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Alexandru Maxim
Alexandru Maxim - 11 August 2018 (cropped).jpg
Maxim with Mainz 05 in 2018
Personal information
Full name Alexandru Iulian Maxim
Date of birth 8 July 1990 (1990-07-08) (age 31)
Place of birth Piatra Neamț, Romania
Height 1.79m
Playing position Attacking midfielder, winger
Club information
Current club Gaziantep
Number 44
Youth career
1997–2004 Olimpia Piatra Neamț
2004–2007 Ardealul Cluj
2007–2009 Espanyol
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2011 Espanyol B 26 (0)
2010–2011 → Badalona (loan) 5 (0)
2011–2013 Pandurii Târgu Jiu 44 (9)
2013–2017 VfB Stuttgart 116 (16)
2017–2020 Mainz 05 49 (3)
2020 → Gaziantep (loan) 15 (7)
2020– Gaziantep 38 (15)
National team
2011–2012 Romania U21 3 (0)
2012– Romania 48 (6)
  • Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20 March 2021.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 31 March 2021

Alexandru Iulian Maxim ( born 8 July 1990) is a Romanian professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder or winger for Turkish club Gaziantep F.K. and the Romania national team.

Maxim played youth football for Olimpia Piatra Neamț and Ardealul Cluj before joining Espanyol, making his debut as a professional for their reserve team. He returned to Romania with Pandurii Târgu Jiu, before transferring abroad again to VfB Stuttgart in 2013. After four and a half years with the club, he moved to Mainz 05.

Maxim has been a full international for Romania since 2012, earning over 40 caps.

Club career

Early years / Espanyol

Maxim started his football career with local side Olimpia Piatra Neamț when he was seven years old before joining Ardealul Cluj in 2004, sharing teams at some point with Mihai Răduț and Vlad Chiricheș.

Aged 17, Maxim moved to Spain with Espanyol. About his accommodation in the country, he said that "it was not very easy". After progressing through the club's academy, he then played for the reserves in the Segunda División B. During the 2010–11 campaign, Maxim was loaned to Badalona.

Pandurii Târgu Jiu

On 9 August 2011, Maxim returned to Romania to sign a one-year contract with the option of another two years for Pandurii Târgu Jiu.

Maxim made his debut in the Liga I on 12 September 2011, coming on as a late substitute in a 5–1 win over Mioveni, and scored his first goal for the club on 18 December in a 1–1 draw with Ceahlăul Piatra Neamț. He netted his second on 31 March 2012, in a 1–1 draw against Steaua București. Maxim later scored two more goals against Oțelul Galați and Concordia Chiajna respectively. Despite being absent on some occasions, Maxim finished his first season at the club with four goals in 28 appearances all competitions comprised.

The following campaign, Maxim aided Pandurii to a perfect start after scoring one each against Ceahlăul Piatra Neamț and Oțelul Galați, with the team having managed six wins in the first seven matches. By the time the first half of the season came to an end, he played 20 games and scored three more goals.

Maxim's good display attracted interest from several foreign clubs, including Standard Liège, and Steaua București was close to reaching and agreement for his transfer. In response to the initial rumours, head coach Petre Grigoraș stated that he expects the player to stay at Pandurii until the summer of the next year.

VfB Stuttgart

AlexandruMaxim VfB
Maxim playing for VfB Stuttgart in 2013

On 31 January 2013, Maxim joined German side VfB Stuttgart for a transfer fee of 1.5 million, signing a four-and-a-half-year contract.

Maxim made his debut for Stuttgart on 14 February 2013, in a UEFA Europa League round of 32 game against Genk. On 23 February, he played his first Bundesliga match against Nürnberg. On 30 March, Maxim scored his first goal against defending champions Borussia Dortmund, to equalise in an eventual 2–1 loss due to Robert Lewandowski's late goal. Despite suffering an injury, Maxim made fourteen appearances in all competitions and played 62 minutes before being substituted in the final of the 2012–13 DFB-Pokal, which saw Stuttgart lose 3–2 to Bayern Munich.

On 1 September 2013, Maxim scored his first double for the club while also offering two assists in the 6–2 thrashing of Hoffenheim, to give Stuttgart the first Bundesliga win of the season after four match-days. He continued with his good form by scoring an assist in the next Bundesliga match against Hertha BSC in their 1–0 away victory. Maxim then scored again on 29 September 2013, in a 4–0 win over Eintracht Braunschweig and scored two weeks later on 20 October 2013, in a 3–3 draw against Hamburg. Coincidentally, Maxim scored twice against them for the second time this season on 8 March 2014 and two weeks later on 22 March 2014. He scored 9 goals in 26 matches in the 2013–14 Bundesliga, also contributing 11 assists.

In the 2014–15 season, Maxim started the season well when he scored the club's first goal of the season, in a 1–1 draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach. However, Maxim suffered an injury that kept him out for a week and after making his return, where he came on as a substitute in the second half, in a 3–3 draw against Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Maxim played the role in the next game, where he set up two goals, in a 5–4 win over Eintracht Frankfurt on 25 October 2014 and then in the second time meeting on 21 March 2015, he scored and set up one of the goals, in a 3–1 win. Despite suffering from another injury, Maxim made twenty–six appearance and scored two times, as well as, assisting six times in the 2014–15 season.

