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Oțelul Galați
Full nameAsociația Clubul Sportiv Suporter Club Oțelul Galați[1]
Nickname(s)
  • Oțelarii (The Steelworkers)
  • Roș-alb-albaștrii (Red-White-Blues)
  • Gălățenii (The People from Galați)
Founded1964; 60 years ago (1964)
GroundOțelul
Capacity13,500
OwnersOțelul Galați Supporters Association
Galați Municipality
ChairmanCristian Munteanu
Head coachDorinel Munteanu
LeagueLiga I
2023–24Liga I, 8th of 16
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Asociația Clubul Sportiv Supporter Club Oțelul Galați (Romanian pronunciation: [oˈt͡selul ɡaˈlat͡sʲ]), commonly known as Oțelul Galați or simply as Oțelul, is a Romanian football club based in the city of Galați, Galați County, which competes in the Liga I.

Founded in 1964 as the team of the Galați steel works, Oțelul spent the first two decades of its existence in the lower leagues. It reached the Liga I for the first time in 1986, and has since amassed 27 seasons in the competition. Oțelul won the league title in the 2010–11 campaign, becoming the first and only Romanian champion from the region of Moldavia to date; this triumph was followed by winning the 2011 Supercupa României. In the Cupa României, Oțelul's best result is reaching the final twice, in 2004 and 2024.

Internationally, the team's best performances are qualifying for the group stages of the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League and being one of the eleven co-winners of the 2007 UEFA Intertoto Cup. Oțelul's team colours are red, white and blue, and they play at the namesake Stadionul Oțelul.

History[edit]

Early years of football in Galați (1910–1964)[edit]

Location of Galați in Romania

Football spread to Romania shortly before 1900, first appearing in the cities of Arad and Bucharest. It arrived in Galați about 10 years later, through foreign trade companies and offices in the city, as well as the efforts of one Officer Vladovici, a career soldier who studied in France and brought football game regulations and equipment to Galați. The first games took place c. 1908, when Vladovici's team from the 3rd Artillery Regiment played groups of English sailors stationed in the harbour. A year later, the Cavalry Regiment of Galați established a second team in the city. This led to the organisation of several football matches, and the press highlighted the fact that matches were also possible with the sailors from British naval ships present in the Port of Galați. The students of Vasile Alecsandri High School (LVA) formed a team in 1919. A year later, emigrants from Turkey, Greece and Armenia set up the teams of Olimpia and Niki, consisting largely of players coming from Italy, Greece and Turkey, where football was much more developed as a sport. An exhibition match took place on 7 May 1921, in which Triumf București defeated Internaționala Galați 2–1. In the same year, the team of HMS Ladybird defeated Internaționala Galați 6–2. Though there were too few teams for organised competitions, inter-city matches intensified with Brăila, Tulcea, and Reni. There were also regular matches with local teams Internaționala, Niki, Olimpia, Şoimii Dacia, Atlas and LVA, as well as military teams.[2]

Chart of Oțelul's yearly table positions in the Romanian Football League from 1966 to the present

In 1922, Dacia Soimii and LVA merged to found Dacia Vasile Alecsandri Galați (DVA). DVA gained great popularity and for two decades was one of the best football clubs in southern Moldavia and eastern Muntenia. Other new teams established in this era include Maccabi, Aviaţia, Şcoala Comercială, Sportul, and Baza Navală.[2]

The new teams and increasing popularity allowed different competitions to emerge, and championships took place at the town and district level. Club structures grew with teams of seniors, reserves, youths and children. The Greek bourgeoisie teams of Ermis, Acropolis, and Foresta were created.[2]

In 1926, the first district championship took place. There were ten teams from Galați (including the neighbourhood teams Şoimii and Gloria), two from Reni (Maccabi and Dunărea) and one team representing Tulcea. The competition was a commercial success with DVA the first champions. In the next round DVA defeated Concordia Iași 6–1 and advanced to a final tournament for the national trophy. Ten teams took part, among them Chinezul Timișoara, Unirea Tricolor București, Colțea Brașov and AMEFA Arad. Lacking experience at this level of competition, DVA lost to Brasov 1–7.[2]

Because at that time military teams were in fashion, Captain Slătineanu transferred from Braşov the team of Fulgerul. However, due to financial difficulties, Fulgerul had a short life. 1920s regulations did not allow the team to participate in the district championships. Instead, it took part in a series of international matches and competitions. This allowed the new Galați team to gain experience playing the powerful teams MTK Budapest, Vasas, Újpest, OFK Beograd, ŽAK Subotica and Rapid Wien. These matches were played with the ticket office closed.[2]

In the late 1920s, economic hardships led to the dissolution of most of the 20 clubs in Galați. At one time only three clubs took part in the district championship: DVA, Gloria, and Șoimii. In 1927, these latter two clubs, which had been founded as neighbourhood teams in Galați, merged as Gloria Şoimii. In 1932, at the initiative of the railroad workers, Gloria Şoimii and CFR Galați (the Galați railway football club) merged as Gloria CFR Galați.

