Contra in 2018
|Full name||Cosmin Marius Contra|
|Date of birth||15 December 1975|
|Place of birth||Timișoara, Romania|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position(s)||Right back, midfielder|
|2004–2005||→ West Bromwich Albion (loan)||5||(0)|
|2005||→ Politehnica Timișoara (loan)||14||(0)|
|2005–2006||→ Getafe (loan)||24||(0)|
|2010||→ Politehnica Timișoara (loan)||13||(3)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Cosmin Marius Contra (Romanian pronunciation: [kosˈmin ˈmari.us ˈkontra] ; born 15 December 1975) is a Romanian football manager and former player.
Primarily an offensive-minded right back, he was also deployed as a midfielder. He played professionally in three countries his own notwithstanding, mainly Spain where he appeared for Alavés, Atlético Madrid and Getafe, amassing La Liga totals of 188 games and eight goals. A Romania international for nearly 15 years, he represented the nation in two European Championships.
As a coach, Contra won the Cupa României with Petrolul Ploiești in 2013 and the Cupa Ligii with Dinamo București four years later. In September 2017, he was appointed at the helm of the Romania national team.
Born in Timișoara, Contra started his professional career at local FC Politehnica, and moved in January 1996 to FC Dinamo București.
After three and a half seasons with the Bucharest-based team, he was transferred for $800.000 to Spain's Deportivo Alavés,where he was an important part in the Basque side's runner-up run in the UEFA Cup, his performances earning him in a place in the season's UEFA Team of the Year; he also scored five La Liga goals during his spell.
In the summer of 2001, Contra moved to Italian club A.C. Milan, but his spell there lasted only one season. In September 2002 he returned to Spain and signed with Atlético Madrid,appearing very rarely in the 2003–04 campaign due to a serious ankle condition; while still with Milan, he was suspended after a scuffle with Juventus FC's Edgar Davids.
Contra signed for West Bromwich Albion on loan in August 2004,making his debut in a 1–2 defeat at Colchester United in the second round of the Football League Cup on 21 September. His maiden Premier League appearance occurred almost two months later, when they lost 2–1 at home against Middlesbrough.
Overall, the loan was not particularly successful, with Contra playing just six games and receiving a red card in his last match, a 0–5 home defeat to Liverpool.He then returned to his country and Liga I, at the club which brought him up as a player, Politehnica Timișoara, where he managed to be recalled to the national side due to his good performances.
Contra returned to Spain in August 2005, agreeing to a season-long loan with Getafe CFwhich was subsequently made permanent (he was supposed to have arrived at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez before, but the move was blocked because the squad had too many non-EU players, and his compatriot Gheorghe Craioveanu only ceased to be considered a foreigner the same year). He was used regularly by the Madrid outskirts side, battling for a first-team slot with David Cortés.
In the 2007–08 UEFA Cup, Contra netted in both legs of the quarter-final tie against FC Bayern Munich, which ended in a 4–4 aggregate elimination after extra time.Earlier in the competition, he scored a penalty kick against AEK Athens FC, appearing in that match even though his father had died just hours before.
In late January 2010, after being ousted from the starting XI by manager Míchel, Contra left Getafe and returned to his country, rejoining hometown's FC Timișoara initially until June.On 26 February he made his debut in his second spell for the club, scoring from a 30-yard free kick in the last minute of the 2–1 victory over FC Politehnica Iași. Two months later, at FC Steaua București, he again found the net from two set pieces, one from a penalty (3–3 draw); during his second stint, he played mainly as a central midfielder.
On 29 August 2010, Contra scored again from a free kick and again against Steaua, in a late 1–1 equaliser.His contract expired the following day, and on 9 September he agreed to a new deal, being announced as new player-coach six days later.
Over 14 years, Contra earned 73 caps for Romania, scoring seven goals. He appeared for his country at UEFA Euro 2000 and 2008;on 16 October 2002, he scored a hat-trick in a 7–0 win away to Luxembourg in qualification for Euro 2004.
On 1 April 2009, after a match with Austria, Contra announced his retirement from international football. On 30 August 2010, however, the 34-year-old was recalled for two Euro 2012 qualifiers against Albania and Belarus.
