Daniel Gabriel Pancu (Romanian pronunciation: [daniˈel gabriˈel ˈpaŋku]; born 17 August 1977) is a Romanian former footballer who played mainly as an attacking midfielder or a forward. He is currently the manager of Rapid București.
Pancu in 2011
|Full name||Daniel Gabriel Pancu|
|Date of birth||17 August 1977|
|Place of birth||Iași, Romania|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Rapid București (manager)|
|2006||→ Rapid București (loan)||13||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 24 November 2018|
Pancu began his playing career at FC Politehnica Iași. He made his debut in the Romanian First Division in 1995. In the winter of 1996 he was transferred to Rapid București for the sum of US$200,000. He was, at that time, the most expensive player who has left from Iași. After two and a half seasons, he moved to A.C. Cesena, in the Italian Serie B, for a transfer fee of US$1,200,000. After a year, Cesena was relegated from the Serie B and Pancu returned to Rapid for a transfer fee of US$800,000, where he stayed for two seasons. During this tenure he gained the nickname "Ronaldo of Giulești".
In 2002, he was bought by Beşiktaş, at the request of the manager that discovered him, Mircea Lucescu, for a fee of US$2,250,000. It was at Beşiktaş where Lucescu turned him from striker into central midfielder with amazing results. In the winter of 2005/2006 he returned to Rapid, as a loan with the possibility of becoming a permanent transfer in the summer. Then he was bought by Bursaspor, but he returned to Rapid in the spring of 2008 and score one goal in first match for Rapid in 2008. In July 2008 he moved to FC Terek Grozny and left the club on 30 November 2009.
On 11 December 2009, it was announced in the Bulgarian media that CSKA Sofia are having an interest of signing the midfielder to the club. On 12 January 2010, CSKA signed Pancu to a one-a-half-year deal. Pancu made his official debut for CSKA Sofia in the 3-2 win against Lokomotiv Plovdiv in Sofia, scoring his first goal for the club.
After a short spell in Bulgaria at CSKA Sofia, Pancu returned to Romanian football later in 2010 to play for FC Vaslui, but had a difficult time breaking into the first eleven with strong competition from Wesley and Mike Temwanjera. During the summer mercato of 2011 he re-signed for his heart club, Rapid București.
On matchday 28 of the 2004/05 season, at the derby against Fenerbahçe Istanbul, when the score was 2-3, Pancu replaced Óscar Córdoba, after the goalkeeper received a red card and the substitution contingent of Beşiktaş was already exhausted. After penalty goal of Fenerbahce, Pancu resisted the goal efforts of the Fenerbahçe-players and Beşiktaş-player Koray scored the fourth goal for Beşiktaş in the fifth minute of the added time. Beşiktaş won the away game at the Kadiköy Stadium of Fenerbahçe and it was sensational. Pancu was given the nickname "Kadıköy Panteri" (panther of Kadiköy) and dressed in the following season as a regular goalkeeper's jersey with number "1".
- Constanttin Schumacher a fost inlocuit de Daniel Pancu. fcrapid.ro (in Romanian)
- "DANIEL GABRIEL PANCU". TFF. Retrieved 30 April 2009.
- "Терек" расстался с шестью легионерами.
- "Панку официално е играч на ЦСКА" (in Bulgarian). topsport.bg. 12 January 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2016.