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Player of the Year - Women 2010

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Cristina Neagu

Born: 26/08/1988

Nationality: Romanian

Club: Oltchim Valcea (Romania)

List of awards: IHF Rookie of the Year 2009, bronze medallist at the Women’s EURO 2010 with Romania, member of the EURO 2010 all-star team, EHF Champions League finalist 2010 with Valcea

The Romanian left back was only 18 years old, when she started in the first Romanian league, and has played – despite her young age – more than 80 international matches for the Romanian women’s national team (and scored more than 300 goals) up to now. After she had started playing basketball, she turned to handball at the age of 12 and played for CSS Bucharest. At the age of 16 she changed to the Romanian top club Rulmentul Brasov and became a player of the youth national team. In 2005 she won the silver medal at the European Youth Championship and was awarded Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Again in 2006 at the Youth World Championship she was awarded MVP and won the bronze medal with Romania. One year later she took her third medal – again bronze – at the European Junior Championship and was awarded best left back of the tournament. At the same time she started to play in the Romanian women’s team and reached the fourth place at the WCh in France in 2007. In 2008 she played at the Olympics (7.) and the EURO (5.); in 2009 Neagu and Romania ranked eighth at the WCh in China. Six months after she had played in the finals of the European Cup Winners’ Cup with Brasov, she transferred to Oltchim Valcea in January 2009. In 2009 and 2010 she became Romanian champion and played (and lost) the final of the 2010 EHF Champions League against Viborg (Denmark). In December 2010 she led the Romanian team to the bronze medal at the Women’s EURO in Norway and Denmark, where she was also awarded all-star team player on the left back position.