Claudiu Niculescu

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Claudiu Niculescu
Claudiu Niculescu (crop).jpg
Personal information
Full name Claudiu Iulian Niculescu
Date of birth (1976-06-23) 23 June 1976 (age 46)
Place of birth Slatina, Romania
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Position(s) Striker
Team information
Current team
1599 Șelimbăr (manager)
Youth career
1982–1994 CSȘ Slatina
Senior career*
1994–1995 Jiul IELIF Craiova 29 (5)
1995–1996 Drobeta-Turnu Severin 20 (15)
1996–1997 Electroputere Craiova 48 (31)
1998–2001 Universitatea Craiova 93 (41)
2001–2002 Dinamo București 30 (20)
2002–2003 Genoa 13 (3)
2003–2007 Dinamo București 123 (69)
2008 MSV Duisburg 17 (4)
2008 Omonia 8 (1)
2009–2010 Dinamo București 38 (8)
2010–2012 Universitatea Cluj 42 (18)
International career
2000–2007 Romania 8 (0)
Managerial career
2010 Universitatea Cluj (player-manager)
2012 Universitatea Cluj (player-manager)
2012 Bihor Oradea
2013 Damila Măciuca
2013–2014 CSM Râmnicu Vâlcea
2014–2015 CS Mioveni
2017–2018 Voluntari
2018 Dinamo București
2019 Al-Tai
2020 CS Mioveni
2021–2022 Concordia Chiajna
2022 Politehnica Iași
2022– 1599 Șelimbăr
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Claudiu Iulian Niculescu (born 23 June 1976) is a Romanian football coach and former striker. He is currently the manager of Liga II side CSC 1599 Șelimbăr. [1]


Club career

"Claudiu is one of the strikers with the highest qualities I have ever met."

–José Ramón Alexanko, former Universitatea Craiova manager [1]

Claudiu Niculescu was born in Slatina and started playing football at the youth club CSȘ Slatina, alongside Ionel Dănciulescu, Ionuț Luțu and Augustin Chiriță, being coached by Ion Pârvulescu. [2] [3] [4] He started his senior career playing at Jiul IELIF Craiova in Divizia B, after which he played for one season for Drobeta-Turnu Severin in Divizia C, returning for the following one season and a half to play in Divizia B at Electroputere Craiova. [1] [2] Niculescu made his Divizia A debut on 1 March 1998, playing for Universitatea Craiova under Spanish coach José Ramón Alexanko in a 2–1 victory against Petrolul Ploiești in which he scored one goal. [1] [2] He spent three years and a half at Universitatea Craiova, scoring 41 goals in 93 Divizia A matches, appearing in two games without scoring in the 2000–01 UEFA Cup and also reaching two Cupa României finals. [2] [5] [6] In his first season with Dinamo Bucharest, he won the Divizia A title and was the second top-goalscorer of the league with 15 goals. [2] [7] In 2002 Niculescu was transferred to Genoa in Serie B. [2] After a half of season, Niculescu returned to Dinamo Bucharest, winning the championship title in the 2003–04 season, contributing with 16 goals scored in 28 matches. [2] In the 2004–05 season he scored 21 goals, sharing with Gheorghe Bucur the top goalscorer of Divizia A title, forming a couple in Dinamo's offence with Ionel Dănciulescu, the Romanian press calling them the "N&D couple", a nickname inspired from the first letters of their family name and the Romanian pop band "N&D". [2] [7] [8] [9] [10] In the 2006–07 season, Niculescu won another championship title with Dinamo and became the top scorer of the league with 18 goals, four of these were scored in a 4–1 against rivals Rapid Bucharest and two in a 4–2 victory in a derby against Steaua Bucharest. [2] [7] [11] [12] He was the second best goal-scorer in the 2006–07 UEFA Cup with eight goals, three less than Espanyol's Walter Pandiani, helping The Red Dogs reach the sixteenths-finals where they were eliminated by Benfica. [13] [14] He played 43 matches and scored 18 goals for Dinamo in European matches, being the player with the most matches played and top scorer in European competitions for the club. [15] In January 2008, Niculescu was transferred by Dinamo at MSV Duisburg for 700.000€, where he was teammate with fellow Romanians Mihai Tararache and Iulian Filipescu, playing 15 Bundesliga matches in which he scored 4 goals, but at the end of the season he was transferred in Cyprus at Omonia. [2] [16] [17] [18] In 2009 he returned for a third spell at Dinamo which lasted one year and a half, after which he went to play for two seasons at Universitatea Cluj where he ended his playing career. [2] [19] [20] [21] Niculescu was a striker skilled in free kicks, being nicknamed "Lunetistul" (The Sniper) by the Romanian press. [22] Claudiu Niculescu is 11th in an all-time ranking for the goalscorers in Liga I, with 156 goals scored in 326 matches played. [2] [22]

