Armaș, Gațcan & Cociuc – Moldova’s most famous legionnaires

Armaș, Gațcan & Cociuc – Moldova’s most famous legionnaires

Moldova is a small country with a small population – barely over 2.5 million according to the latest estimates – and as such, it has a small national football league. This doesn’t stop it from having quality players, though. Several players have caught the attention of not only bookmakers, from the best-known British brands to far-away operators like Vwin88 but teams abroad as well – who were eager to sign them to strengthen their ranks.

Igor Armaș

33-year-old Igor Armaș started his professional career in his native Chișinău – he climbed in the ranks from the youth team to the second team, then to the first in 2007. But he only spent a season with Zimbru Chișinău before being snatched by Swedish club Hammarby IF that he helped succeed in the Allsvenskan. His career in Sweden was also short – after just one season, he moved on to Russian club Kuban Krasnodar where he spent seven seasons, played more than 150 league games. After Kuban relegated to the FNL, Armaș also moved on to Russian Premier League club Anzhi Makhachkala. And from there, he moved on to Romanian Liga I club FC Voluntari where he plays as centre-back to this day.

Alexandru Gațcan

Another Chișinău native, Alexandru Gațcan started his professional career with Unisport-Auto Chișinău in 2003 – but his tenure with the club only lasted for one season. After a brief stint with Spartak Moscow, he moved on to Spartak Chelyabinsk in 2005 but his stay there was also short. In 2006, he joined Rubin Kazan for two seasons – he moved on from there, too, pretty quickly, joining the ranks of FC Rostov for the next 11 years. In the summer of 2019, Gațcan moved on again, joining Krylia Sovetov Samara where he plays ever since.

Eugeniu Cociuc

Finally, here’s another Moldovan player from Chișinău who found his place abroad – this time, in Azerbaijan. Eugeniu Cociuc started his football career at Dacia Chișinău in 2012 as a midfielder. In his four seasons with the club, he played in 75 league games before leaving for Slovakian club Žilina. His time in Slovakia was interrupted by a loan spell with Azerbaijani football club Sabail – afterwards, the two parties decided to make it permanent. He left this team, too, after one season and 25 league games, and moved on to fellow Baku football club Sabah in 2020 – he left before his contract expired, in December 2020. Cociuc currently plays for Azerbaijan Premier League club Keşla FK as a midfielder.