Gloria CFR immediately joined the Lower Danube District Championship, alongside teams already experienced in official competitions such as: DVA, Ermis, Marina Danubiană and Unirea Tulcea. In the 1934–35 season, Gloria CFR were crowned champions of the Lower Danube District, and immediately promoted to Divizia C. A year later Gloria CFR were promoted to Divizia B. This promotion was possible after three promotion play-offs against Telefon Club București, but also due to the Romanian Football Federation, which recognised the value of the team. In the 1937–38 season, Gloria CFR, "the Railroad Workers", had a spectacular performance of 16 wins, a draw and a single defeat, and were promoted to Divizia A. In 1937, the club Metalosport Galați was formed in the city and had important results in the second and third leagues.[2]

The championship schedule was interrupted by World War II and did not restart until 1946. Galați was then represented by Gloria CFR in Divizia B, while Metalosport, Şantierul Naval and FC Arsenal were in the Divizia C. In the early 1950s, DVA was dissolved due to financial problems, and Gloria CFR was relegated to Divizia C. The club Dinamo Galați (later renamed Siderurgistul Galați) was formed in 1955 and came very close to promotion to the country's top league in 1961 and 1962. Constructorul Galați was founded in 1950, and reached the Cupa României final in 1973. Siderurgistul was promoted in 1963 and was the best team in Galați until the mid-1960s.[2]

Oțelul, founding and ascension (1964–1985)[edit]

In 1964, following the reorganisation of football in Galați, the club Oțelul was formed to represent the newly established Galați steel works.[3] After three seasons in the County Championship, Oțelul was promoted to Divizia C at the end of the 1966–67. The next year, they were promoted to Divizia B. The 1968 promotion was a close contest with Gloria Bârlad; both teams ended the season with 35 points, but Oțelul had a +23 goal differential to Gloria's +21. Oțelul's 1968 promotion squad included: Şerbănoiu, Berechet, Rusu, Florea–Boeru, Coman, Secăşeanu, Luban, Halmagy, Moşneagu, Cernega, Bruştiuc, Niculescu, Morohai, Leca, Ion Ionică, Ailoaiei, Obreja, Câmpeanu, Drăghiescu and Ogescu; with coaches Gh. Drăghiescu and Pompiliu Ionescu.[2][relevant?]

The rise of Oțelul led to the decline of Siderurgistul, which had been the city's primary team and had played the 1963 Cupa României final. In 1967, Siderurgistul gave up its place in the second league to Politehnica Galați and disappeared from Romanian football. After two seasons in the second league, in which Oțelul finished in 9th place in 1969 and 1970, there was another reorganisation of local football. Oţelul changed its name to FC Galați and later to FCM Galați, essentially forming a new club, known later mainly as Dunărea Galați. Between 1974 and 1980, this team played three seasons in Divizia A. Meanwhile, some of the players of the former Oțelul transferred to Divizia C club Dacia Galați, which in 1972 revived the name Oțelul.[4]

Oțelul Galați (1985–86) and the celebration of promotion

Oțelul had not completely lost its identity after this manoeuvre, and in the 1973–74 season returned to the second league, finishing 7th. The team finished the 1974–75 season in 17th place with only 24 points, and was relegated to Divizia C, then disbanded. In 1976, the management of the steel industry decided to re-establish Oțelul, joining Divizia D, and climbing to Divizia C and B. From 1976 to 1977 to 1980–81, their rankings were: 1st (Divizia D); 11th, 10th, 9th, and 1st (Divizia C). The 1980–81 squad of Oțelul included: Șerbănoiu, Călugăru, Cucu, Borș, Căstăian, Morohai, Ceacu, Ciurea, Pătrașcu, Pavel, Gheorghiu, Adamache, Ion Ionică, Basalîc, Ticu, Potorac, and Podeț; with coach Petru Moțoc.[5]

The progress and growth of Oțelul was more difficult than that of traditional Romanian football clubs, due to the 1970 dissolution of the club in favour of Dunărea Galați, the 1972 reformation of Dacia Galați, and the 1975 refounding. In 1980, immediately after the promotion of the team to the second league, a political decision of Galați County gave Oțelul's place in Divizia B to Victoria Tecuci; some of the Oțelul players switched to the team from Tecuci, and others signed with Divizia C side Metalosport Galați, owned by the Cristea Nicolae factory.[4] However, in the summer of 1982, there was a turnabout when Metalosport was sacrificed for Oțelul, allowing Oțelul to reach for prominence after years of being held back.

