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CSA Steaua București

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Clubul Sportiv al Armatei Steaua București, commonly known as CSA Steaua București (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈste̯awa bukuˈreʃtʲ]), is a major multi-sports club based in Bucharest and run by the Ministry of National Defence. It is one of the most successful clubs in Romania along with Dinamo Bucharest, and among the most successful multi-sport clubs in Europe. Founded on 7 June 1947 as Asociația Sportivă a Armatei București (Army Sports Association Bucharest), the club changed its name several times before settling on to Steaua (English: The Star) in 1961.

CSA Steaua București
Full nameClubul Sportiv al Armatei Steaua București
  • Militarii (The Military Men)
  • Roș-albaștrii (The Red and Blues)
Founded7 June 1947
Colours               Red, Blue, White
PresidentBixi-Pompiliu Mocanu
WebsiteClub home page

Sections belonging to CSA Steaua București right now are Football, Rugby, Ice hockey (autonomous – Hochei Club Steaua Suki București), Handball, Water Polo, Basketball (only a youth section at present), Volleyball, Athletics, Swimming, Gymnastics, Boxing, Rowing, Canoe, Shooting, Weightlifting, Fencing, Tennis, Cycling, and Judo.



On 7 June 1947, at the initiative of several officers of the Romanian Army, the first Romanian sports club of the Army was born through a decree signed by General Mihail Lascăr, High Commander of the Romanian Royal Army. The club was to be called ASA București (Asociația Sportivă a Armatei BucureștiEnglish: Army Sports Association), with seven different sections (football, fencing, volleyball, boxing, shooting, athletics, tennis), and its leadership was entrusted to General-Major Oreste Alexandrescu. The decision had been adopted on the ground that several officers were already competing for different clubs, premise to a good nucleus for forming future competitive teams. This was also the year of the club's first national title, achieved by Gheorghe Viziru in tennis.

The trophy room
Stamp of CSA Steaua, 2007

As the Romanian Royal Army turned into the People's Army following the coup d'état at the end of 1947, which saw Romania transformed from a monarchy to a Communist inspired people's republic, several name changes carried on. On June 5, 1948, by Order 289 the Ministry of National Defence, ASA became CSCA (Clubul Sportiv Central al ArmateiEnglish: Central Sports Club of the Army), together with the society's first crest (an A-labeled red star, symbol of the Red Army, on a blue disc). In March 1950, CSCA changed its name to CCA (Casa Centrală a Armatei, English: "Central House of the Army"). In 1961, CCA changed its names for the final time to CSA Steaua București (Clubul Sportiv al Armatei SteauaEnglish: Army Sports Club Steaua). The name Steaua is Romanian for The Star and was adopted because of the presence, just like in any other Eastern-European Army team, of a red star (turned yellow now, to symbolize Romania's tri-colour red, yellow and blue flag) on their badge.

9 April 1974 witnessed the inauguration of the country's most modern sports complex at that time, Complexul Sportiv Steaua (Steaua Sports Complex), comprising a central football-use arena (30,000 capacity Stadionul Ghencea), six other training pitches also used by the rugby team and mini-hotel for the athletes. Today, Complexul Sportiv Steaua has been leased on a 49-year period to the football club, planning for renovation.

Over the years, the club's most successful sections on an international scale have been those of Handball (European champions twice), Football (European champions once), Volleyball, Gymnastics, Tennis, Athletics, Shooting, Fencing, Rowing and Canoe. Former tennis star Ilie Nastase began his professional career at the club.



The football section was one of the seven sections formed at CSA Steaua's foundation, on 7 June 1947. The team's big breakthrough came in 1986, when they managed to become the first ever European champions from an Eastern country by winning the European Champions Cup. Ever since, they became the most successful football team in the country, with an impressive roll of 21 National Championships, 20 Romanian Cups, 4 Romanian Super Cups, 1 European Champions Cup and 1 European Supercup. Steaua has the large majority of Romanian football fans, over 60% of the population listing Steaua as their favourite team.

The club's football department was once thought to have separated from CSA Steaua in 1998. This information was, however, false, as Tica Danilescu, a former club employee, revealed in 2017.[1] According to Danilescu, the nonprofit known as AFC Steaua București never bought the football department, as believed. It was just brought on as an administrator. It was allowed to use the Steaua brand and name, but it could not sell them. The team now known as Fotbal Club Fcsb pretended to be Steaua. However, it was not. And, after the Ministry of National Defense sued FC Fcsb in 2011,[2] claiming that the Romanian Army were the rightful owners of the Steaua logo, colours, honours and name, the Executive Committee of the Romanian Football Federation approved an application to modify the name of the club from "SC Fotbal Club Steaua București SA", as it was previously known, to "SC Fotbal Club FCSB SA" on 30 March 2017,[3][4] following more judiciary sentences and the decision to pay the CSA Steaua owners 38 million euros for the illegal use of their name.[citation needed]