International career

Claudiu Niculescu played 8 games at international level for Romania, making his debut when coach László Bölöni sent him on the field in order to replace Marius Niculae in the 81st minute of a friendly which ended with a 2–1 victory against FR Yugoslavia. [23] [24] He also played two games at the 2006 World Cup qualifiers and one at the Euro 2008 qualifiers. [23]

Career statistics



Coaching career

His first experience as a coach was in November 2010 for two matches at Universitatea Cluj, where he was at the same time an active player. [25] His second experience as a coach started in March 2012 which was also at Universitatea Cluj and also being in the same time an active player. [26] In 15 games under his command, the club won four games, draw in six and lost five. Niculescu resigned after the first game of the 2012–13 season, a loss at Pandurii Târgu Jiu: 6–2. [27]

On 25 September 2012, Niculescu was installed as the head coach of Liga II team Bihor Oradea with an objective to help the team promote to the first division. [28] In December, Niculescu ended his contract, after only eight games (two wins, three draws and three losses). [29]

In January 2013, Niculescu took over Damila Măciuca, in Liga II. [30]

September 2018, Niculescu was appointed coach of Dinamo București, following the dismissal of Florin Bratu. He signed a contract until 2020. [31]

On 7 January 2021, Niculescu signed a contract with Liga II side Concordia Chiajna. [32]

Managerial statistics

Updated as of 7 May 2021 [33]
Flag of Romania.svg Universitatea Cluj 9 November 201018 November 2010201114000.00
Flag of Romania.svg Universitatea Cluj 5 March 201227 July 2012154652323026.67
Flag of Romania.svg FC Bihor 11 September 201213 December 2012113441820027.27
Flag of Romania.svg Damila Măciuca 10 January 201329 June 201312822227066.67
Flag of Romania.svg CSM Râmnicu Vâlcea 5 August 201327 April 20142510782923040.00
Flag of Romania.svg CS Mioveni 7 July 201419 October 2015452211126440048.89
Flag of Romania.svg FC Voluntari 3 April 201714 April 2018471613184857034.04
Flag of Romania.svg FC Dinamo Bucuresti 24 September 201813 October 2018311133033.33
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg Al-Tai 15 June 201930 October 2019115151311045.45
Flag of Romania.svg CS Mioveni 2 March 202027 October 2020175751110029.41
Flag of Romania.svg Concordia Chiajna 8 January 2021present11542116045.45

Personal life

Claudiu Niculescu's brothers Mihai and Dragoș and his cousin Ovidiu were footballers in the Romanian lower leagues. [3] [34] His father Marin was a football coach in the Romanian lower leagues. [3] [34] In 1998 he married Lidia and they had together two kids, Alexandru and Rebecca. [35] [36] They divorced in 2006. [36] [37] In June 2007, he married Diana Munteanu who was a TV host, their wedding was considered the wedding of the year by the Romanian press. [38] Together they had a son named David Cristian. [38] [39] Claudiu and Diana divorced in 2014. [40]