Oțelul took advantage of this political decision, finishing third in the 1982–83 season, eighth in 1983–84, and third in 1984–85 behind Petrolul Ploiești and local rival Dunărea Galați. Oțelul finished the 1984–85 season with a 24–4–6 record, 86 goals scored against 29 conceded, and were promoted to Divizia A. The squad that obtained that performance included: Călugăru, Ionel Dinu, Gh. Stamate, Oprea, Ciobanu, Popescu, Stoica, Radu, Ciurea, Burcea, Smadu, Marius Stan, A. Stamate, Petrescu, Basalic, Rusu, Claudiu Vaișcovici, Antohi, Bejenaru, Dumitru, Rotaru, Lala, Anghelinei, C. Stan, and Ralea; with coaches Constantin Rădulescu and Ioan Sdrobiş.[4]

Divizia A and UEFA Cup first seasons (1986–1999)[edit]

1987 Oțelul Galați team photo

In its first year in the top stage of Romanian football in 1986–87, Oţelul finished in 11th place. The next year, they finished in 4th place and qualified for the 1988–89 UEFA Cup season. In their first European Cup match, in front of 30,000 supporters, Oțelul upset Italian side Juventus 1–0, the goal scored by Ion Profir from the penalty spot. The squad that played against Juventus in the first European match of the club included: Călugăru – G. Popescu, Anghelinei, Agiu, Borali (Adrian Oprea) – Nae Burcea, Marius Stan, I. Profir, Oct. Popescu – Ralea (Drăgoi), Puiu Antohi. For Juventus: Stefano Tacconi, Nicolò Napoli, Alessandro Altobelli, Rui Barros and Michael Laudrup, with coaches Dino Zoff and Cornel Dinu.[4] The team lost the second leg match to Juventus in Turin, 5–0, and were eliminated from the European Cup.

At the end of the 1988–1989 regular season, Oţelul was relegated. The club finished third in Divizia B in 1989–90, and lost out on promotion to rival Progresul Brăila. In the 1990–91 season, under the management of Marius Stan and Mihai Stoica, the club was promoted to Divizia A; Oțelul finished six points ahead of second-place Gloria Buzău. "The Steelworkers" remained in the top division until 2015.

Following Oțelul's 1991 promotion, the club finished in the middle of the league: 8th in 1991–92 and 10th in 1992–93. The club participated in the 1991–92 Balkans Cup and lost in the final against Turkish side Sarıyer, 0–1 on aggregate. Oțelul barely escaped relegation in the 1993–94 season, finishing one point above the relegation line. The coach was replaced with Vasile Simionaș, former star of Politehnica Iași, and after two seasons finished at 13th place. At the end of the 1995–96 season, the club lost star players Radu Cașuba and Valentin Ştefan, but maintained a foundation moving forward with players such as: Iulian Arhire, Stelian Bordieanu, Gheorghe Bosânceanu, Gheorghe Cornea, Daniel Florea, Sorin Haraga, Gigi Ion, Viorel Ion, Costin Maleș, Dănuț Oprea, Tudorel Pelin, Emil Spirea, Adrian State, Viorel Tănase and Cătălin Tofan.[6]

The 1996–97 season brought total football to Oțelul Stadium. Led by squad captain Valentin Ştefan and Viorel Ion, Oțelul finished the season in 4th place. During the season, Oțelul beat league-leader Dinamo București 3–1. They also defeated Rapid București in a 4–3 win at Giulești Stadium, which was an historic victory for the club. Then came an unexpected 5–1 victory against FC U Craiova, which pushed Oțelul to 2nd place in the table. With a 3–1 victory at FC Național (Romania's runners-up at the end of the season), Oțelul were only 3 points behind the leader. Winning the final match 3–0 against Sportul Studențesc, Oțelul finished 4th in the league, matching their previous best finish. Vasile Simionaș was named Romanian coach of the year, and Viorel Ion and Valentin Ştefan were named to the Romanian national team.[6]

Simionaș remained as coach in Galați for two more seasons, with the team finishing 4th place in 1997–98 and 6th in 1998–99. Highlights of this period include 14 goals scored by Valentin Ștefan as a defensive midfielder in 1997–98; a 7–0 win against Jiul Petroșani in which Maleș scored Oțelul's 400th goal in the first league; and dramatic victories against Rapid București (1–0) and Progresul București (3–2).[6]

