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Constantin Galca

Constantin Galca
Complete Name: Constantin Galca
Nationality: Romanian
Place of Birth: Bucuresti, Romania
Date of Birth: 08/03/1972
Height: 179 cm
Weight: 72 kg
National Team: Romania
Current Club: UD Almeria (Spain)
Position: Central Midfielder


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Club career history

Steaua Bucuresti (Romania), Real Mallorca (Spain), Villarreal CF (Spain), UD Almeria (Spain)




Constantin Galca, (born March 8, 1972 in Bucharest) is a Romanian football (soccer) defensive midfielder. By the end of 2005, he had played 68 matches for his country, scoring four times. He has represented his country in the 1994 and 1998 World Cups, and in the 1994 and 2000 European Football Championships.

Galca's career began in the 1989-90 season for lowly Romanian First Division side, FC Arges, for whom he played four times towards the end of the season and soon broke into the Romanian Under-21 side at the age of 18. He impressed much more during the following season with Arges, being a consistent performer and scoring twice in thirty-one games. After that season, he made the switch to Romania's best-known club, Steaua Bucharest, who he apparently supported as a youngster. In his first season he managed to play in twenty-six matches, scoring five goals, including two memorable long-range strikes, which was something he became famous for. But as well as being able to hit decent shots from 20-35 yards, he was recognised as a battling, hard-working and influential player with neat passing abilities and strong tackling play. With good strength, anticipation, stamina, creativity, an eye for goal and an incredible amount of spirit and work rate, he was seen as a wonderful all-round midfield player.

At the time around 1993 (in his third season with Steaua), the 1994 USA World Cup qualifying games came into place. He made his international debut against Israel in a 1-0 win, aged 21. He played ten more times for his country in 1994, playing in three world cup matches against USA (The Hosts) in round one, in the round of sixteen in the famous win against Gabriel Batistuta and his Argentina side and he played in the unlucky quarter-final penalty shoot-out defeat against fellow Europeans Sweden, who featured Parma F.C.'s Thomas Brolin in their side.

He stayed at Bucharest until 1996 just after winning the Romanian Cup, when he moved to Spanish Premier side Real Mallorca. He went away from Romania as a Steaua Bucharest legend after 148 appearances and 24 goals for them. His stay at Mallorca was a short one, one season in fact (1996-97), he played 34 games and scored an impressive 13 goals. After that stint with Mallorca, he would move on to RCD Espanyol, where he would stay until 2001. The season considered to be his best with the Barcelona-based team was the 1999-2000 campaign, in which he played a massive part in the Spanish Cup-winning side. He appeared in 32 games and scored six times.

In the period after leaving Steaua Bucharest, he had featured in over forty more international games for Romania, playing in two successful qualification campaigns for the 1998 World cup in France, and the 2000 European Championships in the Netherlands and Belgium. He was in an insatiable central midfield partnership alongside F.C. Köln and later to be VFL Wolfsburg attacking midfielder Dorinel Munteanu. During the qualifications for the 1998 World Cup the Romanians were undefeated in their ten matches while drawing just once. They scored a remarkable 37 goals, of which Galca scored two, and conceded just four. They were drawn in group G, which included Tunisia, Colombia and England. Romania got through to the second round after winning their group in which they drew once and won twice, including a late 2-1 win against England. In the second round, Constantin and his team-mates were beaten by a surprise Croatia team, Davor Suker (who ended up as the tournament's top scorer) getting the goal that sealed the fate of Romania. Constantin played all four of these matches in what was an admirable display by his team. The story was much the same at the European Championships in 2000, Romania yet again played in the same group as England and beat them in another late show, and went to the quarter-finals against Portugal. Romania were knocked out by a very talented Italy side 2-0 in the quarter finals. And again Galca starred in every match, and was seen as a key figure in Romania's rise during this time.

Galca's stay at RCD Espanyol came to an end in the summer of 2001 when he signed for Villarreal CF, after playing 123 games and scoring 15 goals. In his first season with Villarreal, Constantin managed to cement a regular place within the side and he appeared 36 times, scoring just once. In the following campaign (2002-03), as well as falling out of favour in the team, injury hit Galca for the early stages of the season and after just three starts he was sent on loan to Real Zaragoza. He was a much appreciated player for the Aragón-based outfit, where he played 24 times, surprisingly with no goals to show for. At the end of that season, he was released by Villareal and was available on a free transfer; it was now clear that Constantin's best days were behind him.

But despite his woeful and perhaps untimely exit from the big stage, Constantin was given the opportunity to get back into the game by Spanish Second Division side UD Almeria, where he was still playing in 2005, and reportedly still performing to his best. Since moving to Almeira, he has got back into the Romainian national side for the first time since 2002.

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