Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Thursday said he’s optimistic about the EURO 2016 opening match Romania v France scheduled on Friday night.
“I’m optimistic because Romania comes after a series of several victories and (…) even if a young team, I know it’s an ambitious one. Qualification was not that easy and all the more I believe that the fact they are here and in the opening match it’s already an honour, an honour to be seen by everybody in the opening match. I’m confident that, from the very first match, the players will give everything they can to show what the new team of Romania means,” said Ciolos at the official reception at the Romanian Embassy in Paris, opening Romania’s participation in UEFA Euro 2016.
The premier wished the players and coach Anghel Iordanescu “best of luck, a lot of strength and especially much tactical inspiration.”
He asserted it was an honour for him to be next to Romania’s national soccer team in the match on Stade de France.
“I’m very proud, although I have no merit in the team’s qualification; it’s an honour for me firstly as a Romanian to be in France and next to Romania’s team. (…) Very probably I’ll have, I wish I have a meeting with the team. There are very strict rules on UEFA’s behalf, too, in the training camp, yet I hope I’ll see them,” added Dacian Ciolos, according to Agerpres. He reserved time in the official agenda of his two-day visit to Paris to meet the team on Thursday afternoon.
The head of government said that for this match, as well as for the entire European Championship, France has taken “the maximum of measures to be possibly taken.”
“I believe that the worst thing we could do is to feel fear, and this is why I’ve decided to be here. First of all, in such moments we must know how to be happy and not to think of difficult, complex things because we have so very rare moments of joy that it is a shame to pollute them, too. I come with confidence and optimism,” said the Premier, who began a two-day visit to Paris on Thursday.
Representatives of the Romanian Football Federation attending the event at the embassy presented Ciolos with a team Romania jersey; he was wearing it when delivering his press statement.
“Romania no collection of soccer stars, yet it’s a team”
Romania’s soccer team is no collection of starts, but it is a team, Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos told French LCI (La Chaine Info) in an interview on Thursday. He was optimistic about a possible victory versus France, in the Friday night opening of the UEFA Euro 2016.
“The best will win. And I believe Romanians are better. Romania is not a team of stars or personalities, but it’s a team. They are young, it’s a new generation. Their ambition is to make the team stronger and show that Romania is a team,” Ciolos answered a request to anticipate the match result.
He added that “soccer is a huge passion” in Romania and that he expects to see “some thousands of Romanians in the stands for this opening match and the other matches of the team.”
The premier also stressed that it is an important moment for Romania, after many years of missing final tournaments. “It’s a new generation. Romanians support it,” said Ciolos, who started on Thursday a two-day visit to Paris.
UEFA EURO 2016: Romania’s squad
Six players of Romania’s UEFA EURO 2016 team have already played against France – goalies Tatarusanu and Pantilimon, defenders Rat, Sapunaru and Chiriches as well as forward Bogdan Stancu.
Romania’s coach Anghel Iordanescu himself has scored in a match versus France, the team Romania meets in the opening match of the UEFA EURO 2016 football championship. Deputy coach Viorel Moldovan played twice against France.
Romania’s national team includes 9 players competing in the domestic football championships and 14 competing abroad. Razvan Rat is the team’s player with the most appearances, 111. With 11 goals, Gabriel Torje is the current team’s leading scorer, followed by Bogdan Stancu, 9 goals. All players scored a combined 40 goals.
Lucian Sanmartean, 36, is the oldest player in Romania’s team, while Steliano Filip, 22, is the youngest.
Lung Jr and Alibec have the fewest appearances of all the 23 players, just 3 each.
Grigore (ex-Toulouse) and Keseru (ex-FC Nantes, Libourne, Tours, Angers, Bastia) are the only team’s players to have played for French clubs.
number/name birth date club appearances/goals
- Silviu Lung jr 04/06/1989 Astra 3/0
- Costel Pantilimon 01/02/1987 Watford 22/0
- Ciprian Tatarusanu 09/02/1986 Fiorentina 36/0
- Vlad Chiriches (skipper) 14/11/1989 Napoli 40/0
- Steliano Filip 15/05/1994 Dinamo Bucharest 4/0
- Valerica Gaman 25/02/1989 Astra 13/1
- Dragos Grigore 07/09/1986 Al-Sailiya 20/0
- Alexandru Mate 17/10/1989 Dinamo Zagreb 16/0
- Cosmin Moti 03/12/1984 Ludogorets Razgrad 8/0
- Razvan Rat 26/05/1981 Rayo Vallecano 111/2
- Cristian Săpunaru 05/04/1984 Pandurii 13/0
- Alexandru Chipciu 18/05/1989 Steaua 21/3
- Ovidiu Hoban 27/12/1982 Hapoel Be’er Sheva 20/1
- Mihai Pintilii 09/11/1984 Steaua 31/1
- Adrian Popa 24/07/1988 Steaua 14/1
- Andrei Prepelita 08/12/1985 Ludogorets Razgrad 10/0
- Lucian Sanmartean 13/03/1980 Al-Ittihad 20/0
- Nicolae Stanciu 07/05/1993 Steaua 5/4
- Gabriel Torje 22/11/1989 Osmanlispor 50/11
- Denis Alibec 05/01/1991 Astra 4/1
- Florin Andone 11/04/1993 Cordoba 6/1
- Claudiu Keseru 02/12/1986 Ludogorets Razgrad 13/5
- Bogdan Stancu 28/06/1987 Genclerbirligi 40/9