CHIVU WORTHY OF TOP SUITORS
By Rupert Webster
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Chivu first made his mark on the international scene during Euro 2000. A surprise selection at left back, the 19-year-old was one of the key contributors to Romania's success during the tournament, helping them progress through the group stages of the European Championships for the first time in their history.
During the competition, Chivu was lauded for his maturity and strength when marking arguably Europe's finest right wingers, David Beckham and Luis Figo.
But the youngster also got forward well, whipping in more crosses than any Romanian except playmaker Georgi Hagi and finding a team-mate with a healthy 27% of those centres. Indeed Chivu's surges down the left flank also resulted in him scoring his first international goal in the game against England, when his cross-shot beat Nigel Martyn.
After his impressive displays during Euro 2000, Chivu was linked with a number of clubs, including Barcelona and Internazionale, but he chose to stay in Amsterdam to further his development. He seems to have made the right decision as the Romanian has become a key component in Co Adriaanse's side in the 2000-01 campaign. Chivu has made a massive contribution to the Ajax defence, making 90 defensive clearances this term Çô more than any of his team-mates Çô and coming out on top in 86% of his challenges.
As one would expect from learning his trade with traditional pass-masters Ajax, Chivu's distribution is excellent. He has found a team-mate with 81% of his passes and so good has been his use of the ball that his colleagues often look to him to instigate attacking surges. Indeed, so far this season Chivu has already made 673 passes, which is the second-highest total at Ajax.
Chivu has stated that he is more than happy to remain in Amsterdam, where he is clearly making great progress, at least for the foreseeable future. But the Romanian's recent displays have piqued the interest of some of Europe's most prestigious clubs and a lucrative transfer in the coming months could still be on the cards.