2008 Romania Euro Soccer Preview
by Doc's Sports - 05/22/2008
The Group of Death has somewhat of a newcomer to the European Championships. Romania has taken part in this continental tournament three times prior, with the country's most recent visit its most successful. Participating in 1984 and 1996 were short-lived, however Euro 2000 witnessed the Tricolorii advance to the quarterfinals. Romania failed to qualify in 2004, but this June they bring one of their stronger squads in recent memory to Austria and Switzerland.
Currently ranked 12th in the current FIFA World Rankings, Romania will learn quickly that the prospects of another quarterfinals run come with certain difficulties in the form of football giants Italy, Holland and France. But with Greece's shocking victory in 2002, every team can take solace in the fact that anything is possible on Europe's top football stage.
Golden Player Watch - Adrian Mutu, F
It wouldn't be expected that the common fan would be familiar with many of Romania's top footballers. However, the one name that should be somewhat of a household name, especially in Italy, is striker Adrian Mutu.
Currently playing his club ball for Italian top-flight side Fiorentina, this striker has scored 33 times since signing with the Viola in 2006. Only 29 years of age, the vice captain of the national team has already scored 27 times for his country in just 60 matches, ranking third all-time for Romania.
Mutu found the back of the net six times during the qualifying process for Euro 2008. He is without doubt the strongest offensive weapon Romania will boast this summer, and his play is vital for them to have a shot to outlast and advance past two of the more established European powers in Group C.
Reason Why They Will Advance to Elimination Round
Placed in any other group, Romania might be better suited for the quarterfinals. But facing the trio of Italy, Holland and France, not one match is a guaranteed three points.
Romania did give Netherlands a tough go of it, as the two were also paired in qualifying. That should give them more confidence, but on the big stage it should be like clockwork that the power trio finish ahead of Romania in group play.
Group Play Schedule
Romania vs. France - June 9
Romania vs. Italy - June 13
Romania vs. Netherlands - June 17