Cristian Eugen Chivu (Romanian pronunciation: [kristiˈan e.uˈd͡ʒen ˈkivu]; born 26 October 1980) is a Romanian former footballer. He usually played as a left back, but he was also used as a central defender.
Chivu playing for Internazionale in 2011
|Full name||Cristian Eugen Chivu|
|Date of birth||26 October 1980|
|Place of birth||Reșița, Romania|
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Inter U17 (manager)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
He began his career at his hometown club FCM Reșița before moving to FC Universitatea Craiova in 1998, leaving Romania to join Dutch club Ajax a season later. His performances as captain at Ajax inspired an €18 million transfer to Roma in 2003. Chivu won the Coppa Italia in his last of four seasons at Roma before a transfer to Internazionale, where he would spend the rest of his career before retiring in 2014. His honours at Inter included a treble of the Italian league, domestic cup, and the UEFA Champions League in 2010.
Chivu's first professional club was FCM Reșița. After moving to FC Universitatea Craiova, his reputation began to rise and his performances sparked interest from some larger clubs outside of Romania. Dutch club Ajax was particularly impressed with Chivu and signed him in 1999.
At Ajax, Chivu developed a reputation as a reliable fullback and a free-kick specialist. Then-manager Ronald Koeman appointed him as captain of the club. With Chivu as captain, Ajax dominated the Dutch Eredivisie with an exciting young squad. Playing alongside Chivu were future stars such as Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder, Johnny Heitinga, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Maxwell. Chivu played a pivotal role for Ajax in their UEFA Champions League run in the 2002–03 season, when they came to within a minute of the semi-finals. That season, Chivu was in a quintet of Ajax players – himself, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Maxwell, Wesley Sneijder and Andy van der Meyde – who all went on to later join Inter Milan.
In 2003, Roma expressed their interest in signing Chivu. At the time, Roma had an enormous debt and there were questions raised over Roma's ability to pay any proposed fees. Seeking to silence the increasing doubt over their financial situation, Roma sought a bank guarantee, which was subsequently denied. After much speculation, however, Roma finally completed the purchase of Chivu in September, ending the long and protracted saga. The fee was €18 million. Though he became a regular in defence, he made limited appearances due to injuries. He won the 2006–07 Coppa Italia in his last season with Roma. During the summer transfer window, he was once again a subject of transfer speculation, with newly crowned La Liga champions Real Madrid reportedly making a formal bid, while Barcelona and Inter Milan were also interested in signing the defender.
Chivu was reported to be in the middle of a tug-of-war between Barcelona and Real Madrid during the 2007 summer transfer window. After a four-year spell which yielded a Coppa Italia, Chivu left Roma and signed a five-year contract with Serie A rivals Inter on 27 July 2007. The transfer fee was €16 million, which €3 million of the transfer fee paid via defender Marco Andreolli moved to Roma in a co-ownership deal. His first season with the defending Serie A champions was a successful one, as he won the Serie A title that had eluded him during his time at Roma.
During the Champions League match at home to Manchester United in the 2008–09 season, Chivu had a terrific game, denying Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo many times, and won Man of the Match ahead of Inter goalkeeper Julio César.
Chivu was a regular at left back during the 2009–10 season, as Walter Samuel and Lúcio became the preferred centre back pairing. On 6 January against Chievo, Chivu was stretchered off early in the second half after colliding heads with Chievo striker Sergio Pellissier. He was in two hours of surgery for a skull fracture and later cleared of any danger. Although it was initially thought he might be out for the rest of the season, he returned to Serie A on 24 March. After this, he needed to wear a headguard in matches. A month later, Chivu scored his first goal for Inter in a game against Atalanta, a terrific 30-yard strike. On 22 May 2010, he was in Inter's starting line-up in the UEFA Champions League Final against Bayern Munich, which Inter won 2–0.