Ahead of the 2015–16 season, it was announced on 11 August 2015 that Maxim extended his contract with VfB Stuttgart until June 2019. The following month on 23 September 2015, Maxim scored his first goal of the season, in a 3–1 win over Hannover 96 and then scored his second goal of the season on 28 October 2015, in the second round of DFB-Pokal, in a 2–0 win over Carl Zeiss Jena. After suffering from an illness that kept him out for a week, Maxim set up two goals on 2 May 2016, in a 6–2 loss against Werder Bremen. After unable to help the club survive relegation to 2.Bundesliga, Maxim scored once in twenty–five league appearance and assisting six times in the 2015–16 season.

Following the club's relegation to 2. Bundesliga, Maxim was given a number 10 shirt from the previous 44 shirt and started the 2016–17 season well when he scored in the opening game of the season, with a 2–1 win over St. Pauli. On 30 October 2016, he scored again, in a 3–1 win over Karlsruher SC. After suffering from an injury for one game, Maxim then made his return from injury on 12 December 2016, where he came on as a substitute in the second half, in a 2–2 draw against Hannover 96. He finished strongly appearing as a regular starter and contributing three goals and one assist in the last matches of the season which helped secure Stuttgart's promotion to the Bundesliga.

In his four and a half years at the club, Maxim amassed 131 appearances with 17 goals and 35 assists across all competitions.

Mainz 05

In June 2017, Maxim joined Mainz 05 on a four-year deal. The transfer fee paid to Stuttgart was in the region of €3 million plus bonuses. He made his competitive debut in a cup match against Lüneburger SK Hansa on 12 August, offering an assist in the 3–1 away win.

On 14 October 2017, Maxim scored his first goal for Mainz in a 3–2 league victory over Hamburger SV.

International career

Algérie-Roumanie - 20140604 - Alexandru Maxim
Maxim with Romania in 2014

Maxim has stated that he wishes to represent his native country internationally, despite the possibility of taking up Spanish citizenship.

Maxim was called up by Romania U21 for the first time on 2 October 2011 and made his debut on 11 October 2011, in a 2–0 loss against France. His second appearance for the under-21 side came on 10 November 2011 also against France, which saw them lost 3–0.

Maxim made his full international debut for the Romania on 30 May 2012, in a friendly game against Switzerland. On 11 September 2012, he became the very first Romanian player born after the Romanian Revolution to score for the national team, after a 4–0 win over Andorra. Two months later on 14 November 2012, Maxim scored again in a 2–1 victory against Belgium, but the match was later deemed unofficial according to the Laws of the Game (excessive number of substitutions).

It was not until 11 October 2015 when he scored his first goal in three years, in a 3–0 win over Faroe Islands. The following year, Maxim was included for the Romania squad for the UEFA Euro 2016. However, he was omitted from the squad after the final cut. In response to this, Maxim expressed his bitterness but nevertheless wished the team success in the tournament.

On 1 September 2017, Maxim netted the winner against Armenia at his first game under manager Christoph Daum.

Personal life

In addition to his native Romanian, Maxim also speaks English, Spanish and German. He regarded Zinedine Zidane and compatriot Gheorghe Hagi as his role models growing up.

Career statistics

Club

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Cup Europe Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Espanyol B 2009–10 Segunda División B 26 0 26 0
Total 26 0 26 0
Badalona 2010–11 Segunda División B 5 0 0 0 5 0
Total 5 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Pandurii Târgu Jiu 2011–12 Liga I 25 4 3 0 28 4
2012–13 19 5 1 0 20 5
Total 44 9 4 0 0 0 48 9
VfB Stuttgart 2012–13 Bundesliga 11 1 2 0 3 0 16 1
2013–14 29 7 2 0 3 0 34 7
2014–15 26 2 1 0 27 2
2015–16 25 1 2 1 27 2
2016–17 2. Bundesliga 25 5 2 0 27 5
Total 116 16 9 1 6 0 131 17
Mainz 05 2017–18 Bundesliga 22 2 4 0 26 2
2018–19 22 1 2 2 24 3
2019–20 5 0 1 0 6 0
Total 49 3 7 2 0 0 56 5
Gaziantep 2019–20 Süper Lig 15 7 0 0 15 7
2020–21 18 10 1 0 19 10
Total 33 17 1 0 34 17
Career total 273 45 21 3 6 0 300 48

International

Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Romania 2012 3 1
2013 8 0
2014 7 0
2015 7 1
2016 2 0
2017 2 1
2018 5 1
2019 3 0
2020 7 2
2021 3 0
Total 47 6
Scores and results list Romania's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Maxim goal.
List of international goals scored by Alexandru Maxim
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 11 September 2012 Arena Națională, Bucharest, Romania 3  Andorra 4–0 4–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
14 November 2012 Arena Națională, Bucharest, Romania  Belgium 1–1 2–1 Unofficial friendly
2 11 October 2015 Tórsvøllur, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands 24  Faroe Islands 3–0 3–0 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
3 1 September 2017 Arena Națională, Bucharest, Romania 28  Armenia 1–0 1–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
4 11 October 2018 LFF Stadium, Vilnius, Lithuania 31  Lithuania 2–1 2–1 2018–19 UEFA Nations League C
5 7 September 2020 Wörthersee Stadion, Klagenfurt, Austria 40  Austria 3–1 3–2 2020-21 UEFA Nations League B
6 8 October 2020 Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík, Iceland 41  Iceland 1–2 1–2 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying play-offs

Honours

Espanyol

  • Copa de Campeones Juvenil: 2007–08

VfB Stuttgart

Individual

  • Gazeta Sporturilor Romanian Footballer of the Year runner-up: 2013
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