Cosmin Olăroiu

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Cosmin Olăroiu
Cosmin Olăroiu.jpg
Olăroiu as coach of Steaua Bucharest
Personal information
Full name Aurelian Cosmin Olăroiu
Date of birth (1969-06-10) 10 June 1969 (age 49)
Place of birth Bucharest, Romania
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 1 12 in)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Al Ahli (manager)
Youth career
Steaua Bucureşti
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1990 Gloria Buzău
1990–1991 MECON București
1991–1992 Girueta București
1992–1995 Naţional Bucureşti 80 (8)
1995–1997 Universitatea Craiova 37 (2)
1997–2000 Suwon Samsung Bluewings 98 (7)
2000 JEF United 10 (0)
Total 225 (17)
Teams managed
2000–2002 Naţional Bucureşti
2002 Steaua Bucureşti
2002–2005 Naţional Bucureşti
2005 Politehnica Timişoara
2006–2007 Steaua Bucureşti
2007–2009 Al-Hilal
2009–2010 Al-Sadd
2011–2013 Al Ain
2014–2015 Saudi Arabia
2013– Al Ahli

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Aurelian Cosmin Olăroiu (born 10 June 1969 in Bucharest) is a Romanian football manager and former player. He is the head coach of UAE club Al Ahli. He is considered one of the greatest managers in the Arabian Peninsula, having led the most decorated clubs of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates (Al Hilal, Al Sadd, Al Ain and Al Ahli) to new trophies.

Olăroiu also managed some other impressive results in his very short coaching career before arriving in the region, in his country Romania. During the 2001–02 season, Naţional Bucureşti under his managership became a challenger for the national championship title. However, they lost the leader position in the last game of the season, against Universitatea Craiova, and the title went to Dinamo Bucharest. He won the Romanian League and the Supercupa României with Steaua Bucureşti, both in 2006, and qualified the team in the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup in the same year.[1]

He was chosen Romanian Coach of the Year in 2006.

Club career

As a player, Olăroiu's best-known clubs he played for are Universitatea Craiova and Naţional Bucureşti. However, he also played with success in K-League for Suwon Samsung Bluewings and helped the team to win two league titles (1998, 1999). He also won the Korean League Cup and twice the Korean Supercup.[1]

Coaching career

Early years

He started his coaching career during the 2000–01 season at Naţional Bucureşti, finishing a respectable 7th in his first season.[1] During the following season, 2001–02, he guided the club to a second-place finish above teams like Steaua and Rapid Bucureşti.[2]

In summer 2002, Olăroiu signed for Steaua Bucureşti.[3] He resigned after only seven league games, blaming the decision on a lack of support from the board and players. The club president Viorel Păunescu re-appointed Victor Piţurcă, former manager before 2002 who wanted to return to head-coaching and was still highly regarded by the players.[4]

After leaving Steaua București, Olăroiu returned to Național București, this time as a general manager. In 2003, he was named head coach again, replacing Walter Zenga.[5]

In the winter of 2004, Olăroiu joined Politehnica Timişoara and brought with him the best players from Național București. He led them to a near historical fourth-place finish in Divizia A, but in November 2005 he was sacked by the club's owner Marian Iancu.[1]

Steaua București & European campaigns success

Just some days after, Olăroiu was appointed manager by Gigi Becali, the new president, and this time owner, of Steaua Bucureşti, to replace Oleh Protasov.[6] His first championship title as coach came in June 2006 and then one month later his team also won the Supercupa României. In May 2006, Olăroiu reached the semi-finals of the 2005–06 UEFA Cup.[7] He also helped Steaua to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stages,[8] where they played against Dinamo Kiev, Real Madrid and Olympique Lyon.[1] Steaua secured a third place and a spot in the UEFA Cup knockout rounds.[1]


Olăroiu in Arabian Gulf

In June 2007, Olăroiu signed for Al-Hilal, supposedly drawn by the more attractive financial aspects that are typical of Saudi Arabian football.[9] In 2008, he again proved his coaching worth, winning the Crown Prince Cup and the Saudi Premier League title. He also won his second Crown Prince Cup, before leaving the team in February 2009, while leading them to the first position in the national championship.[10]


On April 2009, he signed a two-year contract with Al-Sadd.[11] In December 2010, Olăroiu announced his resignation as club boss immediately after leading his side to the Qatari Stars Cup.[12]

On 5 May 2011, Olăroiu was named supervisor for Steaua Bucureşti for the last three matches of Liga I in the 2010–11 season and 2011 Cupa României Final. Steaua's assistant coach, Gabriel Caramarin took charge of the team as caretaker manager, for the last remaining games.[1]

Al Ain

In summer 2011, Cosmin Olăroiu was hired as Al Ain manager on a two-year contract. He steered the club away from the relegation zone, before leading them to the United Arab Emirates Pro-League title in the 2011–12 season.[13] On 18 September 2012, he also won the UAE Super Cup with Al Ain.[14]

He then repeated the performance the following season, winning a consecutive title for Al Ain.[15] In June 2013, Olăroiu signed a contract extension with Al Ain reportedly worth €4 million a season after penning new two-year deal.[16] However, the contract was terminated on 1 July 2013.

Al Ahli

On 6 July 2013, it was announced that Olăroiu signed a three-year contract with Dubai side Al Ahli.[17] On 30 August, Olăroiu won his first match in charge of Al Ahli against his former club Al Ain in the Super Cup final.[18] In April 2014, Cosmin Olăroiu mathematically won his third consecutive league title as Al Ahli won over arch rivals Al Wasl 2–1.[19] During his first season in charge, Olăroiu won three domestic titles and was awarded as Coach of the Year by the Arabian Gulf League in 2014.[20]

He guided the club to their first AFC Champions League final in 2015, losing 1–0 on aggregate to China's Guangzhou Evergrande.

Saudi Arabia national team

On 15 December 2014, it was announced that he will train the Saudi Arabia national football team for 2015 AFC Asian Cup.[21] His first match in charge was a 4–1 loss to Bahrain in a friendly match. Olăroiu's side also lost two next matches, including a 1–0 loss to China in 2015 AFC Asian Cup in Saudi Arabia's first match at the tournament. They won their next match 4–1 against North Korea but lost 3–1 their final match against Uzbekistan and were eliminated in the group stages. The results is a consequence of his not knowing his players well. At the end of the tournament, Olăroiu returned to his club position.



Suwon Samsung Bluewings


Steaua Bucharest
Al Hilal
Al Sadd
Al Ain
Al Ahli

Managerial statistics

As of 21 November 2015
Team From To Record
G W D L GF GA GD Win %
United Arab Emirates Al-Ain 6 June 2011 6 July 2013 77 52 11 14 173 75 +98 67.53
United Arab Emirates Al-Ahli 7 July 2013 Present 64 40 16 8 113 63 +50 62.50
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 15 December 2014 22 January 2015 5 1 0 4 6 11 −5 20.00
Career totals 144 92 27 25 291 148 +143 63.89


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "Portretul lui Olăroiu, antrenorul adus de Becali să salveze Steaua: cifre, culise, imagini" (in Romanian). Gazeta Sporturilor. 5 May 2011. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Romania round-up: Dinamo snatch title on final day". UEFA. 1 June 2002.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Olaroiu makes capital move". UEFA. 25 June 2002.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Unhappy Olaroiu quits Steaua". UEFA. 18 October 2002.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "All change at National". UEFA. 10 September 2003.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Romania gears up for restart". UEFA. 8 March 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Steaua's tower of strength". UEFA. 11 April 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Steaua fulfil Becali's dream". UEFA. 24 August 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Hagi takes charge at Steaua". UEFA. 25 June 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Al Ain appoint Romanian Cosmin Olaroiu as coach". The National. 7 June 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Qatar: Al Sadd appoint Cosmin Olaroiu as Coach". 17 April 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Trio of coaches leave Middle East". FIFA. 23 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Al Ain coach Cosmin Olaroiu hails 'perfect' players after clinching UAE Pro-League title". 28 April 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Super Cup: Goalkeeper is hero for Al Ain after penalty drama". The National. 18 September 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Asamoah Gyan hat-trick wins Al Ain an 11th Etisalat Pro League title". Gulf News. 18 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Cosmin Olaroiu extends Al Ain contract". 9 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Cosmin Olaroiu confirmed as Al Ahli coach on three-year deal". (official website). 6 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Majed Nasser the penalty shootout hero for Al Ahli". 30 August 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Al Ahli clinch Arabian Gulf League title with win over Al Wasl". The National. 10 April 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Al Hammadi, Grafite and Olaroiu rewarded for Al Ahli's fine season". Sport 360. 18 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Saudi Arabia opt for Olaroiu ahead of AFC Asian Cup". The AFC. 16 December 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links