Adrian “Adi” Mutu is a former Romanian professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder or a forward. Despite his talent, his career included several setbacks, in part due to two long-term suspensions for failed drugs tests.Mutu started his career in Romania playing two years for Argeș Pitești and half a year for Dinamo București, before joining Internazionale in Italy midway through the 1999–2000 Serie A. After only 10 games with the Nerazzurri, he left for Hellas Verona and then Parma, for which he scored 39 goals in the next three years. His excellent form brought him a €22.5 million transfer to Chelsea. Due to breach of contract for failing a (recreational) drug test, he was released and returned to Serie A to join Juventus. After the 2006 Italian football scandal and the relegation of Juventus to Serie B, Mutu decided to join Fiorentina, where he played consistently for five years. He then had a season at Cesena and French club Ajaccio before returning to his native country with Petrolul Ploiești in 2014. After two more brief spells with Pune City and ASA Târgu Mureș, Mutu retired from professional football in 2016. From his international debut in 2000, Mutu played 77 matches for the Romanian national team and scored 35 goals, a joint record alongside Gheorghe Hagi. He was included in the country’s squads at the European Championship in 2000 and 2008. A four-time winner of the Romanian Footballer of the Year award, only Gheorghe Popescu and Gheorghe Hagi have received the award more times, with six and seven wins respectively.
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In the season 2000-2001 the city of Verona has its own “derby” (the fifth in the Italian Serie A after Milan, Turin, Genova and Rome) since the second Verona’s team Chievo came up to Serie A. The derby was a big event in town and for the whole Italian Serie A. To celebrate it the Italian National anthem was played before the game, for the first time ever in a Serie A game. In 2000, Adrian Mutu was sold from Intarnazionale to Verona in co-ownership deal, for 7,500 million lire (€3,873,427). In June 2001, Verona bought Mutu outright, for 5,100 million lire. (€2,633,930). The player played in Verona for two following seasons.
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Adrian Mutu has been part of the biggest football dispute ever. In September 2004, Mutu failed a drugs test for cocaine and was released on 29 October 2004 while he was playing for Chelsea F.C. He also received a seven-month ban and a £20,000 fine from the FA. The ban ended on 18 May 2005. Chelsea started to seek compensation from Mutu in early 2005. The Football Association Premier League Appeals Committee decided that the player had committed a breach of his contract without just cause which made Chelsea eligible to claim the compensation. Mutu started his first appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) but the case was dismissed. On 11 May 2006, Chelsea applied to FIFA for an award of compensation against Mutu. In particular, the club requested that the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) award compensation to the club following Mutu’s breaching the employment contract without just cause. However, on 26 October, the DRC decided that it did not have jurisdiction to make a decision in the dispute and that the claim by the club was therefore not admissible. On 22 December, Chelsea lodged a new appeal before the CAS seeking the annulment of the DRC’s decision. On 21 May 2007, a CAS panel upheld the club’s appeal, set aside the DRC’s decision, and referred the matter back to the DRC, “which does have jurisdiction to determine and impose the appropriate sporting sanction and/or order for compensation, if any, arising out of the dispute” between the Club and the Player,” On 6 August 2007, on the basis of the Second CAS Award, Chelsea filed with the DRC a “Re-amended application for an award of compensation”, seeking damages to be determined on the basis of various factors, “including the wasted costs of acquiring the Player (£13,814,000), the cost of replacing the Player (£22,661,641), the unearned portion of signing bonus (£44,000) and other benefits received by the Player from the Club (£3,128,566.03) as well as from his new club, Juventus (unknown), the substantial legal costs that the Club has been forced to incur (£391,049.03) and the unquantifiable but undeniable cost in playing terms and in terms of the Club’s commercial brand values”, but “at least equivalent to the replacement cost of £22,661,641”. On 14 September, Mutu submitted to the DRC a brief requesting the rejection of Chelsea’s plea, and asking FIFA to open an investigation against the club for having used and/or dealt with unlicensed agents. But Mutu failed to suspend the arbitration and his claim for use of unlicensed agents was found not to be supported. On 7 May 2008, the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber ordered Mutu to pay €17,173,990 in compensation to his former club, Chelsea FC, for breach of contract. This included €16,500,000 for the unamortised portion of the transfer fee paid to Parma, €307,340 for the unamortised portion of the sign-on fee (received by Mutu), and €366,650 for the unamortised portion of the fee to the Agent, but was not to take into account the determination of the damages for the amounts already paid by the club to the player (consideration for services rendered) or the remaining value of the employment contract (valued at €10,858,500). Mutu had to pay within 30 days after being informed of the decision in August 2008. Mutu lodged an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport for the second time, but on 31 July 2009, that court dismissed his appeal, and Mutu was ordered to pay Chelsea the amount plus interest of 5% p.a. starting on 12 September 2008 until the effective date of payment; the matter was submitted to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee for its determination. In addition, Mutu had to pay the costs of arbitration for both parties, including CHF 50,000 to Chelsea. The fine was the highest ever levied by FIFA. Mutu could have been banned from football by FIFA if he did not pay the fine although some lawyers disputed this. Mutu started his third appeal, this time to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, in October 2009, but on 14 June 2010 this appeal was also dismissed with Mutu again being ordered to pay Chelsea €17m in damages. Mutu then submitted an appeal to European Court of Human Rights. In 2013, FIFA DRC decided in a new ruling that Livorno and Juventus were also jointly liable to pay compensation; both clubs immediately appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. On 21 January 2015 The Court of Arbitration for Sport annulled the FIFA DRC ruling; Mutu remained the sole party to pay the compensation.
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Mutu made his international debut against Greece on 29 March 2000. He represented Romania at Euro 2000, his first major tournament where they beat England 3–2, and drew 1–1 against Germany. Romania were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Italy. Mutu has played for Romania 72 times, scoring 34 goals, 23 of which have come in qualifying games. Romania has only lost once when Mutu has scored for them, which was in a 2004 European qualifying game against Denmark. He was the vice-captain of Romania. His performances (games, goals) with the Romanian national team earned him the Romanian Footballer of the Year award. He equalized the all-time record of 35 goals set by Gheorghe Hagi for the national team in the 2–2 draw 2014 World Cup Qualifier against Hungary. On 11 August 2011, Mutu and his teammate Gabriel Tamaş were excluded from the Romanian national team after they were found drinking at a bar on the night of 10 August, while their teammates were playing in a friendly match against San Marino. However, after only three games, their suspension was lifted. On 21 November 2013, Mutu was barred from playing on the national team after he posted an image of manager Victor Piţurcă as Mr. Bean on Facebook.