Universitatea Craiova

Dinamo București




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  1. 1 2 3 4 "Claugol:"Pune-mi zidul şi dau şi acum gol din lovitură liberă!"" [Claugol: "Put a wall and I'm still scoring from a free kick!"] (in Romanian). 11 July 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Claudiu Niculescu at (in Romanian)
  3. 1 2 3 "Slatina: Fraţii Niculescu se luptă cu tatăl lor pentru promovare" [Slatina: Brothers Niculescu are fighting with their father for promotion] (in Romanian). 3 October 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  4. "Antrenorul care a descoperit cuplul N&D dezvăluie: "Niculescu şi Dănciulescu erau stelişti pînă în măduva oaselor"" [The coach who discovered the N&D couple reveals: "Niculescu and Dănciulescu were Steaua fans to the bone"] (in Romanian). 15 March 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
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  8. "Antrenorul care a descoperit cuplul N&D dezvăluie: "Niculescu şi Dănciulescu erau stelişti pînă în măduva oaselor"" [The coach who discovered the N&D couple reveals: "Niculescu and Dănciulescu were Steaua fans to the bone"] (in Romanian). 15 March 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  9. "EXCLUSIV VIDEO Dezvăluiri la GSP Live. Care a fost secretul faimosului cuplu N&D: "Ne simțeam, nu trebuia să vorbim, nu trebuia să ridicăm privirea"" [VIDEO EXCLUSIVE GSP Live Disclosures. What was the secret of the famous N&D couple: "We felt each other, we didn't have to talk, we didn't have to look up at each other"] (in Romanian). 29 April 2020. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  10. "Ce atac la CLUJ! N&D canta din nou: Danciulescu negociaza cu U Cluj!" [What an attack at CLUJ! N&D sings again: Danciulescu negotiates with U Cluj!] (in Romanian). 22 July 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  11. "Rapid 1-4 Dinamo, 4 goluri Niculescu" [Rapid 1-4 Dinamo, 4 goals Niculescu] (in Romanian). 22 April 2007. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  12. "Cel mai frumos derby din cariera lui Claudiu Niculescu:"Am dat două goluri"" [The most beautiful derby in Claudiu Niculescu's career:"I scored two goals"] (in Romanian). 7 April 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  13. "Claudiu Niculescu, in topul golgheterilor Cupei UEFA" [Claudiu Niculescu, in the top of the goalscorers of the UEFA Cup] (in Romanian). 17 May 2007. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  14. "Claudiu Niculescu - pe locul 2 in Cupa UEFA" [Claudiu Niculescu - second place in the UEFA Cup] (in Romanian). 17 May 2007. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  15. 1 2 3 "VIDEO+FOTO Claudiu Niculescu, legenda vie a lui Dinamo, împlinește azi 43 de ani! 15 borne ale unei cariere de excepție: cifre UNICE în atacul "câinilor" + momente memorabile, în teren și pe bancă" [VIDEO + PHOTO Claudiu Niculescu, the living legend of Dinamo, turns 43 today! 15 milestones of an exceptional career: UNIQUE figures in the attack of the "dogs" + memorable moments, on the field and on the bench] (in Romanian). 23 June 2019. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  16. "Claudiu Niculescu a semnat un contract pana in iunie 2009 cu MSV Duisburg" [Claudiu Niculescu signed a contract until June 2009 with MSV Duisburg] (in Romanian). 30 January 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  17. "Clau-gol la Duisburg" [Clau-goal at Duisburg] (in Romanian). 29 January 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  18. "Claudiu Niculescu a semnat cu Omonia Nicosia" [Claudiu Niculescu signed with Omonia Nicosia] (in Romanian). 