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Marius Popa

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Marius Popa
Personalia
Name Marius Cornel Popa
Birthday 31. July 1978
Birthplace Oradea, Romania
Size 184 cm
Position Goal
Men
Years Station Games (goals)1
1997–2000 FC Bihor Oradea 34 (0)
2000–2004 FC Național Bucharest 46 (0)
2005–2009 FC Timișoara 100 (0)
2009–2010 Internațional Curtea de Argeș 30 (0)
2010 Pandurii Târgu Jiu 12 (0)
2011–2012 Universitatea Cluj 22 (0)
National team
Years Selection Games (goals)
2008 Romania 2 (0)
1 Only league games are indicated.

Marius Cornel Popa (born 31 July 1978 in Oradea, Bihor County) is a Romanian former football goalkeeper. He played a total of 210 matches in the Romanian 1st division.

Career

Association

Popa’s career began in his home country with FC Bihor Oradea. He was part of the professional squad there from the 1997/98 season. Three years later, he decided to move to FC Național Bucharest in Divizia A. There, he was initially part of the reserve team squad or was only a supplementary player in the 1st team. In 2003 he made his breakthrough and became a regular bench keeper. In the winter break 2004/05 a change to FCU Politehnica Timișoara took place. He was followed at the same time by his coach in Bucharest, Cosmin Olăroiu, as well as his teammates Gabriel Cânu, Gabriel Caramarin and Gigel Coman.

In Timișoara, he was initially the undisputed number 1. In the final of the Romanian Cup against Rapid Bucharest, he could not start due to injury and lack of form. At that time he was replaced by Costel Pantilimon. However, Pantilimon did not perform consistently either, and Popa quickly returned to the Poli goal

After being replaced by Pantilimon at the start of the 2008/09 season, Popa did not feature again and moved to promoted side Internațional Curtea de Argeș at the end of the season. When his new club’s license was revoked a year later, he moved to league rivals Pandurii Târgu Jiu at the start of the 2010-11 season. After half a year, he moved on to Universitatea Cluj. He ended his active career there in 2012.

National team

Although Popa showed good performances in League 1 early on, he had to wait a long time for his call-up to the Romanian national football team. At the beginning of 2008, he was allowed to stand between the posts for the first time for his country. He made his debut in the match against Russia. He was nominated by national coach Victor Pițurcă for the 2008 European Football Championship in Switzerland and Austria, but did not make any more appearances after that.

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