After finishing in 4th place in 1997, Oțelul competed in the UEFA Cup for the second time. They played in the first qualifying round against Slovenian side HIT Gorica. Oțelul lost the first leg in Slovenia, 0–2. In the second match, Oțelul led 4–0 in Galați, but Gorica scored twice at 88 and 90 minutes, with goals from Nenad Protega and Enes Demirović. The clubs were tied 4–4 on aggregate, but Gorica advanced by virtue of away goals. Oțelul qualified again for the 1998–99 UEFA Cup, and beat Macedonian side Sloga Jugomagnat 4–1 on aggregate, advancing to the second round. Oțelul lost to Vejle Boldklub of Denmark in the second round, 0–6 on aggregate.[7]

In this period, the club earned the nicknames Cimitirul Granzilor (English: "The Giants Cemetery") and Campioana Provinciei ("The Provincial Champion"). The squad was also called Generația de Aur ("The Golden Generation"), although they were later overshadowed by the 2010–11 team. This generation could be considered one of the Oțelul's three best teams, along with the 1988 and 2011 squads. Simionaș was fired in 1999 after a conflict with sporting manager Mihai Stoica.[6]

Golden Age of Oțelul (1999–2012)[edit]

After Simionaș was fired, Dumitru Dumitriu became the new coach. Oțelul fell to 8th place at the end of the 1999–2000 season. They dropped to 12th place in 2000-2001, but then rose to 5th place in 2001-2002, with Victor Roșca and then Marius Lăcătuș as coach.

Emil Jula, Oțelul's top scorer in 2007–08

This oscillation continued in 2002–03, as Oțelul finished in 13th place and faced a relegation play-off against FC Oradea. In the first leg at Galați, the Steelworkers won 2–1, with goals scored by Gheorghe Cornea and Mihai Guriță. In the second leg at Oradea, Oțelul lost 1–3. Bogdan Vrăjitoarea scored a hat-trick for the hosts, while Viorel Tănase scored for Oțelul. Oțelul lost 3–4 on aggregate and were facing relegation. However, top division clubs Astra Ploiești and Petrolul Ploiești merged after the season, leaving a vacant place in the league table for Oțelul.

The club was then bought by Nicolai Boghici, a businessman from Galați. Oțelul had a strong 2003–04 Divizia A season under coach Sorin Cârțu, finishing in 5th place. That year, they also made the club's first appearance in the Cupa României Final, where they lost 0–2 to Dinamo București. Immediately after this final, it was discovered that the association holding the club had debts of over 15 billion Romanian leu (ROL).

Oțelul earned a spot in the 2004–05 UEFA Cup qualifying rounds.[8] Oțelul beat Dinamo Tirana in the first round, 8–1 on aggregate, but lost in the second round, 0–1 on aggregate against Partizan.

In the 2004–05 Divizia A season Oțelul finished 8th. Marius Stan was appointed as the club's president starting in the 2005–06 season. The team struggled early in the season and was rebuilt, with coach Aurel Şunda replaced by Petre Grigoraş and 18 new players brought to the team. The changes turned the team's season around, beginning with a 3–0 victory against Dinamo, and Oțelul finished in 9th place. In the Romanian Cup, Oţelul was eliminated in the quarterfinals in penalty shoot-outs against FC Național.

Dorinel Munteanu, the coach who led Oțelul to their only Romanian title to date

In the 2006–07 season Oțelul finished 5th in the standings. At the end of this season, prominent player Viorel Tănase retired, scoring a goal in his last match. Thanks to good positioning in the league table, the team qualified for the UEFA Intertoto Cup. In the Romanian Cup, Oțelul was once again eliminated in penalties, this time by Steaua București.

The first match of the 2007–08 season was in the UEFA Intertoto Cup, where Oțelul met Slavija Sarajevo (3rd place in the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina). The first leg at Koševo Stadium ended 0–0. The second leg was played in Galați, and was an unexpected 3–0 win for Oțelul, with goals by Emil Jula (at 31 and 42 minutes) and Gabriel Paraschiv (70 min).[9] In the next round, Oțelul faced well-known Turkish side Trabzonspor (4th place in the Süper Lig). Oţelul won the first match in Galați 2–1 in front of 5,000 spectators. Daniel Stan opened the scoring for Oţelul (28 min), and Ersen Martin tied it for Trabzonspor (83 min). The winner was scored by Oţelul's Gabriel Paraschiv (87 min). The second match was played at Hüseyin Avni Aker Stadium before more than 20,000 spectators. The Turkish side opened the scoring with a goal from 15 metres by Ceyhun Eriş (8 min). János Székely tied the matched for Oţelul five minutes later. Tadas Labukas connected with Emil Jula for a second Oţelul goal (77 min). Jula added a third goal for the Romanian side from the penalty spot in the 88th minute, and Oţelul qualified for the preliminary round of the UEFA Cup.[9] In the UEFA Cup, Oțelul faced Lokomotiv Sofia (3rd place in the Bulgarian First League). The first leg was played at Balgarska Armia Stadium in Sofia, and Oţelul lost 1–3. The second leg finished 0–0, eliminating Oţelul from the competition.

