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Gabriel Popescu

Personal information
Full nameGabriel Popescu
Date of birth25 December 1973(age 42)
Place of birthCraiova, Dolj County, Romania
Height1.77 m (5 ft 9.7 in)
Playing positionMidfielder

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Gabriel Popescu (born 25 December 1973) is a Romanian former footballer.

Popescu went on to represent the Romanian national team 21 times and scored four goals, he was also capped 37 times for the U-21 side. The undoubted highlight of his international career was his appearances at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, where he played in all four Romanian matches, including their dramatic 2-1 victory over England.

Popescu began his career with Romanian side Universitatea Craiova, before moving to Spain where he played with three different La Liga clubs - UD Salamanca, Valencia CF and CD Numancia. After his Spanish spell he returned to Romania firstly with Dinamo Bucureşti before joining city rivals National Bucureşti. Popescu then joined Suwon Samsung Bluewings in June 2002, in a double deal that also saw Bosnian-born forward Slaviša Mitrović join the K-League club.

'Gabi', as he was known to Korean fans, made a great impression in the Suwon Samsung Bluewings midfield during his first season, scoring six times in his 24 appearances. He weighed in with another six strikes in the 2003 season to further endear himself to the Suwon Samsung Bluewings fans, but struggled with injury during the close season and was limited to a peripheral role during the first half of 2004.

Popescu was allowed to return to National Bucureşti on a 6 month loan deal in the summer of 2004, where he linked up again with Slaviša Mitrović. At the end of the year, Popescu completed a switch to Japanese side JEF United Ichihara Chiba.


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