Bio
Pavel Cristian Balaj
Born: 1971-08-17
Intl. since: 2003-01-01
Hometown: Baia-Mare
Country: Romania
Speaks: Romanian, English, German
Occupation: company manager
Hobbies: sports

Cristian Balaj seems to be doing well for himself, not only in Romania, but in Europe too. At the time of writing he is listed as a second class category referee by UEFA, but is 'under observation' and has a great chance to be promoted coming summer. Balaj is well-known for his style; he allows the game to flow freely, but he is very tough when it comes to nasty fouls.

ref of the year

In 2008 Balaj was named "Referee of the Year" by the Romanian Referee Comission.
(thanks to Nicu Badescu)

big 4

Since 2000, the year he was promoted to the Romanian First Division, he lead 10 matches between the Romanian Big Four (Steaua, Dinamo, Rapid, CFR Cluj): one Steaua - Dinamo match, three Dinamo - Rapid matches, 3 Steaua - Rapid's, two CFR Cluj - Steaua encounters and one match with Rapid and CFR Cluj as the protagonists.
At the time of writing (June 2009) Cristian had 160 matches to his name in the Romanian First Division.
(thanks to Nicu Badescu for this information)

category

Balaj was a 'Premier Development Category' referee which meant he had a chance to move up to become an Elite ref, but at the start of season 2011-2012 he went back to the 1st category.

CL

Balaj got his first Champions League group stage match in September 2010.

2014

Balaj has been around for quite some years, but never really got his feet on the ground into Champion League matches, but he got very experienced in Europe League matches. There must be something wrong with his lobbying skills or probably worse the quality of the Romanian Football Association to push this highly regarded referee.

Did you know
BALAJ, THE REFEREE OF THE MOMENT

  • Balaj used to be a professional footballer himself. He played for Baia Mare in the second divison of Romania as well as for Pesc in the first division of Hungary. Cristian always must have liked to be in the center, because as an active player his favorite position used to be central midfielder.
    (thanks to Nicu Badescu)
  • Cristian is from Baia Mare. He is married and has two girls.
    (thanks to Nicu Badescu)
  • Balaj organized a charitable match for the son of Cosim Pascovici, a Romanian first division player, who had a brain tumor. Balaj raised 20.000 euros with this match and also donated his payment from another game (see next item).
    (thanks to Nicu Badescu)
  • May 10 2007, Cristian Balaj took charge of the match UTA-Pandurii Targu Jiu. He surprised everyone when after the match he donated his fee to Cosmin Pascovici, a defender of one team whose son has a brain tumor.
    (thanks to Cristian Georgescu)
  • Balaj was nominated best Romanian Referee in 2008.
Statistics
Statistics for PAVEL CRISTIAN BALAJ
Totals Home Away Total
Penalties 13 8 21
Fouls 0 0 0
Yellow 84 127 211
YellowRed 0 0 0
Red 5 6 11
Averages Home Away Total
Penalties 0.21 0.13 0.17
Fouls 0 0 0
Yellow 1.35 2.05 1.7
YellowRed 0 0 0
Red 0.08 0.1 0.09