In Liga I, Oţelul finished at 8th place. Emil Jula had the second-most goals in the league with 17.[9] For these feats head coach Petre Grigoraș was called cel mai tare din oraș ("the best of the city").

Problems arose in the 2008–09 season. Oțelul finished 12th, and the club was close to bankruptcy. Petre Grigoraş left the following season and was replaced by Dorinel Munteanu. In the 2009–10 season, Oțelul finished in 8th place.

Oțelul achieved its best performance in the 2010–11 season, winning the first league, defeating main rival FC Timişoara in a match that decided the title. Two months later, the club won the Supercupa României in a 1–0 victory over Steaua București.[10] The squad which won included: goalkeepers Branko Grahovac, Cristian Brăneţ, and Gabriel Abraham; defenders Cornel Râpă, Samoel Cojoc, Cristian Sîrghi, Milan Perendija, Sergiu Costin, Enes Šipović, Constantin Mișelăricu, Adrian Salageanu, and Silviu Ilie; midfielders Ionuț Neagu, Gabriel Giurgiu, Ioan Filip, Ciprian Milea, Liviu Antal, Laurenţiu Iorga, Laurenţiu Petean, John Ibeh, Gabriel Viglianti, Răzvan Ochiroşii, Laurenţiu Buş, and Gabriel Paraschiv; and forwards Marius Pena, Bratislav Punoševac and Róbert Elek; with coach Dorinel Munteanu.[10]

In the 2011–12 season Oțelul finished in 6th place, and also played in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time.[11] Their Champions League group featured Manchester United, Benfica and FC Basel. It was a huge moment for the club to play against top European teams, but Oțelul lost all six matches: 2–3 and 0–1 against Basel; 1–2 and 0–1 against Benfica; and 0–2 in both matches against Manchester United.[10]

Decline and bankruptcy (2012–2016)[edit]

Oțelul's 50th anniversary logo, used between 2014 and 2016

After two fantastic seasons, Oțelul faced difficulty as the club's shareholders wanted the money the club had received for Champions League participation.[10]

In the 2012–13 season, Marius Stan left to become mayor of Galați, and Dan Adamescu became the new owner of the club. Oțelul lost Dorinel Munteanu as coach. Viorel Tănase, a star player who had retired in 2007, was named as his replacement. Tănase managed to finish the first part of the season outside the relegation zone, but during the winter break was replaced with Petre Grigoraş. Oțelul finished 11th with 43 points. In the Romanian Cup, they reached the semi-finals, where they were eliminated by Petrolul, the winner of the competition.[10]

On 10 July 2013, despite the 22 million earned from its participation in the Champions League the previous season, Oțelul went into insolvency.[12]

Ewald Lienen, the coach who saved Oțelul from relegation in 2014, despite a difficult financial situation

Grigoraş left the club at the end of the 2013–14 season, and Ionuţ Badea was hired for the new season. Poor results led to Badea's resignation and the arrival of Ewald Lienen, a German coach trained in the Bundesliga. He managed to finish the season with Oțelul in 10th place. After this season, Lienen and almost all of the players left due to financial mismanagement. The 2014–15 season brought huge changes at Oțelul. Team owner Dan Adamescu was arrested in a case of bribery, and a lack of financing made transfers difficult.[13][14] Among the coaches brought in and subsequently fired were: Michael Weiß, Tibor Selymes and Florin Marin. Additionally, Liga I reorganised so the bottom six teams in the table were relegated instead of just four. Oțelul finished 17th and was relegated to Liga II after 23 consecutive seasons in the top flight of the Romanian football.[10] Oțelul played 27 seasons in Liga I, holding 16th place in the Liga I All-time table. Oțelul is the second-best Moldovan team in this ranking, surpassed only by FCM Bacău, but it is the only Moldovan side to win a national title.

