Euro 2016 team-by-team guide: Everything you need to know Romania
Kevin Palmer gives us the lowdown on the Portugal.
Group a fixtures
- June 10th: France in Saint-Denis
- June 15th: Switzerland in Paris
- June 19th: Albania in Lyon
COACH: Anghel Iordanescu
In his third stint as his national team’s coach, Iordanescu was hailed as the ‘coach of the century’ by the Romania FA before he retired from the game to pursue a political career back in 2004.
He is now back in the Romania hot-seat and having emerged through a relatively weak Group F qualifying pool that included Northern Ireland and Hungary, Romania head into Euro 2016 without too many surprises to throw at their opponents. Iordanescu’s 4-2-3-1 formation is conservative and that is understandable given the lack of top quality performers at his disposal.
STAR MAN: Vlad Chiriches (Napoli)
After a disappointing spell with Tottenham, this commanding centre-back heads into Euro 2016 on the back of an indifferent season in Serie A with Napoli.
Romania need this experienced operator to be at his best if they are to upset the odds and make a mark in France this summer, but a lack of action for this former Benfica star over the last couple of seasons has cast a cloud over his status as the talisman of his national team.
LOOK OUT FOR: Florin Andone (Cordoba)
Goals will be the currency that will make or break Romania’s Euro 2016 hopes, with their record of scoring just 11 times in their 10 qualifiers hardly boding well for what lies ahead as they try to overcome Group A favourites France and Switzerland.
It says much about their lack of quality striking options that this 23-year-old who plies his trade in the Spanish second division may be their first choice striker in this summer’s tournament. And one scored his first international goal in the 2-2 draw against Italy in November.
WILD CARD: Nicolae Stanciu (Steaua Bucharest)
A 23-year-old who has made a late burst to force his way into the Romanian starting line-up, he made a hugely impressive international debut against Lithuania in March and could be handed the chief creative role in Iordanescu for some of their games in France.
There has been interest in this rising star from several European clubs and with Steaua putting a €10m price tag on his head, Stanciu will look to use the Euro 2016 stage to confirm he is ready to live up to the hype building around him. Romania will be looking for a hero as they battle against the odds this summer and maybe they will find him with this gifted performer.
VERDICT: Piecing together a constructive argument to suggest Romania will be anything but no-hopers at Euro 2016 is tricky.
The experience of head coach Iordanescu may give them some hope of putting up a resolute barrier to their opponents, yet they are unlikely to have too many answers if they concede first in high pressure games. This is a side that would not have qualified for the finals if they were not so fortunate to land in a qualifying group that gave them an open door to the finals. They may find a trap door now waiting for them at Euro 2016.