22 July 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  19. "Niculescu s-a întors: "Sînt fericit dar voi fi şi mai şi cînd voi semna cu echipa mea de suflet" :)" [Niculescu came back: "I am happy but I will be even more so when I sign with the team of my soul" :)] (in Romanian). 6 December 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  20. "Claudiu Niculescu a fost prezentat oficial la Dinamo si va avea numarul 99 pe tricou" [Claudiu Niculescu was officially presented at Dinamo and will have the number 99 on his shirt] (in Romanian). 9 December 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  21. "Claudiu Niculescu s-a transferat la "U" Cluj" [Claudiu Niculescu transferred to "U" Cluj] (in Romanian). 21 July 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  22. 1 2 "S-a retras "Lunetistul" » 10 repere din cariera lui Claudiu Niculescu" ["The sniper" retired »10 landmarks from Claudiu Niculescu's career] (in Romanian). 24 September 2012.
  23. 1 2 "Claudiu Niculescu". European Football. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  24. "Romania - Yugoslavia 2:1". European Football. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  25. "Claudiu Niculescu, la primul antrenament ca interimar la "U" Cluj! "Sunt capabil să-mi mobilizez colegii"" (in Romanian). 14 March 2012.
  26. "Claudiu Niculescu este noul antrenor al lui "U" Cluj" (in Romanian). 14 March 2012.
  27. "Niculescu a demisionat de la U Cluj: "Am fost jignit"" (in Romanian). 23 July 2012.
  28. "Claudiu Niculescu a ajuns la Oradea şi a condus primul antrenament la FC Bihor" (in Romanian). 25 September 2012.
  29. "FC Bihor s-a despărţit de antrenorul Claudiu Niculescu" (in Romanian). 13 December 2012.
  30. "Claudiu Niculescu, antrenor principal" (in Romanian). 3 January 2013. Archived from the original on 16 April 2013.
  31. Apostol, Eduard; Gafiuc, Justin; Vrînceanu, Victor (23 September 2018). "GALERIE FOTO OFICIAL Niculescu a semnat cu Dinamo! Staff-ul noului antrenor, detaliile contractului, imagini de la RIN". Gazeta Sporturilor (in Romanian). Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  32. "Bun venit, Claudiu Niculescu". (in Romanian). 8 January 2021.
  33. 1 2 3 Claudiu Niculescu at Soccerway
  34. 1 2 "Fraţii lui Niculescu din Liga a III-a: "Claudiu, hai acasă!"" [Niculescu's brothers from the Third League: "Claudiu, come home!"] (in Romanian). 2 October 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  35. "Claudiu Niculescu, parasit de sotie" [Claudiu Niculescu, left by his wife] (in Romanian). 12 February 2004. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  36. 1 2 "Iată ce frumoasă s-a făcut Lidia, fosta soţie a lui Claudiu Niculescu!" [Look how beautiful is Lidia, Claudiu Niculescu's ex-wife!] (in Romanian). 26 December 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  37. "EXCLUSIV Fosta soție a lui Claudiu Niculescu face eforturi uriașe ca să-şi poată creşte copiii" [EXCLUSIVE The former wife of Claudiu Niculescu makes huge efforts to raise her children] (in Romanian). 23 January 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  38. 1 2 "Totul despre relaţia şi căsnicia dintre Claudiu şi Diana Niculescu" [Everything about the relationship and marriage between Claudiu and Diana Niculescu] (in Romanian). 16 September 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  39. "S-au înţeles în privinţa copilului, nu şi la bani. Diana Munteanu și Claudiu Niculescu au probleme în a împărți averea EXCLUSIV" [They agreed upon the child, but upon not the money. Diana Munteanu and Claudiu Niculescu have trouble splitting their wealth EXCLUSIVELY] (in Romanian). 5 July 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  40. "Claudiu Niculescu, despre despărţirea de Diana Munteanu: "Am divorţat pentru că..."" [Claudiu Niculescu, about the separation from Diana Munteanu: "We divorced because ..."] (in Romanian). 12 February 2018. Retrieved 1 July 2019.