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Steaua sign striking starlet

FC Steaua Bucuresti have signed 20-year-old forward Andrei Cristea, from FCM Bacau.

Bright prospect
The 20-year-old is one of the brightest prospects in Romanian football and has already made 26 league appearances, as well as three for the senior international team. He has signed a five-year contract after negotiations between Steaua owner Gigi Becali and Bacau honorary president Dumitru Sechelariu that lasted until midnight on Friday.

Cristea aims
"Mr Gigi Becali and Steaua coach Victor Piturca were very insistent and I chose Steaua because of what they mean to Romanian football," Cristea said. "I want to become Romania's top scorer and win the championship."

'Fantastic skills'
Piturca added: "Cristea is a kid with fantastic skills and abilities, and he will have to demonstrate this at Steaua, which is different [to performing] at Bacau. He must adapt to our philosophy that the team is important, not individuals." After finishing second in Romania last season, Steaua will enter the 2004/05 UEFA Cup in the second qualifying round.