Sport in Romania. 1.1Football (soccer). 1.1Football (soccer)
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Nicknamed "The Maradona of the Carpathians", or "The hunk with the chunk", he is considered a hero in his homeland as well as in Turkey. He has won his country's "Player of the Year" award a record six times, and was recently named Romanian football player of the century. He played for the Romanian national team in three World Cups in 1990, 1994 and 1998, as well as in three European Football Championships in 1984, 1996 and 2000. He won a total of 125 caps for Romania, being ranked second after Dorinel Munteanu, and scored 35 goals, being ranked first.
In 1999, Nisipeanu as a clear outsider made it to the semifinals of the FIDE World Chess Championship by beating Vasily Ivanchuk in round 4 and Alexei Shirov in the quarterfinals only to succumb to the eventual champion Alexander Khalifman. Nisipeanu won the European Individual Chess Championship 2005 in Warsaw with 10 points out of 13 games, half a point ahead of runner-up Teimour Radjabov from Azerbaijan.