Since Gaizka Mendieta was playing, I never so a player that can take penalties almost perfectly. Well, now I found him and luckily, he plays for Rapid Bucharest. Yes, his name is Ovidiu Herea and if you have serious doubts about what I am going to say, please read very attentive.
Herea was born in Bucharest, on 25th of March 1985 and played in the beginning of his professional career at Progresul Bucharest, until 2007. There, he made a good performance, by playing 76 matches and scoring six goals in four seasons. After, a change was mandatory in his life and he chose to go play for Rapid Bucharest, team at which he started his fifth season. In the first edition, he appeared in 26 games, but did not manage to write his name on the score board. Again, in the second stage, 2008-2009, the goal did not stick to his boot and suddenly many said that he was a bad transfer. But on 21th of March 2009, with only five days before his birthday, he opened the score against Otelul Galati, with a great back head kick. Yes, it happened in the game, in which Costin Lazar refused to fool the referee, who pointed to the spot, after a foul in the box, that in reality, wasn’t!
It was the breakthrough that Herea needed and he manage to score another goal in that season, also on Giulesti, in the last week day, when Rapid obtained only a 2-2 with Poli Iasi, result that forced them to watch the next years’ European competitions on TV. Surely, two goals in a season for a midfielder aren’t much, but sure are better than nothing. So, despite Rapid’s bad performance in the championship, Herea continued to make memorable matches in the shirt of this team. In the season 2009-2010 he scored eight goals, from which all in the first part of the competition! Nobody could explain why Ovidiu didn’t score a single goal in the second half of the season, but few realized a thing: Herea was becoming a penalty kick specialist.
At the beginning, he scored twice: first, against Otelul, in a 3-0 win. After, he brought Rapid a precious point from Bistrita, by transforming the spot kick in a 1-1 away draw. Poorly, his lack of performance during the rest part of the competition, forbid Rapid again to take part in European cups. A real blow for Rapid, this second year of bad results, but Herea continued on growing. The new 2010-2011 season started perfectly for him, scoring six goals in the first six game weeks, from which two from spot kicks. The same unique style, that sends the keeper in the exactly opposite corner, a technique which we don’t see very often in all world football. A brilliant start that was followed by another short period under shade, but Herea did eventually score another penalty. This time against Sportul and it was the fifth perfect kick of this kind. Until the winter break, Ovidiu scored two more goals, not from the spot, but that had a great importance, because they brought valuable points for Rapid. Nine goals so far, but Herea didn’t keep his form in the second part of the stage. He scored two goals and with a total of eleven, finally helped Rapid to a fourth place that brought the qualification in the Europe League.
Herea grew up to 21 goals for Rapid in the Romanian league, now a fine number for a midfielder. But Ovidiu also managed to score once in the Cup, goal that represented in fact, his first ever scored for Rapid, in a 3-0 win against International Curtea de Arges.
Now, season number five for Herea at Rapid is under way and the player has again a perfect start that brought him five goals. Four of them, in the national championship and 75 per cent of those were the result of penalties. So, another three and it results that Ovidiu scored eight goals from the spot, without missing a single one and gathering more than 30 % from his total number of nettings. And all started because Spadacio, missed two in a row. Maybe the Brazilian used to be at least such a better scorer, but the penalties weren’t his specialty.
The player has a total of 126 matches in Rapid’s shirt, in all competitions and he recently debuted also in the national football team, for which he scored the winner in a poor away friendly against San Marino (1-0).
So, if we consider that Herea took eight out of eight in a great style, we must admit that he is one of the best takers from history of Romanian football. And the comparison with Mendieta isn’t exaggerated. If you don’t believe this, then take a look at these videos: