Ioan Sabău

Ioan Ovidiu Sabău (born 12 February 1968) is a Romanian former footballer, who played as a midfielder.

Ioan Sabău
Personal information
Full name Ioan Ovidiu Sabău
Date of birth (1968-02-12) 12 February 1968
Place of birth Câmpia Turzii, Romania
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1985–1988 Universitatea Cluj 61 (7)
1988 ASA Târgu Mureş 12 (2)
1988–1990 Dinamo București 49 (8)
1990–1992 Feyenoord 39 (11)
1992–1996 Brescia Calcio 99 (10)
1996–1997 Reggiana 19 (1)
1997–1998 Brescia Calcio 7 (1)
1998–2000 Rapid București 43 (2)
2000–2001 Universitatea Cluj 20 (9)
2001–2003 Rapid București 35 (1)
2004–2005 Gaz Metan Mediaș 1 (0)
Total 385 (52)
National team
1988–1999 Romania 55 (7)
Teams managed
2003 Universitatea Cluj
2003–2005 Gaz Metan Mediaș
2005–2009 Gloria Bistrița
2009–2010 Politehnica Timișoara
2010–2011 FCM Târgu Mureș
2012 FCM Târgu Mureș
2012 Rapid București
2013–2014 ASA Târgu Mureș
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Born in Câmpia Turzii, he debuted in Divizia A with U Cluj in 1986. He later won the league title with Dinamo București in 1990, before he played several seasons in the Netherlands and Italy. Upon returning to Romania he went to Rapid București, where he won two league titles (1999, 2003) and one cup title (2002).

Sabău made his debut for the national team in 1988 against Israel. He was in the squad for the 1990 World Cup and Euro 1996. After a two-year absence from the national team he returned to play five matches in 1999.

In November 2001, he made another comeback to the Romanian national team, playing in both legs of their 2002 World Cup play-off defeat by Slovenia.

He was considered an important member of the Golden Generation of Romanian football, despite missing out the 1994 FIFA World Cup, where Romania reached the quarter-finals, due to injury.

He is a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses Association of Romania.[1]

As a manager

Sabău started his coaching career in 2003 with FC Universitatea Cluj and Gaz Metan Mediaș before taking over Gloria Bistrița in the summer of 2005. During his time at Gloria Bistrița, he showed a good eye for young players such as Gabriel Mureșan or László Sepsi. Highlights include a sixth-place finish at the end of the 2006–07 season of Liga I and a 2–1 home victory over Atlético Madrid the following season, in the now-defunct UEFA Intertoto Cup.

Sabău resigned at the end of the 2008–09 season and was very close to taking over Dinamo, but eventually signed for league runners-up FC Timișoara. The team produced the main shock of the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds by eliminating UEFA Cup holders FC Shakhtar Donetsk in the third round.

In the summer of 2012, Sabău signed a contract with Rapid București, but after some poor results, he was sacked in October the same year.[2]



Dinamo București
Rapid București


  • Sabău is featured on the cover of FIFA 96, playing for Brescia in a match against Notts County.


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