Coach: Anghel Iordănescu
Colours: Yellow shirts, yellow shorts, yellow socks
v France (10 June, Saint-Denis)
v Switzerland (15 June, Paris)
v Albania (19 June, Lyon)
Quarter-finals (1960, 1972, 2000)
Group Stage (1984, 1996, 2008)
Romania are a historically-strong team with an average attendance record at European Championships. The Tricolorii played in the very first installment of the World Cup in 1930, and since then have qualified for six World Cups and six Euros.
Led by legendary midfielder Gheorghe Hagi, Romania’s Golden Age of the ’90s propelled the team to three World Cup knockout round appearances. The nation’s best performance at the European Championship took place in the 2000 edition, hosted by Netherlands and Belgium; advancing past a difficult group with Germany, Portugal, and England, Romania were knocked out in the quarter-finals by eventual runners-up Italy.
Recent years have not been as successful for the Tricolorii. Romania will be looking to make their mark in France after an absence of eight years in major international competitions.
How They Got There
Romania was drawn into a rather easy Euro 2016 qualifying group that also contained Finland, Northern Ireland, Hungary, Greece, and the Faroe Islands. A consistent qualifying campaign – despite a managerial change – saw the Romanians book their spot in the Euros with an astonishing record of just two goals conceded over the course of their 10 matches, the best defensive display of any team in the qualifying round.
This was not without a trade-off. The Romanians had minimal success in attack, scoring just 11 goals during qualifying. The combination of these two factors saw Romania battle out ten low-scoring games to reach second place in Group F, although without a single loss to their name. Northern Ireland won the group with a one-point edge over Romania, while Hungary finished in third and qualified to the tournament via the play-offs.
v Greece 0-0 (h), 1-0 (a)
v Hungary 1-1 (h), 0-0 (a)
v Finland 1-1 (h), 2-0 (a)
v Northern Ireland 2-0 (h), 0-0 (a)
v Faroe Ireland 1-0 (h), 3-0 (a)
Romania will have to maintain their stellar defensive displays from the qualifying round if they are to reach the knockout stage in France. After a difficult season with Napoli in Serie A, captain Vlad Chiricheș will have to lead a strong back-line against opposition much tougher than their qualifying round opponents. 35-year-old left-back Răzvan Raț will also look to add experience to his national side.
But it is imperative that the Tricolorii solve their attacking issues if they are to advance past the group stage. Coach Anghel Iordănescu may seek a solution in the squad’s youngsters, with attacking options such as striker Florin Andone – who netted 21 goals for Córdoba in Spain’s Segunda Division in 2015/16 – and midfielder Nicolae Stanciu – who recorded an impressive tally of 14 goals and 11 assists in 38 matches for Steaua București this past season – available for selection.
Goalkeepers: Ciprian Tatarusanu (Fiorentina), Costel Pantilimon (Watford), Silviu Lung (Astra Giurgiu)
Defenders: Cristian Sapunaru (Pandurii Targu Jiu), Alexandru Matel (Dinamo Zagreb), Vlad Chiriches (Napoli), Valerica Gaman (Astra Giurgiu), Dragos Grigore (Al-Sailiya), Cosmin Moti (Ludogorets Razgrad), Razvan Rat (Rayo Vallecano), Steliano Filip (Dinamo Bucharest)
Midfielders: Mihai Pintilii (Steaua Bucharest), Ovidiu Hoban (Hapoel Be’er Sheva), Andrei Prepelita (Ludogorets Razgrad), Adrian Popa (Steaua Bucharest), Gabriel Torje (Osmanlispor), Alexandru Chipciu (Steaua Bucharest), Nicolae Stanciu (Steaua Bucharest), Lucian Sanmartean (Al Ittihad)
Forwards: Claudiu Keseru (Ludogorets Razgrad), Bogdan Stancu (Genclerbirligi), Florin Andone (Cordoba), Denis Alibec (Astra Giurgiu)