Romania national football team

Last updated

Romania national football team logo.svg
Nickname(s) Tricolorii (The Tricolours)
Association Federația Română de Fotbal (FRF)
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Mirel Rădoi
Captain Vlad Chiricheș
Most caps Dorinel Munteanu (134)
Top scorer Gheorghe Hagi
Adrian Mutu (35)
Home stadium Arena Națională
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First colours
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Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 37 Steady2.svg(18 February 2021) [1]
Highest3 (September 1997)
Lowest57 (February 2011, September 2012)
First international
Flag of Yugoslavia (1918-1943).svg Kingdom of SCS 1–2 Romania  Flag of Romania.svg
(Belgrade, Kingdom of SCS; 8 June 1922)
Biggest win
Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg  Romania 9–0 Finland  Flag of Finland.svg
(Bucharest, Romania; 14 October 1973)
Biggest defeat
Flag of Hungary (1946-1949, 1956-1957; 1-2 aspect ratio).svg  Hungary 9–0 Romania Flag of Romania (January-March 1948).svg
(Budapest, Hungary; 6 June 1948)
World Cup
Appearances7 (first in 1930 )
Best resultQuarter-finals (1994)
European Championship
Appearances5 (first in 1984 )
Best resultQuarter-finals (2000)

The Romania national football team (Romanian : Echipa națională de fotbal a României) represents Romania in international men's football competition, and is administered by the Romanian Football Federation. They are colloquially known as Tricolorii (The Tricolours).


Romania is one of the only four national teams from Europe—the other three being Belgium, France, Yugoslavia—that took part in the first FIFA World Cup in 1930. Since that performance, Romania have qualified for the 1934, 1938, 1970, 1990, 1994, and 1998 editions. Led by playmaker Gheorghe Hagi, the team's finest hour came in 1994 when it reached the quarter-finals. They were eliminated by Sweden on a penalty shoot-out after having previously defeated Argentina.

At the European Championships, Romania's best performance was in 2000 when they advanced to the quarter-finals from a group with Germany, Portugal and England, before falling to eventual runners-up Italy. They also reached the last eight in 1960 and 1972, and qualified for the 1984, 1996, 2008, and 2016 tournaments.


Early years

Romania playing against Peru at the 1930 World Cup in Uruguay. Perurumania1930.JPG
Romania playing against Peru at the 1930 World Cup in Uruguay.

The Romanian Football Federation (Federația Română de Fotbal) was established in October 1909 in Bucharest. Romania played their first international match on 8 June 1922, a 2–1 win over Yugoslavia in Belgrade, being coached by Teofil Moraru. [2] Several temporary coaches were employed, before Moraru resumed control in August 1924, managing the side for nearly four years. Romania enjoyed some success during the 1930s; manager Costel Rădulescu took them to the first three FIFA World Cup tournaments, a feat matched only by Brazil, Belgium and France.

World Cups in the 1930s

Romania versus East Germany 3-1 in 1952. Bundesarchiv Bild 183-17140-0001, Bukarest, Fussballspiel Rumanien-DDR.jpg
Romania versus East Germany 3–1 in 1952.

At the 1930 World Cup, Romania won their first match against Peru, 3–1, with goals from Adalbert Deșu, Constantin Stanciu, and Nicolae Kovács and Samuel Zauber as goalkeeper, before being thrashed 4–0 by hosts and eventual winners Uruguay.

Romania qualified for the next World Cup in 1934 after beating Yugoslavia 2–1 in a repeat of their first international. At the finals, Romania played only one game in a new knock-out format, losing 2–1 to Czechoslovakia in Trieste, Italy, with Ștefan Dobay scoring their only goal of the tournament.

Romania qualified by default for the 1938 World Cup after their qualifying playoff opponents Egypt withdrew. They suffered a shock defeat in the finals in France, losing to minnows Cuba, who, like Romania, had only qualified due to the withdrawal of their qualifying opponents, the United States. The first match at the Stade du T.O.E.C. in Toulouse ended 3–3 after extra time, but Cuba won the replay four days later 2–1.

