Ten Successful Romanians

1. Irina Nagy Klimovschi (1936-2001)


Medals

Gold at the WCh 1956, 1960 (11 players) and 1962 (7 players)

1960/1961 European Champions’ Cup winner with Stiinta Bucuresti

1963/1964 European Champions’ Cup winner with Rapid Bucuresti

Awards

All-Star goalkeeper WCh 1956 and 1960

Club teams

Progresul Targu Mures, Stiinta Bucuresti, Rapid Bucuresti

National team

136 caps (2 goals)

WCh 1956, 1960, 1962, 1965


2. Mariana Tirca (1962-)


Medals

1995/96 ChL winner with Podravka Koprivnica

Awards

All-Star playmaker WCh 1995

Club teams

Rulmentul Brasov, CS Stiinta Bucuresti, Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, Podravka Koprivnica, GAS Anagennisi Artas

National team

All-time top-scorer 335 caps (2043 goals)

WCh 1986, 1987, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1997

ECh 1996

Active

NO

* Interview with Tirca


3. Valentina Cosma (1963-)


Medals

1995/96 ChL winner with Podravka Koprivnica

Awards

Club teams

Terom Iasi, Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, Podravka Koprivnica, ESC Yutz Handbal

National team

All-time third top-scorer 322 caps (980 goals)

WCh 1986, 1987, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1999

ECh 1996

OG 2000

Active

NO


4. Luminita Dinu (1971-)


Medals

Silver at the WCh 2005

2000/2001 and 2002/2003 ChL winner with Krim Ljubliana

2001/2001 ChL winner with Kometal Skopje

2006/2007 CWC winner with Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea

Awards

All-Star goalkeeper ECh 2000 and WCh 2005

Club teams

Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, Krim Ljubljana, Kometal Skopje

National team

201 caps (9 goals)

WCh 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007

ECh 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008

OG 2000, 2008

Active

NO


5. Steluta Luca (1975-)


Medals

Gold at the Junior WCh 1995

Silver at the WCh 2005

2006/2007 CWC winner with Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea

Awards

Club teams

Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, Dossobuono Verona, Randers, FCK Copenhagen

National team

All-time second top-scorer 223 caps (1013 goals)

WCh 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007

ECh 1998, 2000, 2002

OG 2000

Active

NO


6. Simona Gogarla (1975-)


Medals

Gold at the Junior WCh 1995

Silver at the WCh 2005

Awards

Top-scorer of the ECh 2000

Club teams

CSS Focsani, Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, Krim Ljubljana, SD Itxako, Gyori ETO, Rulmentul Brasov, Rapid Bucuresti

National team

93 caps (455 goals)

WCh 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005

ECh 1998, 2000

Active

Coach of HCM Ramnicu Valcea

* Profile on Simona Gogarla


7. Carmen Amariei (1978-)


Medals

Gold at the Junior WCh 1995

Bronze at the Junior WCh 1997

2002/2003 EHF Cup Winner with ESBF Besançon

2004/2005 and 2006/2007 ChL winner with Slagelse

Awards

Top-scorer of the WCh 1999

Club teams

Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, ESBF Besançon, Randers, Slagelse, U Jolidon Cluj, Rulmentul Brasov, FCK Copenhagen, Viborg, Terom-Z Iasi, SCM Craiova

National team

All-time 4th top-scorer 182 caps (855 goals)

WCh 1999, 2001, 2003, 2009, 2011

ECh 1998, 2002, 2004, 2008

OG 2000, 2008

Active

NO


8. Cristina Varzaru (1979-)


Medals

Gold at the Junior ECh 1998

Gold at the Junior WCh 1999

Silver at the WCh 2005

Bronze at the ECh 2010

2005/2006, 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 ChL winner with Viborg

Awards

All-Star right winger Junior ECh 1998

All-Star right winger Junior WCh 1999

Top-scorer of the 2009/2010 ChL

Club teams

CSS Corabia, Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, Rapid Bucuresti, Viborg, CSM Bucuresti

National team

178 caps (493 goals)

WCh 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011

ECh 2000, 2002, 2004, 2010

OG 2000

Active

Plays for CSM Bucuresti (ROU)

