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Former Romania captain Stefanescu dies at 62

August 21, 2013

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Costica Stefanescu, a former Romania captain who was one of the national football team’s greatest defenders, has died after jumping from the fifth floor of the hospital where he was being treated for cancer. He was 62.

Police said Stefanescu jumped Tuesday from the fifth floor of the Military Hospital. Mediafax news agency reported Wednesday that military prosecutors were investigating the case.

Stefanescu played 66 matches for the national team in 1970s and 80s. He also played for Steaua Bucharest and Universitatea Craiova before becoming a coach.

His death shocked Romanian football officials and fans, and condolences came pouring in from clubs. The Romanian football federation said his body would be laid out at the National Arena on Wednesday for mourners to pay their respects.

Steaua Bucharest called him “one of the greatest players ever in Romanian football history,” and Universitatea Craiova owner Adrian Mititelu called him “The King of Craiova.”

Stefanescu was an assistant coach for Romania from 1994-98 and also coached several local and foreign teams, including Steaua and Universitatea Craiova.

He is survived by his wife Mariana and will be buried Saturday.

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