The next season in Liga II was painful one for many of Oțelul's fans. The team had to play many games with their youth squad, and finished last in the second league. Relegation was followed by the club's bankruptcy, declared on 1 April 2016 by the Bucharest Tribunal. Less than 5 years after winning the first champion title, the club had suddenly disappeared.[15]

The fall of Oțelul gave rise to many concerns in the Romanian media. In 2016, Marius Stan accused Adamescu for the devaluation of the club:

Adamescu took, without paying anything, a patrimony club of Galați, which accounts had 7.3 million and zero debts, a unique case in Romania! The sole purpose of the shareholders was to devalue the club by the millions that were in the account when it was taken over!"[16]

In 2017, Adamescu's son, Alexander Adamescu, accused Stan of defective management and that the club was his piggybank:

FCO's activity was blocked by ANAF a few months after the takeover by The Nova Group [Adamescu's company], the decision based on the financial reporting of the old management of the club. In the 9 months we had available until the entry of FCO into insolvency, we were unable to change the ongoing contracts, which were concluded in exorbitant amounts also by the old management, and the much higher expenditures compared to the revenues led to the club's closing. The Nova Group has lost on this deal, it has not gotten the 'millions' of the euro – and that for the simple fact that it did not exist"[17]

Refounding and recent history (2016–present)[edit]

After the dissolution of the club, Oțelul supporters immediately founded a new association, called Asociația Supporter Club Oțelul Galați, and registered it to compete in Liga IV. On 19 July 2016, ASC Oțelul Galați was officially born with the objective of continuing the tradition of Oțelul in Galați.

ASC Oțelul Galați was considered the spiritual successor of the old club because it wore the same colours, it played in the same stadium and was supported by the same fans. The new entity, didn't own the brand and league record of the old club, which had been bought at auction for 10,000.[18] However, the winner of the auction did not pay the bid which became void. With the aid of a law firm, ASC Oțelul gained possession of the record and brand and became the official successor of the club on 12 September 2017.[19]

At the end of its first season, Oțelul won Liga IVGalați County and defeated the champions of Iași County, Unirea Mircești, in a play-off to win promotion to the Liga III.[20] Under coach Stelian Bordeianu, a former player of the club, Oțelul won 30 of its 32 matches in all competitions, setting a record for Romanian football.

Former coach Dorinel Munteanu returned at the beginning of the 2021–22 season and helped secure promotion after five years in Liga III. Oțelul dominated both the regular season and the playoffs, finishing first in Liga III Seria 2, nine points clear of second-place CSM Focsani. In the playoff semifinal, Oțelul got past Foresta Suceava with a 1–0 victory in Suceava, and a 2–0 win in Galaṭi. The first leg of the final, played in Botoșani against CS Dante Botoșani, ended in a 1–1 tie. The decisive match was played in Galați, in front of a crowd of 13,000 spectators on Stadionul Oțelul. George Carjan, Alin Nica and Denis Cires scored in a 3–0 win for Oțelul that propelled the steelworkers into Liga II.

Oțelul with Dorinel Munteanu at the helm, took this momentum well into the 2022-23 season, in Liga II. Although newly promoted at this level, the Galați team proved to be a real contender as the regular season went on. They finished 3rd in the regular season and qualified for the promotion playoffs. The steelworkers managed to keep their form during the play-off and before the final day, were still 3rd, behind Poli Iasi and CSA Steaua Bucuresti. On the last day, Oțelul got the win they needed against Unirea Dej (1-0 Razvan Gorovei), in front of a packed Oțelul stadium. The 3rd spot finish, coupled with CSA Steaua's(2nd) legal limitations, sealed a historic comeback to the elite for the Galați boys, 8 years after their previous Liga I match.

Youth program[edit]

The youth academy of Oțelul Galați developed young players including: Iulian Arhire, Florin Cernat, Romulus Chihaia, Daniel Florea, Silviu Ilie, Laurențiu Iorga, George Miron, Ionuț Neagu, Dănuț Oprea, Cornel Râpă, Viorel Tănase, Cătălin Tofan, or Alexandru Tudorie. Their local rival is the Dunărea Galați football academy, from which many important footballers developed.

Grounds[edit]

Oțelul Stadium

The club plays its home matches at Stadionul Oțelul in Galați. Oțelul has also used other local venues, such as Stadionul Nicolae Rainea, Stadionul Siderurgistul, and Baza Sportivă Zoltan David, but only for short periods of time.

Support[edit]

Oţelul supporters in 2007

Oțelul has many supporters in Galați and Galați County, but also in the region of southern Moldavia. Oțelul Galați has groups of ultras, including Steel Boys, Ultra Sud, Sidexplozia, SCOG and New Order. Regular fans that are not affiliated with any ultras groups can join the Liga Suporterilor Gălăţeni 1993 (The Galați Supporters League 1993) organisation.[21] After the 2016 dissolution of the club, Oțelul fans from the aforementioned groups founded Supporter Club Oțelul Galați and enrolled the team in the Liga IV; this action kept the club from disappearing, and their actions proved the attachment of the fans to the red, white and blue side.