Contra made his Timișoara debut as a manager in September 2010, with a win against FC Sportul Studențesc București.Even though the team never lost a game under his guidance, he was sacked after 11 matches – six wins, five draws – because of a conflict with the club's owner.
Contra returned to Spain in July 2012, being appointed at Segunda División B side CF Fuenlabrada.He started the campaign well and, after ten rounds, the team found themselves in a play-off position; however, after an offer from FC Petrolul Ploiești in his homeland arrived, he asked to be released from his contract.
Contra took over at Petrolul in October 2012, replacing Mircea Rednic. In his first season he reached the final of the Romanian Cup, defeating CFR Cluj 1–0;additionally, the club finished third in the domestic league, thus securing qualification to the Europa League after an 18-year-absence.
Petrolul managed to knock-out Víkingur Gøta in the Europa League second qualifying round and Vitesse Arnhem in the third, but were eliminated in the play-offs by Swansea City after being bested 1–5 in Wales and winning 2–1 at home.
On 10 March 2014, Contra returned to Getafe and the Spanish top flight after four years, replacing Luis García who was fired after a long run of bad results which led the team to only a point above the relegation zone, and without a league win since November.His first match in charge came four days later, a 3–3 home draw against Granada CF; they finally won a game on the penultimate day of the month, emerging victorious at Valencia CF 3–1.
On 19 May 2014, Contra confirmed survival for the side after a 2–1 win away win over Rayo Vallecano.
On 18 December 2014, Contra was named as the new manager of Guangzhou R&F FC, replacing Sven-Göran Eriksson.He began working officially for the club on 4 January of the following year.
On 15 June 2016, Contra was appointed at AD Alcorcón.He was relieved of his duties on 12 October.
In February 2017, Contra became Dinamo Bucharest's new coach.He led the team to their first trophy in five years by winning the Cupa Ligii but, after advances from the Romanian Football Federation, he resigned from his post on 16 September.
On 17 September 2017, following Christoph Daum's dismissal, Contra was revealed as the new manager of Romania with the objective of qualifying for Euro 2020.His first game in charge was on 5 October, a 3–1 win in Ploiești against Kazakhstan for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
In November 2019, after the team could only finish in fourth place in the Euro 2020 qualifying phase behind Spain, Sweden and Norway, the Romanian Football Federation announced Contra would no longer continue on the bench.
Contra returned to Dinamo Bucharest in August 2020, signing a two-year contract.
|1||28 March 2001||Boris Paichadze, Tbilisi, Georgia||2–0||2–0||2002 World Cup qualification|
|2||14 November 2001||Ghencea, Bucharest, Romania||1–1||1–1||2002 World Cup qualification – Playoffs|
|3||16 October 2002||Josy Barthel, Luxembourg, Luxembourg||4–0||7–0||Euro 2004 qualifying|
|4||16 October 2002||Josy Barthel, Luxembourg, Luxembourg||5–0||7–0||Euro 2004 qualifying|
|5||16 October 2002||Josy Barthel, Luxembourg, Luxembourg||7–0||7–0||Euro 2004 qualifying|
|6||28 March 2007||Stadionul Ceahlăul, Piatra Neamț, Romania||2–0||3–0||Euro 2008 qualifying|
|7||6 June 2007||Dan Păltinișanu, Timișoara, Romania||2–0||2–0||Euro 2008 qualifying|
|Politehnica Timișoara||15 September 2010||5 December 2010||14||7||6||1||22||14||+8||50.00|
|Fuenlabrada||21 July 2012||29 October 2012||11||5||3||3||18||16||+2||45.45|
|Petrolul Ploiești||29 October 2012||10 March 2014||58||33||20||5||99||48||+51||56.90|
|Getafe||10 March 2014||4 January 2015||30||10||8||12||30||35||−5||33.33|
|Guangzhou R&F||4 January 2015||22 July 2015||30||9||7||14||37||45||−8||30.00|
|Alcorcón||15 June 2016||12 October 2016||11||4||3||4||6||9||−3||36.36|
|Dinamo București||16 February 2017||18 September 2017||28||15||7||6||41||24||+17||53.57|
|Romania||22 September 2017||18 November 2019||24||13||6||5||39||26||+13||54.17|
|Dinamo București||26 August 2020||Present||11||3||2||6||14||13||+1||27.27|
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