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Euro 2016 Romania Preview

A look at Romania's national football team going into the Euro 2016 with a touch of Football Manager 2016.

By on Jun 10, 2016   4280 views   0 comments
EURO 2016 - Euro 2016 Romania Preview
Romania, one of the two contestants in this year's opening game of the European Championships, will be looking to qualify from the group stage of the competition for only the second time in their history. An unbeaten qualifying record of 5-5-0 secured second place in a group which contained Northern Ireland, Hungary, Finland, Faroe Islands and Greece, and manager Anghel Iordănescu will certainly be looking to continue their fine competitive form in this summer's tournament.

Romania were drawn in to Group A and will participate in the tournament's opening fixture against France on 10th June. The other teams in Romania's group are Switzerland and Albania, with the former expected to provide plenty of competition for qualification to the next round, while the French are the clear favourites to top the group. The Romanians will have their work cut out this summer, with France and Switzerland boasting a number of top players. The French bring the likes of Hugo Lloris, Laurent Koscielny, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud to the occasion, while Switzerland's side comprises of the likes of Haris Seferović, Breel Embolo, Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka. However, Romania boast a number of top players of their own, and the country will be hoping their stars can lead them to a memorable tournament performance.

European Championships History

This summer's European Championships will be Romania's fifth, having previously competed in the tournament in 1984, 1996, 2000 and 2008. Romania's best performance came in 2000, when they reached the quarter finals, where Italy knocked them out. In each of their other attempts, the group stage proved to be their final destination. Romania have lost just one fixture in twelve months, against Ukraine in a friendly, and will be looking to extend their fine run of form this summer.


Key Players


Romania will be relying on their captain Vlad Chiricheș to inspire their side to solid performances throughout the tournament. The twenty-six year old central defender currently plays his football at Italian team Napoli, having signed from Tottenham Hotspur last summer, and is certainly one of his nation's top performers. The 184cm tall defender has played 40 times for his country since making his debut in 2011, but is yet to score an international goal. Competition for places at his club has restricted the Romanian to just seventeen appearances in all competitions last season, but he has scored an impressive two goals for his side.

The Napoli defender is athletically sound, and has a good amount of base fitness. His main strength is his tackling on the ground, and his strong positional awareness allows him to make vital interceptions in his team's third of the pitch. Vlad is competent at battling for the ball in the air, and an 85.5% pass completion rate over the course of the last year demonstrates his ability on the ball. Romania will need him to play at his best if they are to stand a chance of progressing beyond the group stage.


Răzvan Raț comes in to the tournament as one of oldest players. The thirty-five year old left-back plays his football at Spanish side Rayo Vallecano, who were relegated from the Liga BBVA last season.The full-back completed twelve appearances for his club last season, in what was a disappointing campaign for both him and his club. Raț has played 111 times for Romania, with only three players having played more times for Romania than him. He has scored twice in 14 years of service, and he will be looking to make an impact in what is most certainly his final major tournament.

Raț's strength is his delivery of the ball, especially from a set-piece. He has a habit of playing long direct passes, and his crossing ability is one for opposition defenders to be wary of. Despite standing at just 178cm, Raț is a formidable opponent in the air and will look to contest any ball near him. Alongside Chiricheș, Raț's experience and leadership skills will prove important for his country this summer.


Gabriel Torje is expected to lead Romania's attacking efforts this summer, and the twenty-six year old winger is heading in to the tournament in good form. Torje plays his club football for Italian side Udinese, but was on loan at Turkish team Osmanlıspor last season. Torje played 26 games as his loan side finished fifth and qualified for the UEFA Europa League, and he scored three times and assisted five goals en route. Torje has emerged as a key player for Romania since making his debut in 2010, playing 50 games and scoring 11 goals.

Torje is a very pacey wide player and his ability on the ball is to be appreciated. The Romanian winger can provide good deliver from set-piece and from open play, and he knows how to hit the target with his own shooting, from near or from range. Standing at 167cm, Torje is not considered to be a physically threatening player, but he makes up for this through his technical abilities.


Players To Watch


A player who has burst on to the season recently is attacking midfielder Nicolae Stanciu. The twenty-three year old was key member of Steaua București last season, as he played 38 games in all competitions, scoring a very impressive 14 goals from midfield. Stanciu made his Romania debut on 23rd March of this year in friendly against Lithuania, coming on as a sub, and he scored the game's only goal too. He has since made a total of five appearances for his country, scoring a remarkable four goals. He has been touted as one of Europe's upcoming talents, and he could certainly prove his worth this summer.

Stanciu is certainly the ultimate attacking threat, as he possesses a vast range of attacking attributes. He is comfortable on the ball, he can pick out a pass, he can deliver a set-piece, and he has proven that he knows how to find the back of the net. While he is still only twenty-three years old, he has become a key player for both club and country, and has played over 200 senior games to date. His experience, at such a young age, will certainly prove invaluable as Stanciu looks to impress potential suitors at this summer's tournament.


Florin Andone is considered to be another rising star of Romanian football, and the twenty-three year old striker will be looking to impress scouts and managers this summer. Andone plays his club football for Spanish second division side Córdoba. He was in terrific form over the last season, scoring 21 goals as his team finished in the promotion play-off positions. The play-offs are currently ongoing, but Andone will play no part in them while he is on duty with his country. Florin has represented his country on 6 occasions to date, scoring just the one goal so far.

Florin Andone is a very hard-working attacker. Standing at 181cm, Andone possesses a reasonable amount of pace and strength, and he is a nuisance from indirect set-piece pay. He hurries and hassles opposition defenders when they are on the ball, and he knows how to finish a chance. Romania may be looking at Andone to fire their way out of the group, and they will be hoping that he can continue his impressive goal scoring season.


The Manager


Anghel Iordănescu has been in charge of Romania since 2014, and leads them in to their first major tournament under his guidance. The sixty-six year old tactician has had a very long managerial career thus far, dating back to 1986 with Steaua Bucureşti. He has managed a vast range of teams such as Greece, Al-Hilal, Al Ain, among others. Iordănescu will be looking to get the best out of his players and challenge Switzerland for second place in the group, but he knows that the tide is flowing against his nation.


Prediction

There is absolutely no reason why Romania cannot qualify from their group, but they will certainly be against the current in France and Switzerland. Provided Romania can hold their nerve and defeat Albania, as expected, and give Switzerland or France a run for their money, qualification to the next round is not out of sight. Romania are the third-best team in their group, but they will certainly be looking to breach the top two this summer.

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