Rivalries[edit]

The main rivals of Oțelul Galați are Dacia Unirea Brăila, who they face in a competition known as Derby-ul Dunării de Jos ("The Lower Danube Derby"). Any Galați–Brăila match is considered a derby, taking this term from a regional derby in the early years of football.[22][23][24] Another important local rivalry is against Dunărea Galați, a club born from the break-up of Oțelul in the 1960s. Oţelul fans also share a rivalry with Poli Iaşi supporters, following a series of clashes between the two sets of fans.[25] A much newer rivalry is one against FC Vaslui.[26] During periods of success, Oțelul has had contextual rivalries with Steaua București, Dinamo București and Rapid București, especially in the 1990s, as well as with Politehnica Timișoara between 2010 and 2011.

Honours[edit]

Domestic[edit]

Leagues[edit]

Cups[edit]

European[edit]

Players[edit]

First team squad[edit]

As of 14 June 2024[28][29]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Romania ROU Gabriel Ursu
2 DF Bulgaria BUL Milen Zhelev
6 DF Ivory Coast CIV Jonathan Cissé
8 MF Romania ROU Ionuț Neagu (Vice-captain)
11 FW Romania ROU Alexandru Pop
13 GK Romania ROU Cosmin Dur-Bozoancă
14 DF Romania ROU Andrei Rus
15 DF Burkina Faso BFA François Yabré
17 MF Romania ROU Răzvan Tănasă (on loan from Farul Constanța)
18 DF Romania ROU Ștefan Farcaș
19 FW Mali MLI Aly Mallé
20 MF Romania ROU Ștefan Bodișteanu (on loan from Farul Constanța)
21 MF Portugal POR Samuel Teles
No. Pos. Nation Player
24 MF Romania ROU Denis Bordun
26 MF Romania ROU Mihai Adăscăliței
28 DF Portugal POR Miguel Silva
30 MF Italy ITA Juri Cisotti (Captain)
31 MF Croatia CRO Diego Živulić (3rd captain)
66 MF Portugal POR João Lameira (on loan from Baltika Kaliningrad)
67 FW Portugal POR Frédéric Maciel
GK Romania ROU Iustin Popescu
MF Romania ROU Cristian Chira
MF Romania ROU Neluț Roșu
FW Bosnia and Herzegovina BIH Stipe Jurić
MF Serbia SRB Vasilije Đurić
MF Romania ROU Marian Drăghiceanu

Out on loan[edit]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK Romania ROU Darius Paharnicu (to Unirea Braniștea)
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF Romania ROU Alin Nica (to Unirea Braniștea)

Club officials[edit]

League history[edit]

Notable former players[edit]

The footballers enlisted below have had international cap(s) for their respective countries at junior and/or senior level and/or more than 100 caps for ASC Oțelul Galați.

