Club: FC Argeș Pitești
Growth Type: Standard/Lasting
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Nicolae Dobrin was a Romanian football player. He was named Romanian Player of the Year on three occasions, in 1966, 1967, and 1971. Nicolae Dobrin Stadium in Pitești is named after him. One of Romania's greatest footballers, Dobrin was one of the most talented dribblers in football history.
Dobrin played for Argeș Pitești for 22 years, and only one year for another team, Târgoviște; Dobrin refused to play for any other First Division clubs, such as Dinamo Bucharest or Universitatea Craiova. Dobrin's contribution was essential to the 1979 Championship win for FC Argeș, when he scored in extra time to defeat Dinamo 4–3. Dobrin took the ball from the middle of the pitch, knocked off every player that tried to take the ball away from him and when he reached the penalty area he hit the ball so accurate that it went past the goalkeeper Aniței, hit the left post and entered the goal. The ball had a message attached to it from Dobrin to the Aniței. The message was:"Leave it there because there's nothing you can do about it." This was just one of Dobrin's many ways of humiliating his opponents.
Dobrin played 48 games for the Romanian national team, scoring six times, and contributed to Romania's qualification for the 1970 FIFA World Cup. However, he did not play in it even though he was in the finals squad.
During his whole career, Dobrin played 409 matches, scoring 111 goals in all. He was named Romanian Player of the Year in 1966, 1967 and 1971. He played his last game on 14 June 1983, when FC Argeș faced Bihor Oradea (the match ended 2–0 in favor of FC Argeș). In 2007, Dobrin was the technical director of FC Argeș.
Dobrin is also known for famously missing out on a transfer to Real Madrid. After playing them in a European Cup game and scoring a goal, Santiago Bernabéu, their famous president was so impressed with Dobrin's skills that he wanted to transfer him to the Spanish team for a reported fee of $ 2 million, a huge amount of money for that time. Because of the communist regime in Romania in that period, Bernabéu had to hold talks with Nicolae Ceaușescu himself, but could not persuade him, because Dobrin was regarded as a "national good" and such values could not be "estranged", especially not working for foreigners, according to the communist doctrine of that time. It is said that this was the biggest regret of Dobrin's life, although he did eventually end up playing in Gento's testimonial, in the famous "blanco" shirt of Real Madrid. On this occasion Santiago Bernabéu made a last unsuccessful attempt to keep the Romanian player in Madrid
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