Clubs: CSM Reşiţa, FC Universitatea Craiova, AFC Ajax, AS Roma, FC Internazionale Milano
UEFA.com users' Team of the Year: 2002
UEFA Champions League: winner 2010
• Chivu joined Ajax as an 18-year-old in 1999, having played in the Romanian top flight for Reşiţa and Universitatea Craiova.
• Was thrown in at the deep end by coach Emeric Ienei at UEFA EURO 2000, having earned just four caps going into the event, but he started all four matches at the finals, scoring his first international goal in a decisive 3-2 group win against England in Charleroi; had to wait eight years for his next major tournament appearance, at UEFA EURO 2008, where he was captain.
• Made major progress at Ajax, winning the Eredivisie/Dutch Cup double in 2001/02, being voted Dutch player of the year in 2002 and receiving the captaincy; became Ajax's costliest outward transfer when sold to Roma for €18m in 2003; he was badly injured in 2004/05 but was a Serie A runner-up in his other three seasons.
• The 'Maldini of the Carpathians' won the 2007 Coppa Italia with Roma against Inter before joining the Nerazzurri for €16m on a five-year contract.
• A Scudetto winner in each of his first three seasons at San Siro, he recovered from a fractured skull sustained on his 80th appearance for the club − against AC Chievo Verona in January 2010 − to help his side win the treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and UEFA Champions League.
• The three-time Romanian footballer of the year ended 2010 on another high when he helped Inter to FIFA Club World Cup glory against TP Mazembe Englebert of DR Congo.