CSA Steaua București had previously announced they would reactivate their football department in the summer of the same year.[5] The team started training in July 2017, with Marius Lăcătuș as head coach.[6] The team was introduced in the Liga IV.[7]


Steaua's most important rivalry is the one against Dinamo București. Eternul derby ("The Eternal Derby") has been the leading Romanian football encounter in the last 60 years, as Steaua and Dinamo are the two most successful football teams in the country. There have been more than 150 matches played so far between Steaua and Dinamo in the Romanian League, the Romanian Cup and also the Romanian Supercup.[8] With 39 titles combined (Steaua – 21; Dinamo – 18), the two sides have won 31 more than the third-most successful Liga I club, Venus București.[9] It is also a match between the former clubs of the Romanian Army (Steaua) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Dinamo). Several clashes between different factions of supporters have often occurred and still occur inside and outside the stadium. The heyday was reached before a match kick-off in 1997, when Dinamo's fans set a sector of Stadionul Ghencea's Peluza Sud, where they were assigned, on fire.[10]

The second-most important rivalry is with Rapid București. Several matches throughout the years between Steaua and Rapid have also ended in serious clashes between fans.[11] The conflict has become even fiercer after Steaua outpassed Rapid in an all-Romanian quarter-final of the 2005–06 UEFA Cup. The local sports newspapers said that the two teams were linked up in this quarter-final by the line of the number 41 tram which links the Ghencea Stadium to the Valentin Stănescu Stadium.

Milder and historical rivalries are also with non-Bucharest-based teams, such as Universitatea Craiova, Politehnica Timișoara, Petrolul Ploiești, CFR Cluj, Universitatea Cluj and a recent one with Astra Giurgiu.[12]


The Gymnastics department at Steaua is very strong. They're one of the largest clubs in Romania and have created World and Olympic level gymnasts. Gymnasts that they've created;

Sandra Izbasa – 2x Olympic Champion (London 2012, Vault and Floor) Alexandra Eremia – 2x Olympian Medalist (Athens 2004, Gold and Bronze) Silvia Stroescu – 1x Olympic Champion (Athens 2004, Team) Marian Drăgulescu – 3x Olympian Medalist (Athens 2004, Silver and Bronze twice), including eight gold medals at the World Championships and ten gold medals in the European Championships.

Handball (Men)Edit

The handball team Steaua MFA București won the European Cup in 1967–68 (13–11 vs Dukla Praha) and 1976–77 (21–20 vs CSKA Moskva) as well as the European Challenge Cup in 2005–06 (21–26 and 34–27 vs SC Horta). They were also runners-up three times in the European Cup in 1970–71 (16–17 vs VfL Gummersbach), 1973–74 (16–17 vs VfL Gummersbach) and 1988–89 (30–24 and 23–37 vs SKA Minsk). As of 2006, the club's full name is CSA Steaua MFA București, after their sponsor.

The team has also won the Romanian Handball Championship (in seven players) 27 times (1962–63, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1984–85, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1999–00, 2000–01), the Romanian Handball Championship (in eleven players) 7 times (1950, 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1961) and the Romanian Cup 7 times (1980–81, 1984–85, 1989–90, 1996–97, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2006–07).

They play their home matches at Lucian Grigorescu Sports Hall. The current head coach is Bogdan Tănase. The handball and ice-hockey teams are the fans' second favourite teams after the football one, and derby matches against HCM Constanța and especially Dinamo are highly attended.

Former players include such big names in the history of handball, as Ștefan Birtalan, Gheorghe Gruia, Cristian Gațu, Radu Voina, Vasile Stângă, Marian Dumitru and Alexandru Dedu.

Ice HockeyEdit

Steaua București Hockey founded an Ice Hockey section in 1951. Hochei Club Steaua Suki București has been an autonomous club since 2004, but still belongs to CSA Steaua. It is the most successful club in Romania, having won the domestic league 40 times, a standing world record for ice hockey national championships. They compete inside a national competition of only 6 teams and in which, besides them, only SC Miercurea Ciuc are especially relevant. Steaua plays SC Miercurea Ciuc in the final every year over a "best of 7" encounter. The derby match between Steaua and SC Miercurea Ciuc is the biggest ice hockey match in the country and one of an immense rivalry, as Steaua fans are mainly of Romanian nationality while Miercurea Ciuc's are mainly Hungarian.

The ice-hockey team, along with the handball one, are the fans' second favourite teams after the football one. They play their home matches at the Mihail Flamaropol Ice Rink. The current coach is Cam Severson.


