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Gavril Pele "Gabi" Balint (born 3 January 1963) is a Romanian football manager and former player, who was part of the hugely successful Steaua team of the 1980s.

Gavril Balint
Gavril Balint.jpg
Personal information
Full name Gavril Pele Balint
Date of birth (1963-01-03) 3 January 1963 (age 56)
Place of birth Sângeorz-Băi, Romania
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1974–1978 Hebe Sângeorz-Băi
1978 Luceafărul București
1978–1980 Gloria Bistrița
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1980–1990 Steaua București 264 (69)
1990–1993 Real Burgos 83 (28)
Total 347 (97)
National team
1982–1992[1] Romania 34 (14)
Teams managed
1994–1998 Romania (assistant)
1998–1999 Bihor Oradea
1999–2000 Sportul Studențesc
2000 Romania (assistant)
2000–2001 Galatasaray (assistant)
2001 Romania (assistant)
2002–2003 Sheriff Tiraspol
2003–2004 Sportul Studențesc
2004–2005 Galatasaray (assistant)
2005–2006 Politehnica Timișoara (assistant)
2008–2009 Politehnica Timișoara
2010–2011 Moldova
2013 FC Vaslui
2014 Universitatea Craiova
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only


Club careerEdit

Born in Sângeorz-Băi, Bistrița, Balint made his Divizia A debut with Steaua București in 1981 where he played until 1990 winning the league titles in 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988 and 1989, the Romanian Cup in 1985, 1987 and 1989, the 1985–86 European Cup and the European Super Cup in 1987. At the end of the 1989–90 season, Balint became the top goalscorer of the Divizia A with 19 goals. He scored the second and last goal at the penalties shoot-out during the 1986 European Cup final, helping his team, Steaua to win the trophy.

In 1990, he was bought by Real Burgos for $1,000,000. He played for the Spanish side until his retirement in 1993.

International careerEdit

Balint was capped 34 times by Romania, and scored 14 goals. He played at the 1990 World Cup where he scored twice, against Cameroon and Argentina.

International goalsEdit

Romania's goal tally first.

Managerial careerEdit

Balint started his coaching career in 1994, aged 31, when he was appointed as assistant coach of Romania under Anghel Iordănescu's regime. Four years later comes his first chance as head coach after taking charge at Sportul Studențesc, but in May 2000 he is called again to join the coaching staff of Romania as the squad prepared for the UEFA Euro 2000.

In the summer of 2000, Balint was requested by Mircea Lucescu as his assistant for Galatasaray, however he left the job after only one season, to join again Romania as assistant coach, this time under Gheorghe Hagi.

After Hagi resigned, Balint went to Sheriff Tiraspol for his second job as head coach, taking the team in 2002.

In 2003, he returned to Romania and signed for Sportul Studențesc, now in Liga II and helped the team win promotion back to Liga I.

Balint returned as assistant coach for Galatasaray in 2004 to work again with Gheorghe Hagi.

In 2005, he was appointed assistant coach of FCU Politehnica Timișoara, working again with Hagi. When Hagi left, a few months later, Balint resigned also. Two years later, Balint returned to FC Timișoara, this time as a head coach.

In 2010, he became the head coach of the Moldova national team, but after the campaign for the UEFA Euro 2012, his contract ended and wasn't renewed. He then became a television pundit, signing a contract with Digi Sport.

In April 2013, Balint returned to coaching, signing a contract for one and a half years with FC Vaslui. In 2014 he was named head coach of Liga II side CS Universitatea Craiova and helped the club win promotion for the top-flight Liga I.

Career statisticsEdit

As a managerEdit

Team Nat From To Record
G W D L GF GA Win %
Sheriff Tiraspol   1 June 2002 3 June 2003 28 20 5 3 50 16 071.43
Sportul Studentesc   23 December 2003 1 June 2004 13 9 2 2 39 12 069.23
FC Timisoara   29 December 2008 1 June 2009 18 12 2 4 32 18 066.67
Moldova   20 January 2010 19 December 2011 16 5 1 10 17 23 031.25
FC Vaslui   9 April 2013 16 May 2013 9 5 3 1 15 8 055.56
CS U Craiova   17 March 2014 10 June 2014 15 11 2 2 28 9 073.33
Total 99 62 15 22 181 86 062.63



  • Balint has a passion for music and Harley Davidson. He even produced his own CD.
  • He is named Pele because his father was a fan of the three time World Cup winner Pelé.[2]


  1. ^ "Gavril Pele Balint – International Appearances". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.
  2. ^ "În numele tatălui Gabi Balint și tatăl său au retrăit momentele epocale şi sentimentele de la Sevilla '86" [In the name of the father Gabi Balint and his father relive the epic moments and feelings of Sevilla '86] (in Romanian). Retrieved 24 October 2017.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Gheorghe Hagi
Steaua Top Scorer
Succeeded by
Dan Petrescu