|Full name||Ioan Viorel Ganea|
|Date of birth||10 August 1973|
|Place of birth||Făgăraș, Romania|
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft 10 1⁄2 in)|
|1996–1998||FC U Craiova||56||(22)|
|2010||Dinamo II București|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Ganea debuted in Liga I (Divizia A at that time) with FC Braşov in 1994. He went on to play for a number of clubs in Romanian football over the next five years. He joined Rapid Bucharest in January 1999, where he scored 11 goals in the remainder of the season to fire the club to the league championship. He finished that season with 28 goals overall, making him the leading goalscorer.
This form won him a move to Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart in the summer of 1999. He remained in Germany for four seasons and tasted UEFA Cup action, but was never a regular starter. He moved to Turkish top flight club Bursaspor in June 2003 on a free transfer, but stayed there for just six months before moving to England.
The striker joined Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers in December 2003 after his contract in Turkey was cancelled by mutual consent. He scored three Premier League goals during the 2003–04 season – against eventual champions Arsenal, Leeds and Newcastle – but could not prevent relegation.
He remained with the club for two seasons in the second tier, mostly under the managerialship of Glenn Hoddle. The first of these years was written off after suffering cruciate knee ligament injury on a pre-season tour of Norway. He recovered for the 2005–06 season but never held down a regular starting place, and was released as his contract expired at the end of the campaign.
He moved back to Romania, with Dinamo Bucharest on an initial one-year deal. However, just six months later, Ganea broke this contract to rejoin Rapid Bucharest on a record €350,000 ($462,000) a season. Although contracted to the end of 2009 with Rapid, Ganea left on a free transfer in June 2007 for FC Timişoara, despite the fact that he could have earned up to €1 million a season through bonuses at Rapid.
Ganea made his debut for the Romanian national team on 3 March 1999 against Estonia, scoring both goals in a 2–0 win. He represented his country at Euro 2000 and scored a last-minute penalty against England that took Romania to the quarter finals at the expense of their opponent. He made 45 caps and 19 goals, but his last game was in 2006. In 2004 while playing against Scotland for Romania, Ganea performed a high and late tackle on Celtic defender John Kennedy, causing the young Scot substantial knee damage and keeping him out of action for more than three years. Kennedy never fully recovered from this and eventually, in November 2009, it forced him to retire.
While playing for Romania against Scotland in April 2004, he tackled Celtic defender John Kennedy resulting in a knee injury that left Kennedy unable to play for three years. Kennedy has since been forced to retire from professional football as a result of this and subsequent injuries.
In April 2006 he was involved in more controversy when he criticised the Wolverhampton Wanderers manager at that time, Glenn Hoddle, claiming "he is the most difficult manager I have worked with in my career".
In August 2007, Ganea was banned for 22 matches after attacking one of the assistant referees after being sent off during a match between his club Timișoara and Rapid Bucharest.
Scores and results table. "Score" indicates the score after the player's goal:
- Stokkermans, Karel (10 June 2011). "Ioan Viorel Ganea - Goals in International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- "Celtic Defender John Kennedy Forced to Retire from Football". Evening Times. Archived from the original on 16 November 2009.
- Cooper, Scott (8 April 2006). "Ganea fires angry broadside at Hoddle". Thefootballnetwork.net. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
- "Soccer-Ganea banned for 22 matches for attacking linesman". Reuters. 31 August 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
- "VIDEO Primul gol al lui Ganea jr. la Rapid: "Cel mai frumos moment din viața mea!"" [VIDEO The first goal of Ganea jr. at Rapid: "The most beautiful moment of my life!"] (in Romanian). Gsp.ro. 10 October 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
- "Fiul lui Ionel Ganea: "Tata şi-a făcut treaba, eu trebuie să-mi fac singur un nume în fotbal"" [The son of Ionel Ganea: "Dad has done his job, I have to make on my own in football"] (in Romanian). Realitatea.net. 20 July 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2017.