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Monday, June 02, 2008

Euro 2008: Romania Squad

The tournament football fans across the world are waiting for at present is Euro 2008. If you are a football fan then you must know that Euro is the most prestigious football tournament in Europe and it is perhaps the most popular tournament after FIFA World Cup. Among the continental tournament in different continent of the world, Euro is the most popular. Another European Championship is now knocking at the door as Euro 2008 is due to kick off on 7 June. This year the tournament is going to be held in two countries: Austria and Switzerland. There are 16 teams participating in the tournament and in this blog we are reviewing the squad of the different teams. As part of that, here you can get the review of Romania squad for Euro 2008:

Romania is not a big power in the football world and they are not even regular in football world cup. Romania took part in three Euro tournaments so far. The upcoming tournament is going to be the fourth Euro tournament for Romania and they appeared in seven world cup tournaments so far. Interestingly, both in World Cup and Euro, Romania could not go beyond quarter final stage. Romania failed to appear in the previous Euro tournament as well as world cup. So, Euro 2008 is going to be the first major tournament for Romania since they last played in Euro 2000 tournament.

Actually, their performance in Euro 2000 was excellent as Romania projected their best ever performance reaching the quarter final. So, Romania is going to have a big tournament in eight years and it is pretty much sure that fans of Romania are waiting eagerly for Euro 2008 and hoping for something better from Romania in Euro 2008. So, Romania is going into Euro 2008 with lots of expectation and hopes. The good news for Romanian fans is that recent performance of Romania is excellent as they finished atop the point table of Group G in the qualifying round, even though Netherlands was also in the same group finished second to Romania.

Romania coach Coach Victor Piturca is a former striker of Romania national side. May be, that is why, Romania seemed to be a bit more attacking during the qualifying round. However, the most important thing is that Romania coach is pretty much successful to get the best out of star striker Adrian Mutu who plays for ACF Fiorentina in club football. However, it does not mean that Victor Piturca does not give enough focus on the defense because he himself was a striker. In fact, sometimes he plays two defensive midfielders to strengthen his four-man defense. Romania coach is also well-known for exploring talents from every member of the squad, providing chances to all the squad members by rotation, in order to ensure that Romania is not a one or two-man team. Goal keeper Bodgan Lobont has become an automatic choice for the coach in the absence of injured goal keeper Danut Coman. However, Romania’s defense has a number of variations. Dorin Goian and Gabriel Tamas are talented centre backs with high quality of power and fitness. Captain Cristian Chivu has the versatility to play either as centre back or as midfielder. Cosmin Contra and Răzvan Raţ are doing their best at the right and left back position respectively.

I think, Cristian Chivu has a great role to play for Romania during Euro 2008. He is able to play at the centre or left back as well as centre or left midfield. So, he is a player, coach Victor Piturca can use effectively. In the midfield, Răzvan Cociş and Mirel Rădoi are reliable. Midfielder Nicolae Dica is expected to be at the left midfield position, while Banel Nicoliţa and Florentin Petre are likely to come in the right side of the midfield.

In the attack, Mutu and Ciprian Marica have formed an effective combination. The striker duo scored eleven goals between them in the qualifying round. The big advantage of their combination is that both of them are quite different in their styles. Mutu is specialized in free-kicks and very much effective while raiding from the left. On the other hand, Marica has excellent pace and loves to get into defense in order to score goals. So, it is expected that Mutu and Ciprian Marica will lead the Romania attack in Euro 2008. However, the only that could make coach, players and fans worried is their group stage competitors. Romania has been drawn into group C where they have to face world champion Italy, runners up of the last world France and Netherlands, who Romania faced in the qualifying round. Group C is known as ‘Group of Death.’ So, it is clear that Romania starts as underdog in the group.

Date

Competing Teams

Venue

9 June2008

Monday

Romania vs France

Letzigrund Stadion, Zürich

13 June 2008

Friday

Romania vs Italy

Letzigrund Stadion, Zürich

17 June 2008

Tuesday

Romania vs Netherlands

Stade de Suisse, Wankdorf, Berne

Well, I think, the underdog tag could be an advantage for Romania. They are full of confidence after facing Netherlands and finishing first in the qualifying round. Romania made a goalless draw away at Netherlands, though later on lost to the same side at home in the qualifying. However, I think, Romania has a good bunch of footballers who could cause an upset in Group C, and the players are most probably gearing up themselves to perform well in their first major football tournament in the last eight years. Many new and young players came during this time and many of those players excelled their career in club football, but could not get any chance to play in a major football tournament. So, I would not be surprised if Romany makes it to the quarter final of Euro 2008 causing one or two upsets in the group stage. Here, I am giving the full list of 23-man Romania squad for Euro 2008 from Guardian:

Goal Keeper

Bogdan Lobont (Dinamo Bucharest), Marius Popa (Poli Stiinta Timisoara), Eduard Stanciou (CFR Cluj)

Defense

Cosmin Contra (Getafe), Razvan Rat (Shakhtar Donetsk), Gabriel Tamas (Auxerre), Cristian Chivu (Inter Milan), Mirel Radoi (Steaua Bucharest), Cristian Sapunaru (Rapid Bucharest), Sorin Ghionea (Steaua Bucharest), Dorin Goian (Steaua Bucharest), Cosmin Moti (Dinamo Bucharest), Stefan Radu (Lazio),

Midfield

Florentin Petre (CSKA Sofia), Paul Codrea (AC Siena), Adrian Cristea (Dinamo Bucharest), Nicolae Dica (Steaua Bucharest), Razvan Cocis (Lokomotiv Moscow), Banel Nicolita (Steaua Bucharest)

Striker

Ciprian Marica (VfB Stuttgart), Adrian Mutu (Fiorentina), Marius Niculae (Inverness Caledonian Thistle), Daniel Niculae (AJ Auxerre)

Related articles:

Euro 2008

Canadian Press

Guardian

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