The Steaua București rugby team has won the domestic league 24 times since 1947. Romanian rugby club teams do not participate in major European competitions because of the obvious value difference between them and the ones from the leading continental countries. Instead, a Romanian national rugby union team, consisting mainly of Steaua players, participates every year in the European Challenge Cup as București Rugby.

The team plays its home matches at Ghencea II Field, inside the Steaua Sports Complex, right next to the football Ghencea Stadium. The current coach is Costică Florea.

Basketball (Men)Edit

CSA Steaua founded the basketball team in 1952. The club won the Romanian Basketball Championship 21 times in 1955–56, 1957–58, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1965–66, 1969–70, 1977–78, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1983–84, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1988–89, 1989–90 and 1990–91. The team's most notable achievement is a semifinal run at the 1960–61 FIBA European Champions Cup.

After the Romanian Revolution, Baschet Club Steaua București was the first basketball club in Romania to turn private. However, after only few years it went bankrupt, and CSA Steaua operated only a youth club for basketball, under the name of Clubul Sportiv Școlar Steaua București (English: School Sports Club Steaua). However, this summer, BC Steaua București merged with BC Târgoviște and will play again in the first division, under the name BC Steaua Turabo București.

Volleyball (Men)Edit

Steaua were European Cup runners-up twice in 1969 (against CSKA Sofia) and 1979 (against Cervena Hvezda Bratislava) and Cup Winners' Cup runners-up three times in 1977 (against Elektrotechnika Riga), 1981 (against Cervena Hvezda Bratislava) and 1986 (against Panini Modena). They were Divizia A1 champions in 1951, 1952, 1954, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1960, 1971, 1978, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991.

Water PoloEdit

Even though the Romanian national team has had some outstanding performances lately, club water polo has only a minor word to say in international competitions. Steaua are one of the leading teams inside a national league with only four professional clubs, the rest being amateur. The team's official name is CSA Steaua Stirom București named after their sponsors.

Club RecordsEdit


Competitions   Gold   Silver   Bronze Total
Summer Olympic Games 30 35 35 100
World Championships 155 203 204 562
European Championships 285 329 396 1010
Universiade and World University Championships 58 39 43 140
World Cup and European Cups 73 80 84 237
CISM and Spartakiad 89 122 155 366
Balkan Games 1248 920 572 2740
Romanian Championships 11350 11350
Romanian Cups 982 982


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Steaua Bucharest change name to FC FCSB". Special Broadcasting Service. 31 March 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Deciziile Comitetului Executiv din 30 martie 2017" [The Executive Committee's decisions on March 30, 2017] (in Romanian). Romanian Football Federation. 30 March 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-03-31. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Becali a dezvăluit, în direct la Digi Sport, motivul pentru care de mâine echipa sa îşi va schimba numele" [Becali unveiled the reason why his team will change its name tomorrow] (in Romanian). Digi Sport. 29 March 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Şi-au pus antrenor, acum aduc jucătorii. Lăcătuş: "Până la jumătatea lunii iulie, vrem să începem pregătirea cu 25–26 de jucători"" [They named a head coach, now they bring players. Lăcătuş: "Until mid-July, we wish to start the training with 25–26 players"] (in Romanian). Pro Sport. 29 March 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  6. ^ "CSA Steaua a început pregătirea pentru noul sezon. Lăcătuș, Iovan, Ion și jucătorii au făcut poza de grup" [CSA Steaua started training for the new season. Lăcătuș, Iovan, Ion and the players took part in the group photo] (in Romanian). Dolce Sport. 14 July 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  7. ^ "AMFB a publicat programul primei etape din Liga 4! Adversarele steliștilor și rapidiștilor". Gazeta Sporturilor (in Romanian). 25 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Marele derby (the great derby)". Retrieved 2007-07-07.
  9. ^ "Romania – List of Champions". Retrieved 2007-08-11.
  10. ^ Dulamita, I., Dobre, F. & Popan, C. "Armatele de fanatici din spatele fotbalului". Retrieved 2007-06-14.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ "Rapid – Steaua / dusmanie nula". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2007.
  12. ^ "Lista completa cu derbyurile campionatului". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-07.
  13. ^ "Palmares general CSA Steaua București 1947 – 2016". Retrieved 16 March 2016.

Further readingEdit

  • Mihai Ionescu, Ion Cupen, Constelația valorilor sportive, Editura Militară, 1972.
  • Marin Ciuperceanu, Steliştii, Editura Militară, 1984.
  • Cristian Țopescu, Octavian Vintilă, Steaua performanţă şi prestigiu, Editura Militară, 1988.
  • CSA Steaua, Clubul Sportiv al Armatei 1947-2017 istoria continuă, CSA Steaua București, 2017.

External linksEdit

Official websites
Fan websites