Romania ran riot over Georgia in their final warm up on Friday ahead of the Euro 2016 tournament. The team had the stingiest defence in qualification as they conceded only two goals in their 10 matches. Their success has been attributed to their core of underrated, hard-working and hungry players in a disciplined 4-2-3-1 system.
They scored two early goals on their way to the 5-1 demolition of Georgia at the National Arena. Coach Anghel Iordanescu was pleased with the performance but was calm as his team would take on the hosts of the tournament France next week Friday in the opening game. Romania took the lead after 68 seconds when Adrian Popa took advantage of a defensive error and dribbled past the Georgian goalie Roin Kvashvadze. (more…)
Former Tottenham midfielder Gica Popescu has been sentenced to prison for three years for tax evasion and laundering of money.
His former team mate Gheorghe Hagi has said that he would not attend Romania’s international matches in person. He has said that he had no intentions or desires to go and watch the matches of the national team while his former team mate Gica Popescu was behind bars. Gheorghe is a midfielder who was at its best at the world cup of 1994 and also told the local media that the local football authorities had not doing anything much considerable to save and help the former captain of Romania. Not watching the international matches in solidarity is a form of his protest.
Some of the Romanian team members along with Gheorghe had gone to pay a visit to Gica. They wanted to express their best wishes and support on his birthday. Gica has been sentenced in prison for a term of three years and a month. As told by a former defender for Romania, Daniel Prodan, he was very happy to see them and know that they were there for him. It was a way of showing and telling him that he has not been forgotten and that they were all there right beside him. Gica had a very flourishing career. He had been named the player of the year in Romania six times. It is believed that soon he was also going to become the president of the domestic football federation. He was among some of the favorites. It has come to the news that Gica along with seven more people were connected to the game that was guilty of damaging the state. It was almost a sum of 1.7m Euros in unpaid taxes and hand in hand several clubs had lost 10m Euros. This was because the officials had registered false sums of money for the transfers of almost 12 players between the time period of 1999 and 2005.
The manager of the Romania national football team, Victor Piturca, has said that he wouldn’t mind facing any opponent in the World Cup qualifying play offs which will take place next month.
Romania couldn’t qualify directly for the World Cup finals as they came second in Group D. They will be taking part in the play offs now and their possible opponent in the play offs will be one of Croatia, Portugal, Ukraine and Greece.
Talking to the reporters yesterday, Piturca said, “Earlier today, I had a look at the teams we might be playing against and I don’t think I would mind facing any of them.”
“Portugal and Greece are the two dangerous sides. People might not consider Greece that strong, but, they have got some experienced players.”
In its previous game against Estonia on Tuesday, Romania secured a 2-0 win. It was Romania’s 50th win under Piturca. He is the only Romanian manager who has guided the team to so many victories.
This is Piturca’s third tenure as Romania boss and he has been criticized at times in the recent past. According to the experts, he gets over tactical at times. But, the ex Steaua Bucharest player has made it clear that he will not bring any significant change in his approach for the play offs.
Meanwhile, the Ajaccio striker Adrian Mutu who was not included in the Romanian squad for the last two World Cup qualifiers has said that he expects the manager to call him back for the playoff games.
Mutu said, “I am expecting the manager to ring me up. I really want to feature in the play offs and play my part.”
Mutu has so far made 77 appearances for Romania and has scored 35 goals.
Romanian club Dinamo Bucharest are looking at the possibility of taking their former player Gabriel Tamas from West Brom in the summer. The player has not enjoyed a great season at West Brom, which has been the case since the arrival of former Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson. He recently revealed that he will consider moving to another club in order to get regular first-team football. However, there is thought that if Roy Hodgson gets the England managerial job, then Gabriel Tamas is likely to stay at West Brom.
Roy Hodgson and Harry Redknapp are being spoken of as the two main contenders for the England job. Under Roy Hodgson’s tenure at West Brom, Gabriel Tamas has largely been used in the first-team. In fact, he has started just seven Premier league matches all season. In addition to this, Gabriel Tamas has also been largely used as a left back and right back by the manager. Hence, it is quite clear that the player is out of favour as long as Roy Hodgson is the manager of West Brom. As a result, this former club Dinamo Bucharest are looking to take advantage of the situation by making a bid for the player in the summer.
They are pretty sure that Gabriel Tamas will not reject the opportunity to move away from the Premier league to play in the Romanian league. Gabriel Tamas already has the experience of playing in the Romanian league having played for Dinamo Bucharest in three spells in the past. Recently, Dinamo Bucharest manager Dario Bonetti also came out with a statement saying that Gabriel Tamas is a player who is on their radar and someone who they would like to sign in the summer. “If we win the league, Tamas is back,” said the Bucharest manager.
Juventus are extremely wary of the threat posed by Cesena in the form of Romanian footballer Adrian Mutu. The former Chelsea striker is currently with the relegation threatened club.
Even though he is widely expected to leave the club at the end of this season, the 33-year-old will be a major threat for Juventus, as they not only look towards winning the title, but also maintaining their unbeaten run in the season. Juventus are so far the only team in the Italian Serie A to remain unbeaten this season. It is an incredible achievement by the players considering that there are only a few games remaining in the season.
The team currently have a one-point advantage over AC Milan in the table. Only six games remaining the Italian Serie A season and Juventus are ahead of AC Milan by just one point following their 2-1 win over Champions League qualification chasing Lazio.
If Juventus win the title this season, then it will be the first since 2006 when they were found guilty of match fixing. Back then, Romanian footballer Adrian Mutu was on the books of the Bianconeri. However, the match fixing scandal meant that they were unable to hold on to the star striker, who went to Fiorentina. Even though his career has nosedived since then, event is still regard Mutu to be a great threat in their hopes of winning the title.
Bulgaria and Romania are both looking at the opportunity to host the Euro 2020 championships. They both will be the joint hosts in very much the same way as Australia and Switzerland hosted the Euro 2008, while Ukraine and Poland will also be doing the same thing when it comes to the Euro 2012. The European championships have been a great way of improving the infrastructure of the particular region, and it seems that Bulgaria and Romania have been showing a lot of interest towards doing the same in their regions as well. The decision to host the Euro 2020 championships was announced by Bulgarian Football Union head Borislav Mihaylov recently.
He said that there is no reason for Bulgaria to be dormant when it comes to hosting major football tournaments because Bulgaria already have the major infrastructures needed to do such an event. Borislav Mihaylov was a goalkeeper during his career and has played for Bulgaria in international competitions. “I discussed the matter with a Romanian colleague of mine, but this is a very distant perspective. There is a lot of time until then,” he said regarding the possibility of hosting Euro 2020 along with Romania. It is thought that the decision to host the next major European competition jointly came up in March 2011 after Mihaylov became one of the members among the UEFA’s executive committee.
Euro 2020 will also be especially profitable for both Bulgaria and Romania should they get the opportunity to host the competition because it would be featuring two different themes rather than the 16 teams currently involved. The current format, which has 16 teams playing in different groups, will be abandoned following the end of the Euro 2012. The Euro 2016 will be held in France and is all set to feature 24 teams.
@danwalkerbbc so far we have John Lambie..captd scotland aged 17 in 1886, Gheorge Hagi Romania, 1985, aged twenty yrs 8 mths..so ram beats him – by mikebreakfast (Mike Bushell)