He scored his second goal for Inter in the 2010–11 season against Cesena which turned out to be the game winner in a 3–2 win for Inter. He also scored the winning penalty for Inter in their 2009–10 Coppa Italia win over Napoli on 26 January 2011.
In 1999, Chivu was chosen to represent the Romania national under-21 team and quickly made the step up to play for the full side. He represented his country at both UEFA Euro 2000 and Euro 2008. Despite being capped only four times prior to the Euro 2000, he started all four matches and scored his first international goal.
At Euro 2008, he earned plaudits for his performance, keeping previous FIFA World Cup champions Italy and runners-up France at bay, despite being played in a less familiar role as a holding midfielder. He captained Romania through World Cup qualification, but they failed to make the play-offs, finishing fifth in their group. On 21 May 2011, Chivu announced his retirement from the national team.
Chivu speaks Italian, Dutch, Spanish and English, as well as his native Romanian.
His father, Mircea was also a footballer and a coach, the Mircea Chivu Stadium from Reșița is named in his honor. He played as a right back for FCM Reșița and Universitatea Craiova winning the 1973–74 Divizia A with the team from Craiova. Mircea was coach at FCM Reșița when Cristian started his career. According to Calcio Italia magazine, Chivu has been involved in opening football schools around Romania for the past few years, and he said "I hope that he is proud when he looks down on me" in reference to his father who died in 1998.
He is currently married to Adelina Elisei who on 12 February 2009 gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Natalia.
- As of match played 14 October 2012
- Scores and results table. Romania's goal tally first. Was captain in matches highlighted in green:
- Serie A: 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10
- Coppa Italia: 2009–10, 2010–11
- Supercoppa Italiana: 2008, 2010
- UEFA Champions League: 2009–10
- FIFA Club World Cup: 2010
- "Cristian Chivu – International Appearances". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.
- "Chivu learns in UEFA technical role". UEFA. 23 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
- "Accordo trasferimento calciatore Cristian CHIVU'" (PDF). AS Roma (in Italian). 8 July 2003. Retrieved 14 September 2011.[permanent dead link]
- "Inter still keen on Roma's Chivu". FIFA. 25 July 2007.
- "Barcelona in the lead to buy Roma's Chivu". ESPN. Retrieved 27 June 2007.
- "Barca in pole position for Chivu". Sky Sports. Retrieved 23 June 2007.
- CESSIONE DEL DIRITTO ALLE PRESTAZIONI SPORTIVE DEL CALCIATORE CRISTIAN EUGEN CHIVU AS Roma, 27 July 2007
- "Cristian Chivu signs for Inter". Retrieved 28 July 2007.
- "Serie A: Chievo 0–1 Inter". inter.it. 6 January 2010.
- "Inter Milan's Cristian Chivu in hospital with skull fracture". ESPN Soccernet. 6 January 2010.
- "Paura per Chivu: frattura cranica; Operato subito, è fuori pericolo" (in Italian). Quotidiano.net. 6 January 2010. Archived from the original on 9 January 2010.
- "Chivu: "Magical to be back"". Inter.it. 24 March 2010.
- "Coppa Italia: Inter edge through on penalties". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
- "Chivu leaves Inter, confirms retirement". ESPN.
- "Former Inter star Chivu retires from football". Goal.com. 31 March 2014.
- "Chivu: "Why I'm quitting the national team"". Inter.it. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
- "A decedat Mircea Chivu" (in Romanian). ziaruldeiasi.ro. 2 April 1998. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
- "Cristian Chivu, the resolute Romanian". Inter.it. 23 February 2017. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
- "Aşchia nu sare departe de trunchi! TOP 10 perechi tată-fiu care au scris istorie pentru fotbalul românesc" [The splinter does not fall far from the tree! TOP 10 father-son pairs who have written history for Romanian football] (in Romanian). prosport.ro. 24 June 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- Roberto Rosetti appointed for Milan derby inter.it, 13 February 2009
- "C. Chivu". Soccerway. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
- "Team of the Year 2002". UEFA. 11 January 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2015.