Apollon Limassol have completed the signing of Romanian attacking midfielder Florentin Matei. Matei has signed a year and a half long contract with the Cypriot club, with the deal ending in 2021. His jersey number will be 93, which represents the year of his birth.
What clubs has he featured for?
The 26-year-old Romanian has featured for a variety of clubs, including Steaua București (now known as FCSB), Rijeka, and Al-Ittihad.
His most recent club was Astra Giurgiu, for whom he featured 13 times in the first half of the current season.
Matei has also featured for Romania’s international youth setup, at U17 and U19 level.
Natural position, physique and preferred foot
Florentin Matei is 1.75 cm (5’9”) tall and usually weighs somewhere around 65 kg (143 lbs).
The player prefers his natural right foot, which allows him to cut inside from the left for a shot or link-up play with teammates.
He is described as an attacking midfielder which is somewhat vague. After scanning his positional heat map we can observe that his primary position on the pitch is that of a left-sided winger.
We can also see that he is not afraid to veer inwards, closer to the position of a natural number ten.
You can see his heat map below:
Where was he at his most productive?
Matei had his most productive periods at Ukrainian club Volyn during the 2015-2016 season and at Romanian club Astra during the 2017-2018 season.
Volyn – FAVBET Liga (Ukraine) – 2015-2016
At the Ukrainian club, Matei managed to score six times and assist another three for his teammates (league games only).
In 1382 minutes of league game time, he had 43 shots on target (48.8% of his total shots), an xG figure of 6.48, 84.9% pass accuracy, and 153 dribbles (55.6% success).
He also assisted his team in defense with 33 interceptions and 55 ball recoveries in the opponent’s half.
Astra – Liga I (Romania) – 2017-2018
Matei registered 1082 minutes for the Romanian club. During that time he managed to hit the back of the net a total of 4 times, which slightly outperforms his xG figure of 3.58 goals.
Moreover, he attempted 72 dribbles during that time, with 45.8% of them being successful.
He registered 31 shots with 51.6% of them being on target. Finally, he attempted 254 passes with 86.6% of them being accurate.
What does the Romanian press say about him?
We asked Romanian journalist Emanuel Roşu for an expert opinion on Florentin Matei.
Roşu told us the following: “Very gifted player, fantastic talent.” A glowing recommendation then.
Roşu added that perhaps the reason why his tenure at FCSB (Fotbal Club Steaua București) was that an excessive amount of pressure was placed on him at the time.
It would be safe to assume that this may have mentally strengthened Matei and made him a more experienced player, all to the benefit of his latest club.