When somebody defeats a disease such is cancer it transforms him into a real hero, but when it happens twice, we can say that he is a magician, at least in front of all others. Cristian Dulca did so even though doesn’t look like a man that was put down by the horrible disease. He kept up doing his job as coach and now you can hear him only telling: ‘I’m still sick, but because of football’! It’s a bit comic but it comes from inside a real champion, who became famous on the football pitch despite starting playing football at the age of 14!
Born on 25th of October 1972, in Cluj-Napoca, Dulca was taken by his father to start a career at the local Universitatea. The coach from there did not see in him a potential good footballer so he didn’t asked him to join the team. Luckily, his parent did not get discouraged and took him to the local rivals, CFR. A smaller team at that time, but there Cristi found the perfect conditions to start playing. In the top division he made his first appearance at 23 years and after just 12 matches played for Bistrita, Rapid bought him in the early days of 1996 and so he remained here until 1999. He won a league title and a Cup, became captain and scored 10 goals in the top division, all the distinctions that Dulca achieved in Romanian football. His good form from those years also brought him six caps in the national football team, including one at the last ever World Cup at which Romania participated, in 1998.
Despite all of these, Cristi did not fulfill his childhood dream: playing for ‘U’ Cluj. After a short spell at Pohang Steelers from South Korea, he returned in 2000 to play in his native country. A few games for Ceahlaul, some more for Gaz Metan Medias and he finally signed with Universitatea. But the team was playing in the second tier… Even so, Dulca gathered four games, a number that isn’t enough for him. And if you think I’m exaggerating, take his words: ‘My dream is to train ‘U’ in the first division!’ That was the answer to the question if he aims to be in charge of Rapid one day, because he already coached Universitatea, between 2009 and 2010 and promote the squad, but did not remain to train them in the top flight.
Maybe that’s why he deserves all the respect he can get from Rapid’s fans. In his heart, another team is on the first place, but when e used to play for Rapid, Cristi did not saw in front of his eyes something else, but the will of winning trophies. The perfect prove are the nine goals scored between 1997 and 1999, when Rapid finished initialt second and after that first. It don’t look too much, but for a defender sure is. And if we consider also that Dulca captained the cup-winning team from 1998, the first such trophy for Rapid in 23 years, we definitely can say that Cristi is a symbol for our team. Maybe one day he will won a trophy as a trainer of Rapid, but until then let’s hope that he’ll manage at the end of this season to bring the first ever promotion in the history of Delta Tulcea, the team that he is preparing.