Cornel Dinu (born 2 August 1948) is a Romanian retired professional footballer and manager who played as a sweeper or a defensive midfielder.

Cornel Dinu
Cornel Dinu 2.jpg
Personal information
Full name Cornel Dinu
Date of birth (1948-08-02) 2 August 1948 (age 74)
Place of birth Târgoviște, Romania
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Position(s) Sweeper, defensive midfielder
Youth career
1963–1965 Metalul Târgoviște
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1965–1966 Metalul Târgoviște
1966–1983 Dinamo București 454 (53)
National team
1968–1981 Romania 67 (3)
Teams managed
1983–1984 Dinamo București (assistant)
1984–1985 Dinamo București
1985–1987 CS Târgoviște
1987–1988 ASA Târgu Mureș
1988 Oțelul Galați
1989 Universitatea Cluj
1989–1990 Olt Scornicești
1992–1993 Romania
1996 Dinamo București
1998–2001 Dinamo București
2002–2003 Dinamo București
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

He started out his playing career at hometown club Metalul Târgoviște in 1965, and went on to spend the rest of his career at Dinamo București with which he won eight domestic trophies. Internationally, Dinu appeared in over 60 matches for the Romania national team and scored three goals. He was named the Romanian Footballer of the Year three times, in 1970, 1972 and 1974, and in the former year also finished on the 24th place in the Ballon d'Or voting.

After retiring as a player, Dinu coached Dinamo București on five occasions among other stints, initially in the role of an assistant. Between 1992 and 1993, he was at the helm of the Romania national team.

Club careerEdit

Cornel Dinu was born in Târgoviște to a Moldavian father from Bârlad who worked as a magistrate, lawyer and was a doctor of law and a Serbian mother from Târgoviște who worked as a economist.[1][2][3] He started to play football in 1963 at the junior teams of Metalul Târgoviște, making his debut for the senior team on 17 March 1965 in a 1–0 victory, in which he gave the assist of the goal against UTA Arad in the 1964–65 Cupa României, after being noticed by Rudolf Wetzer who was the counselor of head coach Gheorghe Nuțescu.[2][4][5] Dinu also played in the following game of the 1964–65 Cupa României in the quarter-finals against Dinamo București which ended with a 5–0 loss for Metalul where he was noticed by Dinamo's officials, later being brought there at the request of coach Traian Ionescu.[5]

Dinu debuted for Dinamo București in Divizia A under coach Traian Ionescu on 25 September 1966 in a 1–0 loss against Steagul Roșu Brașov.[6][7] He remained at Dinamo throughout his career, winning six Divizia A titles, a competition in which he made 454 appearances and scored 53 goals, also winning two Cupa României and playing 33 games in which he scored 3 goals in European competitions.[2][6][8][9] His last game played was a Divizia A match which took place on 18 June 1983 against Universitatea Craiova which ended 1–1.[6][9] During his period spent at Dinamo, he graduated the Faculty of Law at the University of Bucharest in 1972, which earned him the nickname "Procurorul" (The Prosecutor).[3][7][10][11]

Dinu won three times (1970, 1972, 1974) the Romanian Footballer of the Year award, also in 1970 along with Dinamo teammate Florea Dumitrache he was nominated for the Ballon d'Or.[2][7][8][9][12][13] In 1979, Dinu had an offer from Bayern Munich which he refused, choosing to stay in Romania.[14][15][16]

International careerEdit

Cornel Dinu played 67 matches and scored 3 goals for Romania (75/7 including Romania's Olympic team games), making his debut on 1 May 1968 under coach Angelo Niculescu in a friendly which ended 1–1 against Austria.[17][18][19] He played three games at the successful 1970 World Cup qualifiers, also being used by coach Angelo Niculescu in all the minutes of the three group matches from the final tournament as Romania did not advance to the next stage.[17] He played 9 matches at the 1972 Euro qualifiers, managing to reach the quarter-finals where Romania was defeated by Hungary, who advanced to the final tournament.[17] Dinu played a total of five matches at the 1974 World Cup qualifiers, including being captain in Romania's biggest ever victory, a 9–0 against Finland.[17][20][21] He also played in a 3–1 victory and a 1–1 against Greece at the 1973–76 Balkan Cup and he scored a goal in a 6–1 victory against Denmark at the Euro 1976 qualifiers where he played a total of five games.[17] Dinu made a appearance at the 1978 World Cup qualifiers, two appearances at the Euro 1980 qualifiers, making his last appearance for the national team on 15 April 1981 in a friendly which ended with a 2–1 loss against Denmark.[17]

For representing his country at the 1970 World Cup, Dinu was decorated by President of Romania Traian Băsescu on 25 March 2008 with the Ordinul "Meritul Sportiv" – (The Medal "The Sportive Merit") class III.[22][23]

