Date of birth
Romanian international forward Adrian Popa signed a three-and-a-half year contract with the Royals in January 2017, joining Jaap Stam’s Madejski Stadium ranks from Steaua Bucharest for an undisclosed fee.
The 28-year-old winger had played his whole career in his homeland, earning promotion to the top tier with both FC Universitatea Cluj and CS Concordia Chiajna before signing a five-year deal with Steaua in 2012.
The Bucharest-born wide man went on to make more than 200 appearances for the club, winning four domestic cup competitions and three consecutive top flight titles whilst also playing Europa League and Champions League football in the capital as well as representing his country at Euro 2016!
Popa scored his last goal for Steaua Bucharest just before Christmas 2016, bagging the only goal in a Liga I encounter against Poli Timisoara – his first professional club - at the Arena Nationala to cement their second place standing in the division going into the winter break.
Earlier that same month he played a part in Steaua’s Europa League defeat at Villarreal and he has also featured against Manchester City in the Champions League this season, though Bucharest were beaten by Fabian Delph’s goal at the Etihad back in August.
He also took on Chelsea in the last sixteen of the Europa League back in 2013, starting in a 1-0 home win over Rafa Benitez’s men before featuring in a 3-1 second leg defeat at Stamford Bridge nearly four years ago.
Popa is a regular Romanian international, featuring against Poland, Kazakhstan and scoring against both Armenia and Montenegro in the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.
And Popa was part of the Romania squad out in France for Euro 2016, taking part in all three of his country’s group games, in front of 75,000 against France themselves at the Stade de France, Switzerland at the Parc des Princes and Albania in Lyon.
He became the first Romanian to play and then score for the Royals - making his bow in a goalless home draw with Barnsley and scoring a vital injury time goal by racing nearly the full length of the pitch to tap home at Hillsborough - securing victory over promotion-rivals Sheffield Wednesday.