Mihai Neșu
Mihai Nesu.jpg
Neșu with Utrecht in 2008
Personal information
Full name Mihai Mircea Neșu
Date of birth (1983-02-19) 19 February 1983 (age 34)
Place of birth Oradea, Romania
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Playing position Left back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2008 Steaua București 87 (1)
2008–2012 FC Utrecht 86 (2)
National team
2003–2005 Romania U–21 12 (0)
2005–2010 Romania 8 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14 March 2011.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 3 March 2010

Mihai Mircea Neșu (nickname: "Bișonul"/"The Bichon"), (born 19 February 1983 in Oradea) is a Romanian former football player, who played most of his career for Steaua București. He also played for FC Utrecht. His career came to an end when he suffered a bad neck injury, which left him paralyzed. He officially ended his career in 2012, as he mainly wanted to focus on his rehabilitation.

Club career[edit]

Steaua București[edit]

He signed his first professional contract in 2001 with Steaua București. Steaua paid for Mihai $6.000.

Neșu made his debut on 21 April 2002 in a game against Petrolul Ploiesti which ended 1–1. In the first two seasons he did not play too much, only 13 games, and his best performance was the vice-champion title in 2002–2003.

They succeeded the same performance in the next season when Mihai played more, 13 games. In the season 2004–2005 he won his first champion title with Steaua and he succeeded to score his first goal in Divizia A, although he played only 7 games. In the next year he played in 19 games and Steaua won for the second consecutive year the title of champion team.

After Ogararu's transfer to Ajax Amsterdam, Mihai Nesu won a place in the first "eleven" and now was a basic player for the team.

In the European Cups he played in 20 games but did not score any game. He debuted in the season 2003–2004 in UEFA Cup when played 3 games2.

After only one European game in 2004–2005 he had in the next season very good results and Nesu played in all four games for the qualifiers in UEFA Champions League. After this he played in UEFA Cup and succeeded to defeat teams like Lens, Heerenveen, Real Betis and Rapid București, but they were eliminated in the semi-final by Middlesbrough.

In the season 2006–2007 Steaua with Mihai as a titular player eliminated Standard Liège and succeeded after 10 years to qualify in UEFA Champions League groups in a group with Real Madrid, Olympique Lyonnais and Dynamo Kiev. As of 23 August 2008 Neșu played 87 games in Liga I of Romania, scoring once. All the games were played under Steaua București's badge.

FC Utrecht and injury[edit]

Neșu completed a transfer deal with FC Utrecht which saw him move to the club on 27 August 2008. He replaced Erik Pieters who left for PSV in the summer.[1]

However, on 10 May 2011 Neșu suffered a bad injury during a training session with his team. Mihai Nesu, collided heavily with a team mate during Tuesday's training. Neșu broke his cervical vertebrae. The doctors said that it may take days, weeks or even several months before it becomes clear if he will ever recover.[2]

In June 2012 his contract with Utrecht expired. Neșu officially ended his career in professional football, although he had not played for a year after his paralysis.

International career[edit]

He also won eight caps for Romania, his first in 2005, against Ivory Coast.

Titles[edit]

Season Club Title
2000–2001 Romania Steaua București Divizia A
2000–2001 Romania Steaua București Supercupa României
2004–2005 Romania Steaua București Divizia A
2005–2006 Romania Steaua București Divizia A
2005–2006 Romania Steaua București Supercupa României

Personal life[edit]

Neșu is the son of a famous Romanian football referee. His nephew, Nikos Barboudis, is also a football player.

He married Maria Laura Gherman in June 2006.

Accident[edit]

Neșu was involved in a freak training-ground accident on 10 May 2011 when team-mate Alje Schut landed on top of him as they challenged for the ball in a practice match. Neșu broke a cervical vertebra in his neck and was left without any feeling in his body from the neck down and fighting for breath. After a 5-hour surgery and 4 days of unconsciousness he started to speak and recognize people around him but he still couldn't feel his arms and legs. He risks to remain paralyzed for the rest of his life. Meanwhile, his teammates were in shock, especially Alje Schut who was deeply affected by the accident and couldn't train anymore. The FC Utrecht fans showed extraordinary support for their player, sending hundreds of mails and postcards with emotional messages. Scarves and T-shirts of Nesu went out of stock. In the next home match against rivals AZ Alkmaar, the fans revealed a huge supporting banner and chanted for extended periods of time. Every player on the pitch wore a T-shirt with Nesu's face and Romanian flag imprinted on it Picture Encouraged by a 27.000 crowd, FC Utrecht won the game 5-1, in an impressive manner with every goal being dedicated to Mihai Nesu.

References[edit]

External links[edit]