Cristian Chivu (born October 26, 1980 in Resita, Romania) is a
Romanian footballer currently playing with AS Roma. He is an
influential defender despite his young age.
He first played football as a professional at CSM Resita and
later Universitatea Craiova, both being Romanian teams. While at
Universitatea Craiova, the Dutch giant Ajax Amsterdam took
notice and recruited him in 1999. In the same year, he was
chosen to represent Romania Under-20 team.
It was at Ajax when he developed a reputation as a reliable
back. The Ajax manager at that time, Ronald Koeman realized the
Romanian’s authority on the field and made him captain of the
team in 2001. Under Chivu captainship, Ajax dominated the Dutch
Eredivisie for a few years along with the contribution of other
sensational young Ajax players such as Rafael van der Vaart and
Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He has been instrumental in helping Ajax
making through to the respected UEFA Champions League quarter-finals
In 2003, Roma expressed interest in getting Chivu's service. At
first, there were a few dispute in the purchase. Roma had an
enormous debt and there was a possibility of Roma not being able
to pay the promised sum. Later, Roma failed to get a bank
guarantee before the transfer deadline. Eventually however, Roma
purchased the Romanian for €18 millions.