The Romanian Left Back
The Italian dominance is in their solid defence. This man wasn’t an Italian, but is known for his solid defensive ability. 6 times league winner , this left back was pillar of the team. He is Cristian Chivu. One of the greatest defender the world has ever seen.
Early Life :
Cristian Chivu is a retired left back, born on 26 October 1980 in Reşiţa, Romania.
Club Career :
Christian’s professional career started in 1996 after he had graduated from CSM Reşiţa youth academy and signed a professional contract with the club. The young footballer played with the Romanian club for two seasons scoring 2 goals in 25 appearances.
In 1998 Chivu joined Universitatea Craiova. He was guaranteed a permanent spot in the starting 11 which was very important for the young defender. Cristian made 34 appearances and scored 3 goals for the Romanian club.
Following a successful season at Universitatea Craiova Cristian received a lot of interesting offers from top European clubs. AFC Ajax’s offer was the most profitable and Chivu accepted it. During 4 seasons at Ajax Cristian was a regular in the starting lineup except during periods when he was injured or disqualified. For 4 seasons at the Dutch club Cristian Chivu made 142 appearances and scored 13 goals.
In 2003 Chivu caught the eye of top European clubs that wanted to acquire such a reliable defender. In the summer of 2003 Cristian signed a long-term contract with A.S.Roma. For 4 years at the Giallorossi Chivu didn’t become a key player of the starting lineup but was quite frequently allowed to start matches. Cristian made 123 appearances and scored 6 goals for Roma.
In 2007 Cristian transferred to Internazionale. The head coach periodically put Chivu in the starting lineup as a key defender. From 2007 the Romanian defender made 168 appearances and netted 3 goals for the Nerazzurri. In March 2014 Chivu, who had been suffering from injuries, retired from professional football. He scored 27 times in his humongous 363 match career.
International Career :
In 1999, Chivu was chosen to represent the Romania national under-21 team and quickly made the step up to play for the full side. He represented his country at both UEFA Euro 2000 and Euro 2008. Despite being capped only four times prior to the Euro 2000, he started all four matches and scored his first international goal.
Cristian was named Romanian Footballer of the Year in 2000, 2002, 2009 and 2010. From 1999 to 2011 Cristian Chivu played for Romania national team scoring 3 goals in 73 matches.
Personal Life :
Chivu can speak Italian, Dutch, Spanish and English as well as his native Romanian.
He is currently married to Adelina Elisei. According to Calcio Italia magazine, Chivu has been involved in opening football schools around Romania for the past few years, and he said “I hope that he is proud when he looks down on me” in reference to his late father, who was a footballer and youth coach.
On 12 February 2009, Chivu’s wife Adelina gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Natalia.
Everdisie (1): 2001–02
Dutch Cup (1): 2001–02
Dutch Supercup (1): 2002
Coppa Italia (1): 2006–07
Serie A (3): 2007–08, 2008-09, 2009–10
Coppa Italia (2): 2009–10, 2010–11
Supercoppa Italiana (1): 2010
UEFA Champions League (1): 2009–10
FIFA Club World Cup (1): 2010
Dutch Golden Shoe: 2002
AFC Ajax Player of the Year: 2001, 2003
Romanian Footballer of the Year: 2002, 2009, 2010
UEFA Team of the Year: 2002
Marco van Basten Award: 2000
He was physical in playmaking and his headband was the trademark in his Inter Milan career. Big giants like Barcelona and Real Madrid were involved in tug of war to sign him. Today is his 37th Birthday. Happy Birthday !