Former Romania captain Stefanescu dies at 62

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.