Gheorghe Gruia

1964 World Men's Handball Championship Nikola Karabatić Mikkel Hansen
Gheorghe Gruia
Gheorghe Gruia.jpg
Gruia pictured in the 1970s
Personal information
Full name Gheorghe Gruia Marinescu
Born (1940-10-02)October 2, 1940
Bucharest, Romania
Died December 9, 2015(2015-12-09) (aged 75)
Mexico City, Mexico
Height 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)
Playing position Right back
Number 10
Youth career
Years Team
CCA Bucharest
Senior clubs
Years Team
Steaua Bucharest
National team
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Romania 126 (636)
Teams managed
Universitario Chiapas
Pumas UNAM

Gheorghe Gruia Marinescu (October 2, 1940 – December 9, 2015) was a Romanian handball player, coach and sports official. Born in Bucharest, Gruia won the gold medal in the 1964 World Handball Championship and the 1970 World Championship. In the 1972 Summer Olympics he won the bronze medal with the Romanian team and become the top scorer of the competition with 37 goals. He played as a right back and spent his entire professional career with Steaua Bucharest.[1]

The International Handball Federation named him in 1992 "The Greatest Handball Player of All Times".[2]

Gruia resided in Mexico City, Mexico since 1978, where he worked as a coach and an official in this sport and is credited with popularizing this sport in the country.[3]

He died on December 9, 2015, in Mexico City following a heart attack.[4] Gruia is considered the 'father of handball' in Mexico.[5]

His daughter, Andreea, is a Mexican former telenovela actress who is known for playing in Spanish language telenovelas on Televisa.



Steaua Bucharest

National team




  1. ^ "Gheorghe Gruia: La zurda rumana que dominó el mundo" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  2. ^ "Handball World Mourns the Loss of Icon, Friend & Teacher". International Handball Federation. 10 December 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Interviu cu Gheorghe Gruia" (in Romanian). Adevărul. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Doliu în sportul românesc. A murit Gheorghe Gruia, cel mai valoros handbalist român din toate timpurile". ProSport (in Romanian).
  5. ^ "Georghe Gruia Marinescu, el Pelé del handball" (in Spanish). Deportes UNAM. 12 December 2015. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Comunicat de presă" (in Romanian). Retrieved 11 June 2009.