Ianis Zicu, nicknamed the Romanian Express in Korea,
has gained a reputation for being the Steelers` go-to
striker, emerging as the team`s top scorer by hitting the
mark in every game since the opening of the K-League season
this year. He rivals Lee Dong-gook of the Jeonbuk Hyundai
Motors as the top scorer in the league.
Zicu`s skill overshadows others in terms of purity. He has
appeared as a replacement player in three out of five games.
He scored goals in two of those games, despite aggregate
playing time of only 57 minutes. He has outstanding shooting
skills, having hit the net on five of his 10 shots in his
The Steelers` match with Seongnam Ilwha on April 8
highlighted Zicu`s importance to the team. He scored a goal
less than 2 minutes after coming off the bench as a
replacement. Keeping a watchful eye on Ko Moo-yul`s
penetration, he received the ball and scored the goal with
composure. Both of his shots in the Seongnam match were
counted as shots on goal.
``He`s an extremely quick thinker. His passes outmaneuver
others and he is very decisive,`` said Manager Hwang
Sun-hong. ``His position and tactics make it hard for him to
play in the first half, but he is a player that I can rely on
to do well at any time.``
Zicu expressed his opinion that the team`s success on the
field is more important to him than personal playing time.
``It`s not important whether I play 10 or 90 minutes. I don`t
get to decide how long I play. What matters to me is whether
my team wins,`` he said in an interview with Sportal Korea
after the Seongnam match.
Thanks to Zicu, the Pohang Steelers is undefeated in five
consecutive matches, including two draws. The Steelers now
ranks fifth in the league.
Zicu, a previous Romanian national team player, has also
suited up for Inter Milan (2004-2005), Dinamo Bucuresti
(2007-2010) and last year played for CSKA Sofia of Bulgaria.
Known there as a star scorer, notching 13 goals in 15
matches, Zicu joined the Steelers in January this year. When
asked about the secret to his successful adjustment to the
East Asian game, Zicu replied, ``Soccer is the same
everywhere. The rules and the methods are all the same. The
club is very accommodating, and I`m happy.``
He has proven to be versatile positionally. Manager Hwang
uses two main striker tactics alternatively by positioning
Park Sung-ho as the main striker and Zicu as the shadow