Based on 62 international matches

Matches
MATCHES FOR PAVEL CRISTIAN BALAJ
Date Score Yellow Red Penalties Fouls
friendly
QatarRussia2016-11-102 - 1 4 (4-0)0 (0-0)4 (2-2)0 (0-0)
CyprusFinland2012-11-140 - 3 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)1 (0-1)0 (0-0)
HungaryLiechtenstein2011-11-115 - 0 2 (0-2)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Europa League 2016 - 2017
qualifiers 2nd roundMariborLevski Sofia2016-07-140 - 0 3 (0-3)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Europa League 2015 - 2016
group stageQarabagMonaco2015-11-051 - 1 3 (1-2)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Europa League 2014 - 2015
group stageFiorentinaDinamo Minsk2014-12-111 - 2 4 (2-2)1 (0-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stageStandardRijeka2014-09-182 - 0 8 (3-5)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
play-offsPSVShakhtyor Soligorsk2014-08-211 - 0 3 (0-3)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
qualifiers 3rd roundNeftchi BakuChikhura2014-07-310 - 0 1 (0-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Euro 2016 qualifiers
AndorraIsrael2014-10-131 - 4 3 (2-1)0 (0-0)2 (1-1)0 (0-0)
Europa League 2013 - 2014
group stageEfBStandard2013-11-282 - 1 3 (1-2)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stagePSVDinamo Zagreb2013-11-072 - 0 2 (0-2)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stageFreiburgLiberec2013-09-192 - 2 6 (2-4)2 (1-1)1 (1-0)0 (0-0)
play-offsDila GoriRapid Wien2013-08-290 - 3 8 (6-2)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
qualifiers 3rd roundKuban KrasnodarMotherwell2013-08-081 - 0 2 (0-2)0 (0-0)2 (1-1)0 (0-0)
WC 2014 qualifiers - Europe
ArmeniaCzech Republic2013-03-260 - 3 2 (2-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Europa League 2012 - 2013
group stageMetalist KharkivLeverkusen2012-11-222 - 0 3 (1-2)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Play-offsMoldeHeerenveen2012-08-232 - 0 1 (0-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
qualifiers 3rd roundPAOKBnei Yehuda2012-08-094 - 1 4 (0-4)1 (0-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
qualifiers 2nd roundSarajevoLevski Sofia2012-07-263 - 1 7 (3-4)0 (0-0)1 (0-1)0 (0-0)
Europa League 2011 - 2012
group stageMetalist KharkivAustria Wien2011-11-304 - 1 3 (2-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stageUdineseRennes2011-09-152 - 1 5 (1-4)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
play-offsRosenborgLarnaca AEK2011-08-180 - 0 4 (1-3)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Europa League 2010 - 2011
round of 32Spartak MoskvaBasel2011-02-241 - 1 3 (0-3)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
play-offsDortmundQarabag2010-08-194 - 0 3 (3-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Champions League 2010-2011
group stageKobenhavnBarcelona2010-11-021 - 1 2 (1-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stageAC MilanAuxerre2010-09-152 - 0 3 (2-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Euro 2012 qualifiers
SloveniaNorthern Ireland2010-09-030 - 1 3 (0-3)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Champions League 2010-2011 qualifiers
3rd roundAnderlechtTNS2010-08-033 - 0 1 (0-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Europa League 2009 - 2010
round of 32StandardSalzburg2010-02-183 - 2 5 (2-3)0 (0-0)1 (1-0)0 (0-0)
group stageFulhamCSKA Sofia2009-12-031 - 0 5 (2-3)0 (0-0)1 (1-0)0 (0-0)
group stageHeerenveenHertha BSC2009-11-052 - 3 1 (1-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stageBATEEverton2009-10-011 - 2 4 (2-2)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Champions League 2009-2010
qualifiers 2nd roundMariborWIT2009-07-223 - 1 7 (3-4)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
UEFA Cup 2008 - 2009
round of 32SampdoriaMetalist Kharkiv2009-02-180 - 1 7 (2-5)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
group stageLech PoznanNancy2008-11-062 - 2 3 (1-2)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
1st roundClub BruggeYoung Boys2008-10-022 - 0 6 (1-5)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Euro 2009 u21 qualifiers
play-offsWales u21England u212008-10-102 - 3 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
WC 2010 qualifiers - Europe
Bosnia-HerzegovinaEstonia2008-09-107 - 0 2 (1-1)0 (0-0)1 (1-0)0 (0-0)
Champions League 2008-2009
qualifiers 2nd roundDinamo TbilisiPanathinaikos2008-08-060 - 0 4 (3-1)1 (1-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Intertoto 2008
3rd roundRosenborgNAC2008-07-272 - 0 6 (2-4)1 (1-0)1 (1-0)0 (0-0)
UEFA Cup 2007 - 2008
group stageBrannDinamo Zagreb2007-11-292 - 1 4 (1-3)1 (0-1)1 (1-0)0 (0-0)
1st roundCrvena ZvezdaGroclin Grodzisk2007-10-041 - 0 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Euro 2008 qualifiers
GermanyWales2007-11-210 - 0 3 (0-3)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
ArmeniaPoland2007-06-061 - 0 2 (1-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Intertoto 2007
3rd roundOFITobol2007-07-290 - 1 8 (3-5)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
UEFA Cup 2006 - 2007
group stageEspanyolZulte Waregem2006-11-236 - 2 2 (0-2)0 (0-0)1 (1-0)0 (0-0)
1st roundGroningenPartizan2006-09-281 - 0 7 (2-5)0 (0-0)1 (1-0)0 (0-0)
Euro 2007 u21 qualifiers
France u21Slovenia u212006-09-052 - 0 2 (0-2)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Euro 2006 u19
group stageAustria u19Czech Republic u192006-07-201 - 3 9 (6-3)0 (0-0)1 (0-1)0 (0-0)
group stageScotland u19Portugal u192006-07-182 - 2 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
UEFA Cup 2005 - 2006
group stageVitoria GuimarãesBesiktas2005-12-141 - 3 2 (1-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
1st roundRennesOsasuna2005-09-153 - 1 4 (2-2)2 (1-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Intertoto 2005
2nd roundPobedaHamburger SV2005-07-101 - 4 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Euro 2005 u17
1/2 finalsItaly u17Netherlands u172005-05-110 - 1 3 (1-2)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Euro 2006 u21 qualifiers
Poland u21Azerbaijan u212005-03-253 - 0 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)1 (1-0)0 (0-0)
Bosnia-Herzegovina u21Serbia and Montenegro u212004-10-081 - 3 5 (2-3)1 (1-0)1 (0-1)0 (0-0)
Kazakhstan u21Ukraine u212004-09-070 - 1 6 (5-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Champions League 2004-2005
qualifiers 2nd roundDjurgårdenKaunas2004-07-280 - 0 3 (2-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
UEFA Cup 2003 - 2004
1st roundEfBSpartak Moskva2003-10-151 - 1 3 (0-3)1 (0-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
Euro 2004 u21 qualifiers
Ireland u21Russia u212003-09-052 - 0 2 (1-1)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)
European Cup 1982 - 1983
1st roundLiverpoolDundalk1982-09-281 - 0 0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)0 (0-0)