1970 World Cup

Despite a 3–0 thrashing by Portugal in Lisbon and two unconvincing draws against unfancied Greece, Romania was able to qualify for the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. Angelo Niculescu's promising side were given the toughest of draws, in Group 3 with holders England, giants Brazil and Czechoslovakia.

A Geoff Hurst goal gave England a narrow victory in Romania's first match at the Estadio Jalisco in Guadalajara. Chances were improved with a 2–1 win over the Czechs. Despite going behind early to a Ladislav Petráš goal, Romania turned it around after half-time with Alexandru Neagu and Florea Dumitrache scoring to give them two vital points. Even then, only a win over the excellent Brazilians would take them into the quarter-finals.

There were rumours before the match that Brazil might prefer Romania to progress than world champions England; despite beating them 1–0 in their previous match in Guadalajara, the South American giants still viewed England as one of its biggest obstacles to tournament victory. But Brazil played some of the best football of the competition, with Pelé scoring twice and a Jairzinho goal in between. Romania battled bravely; Dumitrache pulled the score back to 2–1 before the break and a late Emerich Dembrowski goal made it 3–2, but they were out.

1972 to 1978

Romania and Holland playing out a 0-0 draw at the De Kuip (1974) Oefenwedstrijd WK voetbal, Nederland tegen Roemenie 0-0 Piet Keizer in actie, Bestanddeelnr 927-2330.jpg
Romania and Holland playing out a 0–0 draw at the De Kuip (1974)

On 26 September 1973, under new coach Valentin Stanescu, Romania suffered a significant defeat to East Germany in Leipzig. The East Germans won 2–0 to effectively seal their first ever qualification for the World Cup, which would be held over the border in West Germany. With East Germany scoring a predictable 4–1 win in Albania, Romania were out, despite a huge 9–0 win over Finland in Bucharest.

Romania continued to suffer poor form in the UEFA European Championship. In their qualifying group for the 1976 European Football Championship, they were out-qualified by Spain despite an impressive 1–1 draw in the away match. Romania failed to win matches, drawing twice with Scotland and Spain and dropping points in Denmark with a dismal goalless draw.

Romania were again beaten by Spain for a place in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina. Despite a 1–0 win in Bucharest, Romania lost a bizarre match at home to Yugoslavia 6–4 having led 3–2 at half time. Spain won 1–0 in Belgrade to seal passage to South America.

1984 European Championship

Romania's sole successful qualifying campaign between 1970 and 1990 was for the European Championships in 1984 in France. At the finals, Romania were drawn with regular rivals Spain, holders West Germany and dark horses Portugal. Under head coach Mircea Lucescu, an encouraging opening game in Saint-Étienne saw them draw with the Spanish. Francisco José Carrasco opened the scoring from the penalty spot but Romania equalized before half-time with a goal from Laszlo Bölöni.

Against the Germans in Lens, Marcel Coraș scored an equalizer in the first minute of the second half in response to Rudi Völler's opener, but Völler would score a winning goal. Their last match in Nantes was a must-win match, but Nené's late winner meant Portugal progressed with Spain, who netted a dramatic late winner against West Germany at the Parc des Princes in Paris.

Romania stuttered throughout the rest of the decade, but a stronger squad at the end of the decade saw them qualify for their fifth World Cup in 1990. A win over Denmark in their last match took Emerich Jenei's side to the finals for the first time in 20 years.

Golden Team era

1990 World Cup

Romania's squad was entirely domestic-based, despite an increasing trend for the major sides in Italy and Spain buying up the best foreign talent. Midfielder Ilie Dumitrescu, striker Florin Răducioiu and genius playmaker Gheorghe Hagi, were in the squad.

