A lively, hard-working striker who likes to run at defenders, Ciprian Marica has established himself as the first-choice centre-forward for Romania. After successful spells with FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti and FC Shakhtar Donetsk, he joined VfB Stuttgart in 2007.
• Bucharest-born, he played only 22 top-flight matches in Romania for Dinamo, making minor contributions to club's two championship and two cup wins, before move to Shakhtar in March 2004.
• Made his international debut for Romania aged 18, against Italy; scored his first goal at 19, versus Armenia.
• Achieved back-to-back Ukrainian championship wins with Shakhtar (2004/05 and 2005/06); scored winner against AS Roma in 2006/07 UEFA Champions League.
• Moved to German champions Stuttgart and scored winning goal against Rangers FC in club's only UEFA Champions League victory of the campaign (3-2); also on target with opening goal in 3-1 win v Romanian champions FC Unirea Urziceni that put Stuttgart into last 16 of 2009/10 competition.
• Scored five times in Romania's successful UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying campaign but unused at the finals; started nine of team's 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, scoring twice – against Serbia (2-3) and Lithuania (1-0).
Did you know?
Prior to joining both clubs, Marica scored in European competition for Dinamo against Shakhtar and for Shakhtar against Stuttgart.