Dan Petrescu

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Dan Petrescu is a former Romanian right back/winger who was born in Bucharest, Romania on 22nd December 1967. Petrescu began his career with Steaua Bucharest in the mid 1980s. He spent 1986/87 on loan at FC Olt. The following campaign he returned to Steaua and became an important part of the team that won the league title in 1988 and 1989. Petrescu also helped Steaua reach the 1988 European Cup semi-final and the 1989 European Cup final. He made his international debut in 1989, but missed out on the Romania squad for Italia 1990 through injury. Petrescu was as good as any fullback around. When he got forward he was equally adept at cutting inside or overlapping, but also remained strong defensively.

In 1991 Petrescu signed for newly promoted Serie A outfit Foggia. After two seasons with the Little Satans, Petrescu moved to Genoa, who he helped to an 11th place finish in 1993/94. The fullback enjoyed a successful 1994 World Cup, helping Romania reach the quarter-finals of the competition.

Trevor Francis took Petrescu to Sheffield Wednesday in August 1994. He adapted well to his new surroundings, and fitted in to Wednesday's passing side, which also included the likes of Chris Waddle and John Sheridan. He had a good 1994/95 season, and started the following campaign well too. His wife was unhappy in Sheffield however, and wanted a move to London, because it was easier to travel back to Bucharest from Heathrow.

Petrescu made his Chelsea debut against Leeds on 18th November 1995, the same team he faced in his final Sheffield Wednesday appearance. Petrescu settled in at The Bridge very quickly, and scored his first goal in a 1-0 win over title chasing Newcastle on 9th December 1995. He played a big part in Chelsea's successful 1996/97 season under Rudd Gullit. Petrescu helped the team to a 6th place Premier League finish, and also played in the FA Cup final win over Middlesbrough.

Petrescu's fine form continued into 1997/98. The Romanian netted 8 goals, as Chelsea achieved success at home and abroad. He picked up and League Cup winner's medal on 29th March, a final he helped the club reach with a goal in the semi-final victory over Arsenal. Chelsea also won the Cup Winners Cup over Stuttgart, although Petrescu was sent off towards the end of that one. Other highlights that campaign saw him net in thumping away wins at Tottenham and former club Sheffield Wednesday. He also bagged a double in a 7-1 win over Tromso.

Petrescu was part of the Romania squad that reached the last 16 of the 1998 World Cup. On June 22nd he got the better of his club teammate Graeme Le Saux, before firing in the winner against England. The former Sheffield Wednesday man picked up where he left off during 1998/99, playing a key role in Chelsea's 3rd place finish. In 1999/2000 he fell out with manager Gianluca Vialli, and was subsequently frozen out of the squad, missing the FA Cup final win over Aston Villa. His final appearance for the Blues came in a 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford on 24th April 2000, a match Petrescu scored in.

In July 2000 Petrescu moved back up north to join Bradford City. He made a fairly decent start at Valley Parade, scoring in a 1-1 draw against West Ham on 30th September 2000. It wasn't long before he was itching for a move away however, with Bradford struggling at the bottom of the Premier League.

On 12th January 2001 Petrescu linked up with his former Chelsea manager, signing for Southampton. He made his debut the following day in a 0-0 draw with Charlton. Petrrescu was in fine form in his first couple of months on the south coast. He scored the winner against Leicester in his second game for the club. Petrescu also netted in a 1-0 victory at Manchester City on 3rd March 2001. When Hoddle departed for Tottenham, Petrescu fell out of favour. He was completely frozen out by Stuart Gray at the start of the 2001/02 season, but made a return to the side on 24th October 2001 in Gordon Strachan's first game against Ipswich. Three days later he made his final appearance for Saints in a 2-1 loss at Fulham.

Petrescu returned to Romania in 2002/03, closing out his career with National Bucharest. His final appearance as a professional came on 31st May 2003, when National lost 1-0 in the Romanian Cup Final to Dinamo.

Petrescu went on to pursue a career in management in 2004. He had a short spell at Rapid Bucharest in October that year. He quickly found new employment with FC Sportul Studentesc Bucharest. Petrescu helped the newly promoted outfit to an impressive 7th place finish in 2004/05. He had them on track for a 4th place finish the following campaign before jumping ship to Wisla Krakow. Petrescu helped the Polish side to a 2nd place finish for 2005/06, but was sacked early into the following season due to poor results and player unrest.

Petrescu really made a name for himself as a coach at Unirea Urziceni, who he took over in 2006. He took the freshly promoted team to a 3rd place finish in 2006/07, resulting in UEFA Cup qualification. Two seasons later Petrescu guided unfancied Unirea to a remarkable Liga 1 title win, beating off competition from Romanian heavyweights Steaua Bucharest and Rapid Bucharest. The following term his team impressed in the Champions League, and were unlucky not to qualify for the knockout stages. Unirea hammered Rangers 4-1 at Ibrox and also secured a 1-0 win over Sevilla. Petrescu resigned as Unirea manager in December 2009.

On 28th December 2009 Petrescu signed a five year deal with Russian outfit Kuban Krasnodar. In his first season he won the Russian First Division, with Kuban conceding just 20 goals. Petrescu's men finished 6th in the Russian Premier League in 2011/12.