International goalsEdit

Scores and results list Romania's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Dinu goal.[17]
List of international goals scored by Cornel Dinu
# Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 8 April 1972 Stadionul 23 August, Bucharest, Romania 27   France 2–0 2–0 Friendly
2 11 May 1975 Stadionul 23 August, Bucharest, Romania 49   Denmark 6–0 6–1 Euro 1976 qualifiers
3 12 October 1975 Stadionul 23 August, Bucharest, Romania 52   Turkey 2–2 2–2 Friendly

Managerial careerEdit

Cornel Dinu in 2009

After ending his playing career in 1983, Dinu became the assistant coach of Nicolae Dumitru at Dinamo București, managing to win the championship, the cup and reach the 1983–84 European Cup semi-finals.[3][7][9][11][24] The following season he started his career as head coach at Dinamo.[3][7][24] His biggest performances as manager were two championship titles and two cups with Dinamo, also a 1–0 victory against Juventus Torino while coaching Oțelul Galați in the first round of the 1988–89 UEFA Cup, however he lost the second leg with 5–0.[1][2][7][3][25] He also coached CS Târgoviște, ASA Târgu Mureș, Universitatea Cluj and Olt Scornicești, having a total of 218 matches as a manager in the Romanian top-division, Divizia A consisting of 118 victories, 35 draws and 65 losses.[1][2][3][7][9][26]

Cornel Dinu was also the head coach of Romania's national team from April 1992 until June 1993, having a total of 13 games (7 victories, 2 draws, 4 losses) including a 5–1 home victory against Wales and a 5–2 away loss against Czechoslovakia, both games at the 1994 World Cup qualifiers.[1][2][7][9][27]

After retirementEdit

After he retired from his playing and coaching football career, Dinu worked in various management positions at Dinamo București.[2][3][7][9][28] He was also guest at various radio and television shows, with football and cultural themes.[2][7] He received the Honorary Citizen of Târgoviște (2015) and Bucharest (2019) titles.[2][3]


Cornel Dinu wrote sports columns in the magazine "Flacăra" and the daily "Scânteia tineretului" during Romania's communist era, and after 1989 in the newspapers "Sportul", "Gazeta Sporturilor", "Dimineața", "Gândul", "Național", "Adevărul", "Cultura" and "Fanatik".[1][2][3][9] He also wrote a total of five volumes, two of them being about football and three autobiographical:[1][2][3][9][29][30][31]

  • Fotbal – Tactica astăzi (Football – The tactic of today) - co-written with Ion V. Ionescu (1977)
  • Fotbal – Concepția de joc (Football - The concept of the game) - co-written with Ion V. Ionescu (1982)
  • Zâmbind din iarbă (Smiling from the grass) - autobiographical novel (2007)
  • Jucând cu destinul (Playing with destiny) - autobiographical novel (2008)
  • Misterele lui Mister (The mysteries of Mister) - autobiographical novel (2019)