* Profile on Cristina Varzaru


9. Valentina Ardean Elisei (1982-)


Medals

Gold at the Junior ECh 2000

Silver the  WCh 2005

Bronze at the ECh 2010

2006/2007 CWC winner with Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea

Awards

All-star left winger at the WCh 2005 and ECh 2008

Club teams

Universiteatea Remin Deva, Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, ZRK Knjaz Milos, HCM Baia Mare

National team

All-time fifth top-scorer 181 caps (735 goals)

WCh 2005, 2011, 2013

ECh 2004, 2008, 2010

OG 2008

Active

Plays for HCM Baia Mare (ROU)


10. Cristina Neagu (1988-)


Medals

Silver at the Youth ECh 2005

Bronze at the Youth WCh 2006

Bronze at the Junior ECh 2007

Bronze at the ECh 2010

2014/2015 ChL winner with Buducnost

Awards

MVP of the Youth ECh 2005

MVP and all-star left back Youth WCh 2006

All-Star left back Junior ECh 2007

IHF Rookie of the year 2009

Top-scorer and all-star left back ECh 2010

IHF World player of the year 2010

All-star left back ECh 2014

Nominated for the IHF World player of the year 2014

Top-scorer of the 2014/2015 ChL

Club teams

Rulmentul Brasov, Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, Buducnost Podgorica

National team

111 caps (455 goals)*

WCh 2007, 2009, 2013

ECh 2008, 2010, 2012

OG 2008

Active

Plays for Buducnost Podgorica (MNE)


Some thoughts…

  • Longest NT career: Cosma 1986-1999.
  • One player has won an international cup with every team: Dinu.
  • Except for Nagy, all players have played for Oltchim Valcea.
  • Two players have never won a European Cup: Gogarla and Neagu**.
  • Two players have never won an NT medal: Tirca and Cosma.

The five all-time national team top-scorers are on the list: Tirca, Luca, Cosma, Amariei and Elisei.

In listing the ten most successful Romanians in the history of women’s handball, I have taken into account international medals, awards and recognitions, as well as the players’ contribution to the national team in  goals scored and matches played. But let us not forget the difference between our times and the previous era of handball: the IHF award only exists since 1988, the European Championship was first played in 1994, youth competitions were implemented only a couple of decades ago. In short, contrary to the heydays of Romanian handball in the 1960s, today, our players get plenty of chances to stand out.

* Selections and goals of all players until 2012 according to FRH. ** Eventually, Neagu won the Champions League with Buducnost in 2015.

In Recognition Of European Bronze

The national team was awarded 100 000 € by the sponsor of the Romanian Handball Federation.  Heads of federations from other sports took part in the ceremony. The girls looked nice and shiny. Have a look!

Cristina Varzaru spent her holiday in Romania and will go back to Viborg in a week to start on her recovery.

Cristina Neagu was a noticeable absence. The organizers said they had delayed the event before in order to get all of them in Romania, at the same time. Good point taking into consideration their great achievement, but the effort was pointless since Neagu could not be present. Party at the palace and the Queen isn’t there…

More pics: GSP and Prosport

The Varzaru File

In sequel of the post on Alina Dobrin, I will make the insane attempt to sum up Cristina Varzaru.

Today

In May 2011, she gives an interview to Adevarul in which she confessess that she deeply admired Jane Kolding long before coming to Denmark. She then played against her on field, but did not have the courage to approach her.

She elaborates on the lessons she received from her former coaches. Her first coach, in Corabia, thought her defence; while in Valcea she developed her technique as a wing under Rosca’s guidance. She praises Macovei and Tarca for trusting in her and pushing her to the front stage.

She has particular respect for Dumitru Musi, the coach who took her to World and European Gold at Youth and Junior level. In 1999, in China, she was declared most complete player. I find it mind blowing that she made the all star team at 3 major competitions in a row, WCh 1997, ECh 1998 and WCh 1999.

She took part in 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2009 WCh and 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2010 ECh, not to forget the Sydney Olympics.

To Denmark

After moving to Denmark, in 2005, she received great reviews from the fans, as in the following posts from the handball123 forum. The reward for her work and courage came as Viborg won its first ChL trophy in 2006.

slagelsefan Oct 06, 2005 6:03 pm

I must say, forget Woo, Touray, Turey… Varzaru is playing absolutely fantastic, both in defence and in creative and effective attacking play. Very very nice.

