|Full name||Ioan Viorel Ganea|
|Date of birth||10 August 1973|
|Place of birth||F?g?ra?, Romania|
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft in)|
|Dun?rea C?l?ra?i (technical director)|
|1996-1998||FC U Craiova||56||(22)|
|2010||Dinamo II Bucure?ti|
|2020-||Dun?rea C?l?ra?i (technical director)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Ganea debuted in Liga I (Divizia A at that time) with FC Bra?ov in 1994. He went on to play for a number of clubs in Romanian football over the next five years. He joined Rapid Bucharest in January 1999, where he scored 11 goals in the remainder of the season to fire the club to the league championship. He finished that season with 28 goals overall, making him the leading goalscorer.
This form won him a move to Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart in the summer of 1999. He remained in Germany for four seasons and tasted UEFA Cup action, but was never a regular starter. He moved to Turkish top flight club Bursaspor in June 2003 on a free transfer, but stayed there for just six months before moving to England.
The striker joined Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers in December 2003 after his contract in Turkey was cancelled by mutual consent. He scored three Premier League goals during the 2003-04 season - against eventual champions Arsenal, Leeds and Newcastle - but could not prevent relegation.
He remained with the club for two seasons in the second tier, mostly under the managerialship of Glenn Hoddle. The first of these years was written off after suffering cruciate knee ligament injury on a pre-season tour of Norway. He recovered for the 2005-06 season but never held down a regular starting place, and was released as his contract expired at the end of the campaign.
He moved back to Romania, with Dinamo Bucharest on an initial one-year deal. However, just six months later, Ganea broke this contract to rejoin Rapid Bucharest on a record EUR350,000 ($462,000) a season. Although contracted to the end of 2009 with Rapid, Ganea left on a free transfer in June 2007 for FC Timi?oara, despite the fact that he could have earned up to EUR1 million a season through bonuses at Rapid.
Ganea made his debut for the Romanian national team on 3 March 1999 against Estonia, scoring both goals in a 2-0 win. He represented his country at Euro 2000 and scored a last-minute penalty against England that took Romania to the quarter finals at the expense of their opponent. He made 45 caps and 19 goals, but his last game was in 2006.
During his stay at U Craiova, Ganea was involved in several controversies. Ganea kicked his teammate Cornel Fr?sineanu in the mouth, which left him without a few teeth and for a while he had to eat using a straw.Eugen Tric? tried to calm him down but Ionel threatened to beat him too so Tric? backed off. He also had a fight with Silvian Cristescu who threw a massage table at his head. On 2 May 1998 Rapid Bucure?ti needed to win the match against U Craiova in order to be sure that they win the Liga I title so they agreed with George Ilinca who was U Craiova's owner to let them win the game. Some players, including Ionel Ganea did not agree to take part in the arrangement, the game ended 2-2 with both of U Craiova's goals being scored by Ganea, and the title was won by Steaua Bucure?ti.
At VfB Stuttgart he had a fight with teammate Jochen Seitz, for which he was punished by the club with a 10.000 marks fine. One day Ganea was eating an ice cream and coach Felix Magath saw him and told him that he shouldn't be eating food that contains too many calories because he has weight issues, Ganea got mad and threw the ice cream at him.
In a match at Euro 2000 against England Ionel was tackled hard by Sol Campbell but the referee did not take any measure against him, so Ionel waited for Campbell to get close to him and when none of the referees were watching he hit him and cussed him: "Motherfucker! Bitch!". In 2001, he had a fight with the goalkeeper Stelea in a training session that took part before a Romania - Italy game. During the match with the Italians, the striker was one step away from hitting his coach László Bölöni, because he was mad that the coach left him on the bench. While playing for Romania against Scotland in April 2004, he tackled Celtic defender John Kennedy resulting in a knee injury that left Kennedy unable to play for three years. Kennedy has since been forced to retire from professional football as a result of this and subsequent injuries.
Steven Gerrard's autobiography contains an episode about an incident between him and Ionel Ganea in a Wolverhampton - Liverpool game played in January 2004: "He tore my leg from the knee to the ankle. Under the puttee, my leg was cut deep, a nasty wound". After finding out what Gerrard wrote about him in his autobiography Ganea told the press:"I inform Gerrard that when I write my autobiography, I will not mention him. I will not have room for little girls". In April 2006 he was involved in more controversy when he criticised the Wolverhampton Wanderers manager at that time, Glenn Hoddle, claiming "he is the most difficult manager I have worked with in my career".Glenn Hoddle also fined him with a one week salary for fighting at a training session with a teammate.
