Romanian football is mourning the loss of one of its most renowned players, former national team captain Costică Ștefănescu, who has passed away at the age of 62.
Born in Bucharest on 26 March 1951, Ștefănescu spent the first years of the career at FC Steaua București for whom he made his debut on 1 June 1969. In 1973, he moved to FC Universitatea Craiova, where he enjoyed a successful 13 years, becoming captain and one of the club’s icons, and he finished his playing days with a two-year spell at FCM Brașov between 1986 and 1988.
He won three championship titles and four Romanian Cups with, who he helped reach the 1982/83 UEFA Cup semi-final, and a further Romanian Cup for Steaua. Ștefănescu played 490 first-division matches – the second highest number in Romanian football history - as well as 53 matches in the European club competitions. He won 64 caps for Romania, and captained his country on 43 occasions, including at the UEFA European Championship final tournament in France in 1984.
As a coach, Ștefănescu had spells at a number of top-flight clubs in Romania, including Steaua, ACS Poli Timișoara, FC Astra - and served as assistant coach of the national team from 1994 to 1998, before spending a number of years coaching abroad.
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