Euro 2024 team guides part 18: Romania

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This article is portion of nan Guardian’s Euro 2024 Experts’ Network, a practice betwixt immoderate of nan champion media organisations from nan 24 countries who qualified. theguardian.com is moving previews from 2 countries each time successful nan run-up to nan tourney kicking disconnected connected 14 June.

Prospects

Romania return to a awesome finals aft missing retired connected nan 2018 and 2022 World Cups arsenic good arsenic Euro 2020. The past clip they qualified for nan Euros, successful 2016, it ended truthful severely they person tried to erase nan acquisition from their memory.

Romania were brave in nan 2-1 conclusion by France and nan 1-1 tie pinch Switzerland but past mislaid nan decisive group crippled against Albania and succumbed to mediocrity for nan adjacent 8 years. The consequence against Albania summed up nan reality Romanian shot has been surviving successful for nan past decade: not adjacent capable to nan large teams, not mature enough, not bully enough.

That was nan lawsuit until nan Euro 2024 qualifying run started astatine least. This was a “normal” squad pinch nary exceptional individuals but, driven by resilience and a awesome squad spirit, they eliminate nan “not enough” tag. They won their group and ended nan run undefeated, beating Switzerland, Israel and Kosovo connected their way to Germany.

One of nan country’s astir iconic players, Gheorghe Hagi, nan leader of Romania’s 1994 World Cup run, likes to opportunity that nan Tricolorii only went retired successful nan quarter-finals 30 years agone “just to group a modular and animate early generations to hit that performance”. He is backing nan existent harvest to impressment successful Germany, which is nary wonderment arsenic his son, Ianis – who has spent nan past play connected indebtedness astatine Alavés from Rangers – is portion of nan squad. “I person 1 morganatic boy successful this squad but different children arsenic well”, Hagi likes to quip, a reference to nan players (more than a 3rd of nan squad) who person been portion of nan academy he group up extracurricular his hometown of Constanta.

Should you expect thing typical from this side? If you specify “special” arsenic difficult work, a coagulated mentality and a awesome expertise to suffer, past yes, Romania will enchant you. But if you’re not into shot masochism, it’s astir apt amended to look elsewhere. This squad is maximising constricted resources and making their fans proud. They will put up a conflict against anyone, that overmuch you tin expect.

The coach

Edward Iordanescu was successful complaint erstwhile Romania were relegated to League C successful nan Nations League, finishing bottommost successful a group pinch Finland, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Hardly that inspiring. But it was besides Iordanescu who recovered a way, contempt a constricted squad, to build a coagulated guidelines for nan Euro 2024 qualifiers. He deserves immense in installments for rebuilding character, squad tone and belief among nan group. Loyal to his players, he has not made galore changes successful his 2 years successful complaint – and that spot has been repaid. The 45-year-old is pragmatic, good organised but besides adaptable, which intends he whitethorn good revert to a three-man defence if nan opponents’ onslaught seems excessively basking to handle.

The icon

When location is simply a Hagi successful your team, you ideate a subordinate pinch No 10 connected his back. But Romania’s No 10 astatine nan Euros will beryllium Nicolae Stanciu. The talented midfielder is tin of dictating play, making agelong passes, shooting from agelong scope aliases dribbling past opponents. Once a target for Chelsea’s academy, Stanciu ne'er reached those heights successful his nine profession because of a deficiency of consistency. He was signed by Anderlecht successful 2016, past played for Czech rivals, Sparta and Slavia Prague, earlier joining Wuhan successful China and now Damac successful Saudi Arabia. When connected shape nan 31-year-old is tin of looking for illustration a top-class subordinate moreover against nan champion opposition.

Nicolae Stanciu (right) congratulates Denis Alibec aft he scored successful Romania’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Israel.
Nicolae Stanciu (right) congratulates Denis Alibec aft he scored successful Romania’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Israel. Photograph: Vasile Mihai-Antonio/Getty Images

One to watch

Denis Dragus did not make it astatine Standard Liège and nor did he impressment while connected indebtedness astatine Genoa. But successful nan past season, connected indebtedness astatine Gaziantep successful Turkey, he showed what he tin do erstwhile trusted by nine and manager. Dragus is simply a skilful subordinate who is arsenic bully coming successful from nan near aliases playing arsenic a striker. The 24-year-old is not dissimilar to Jack Grealish. He scored 14 convention goals for Gaziantep this play and assisted different two, helping his broadside debar relegation from nan Super Lig. Trabzonspor person already agreed to motion him permanently successful nan summertime for £2m from Standard. One of nan galore products successful nan squad from Hagi’s academy.

The maverick

Iordanescu likes disciplined players who connection stableness and respect his rules but nan striker Denis Alibec mightiness conscionable capable nan maverick position. He came done astatine Internazionale, trained nether José Mourinho and Rafael Benítez and played alongside Mario Balotelli. Expectations were huge, but Alibec ne'er reached nan highest level. He has built a respectable profession successful Romania but has been criticised by those who judge he has ne'er grown up. The 33-year-old still loves video games and cocoa and has sewage into problem for intelligibly showing his unhappiness towards nan chair aliases teammates during games.

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The spine

The goalkeeper, Horatiu Moldovan, has been superb passim nan qualifying run and his performances for nan nationalist squad earned him a move to Atlético Madrid successful January. There, of course, he has yet to play because of Jan Oblak but Iordanescu still sees him arsenic his No 1. The value of Tottenham’s Radu Dragusin has grown exponentially complete nan past twelvemonth arsenic his nine profession besides taken a large measurement forward. He went from playing successful nan Italian 2nd section to nan Premier League successful nan abstraction of six months. In midfield Stanciu is nan cardinal man and a batch will dangle connected his shape and fitness. Up front, it is Parma’s Dennis Man who is expected to people nan goals. He has had a awesome play successful Serie B, contributing to his side’s promotion backmost to Serie A, and Romanians expect him to present for nan nationalist squad arsenic well.

Probable starting XI

Romania predicted lineup

Celebrity fan

King Charles III. The king visited Romania for nan first clip successful 1998 and fell successful emotion pinch nan state and its people. He has returned almost each twelvemonth since, including successful 2023, earlier his crab diagnosis. His publication to charities and his changeless support person earned him respect. He owns various properties successful agrarian Romania, wherever he prefers to spell during his visits. His publication to nan restoration of nan Viscri colony successful Transylvania has transformed nan spot into a celebrated recreation destination. King Charles was expected to meet “Romanian King” Gheorghe Hagi during his sojourn to Bucharest past year, but “the Maradona of nan Carpathians” could not make it because of a committedness to an accumulation lucifer he had agreed to play in.

Culinary delight

Nothing goes amended pinch shot than mici, nan grilled minced nutrient rotation celebrated successful Bucharest and beyond. Of course, they are not peculiarly patient truthful not awesome for players, and they do make you thirsty, which mightiness make you scope for a beer. You tin find mici successful almost immoderate edifice successful Romania and if nan squad spell connected to astonishment everyone and triumph nan Euros nan players will surely observe publically pinch a barbecue afloat of them.

Romania squad guideline written by Emanuel Rosu for PlaySport

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Source theguardian
theguardian