During his very long career, which still continues, Munteanu was always seen as a player capable to making big efforts. A pure professional footballer, an example for others, he stayed away from drinking and night clubs, thus he suffered very few injuries.
Munteanu started to play football for Metalul Bocşa, a team which offered him the first chance to play in Divizia B in 1986. After one year he goes to play for FCM Reşiţa and then in 1988 for FC Olt, while 1989 finds him at FC Inter Sibiu.
Dinamo Bucharest bought him from Sibiu in 1991 only to sell him to Cercle Brugge two years later. After two years in Belgium he moved to Germany to play for FC Koln and VfL Wolfsburg between 1995 and 2003.
In 2003, aged 35, he is released from his contract by VfL Wolfsburg and signs with Steaua Bucharest as a free agent, only to leave the club in 2005 after a conflict with the club's Chief Executive Mihai Stoica and join the squad of CFR Cluj Napoca.
Dorinel won his first cap for Romania in 1991 while still at FC Inter Sibiu. Since then he was a very important part of the national team of Romania, playing in various positions such as left back, left midfielder and playmaker.
After leaving Steaua, Munteanu is offered the position of player-manager at CFR Cluj Napoca. In this first managerial job, he took the team to the Intertoto Cup final in 2005 and finished fifth in Divizia A at the end of the 2005–06 season. During the first half of the 2006–07 season, despite a good start (6 wins, 2 draws, 2 defeats) with CFR Cluj Napoca, Munteanu announced he resigns his position at the club, due to interference with his decisions and lack of support from the club management. Munteanu had a pending offer from FC Argeş Piteşti and he decided to accept it, despite the team being bottom of the first league after 10 games. Towards the end of the season, due to impossibility of avoiding the relegation of FC Argeş Piteşti, he was sacked, only to be confirmed in short time as the new manager of Liga 1 team FC Vaslui. He has stated that he also intends to continue his playing career at FC Vaslui. But after a match of FC Vaslui vs Steaua it was proved that the Vaslui players didn't play fair,they were stimulated by money that came from the Steaua owner to let Steaua win. After he heard that, Dorinel Munteanu quit the team, and right now he has offers from VFL Wolfsburg for the post of manager on the team.