Notable former managers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Informare privind soluționarea cererilor de acordare a certificatului pentru participarea în Liga 2" [Statement regarding the approval of requests for the awarding of the Liga 2 participation certificate] (in Romanian). Romanian Football Federation. 8 July 2022. Retrieved 20 September 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "History of football from Galaţi". galateni.net. 22 June 2009. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  3. ^ Hafez, Shamoon (17 October 2011). "Man Utd's trip into the unknown". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d "Istoria fotbalului gălăţean (14)" [History of football from Galaţi]. viata-libera.ro. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Liga 3 clasament" [Liga 3 table]. romaniansoccer.ro. Archived from the original on 28 May 2020. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d "50 de ani/50 de legende: Vasile Simionaş" [50 years / 50 legends: Vasile Simionaș]. dunareabatrana.ro. Archived from the original on 24 February 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Oțelul se abonează la Cupa UEFA" [Oțelul is subscribing to the UEFA Cup]. echipedetraditie.ro. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Oțelul în finala Cupei României" [Oțelul in the final of the Romanian Cup]. echipedetraditie.ro. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  9. ^ a b c "Oțelul câștigă Cupa UEFA Intertoto". echipedetraditie.ro. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Apogeul și decăderea Oțelului" [The Apogee and Decline of Oțelul]. echipedetraditie.ro. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Otelul confirmed as Romanian champions after CAS verdict". Yahoo Eurosport. Reuters. 18 May 2011. Archived from the original on 1 January 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  12. ^ "Oţelul Galaţi a intrat în insolvenţă: Tribunalul București a admis cererea" [Oţelul Galaţi entered in insolvency: the Bucharest Court admitted the request]. mediafax.ro. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Dan Adamescu a fost arestat preventiv, în dosarul în care este acuzat de dare de mită" [Dan Adamescu was arrested in the file in which he is accused of bribery]. mediafax.ro. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  14. ^ "Cu patronul în AREST, se caută soluţii pentru SUPRAVIEŢUIREA Oţelului" [With the owner under arrest, solutions are being sought for Oțelul's surviving.]. viata-libera.ro. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  15. ^ "Final de drum pentru campioana de acum 5 ani. Oțelul Galați a intrat în faliment" [The final road for the 5 years ago champion. Oţelul Galaţi went bankrupt.]. digisport.ro. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  16. ^ ""Schema" Adamescu la Oţelul Galaţi – 4 milioane de euro" ["Scheme" Adamescu at Otelul Galati – 4 million euros]. evz.ro. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Adamescu jr: "Oțelul Galați a fost pușculița lui Marius Stan! A luat bani de la club și pe clauză de neconcurență deși era primar"" [Adamescu jr: "Oţelul Galaţi was Marius Stan's money box! He also took money from the club even on the non-competition clause although he was mayor"]. tolo.ro. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  18. ^ "Marca "Oţelul Galaţi 1964" a fost vândută pentru 10.000 de euro! Valabilitatea ei e pusă la îndoială" [The "Oțelul Galați 1964" brand was sold for 10,000 euros! Its validity is questionable]. liga2.prosport.ro. 23 February 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  19. ^ "Seară istorică pentru Oţelul! În urma achiziţiei făcute marţi, clubul reclădit de suporteri devine continuatorul legitim al campioanei din 2011. "Este o izbândă uriaşă"" [Historical evening for Oţelul! Following the acquisition made on Tuesday, the club rebuilt by supporters becomes the legitimate follower of the 2011 champion. "It is a huge victory"]. liga2.prosport.ro. 12 September 2017. Archived from the original on 13 March 2023. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  20. ^ "Oțelul și U Cluj au promovat și ele în liga a treia! 9.000 de oameni au fost la Galați" [Oțelul and U Cluj have won promotion to the third league! The game in Galaţi was attended by 9,000 people]. digisport.ro. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  21. ^ "Otelul Galati: Comunicat Liga Suporterilor 1993" [Oțelul Galați: Press release of Supporters League 1993]. intribuna.wordpress.com. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  22. ^ "Între Galați și Brăila a fost și va fi mereu o rivalitate sportivă" [Between Galați and Brăila has always been a sport rivalry]. dunareabatrana.ro. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  23. ^ "FC Oţelul – Dacia Unirea 0–1. Lovitură de Muscă în prelungiri. Brăilenii îşi iau revanşa şi câştigă întâlnirea retur a derby-ului Dunării de Jos". liga2.prosport.ro. 25 November 2015. Archived from the original on 24 July 2021. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  24. ^ "Oţelul domină, dar pierde în prelungiri derbiul Dunării de Jos. "Suntem toţi nişte tâmpiţi"" [Oțelul dominated, but lost the derby of the Lower Danube. "We are all stupid"]. liga2.prosport.ro. 26 November 2015. Archived from the original on 5 August 2021. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  25. ^ "Fanii Oţelului au devastat un autocar al suporterilor echipei Poli Iaşi" [Oţelul fans devastated a bus of Poli Iaşi supporters]. ziare.com. Archived from the original on 11 June 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  26. ^ "Istoric al rivalităţii dintre Oţelul şi FC Vaslui" [The History of the rivalry between Oţelul and FC Vaslui]. dunareabatrana.ro. Archived from the original on 20 November 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  27. ^ The UEFA Intertoto Cup: Past Winners. Listed are all 11 teams that won the Intertoto Cup, qualifying for the UEFA Cup.
  28. ^ "Echipa". SC OTELUL GALATI. 9 September 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2023.
  29. ^ "SC OTELUL GALATI" (in Romanian). Liga Profesionistă de Fotbal. Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  30. ^ "Hotărârile AG Extraordinare din 2 aprilie 2024" [The decisions of the Extraordinary General Assembly of April 2, 2024] (in Romanian). ASCOtelul.ro. 3 April 2024. Retrieved 3 April 2024.
  31. ^ "SC Oțelul Galați" [SC Oțelul Galați] (in Romanian). LPF.ro. 7 October 2023. Retrieved 7 October 2023.
  32. ^ "Ei sunt "Străjerii" pentru Superligă" [They are the "Guards" for the Super League] (in Romanian). ASCOtelul.ro. 14 July 2023. Retrieved 17 July 2023.
  33. ^ "Staff" [Staff] (in Romanian). ASCOtelul.ro. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2023.
  34. ^ "Bun venit, Dorin Toma!" [Welcome, Dorin Toma!] (in Romanian). ASCOtelul.ro. 2 October 2023. Retrieved 7 October 2023.

External links[edit]