In August 2007 after a Unirea Urziceni - Politehnica Timi?oara game the striker had a conflict with the president of Unirea Urziceni Mihai Stoica, with Ganea grabbing him by the neck until the Gendarmery officers separated them. One week later, Ganea was banned for 22 matches, which were later reduced to 16, after attacking one of the assistant referees after being sent off during a match between his club Politehnica Timi?oara and Rapid Bucure?ti. In his first match played against CFR Cluj after executing the 16 match suspension, he had a verbal conflict with former U Craiova teammate Eugen Tric? before the beginning of the match, being close to start a fight after the end of the match.
In 2012 while attending at Ioan Dr?gan's funeral, who was his wedding's Godfather and a former FC Bra?ov teammate he almost got into a fight with the priest, being unsatisfied of the way he was preaching.
During his coaching period at FC Voluntari after a 1-0 victory against CSMS Ia?i he had a conflict with a female journalist named Alina Iosub in which he offended and cussed her, she also threatened him by saying that if he comes to Boto?ani, he won't leave there alive.
His wife, Dana, with which he was married for over 24 years accused him of physical and verbal domestic violence and filled for divorce several times, also asking for a restraining order against him.
Scores and results table. "Score" indicates the score after the player's goal:
|1||3 March 1999||Stadionul Lia Manoliu, Bucharest, Romania||Estonia||1-0||2-0||Friendly|
|2||3 March 1999||Stadionul Lia Manoliu, Bucharest, Romania||Estonia||2-0||2-0||Friendly|
|3||28 April 1999||Stadionul Ghencea, Bucharest, Romania||Belgium||1-0||1-0||Friendly|
|4||9 June 1999||Stadionul Ghencea, Bucharest, Romania||Azerbaijan||1-0||4-0||UEFA Euro 2000 Qual.|
|5||19 September 1999||Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz, Liechtenstein||Liechtenstein||2-0||3-0||UEFA Euro 2000 Qual.|
|6||19 September 1999||Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz, Liechtenstein||Liechtenstein||3-0||3-0||UEFA Euro 2000 Qual.|
|7||26 April 2000||Stadionul Gheorghe Hagi, Constan?a, Romania||Cyprus||2-0||2-0||Friendly|
|8||20 June 2000||Stade du Pays de Charleroi, Charleroi, Belgium||England||3-2||3-2||UEFA EURO 2000 Group A|
|9||3 September 2000||Stadionul Ghencea, Bucharest, Romania||Lithuania||1-0||1-0||World Cup 2002 Qual.|
|10||28 February 2001||GSP Stadium, Nicosia, Cyprus||Lithuania||1-0||3-0||Friendly|
|11||28 February 2001||GSP Stadium, Nicosia, Cyprus||Lithuania||2-0||3-0||Friendly|
|12||13 February 2002||Stade de France, Saint Denis, France||France||1-2||1-2||Friendly|
|13||27 March 2002||Stadionul Gheorghe Hagi, Constan?a, Romania||Ukraine||4-0||4-1||Friendly|
|14||17 April 2002||Zdzis?aw Krzyszkowiak Stadium, Bydgoszcz, Poland||Poland||1-0||2-1||Friendly|
|15||7 September 2002||Ko?evo Stadium, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina||Bosnia and Herzegovina||3-0||3-0||UEFA Euro 2004 Qual.|
|16||12 February 2003||Neo GSZ Stadium, Larnaca, Cyprus||Slovakia||2-1||2-1||Friendly|
|17||7 June 2003||Stadionul Ion Oblemenco, Craiova, Romania||Bosnia and Herzegovina||2-0||2-0||UEFA Euro 2004 Qual.|
|18||11 June 2003||Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo, Norway||Norway||1-0||1-1||UEFA Euro 2004 Qual.|
|19||6 September 2003||Stadionul Astra, Ploie?ti, Romania||Luxembourg||3-0||4-0||UEFA Euro 2004 Qual.|