Date: 6th June 2008 at 4:03pm
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As we continue our countdown to Euro 2008 with a look at Group C, we only have the Romanian team left to cover.

With ‘Group C’ affectionately tagged the ‘Group of Death’ the experts are predicting that it’ll be any two from Italy, France and our team Holland to go through.

That policy may well favour the Romanian team though, to disregard their chances of progressing could play well into their hands and the underdog could well prove that its bite is far worse than its bark.

The Arsenal star, Robin van Persie, has come forward and warned his compatriots about the danger the dark horses present, remarking,

‘Everyone talks about a fantastic group with the best teams like France and Italy, but Romania have a strong side, trust me.’

‘We got one point against them in qualifying so we know what they are capable of. They are like a machine.’


So just what should we make of the Romanian team, just how did they qualify and who are there most feared players?

So just what should we make of the Romanian team, just how did they qualify and who are there most feared players?

Stuck in the same qualifying group as the Dutch side, Romania, as you’ve already read, took four points out of a possible six against Holland. Elsewhere they came up against Albania, Bulgaria and Luxembourg in the remainder of their qualifying fixtures in the back end of last year beating Albania emphatically 6-1, Luxembourg 2-0 but going down to a narrow 1-0 victory in Bulgaria. Since qualification was assured, they’ve entertained Montenegro, winning handsomely 4-0 and also Russia when they registered an eye-catching 3-0 win.

In fact their coach, Victor Piturca, can be very pleased with the way his side progressed and sit ready to spring a major surprise this summer.

Looking at their squad one name stands out – that of Adrian Mutu. Once on the playing staff of Chelsea, Mutu was exposed as a cocaine user and ruthlessly dealt with by his employer. After serving a ban, Mutu resurfaced in Italy and has restructured his career with Fiorentina in Serie A. His goals for Fiorentina have served to emphasise exactly why, before his drugs episode, he was once so revered as a striker.

Elsewhere, the side are captained by Christian Chivu, a respected defender who has played in Italy for the last five years, first with Roma and now with Inter Milan. He can play either at left back or in the centre of the defence and needs to be watched if Romania are awarded free kicks in dangerous places as his left foot can be deadly.

The Romanians start their Euro 2008 campaign with a fixture against France, in Zurich on Monday 9th June before then meeting Italy, again in Zurich on Friday 13th June. Their group campaign finishes against Holland, in Berne, on Tuesday 17th June.

That final fixture could either turn out to be a decider or a meaningless fixture between the sides destined to finish third and fourth, let’s for the sake of the Dutch, hope its the former.

 

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