Watch Romania At Euro 2008 Live
In many countries, football is the most popular sport, far exceeding the viewer base of any other sport. In the East European country of Romania, soccer is, as you might have guessed, the most popular sport. And when the Romanian football team play in the Group of Death this summer at the European championships, everybody from Galaţi in the east to Timişoara in the west will follow the fortunes of the Tricolorii.
Topping Group G in qualification ahead of the fancied Netherlands would have given Romania a lot of confidence, and if they play up to their potential, they could easily be candidates for a spot in the knockout stages. And if you want to keep abreast of how Romania are doing in the tournament, you should consider joining our live coverage of the games, for only £9.99. Once you pay you also get to watch games from the Bundesliga, Serie A, Premiership and other top leagues across the world for a year, completely free. This happens to be one of the juiciest offers you would find on the internet, and we are not fly by night operators. We are committed to keeping each one of our customers happy and our high quality coverage will ensure that you get your money's worth.
Romania qualified as Group G winners ahead of the Netherlands, and were the fourth team to seal their spot at Euro 2008. They finished their campaign with nine wins, two draws and one loss- the loss coming against Bulgaria in Sofia after they had already qualified. They scored twenty six goals and conceded only seven- a performance which would have definitely pleased Victor Piţurcă. Fiorentina striker Adrian Mutu topped the goal scoring charts for Romania with six goals, followed by Ciprian Marica with five and Nicolae Dică with four.
Romania have been drawn in what is arguably Euro 2008's toughest group- with Italy, France and the Netherlands. Here is a list of Romania's group games at Euro 2008
June 9- Romania vs France in Zurich ( 18.00)
June 13- Italy vs Romania in Zurich ( 18.00)
June 17- Netherlands vs Romania in Berne ( 20.45)
All timings are in Central European Summer Time ( UTC + 2)
Romania will be fairly confident of putting up a good show against the Netherlands, having picked up four points from two games against them in qualifying. However, it is the start that often determines how far a team will go in a tournament, and Romania will do well to keep that in mind. Also, Romania and France are in the same group for FIFA World Cup 2010 qualification.
Romania's first appearance at the European Football Championship came in 1984. Mircea Lucescu's team had shocked the football world by qualifying ahead of Sweden, Czechoslovakia and Italy. They started off with a draw against Spain before losing to West Germany and Portugal. This tournament also marked the introduction of young starlet Gheorghe Hagi, who had made his debut for the Romanian team a few months back. Romania failed to qualify for the 1988 and 1992 editions of the tournament, but did make it to England 1996. It however proved to be Romania's worst ever performance at the European Championships as the team crashed out of the tournament without scoring a single point. They lost 0-1 to France and Bulgaria, and Spain beat them 2-1 in their final group game.
If Euro 1996 was horrible, then Euro 2000 was nothing short of a dream. Drawn in a group that also consisted of Portugal's golden generation, Germany and England, few expected Romania to make it to the next round. With Hagi in his last international tournament, Romania drew against Germany before losing to Portugal. Everything boiled down to their final group game against England. Young defender Cristian Chivu gave Romania the lead before strikes from Alan Shearer and Michael Owen made the score 2-1 to England. Dorinel Muntaneu equalised for Romania in the forty eighth minute. England, needing just a point to qualify, seemed unsure of whether to play for the win or keep the score at 2-2. The game remained at 2-2, but with minutes left on the clock, Phil Neville's ugly foul on Violet Moldovan made Urs Meier point to the spot. Substitute Ioan Ganea kept his cool and sent Nigel Martyn the wrong way. With Portugal beating Germany 3-0, Romania had qualified. England were on the plane back home. Romania were unable to stop Italy in the quarterfinals, with goals from Totti and Inzaghi giving the Azzurri a comfortable 2-0 win in Brussels.
Romania finished third in their Euro 2004 qualifying group, with Norway heading to the playoffs because the Scandinavians had a better head to head record against the Tricolorii.
Fiorentina striker Adrian Mutu will be a man to watch out for. His partner in crime, Stuttgart's Ciprian Marica, is quick and a fairly established goal scorer himself. There is backup in the form of Inverness forward Marius Niculae. Versatile skipper Cristian Chivu may play in defence, or in midfield, depending on the players available. Razvan Rat will play at left back, and there is likely to be a toss up between veteran Cosmin Contra and George Ogăraru for the right back spot. Nicolae Dică will work his way down the left flank, with Bănel Nicoliţă or Florentin Petre on the right. Bogdan Lobont should be in goal if he is not injured. Gorian Doian and Gabriel Tamaş formed a successful pair in central defence in the qualifiers. The coach also has options in the form of Matel Rădoi, Ovidiu Petre, Răzvan Cociş and several others.
Watch Romania live at Euro 2008 today. The Tricolorii are making their first major appearance at an international tournament after eight years, and quite a few of their players are in their prime now. Sign up with us today, and watch Romania in action at Euro 2008.
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