Moldovan Player of the Year Alexandru Epureanu became the most expensive ever footballer from his country when FC Dinamo Moskva paid FC Moskva €4m for his services.
Epureanu, who has 30 full international caps to his name at the age of 23, completed the move across the Russian capital after three seasons at Moskva. He had previously caught the eye in his homeland, firstly at FC Zimbru Chişinău, with whom he won a number of youth-team titles, and then at FC Sheriff where he twice secured the Moldovan championship. International recognition at every level went hand in hand with his club displays. "I have never met such a gifted football player as Aleksandr," said former coach Nikolai Esin.
Having since proven himself in the Russian Premier League with four goals in 67 appearances for Moskva, Epureanu has been named as Moldovan Player of the Year for the second time in the past three seasons. "He deserves this because he had good games for both his club and the national team last year," Football Association of Moldova president Pavel Cebanu told UEFA.com.
It is his displays in helping Moskva to a sixth-placed finish in the league that led to such recognition, though his former club's withdrawal from the Russian top flight prompted Epureanu's decision to sign a four-year contract with Dinamo. "It was a shock," he said. "I feel comfortable in my new team. Our coach Andrei Kobelev used me as a central defender and a defensive midfielder in our Spanish training camp. I am ready to play everywhere if Dinamo will benefit from it. We have only one aim – to become Russian champions."
The player's own ambitions stretch further than progress with his club, however, with his pending captaincy of the Moldovan national team for Wednesday's friendly against Kazakhstan a particular inspiration. "When I was a child, I was excited watching our national team games," he told UEFA.com. "I was happy when our side was successful and disappointed when they were losing. My dream was realised when I started to play for the national team. I am thinking only about positive results in every game and how to bring joy to our fans."