Dinamo București



Dinamo București


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Cornel Dinu" (in Romanian). Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Cornel Dinu" (in Romanian). Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Cariera lui Cornel Dinu. Fostul jucătorul și antrenor de fotbal și-a dedicat 40 de ani la Dinamo București" [Cornel Dinu's career. The former football player and coach dedicated 40 years to Dinamo Bucharest] (in Romanian). 29 June 2021. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  4. ^ "Romanian Cup – Season 1964–1965". RomanianSoccer. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  5. ^ a b "INTERVIU-EVENIMENT cu Cornel Dinu la 70 de ani: "M-au drogat ca să nu ajung în Ghencea! Tata a ales Dinamo, nu Steaua"" [INTERVIEW-EVENT with Cornel Dinu at the age of 70: "They drugged me so that I wouldn't end up in Ghencea! My father chose Dinamo, not Steaua"] (in Romanian). 2 August 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e Cornel Dinu at (in Romanian) and
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Cornel Dinu, aniversat! Fostul mare fotbalist dinamovist împlinește azi 73 de ani" [Cornel Dinu's birthday! The former great Dinamo football player turns 73 today] (in Romanian). 2 August 2021. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  8. ^ a b c Cornel Dinu at
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Cornel Dinu la 73 de ani. Vizionar în… 1981! Ce scria despre "ordinele venite din birouri"! Interviu exclusiv" [Cornel Dinu at 73 years old. Visionary in… 1981! What did he write about "orders from the offices"! Exclusive interview] (in Romanian). 2 August 2021. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  10. ^ "La Mulţi Ani "Procurorului" Cornel Dinu!" [Happy Birthday to "Prosecutor" Cornel Dinu!] (in Romanian). 30 June 2020. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  11. ^ a b "Cornel Dinu îmlinește 66 de ani. Cifrele care marchează cariera "Procurorului"" [Cornel Dinu turns 66 years old. Figures marking the career of the "Prosecutor"] (in Romanian). 2 August 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  12. ^ a b Pierrend, José Luis (1 February 2006). "European Footballer of the Year ("Ballon d'Or") 1970". RSSSF. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  13. ^ a b "Dumitru Macri, primul fotbalist român nominalizat la Balonul de Aur! Gică Hagi, aproape de succes în 1994" [Dumitru Macri, the first Romanian footballer nominated for the Golden Ball! Gica Hagi, almost successful in 1994] (in Romanian). 30 November 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  14. ^ "Cum putea ajunge Cornel Dinu la marele Bayern Munchen. De ce a refuzat" [How Cornel Dinu could get to the great Bayern Munich. Why he refused] (in Romanian). 17 May 2020. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  15. ^ "Dezvăluire de senzație! Cornel Dinu a fost la un pas să fie coleg de echipă cu Rummenigge. Bayern Munchen a vrut să-l transfere pentru a-l înlocui pe legendarul Franz Beckenbauer" [Sensational revelation! Cornel Dinu was one step away from being a teammate of Rummenigge. Bayern Munich wanted to transfer him to replace the legendary Franz Beckenbauer] (in Romanian). 17 May 2020. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  16. ^ "Denise Rifai a rămas mască! Răspunsul care a făcut-o să lăcrimeze. Nu se aştepta la asta" [Denise Rifai remained a mask! The answer that made her cry. She didn't expect that] (in Romanian). 30 June 2020. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g "Cornel Dinu". European Football. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  18. ^ "Austria 1-1 Romania". European Football. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  19. ^ Cornel Dinu at
  20. ^ "Romania 9-0 Finland". European Football. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  21. ^ "Sandu și ceilalți "eroi" din 1973, despre culisele victoriei istorice cu 9-0 cu Finlanda" [Sandu and the other "heroes" from 1973, about the backstage of the historic 9-0 victory over Finland] (in Romanian). 8 October 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  22. ^ "DECRET privind conferirea Ordinului și Medaliei Meritul Sportiv" (PDF). Monitorul Oficial al României Nr. 241. 28 March 2008. p. 3. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  23. ^ "Decorarea unor personalități ale fotbalului românesc". Administrația Prezidențială. 25 March 2008. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  24. ^ a b "Cine a pregătit, de fapt, Dinamo în '84, la calificarea în semifinalele Cupei Campionilor? Dinu susține că el, foștii jucători îl contrazic. Ce spunea fostul "principal" despre Procuroru'" [Who actually prepared Dinamo in ’84 to qualify for the Champions Cup semifinals? Dinu claims that he, the former players contradict him. What the former "principal" said about the Prosecutor] (in Romanian). 26 April 2020. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  25. ^ "Ioan Sdrobiș, la 30 de ani de la istoricul meci Oțelul – Juventus 1-0. "Nici Baba Vanga nu poate prezice când vom mai obține o astfel de victorie"" [Ioan Sdrobiș, 30 years after the historic match of Oțelul – Juventus 1-0. "Baba Vanga can't predict when we will get such a victory either"] (in Romanian). 26 April 2020. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  26. ^ "Top 60 antrenori" [Top 60 coaches] (in Romanian). Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  27. ^ "Cornel Dinu". European Football. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  28. ^ "Ce pensie a ajuns să aibă Cornel Dinu în 2021 și ce alte surse de venit mai are "mister"" [What pension Cornel Dinu will have in 2021 and what other sources of income does "Mister" still have] (in Romanian). 24 August 2021. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
  29. ^ ""Zambind in iarba", de Cornel Dinu" ["Smiling in the grass", by Cornel Dinu] (in Romanian). 30 November 2007. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  30. ^ "Mister dezvăluie misterele anilor '90! Cornel Dinu își lansează oficial al treilea volum autobiografic despre fotbalul și societatea românească de după Revoluție" [Mister reveals the mysteries of the '90s! Cornel Dinu officially launches his third autobiographical volume on Romanian football and society after the Revolution] (in Romanian). 2 June 2019. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  31. ^ "Cornel Dinu și-a lansat azi cartea "Misterele lui Mister": "Răul domină în carte, așa cum predomină și în acest popor chinuit! Veți vedea că am păcate"" [Cornel Dinu launched today his book "The mysteries of Mister": "Evil dominates in this book, as it predominates in this tormented people! You will see that I have sins."] (in Romanian). 2 June 2019. Retrieved 28 October 2021.

External linksEdit