Red and white Oct 06, 2005 7:17 pm

I totally agree! I had high hopes for Varzaru´s skills before she came to Viborg and she certainly haven´t disappointed me. I think I have seen her score 20-30 goals so far, but what is spectacular is that every single goal is different. (Help me out you Danes, how do you translate afslutnings repertoire?) Her technique is simply superb! Her defense is surprisingly good too. Very aggresseive with lots of steals, but she could use some more speed.

pics: http://www.sfh_rene.webbyen.dk

Silver in 2005

Her words after the semifinal against Hungary: “We were so stressed, because we wanted this victory badly. That is why there were so many mistakes and incoherent moves in our play. The final score and the victory are the most important things, tough! We fought from beginning to end, without conceding anything and we have reached the final.”

Commentator in 2007

An injury kept her out of the WCh in France. She then joined Radu Naum at the commentators’ desk. Here she is after the 1/4 against France: “I believe Romania has the power to win the gold medal. We know how to come back in the game. We no longer are the Romania that leaves the court with bowed head after endless extra times. The girls finish a match in the same way they start it, with enthusiasm. It would be a shame to miss on gold.”  Naum concludes in his dramatic fashion, as Cristina smiles at them being kicked out of the arena  “We end here our coverage from Paris Bercy which is now empty. We still hear the roar of the crowd, screaming HUTUPAN, HUTUPAN or ROMANIA, ROMANIA …”. Then the lights go down. What a great moment in Romanian television!!!

Back in Denmark

In 2009 and 2010 she makes the All Star Team of the Danish Championship.

In 2010 she becomes top scorer of ChL leaving us flashbacks of extraordinary executions, of dead angles she capitalized on, of imaginative passes and more toughness than we had expected. ” I have five or six goals left to score. I will try my best, but if we win the title and I don’t get to score at all, I will be the happiest person on earth.” she tells the Romanian press before the return match.

Bronze in 2010

Despite the injury, she was there, supporting her teammates, advising the wings how to shoot at Mortensen (seriously!) and delivering impeccably in interviews.

“It was hard to watch the girls from the stands. But in a way, it was also beautiful. I forgot about my injury, because they were more important, considering the effort we had spent together in training. I was sorry for not being on court but maybe this was the price I had o pay for the medal. (…) I would crave for Neagu in Viborg, because I know her and I know my club. I have been there for five years now and it feels great. In Viborg, I have learned how to smile and keep calm. I know now that some peace and quiet can substantially improve one’s achievements.” she stated for GSP.TV after she returned from Euros.

Noroc, Cristina!

La Grande Dame: Alina Dobrin

CSM Rapid finished third in the Romanian League. Today, I am celebrating their leading lady, Alina Dobrin. Any wings-addicted person like me, surely remembers the 1999 WC perfect LW-RW couple, Dobrin-Varzaru.

Here she is, winning against the silver medallist, U. Jolidon Cluj. She scores at 00:09, assists Avadanii at 00:25, scores again on second phase counter at 00: 50 and from central position at 01:09.

Celebration and coach’s words:

A united team that we started forging 5 years ago. But what no other team has and we do, is a leader and a coach on the court,  Alina Dobrin.

She was part of the 1994/1995 junior team. These girls were all going to be part of the senior NT at some point. They won gold at the 1995 Junior WC,  beating Denmark in the final. Some unforgetable names: Ildiko Kerekes, Cristina Mihai, Narcisa Lecusanu, Simona Gogarla, Carmen Nitescu, Carmen Amariei…

On senior level, she played at the 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2003 WC, at the 1998 and 2002 EC and at the 2000 OG.  She has 154 games and 418 goals for the NT.

She spent all her career in Rapid, took a break, and this year, she started playing for the newly promoted CSM Bucuresti.

With Rapid, she won the EHF Challenge Cup (EHF City Cup at that time) in 1999/2000, defeating Randers in the final. Other members of the team: Cristina Dogaru, Cristina Mihai, Nicoleta Gasca (just the names that would sound familiar to the youngest acro). Very interesting thing: the cup still is in Rapid’s showcase because the EHF had to produce a new one the next season, for the reinvented competition.

Rapid with Alina Dobrin, but also Cristina Varzaru and Aurelia Bradeanu, on board becomes national champion in 2002/2003.