France and Romania will compete each other today in a match on Stade de France in Saint-Denis at 22:00hrs, EEST that opens the EURO 2016 European Football Championship in France.
Romania’s previous qualification to a major final tournament was in 2008, when it drew France 0-0 in the EURO 2008 championship.
Twenty years ago to the date, on June 10, 1996, France defeated Romania 1-0 in the EURO 1996, another failure by Romania to advance in the tournament.
France, alongside defending champion Spain and world champion Germany, are the EURO 2016 heavy favourites. Belgium and England are also standing big chances of success.
Four of the last five head-to-head matches ended in a draw, but the overall tally of 16 matches is favouring France: three wins for Romania, five draws and eighty losses to France, with a 15-21 goal scoreboard. Their previous encounter was on September 6, 2011, in the EURO 2012 preliminary round, for the inauguration of the National Arena stadium in Bucharest City, a goalless draw. Romania’s last win over France of its three was a 2-0 friendly played in Bucharest; scoring back then were Anghel Iordanescu, now Romania’s coach, and Cornel Dinu.
In their last ten encounters, all friendlies, France managed nine wins and a loss. Romania has three wins, six draws and one loss, friendlies and official games combined.
Playing in Group A, Romania will also encounter Switzerland (June 15, Parc des Princes – Paris) and Albania (June 19, Lyon).
Refereeing the Romania versus France match will be a Hungarian team: Viktor Kassai, main referee; Gyorgy Ring and Vencel Toth, assistant referees; as well as Tamas Bognar and Adam Farkas, additional assistant referees. Dutch Bjorn Kuipers will be reserve assistant referee.
Romania’s Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos will be watching the game live at the stadium, reports Agerpres correspondent in France.
Captain Chiriches – The match against France is my career’s match
Captain of Romania’s national football squad Vlad Chiriches told a news conference on Thursday at Stade de France in Paris that the Romania versus France EURO 2016 opener is the match of his career.
”It is the match of my career so far. I hope we start well, with a good attitude and play well,” said Chiriches, according to Agerpres.
”We know very well that France is a strong squad with its players playing with top clubs in Europe. I hope we will prevail thanks to good organisation and team force,” added Chiriches.
He said that the EURO 2016 opener will be played “under the sign of anxiousness,” adding that he is expecting support from fans: ”Let our supporters cheer us on, let hear them roar at Stade de France. I hope we will not disappoint them.”
Chiriches does not worry about potential terror attacks during the EURO 2016: ”The organisers are taking care of security. We feel secure and hopefully we will continue to do so.”
In his turn, midfielder Mihai Pintilii said his participation in EURO 2016 is a big personal achievement. ”Playing at this final stage of the championship is the greatest satisfaction there is to me,” he said.
”We are very well guarded,” Pintilii said in response to worries over the security of the event.
Joy is the word that animates Pintilii for today’s match, with the player urging the supporters to believe in the national team.
Goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu said the match between Romania and France is ”an important match, but not more so than the two other matches [versus Switzerland and Albania]. It is the opening match, and that makes its more special (…)”.
”I feel secure and I do not think there will be problems,” said Tatarusanu.
Coach Anghel Iordanescu: France, the favourites of EURO 2016
The coach of Romania’s national football team Anghel Iordanescu, said on Thursday, at Stade de France, that France are the favourites of EURO 2016, the tournament that will begin on Friday with the match France v Romania.
”France play in front of their fans, they are a famous team, and their offensive is well planned. France lost one game in the last ten. Through quality and manner of expression, they are among the tournament’s favourites,” Iordanescu said at the official press conference of the match.
”We are extremely honoured, it is a great honour for Romania and for the national team to open such a big tournament as EURO 2016. We are playing with the host team, France, one of the favourites. Official training will conclude preparations and we are confident that we will look like a competitive team and we will rise to the level of the opponent,” said the Romanian coach.
”We know the level of France’s team, the individual level of players, especially the first-choice eleven ones, but we are optimistic and hope to make a good impression,” said Iordanescu.
The coach of Romania’s national team said that he had studied the opponents on video: ”I believe that a match with France is special and we must consider exactly how France will look like in the encounter with us. We have had several video and analysis sessions with the boys. We will try to make our play with what we know, to live up to the level of the opponent.”
”We are suffering, we have no players to make the difference individually. We have a group, players who can play together to bring us the joy of the goal,” said Iordanescu.
”France is a team of great quality, a valuable one, their footballers play in the Champions League or Europa League, it is a team worth millions of euros, hundreds of millions of euros, more exactly,” Iordanescu went on praising Romania’s opponents on Friday.
”The national team of France will start in force, there will be great pressure on our boys because they open the competition in a full stadium,” said Iordanescu, mentioning that the team has only one player who had played in a EURO tournament (Razvan Rat).
”I have prepared the players for this [the pressure of France] and I am convinced that they have the experience to go over the moments of domination. We will follow the line that we have prepared, not to be defensive, but balanced and cause problems in the offensive, because France have their problems in defence,” said Iordanescu.
The coach said that Romania has two players with hand problems (Alibec and Andone), but the national team’s doctor and the doctors in Bucharest assured that there will be no problems for them.
”We must not think of one player from the team of France, any of their midfielders or strikers can make the difference,” said Iordanescu.
”It would be hard for me to make a comparison between France and other European forces. France are among the favourites, and alongside Germany, Spain or England may raise claims to the European title,” concluded Iordanescu.