1990 FIFA World Cup stamp by the Posta Romana ROM 1990 MiNr4598 pm B002.jpg
1990 FIFA World Cup stamp by the Poșta Română

With world champions Argentina stunned by Cameroon in the tournament's opening match, Romania did their chances no harm with a convincing win over the Soviet Union at the San Nicola in Bari, with Marius Lăcătuș scoring in each half. The result was all the more impressive given the absence of Hagi. There was controversy, however, as Lăcătus' second was a penalty given for a handball by Vagiz Khidiatullin that television replays clearly showed to be some way outside the penalty area.

Romania were the next victims of Cameroon in Bari. Cult hero Roger Milla, 38 years of age, came on as a substitute for Emmanuel Maboang Kessack and scored twice before Gavril Balint pulled one back. Romania needed a point in their last match against improving Argentina at the San Paolo in Naples; Pedro Monzón gave Argentina the lead after an hour, but Balint quickly equalized and Romania held on to reach Round 2.

Against Jack Charlton's Republic of Ireland side in Genoa, Romania did not have the quality to break down a defensive opposition. Daniel Timofte was the only player to miss in the penalty shoot-out  – his kick saved by Packie Bonner  – and Romania were out.

1994 World Cup

Romania missed out on Euro 1992. Scotland qualified after Romania drew a must-win last match in Sofia against Bulgaria, with Nasko Sirakov's equalizer sealing their fate.

Romania was successful, however, in reaching another World Cup in the United States in 1994. Despite losing in Belgium and suffering a heavy 5–2 defeat in Czechoslovakia, Romania went into their last match at Cardiff Arms Park with Wales needing a win to pip them to a place in the finals. Goals from Gheorghe Hagi and Dean Saunders meant the game was finely balanced, before Wales were awarded a penalty. Paul Bodin of Swindon Town stepped up but hit the woodwork and Romania went on to win 2–1, Florin Răducioiu's late goal proving unnecessary as Czechoslovakia dropped a point in Belgium and were eliminated.

Romanian team 1994 FIFA World Cup stamp ROM 1994 MiNr4992 pm B002.jpg
Romanian team 1994 FIFA World Cup stamp

At the finals, Romania were one of the most entertaining teams in the early stages, with Gheorghe Hagi, Florin Răducioiu and Ilie Dumitrescu on form. Romania beat Colombia at the Pasadena Rose Bowl in Los Angeles 3–1. All but one of Romania's games took place in California, and they were awarded the advantage of playing most of their games in Los Angeles. Răducioiu opened the scoring before Hagi scored a spectacular second from wide on the left touchline. Adolfo Valencia pulled one back with a headed goal just before half-time, but Romania held on and Răducioiu sealed the win with a late third.

In Detroit's indoor Pontiac Silverdome, the temperature soared due to the greenhouse effect in the indoor arena. Switzerland, acclimatized after having already played the hosts there, outran Romania in the second half and turned a 1–1 half time score into a surprising 4–1 win. Romania responded by beating the hosts 1–0 in Pasadena with an early Dan Petrescu goal.

In the Round of 16 knockout stage they faced Argentina in Los Angeles who were shorn of Diego Maradona who was thrown out of the tournament for taking drugs. Răducioiu, suspended, was hardly missed, as coach Anghel Iordănescu pushed Dumitrescu forward to play as a striker and the player responded by scoring twice in the first 20 minutes, one a superbly subtle left foot flick from a right-wing Hagi cross slotted between the Argentine defenders. In between, Gabriel Batistuta scored a penalty, but after half-time Romania netted a superb third on the counterattack, with Hagi beating goalkeeper Luis Islas. Abel Balbo pulled one back, but Romania held on for a shock win.

Romania would suffer penalty heartbreak again, in the quarter-final against Sweden in San Francisco. With just 13 minutes to play, a tight match opened up as Sweden's Thomas Brolin scored from a clever free-kick move, the ball passed outside the Romanian wall by Håkan Mild for Brolin to smash in. Iordănescu threw caution to the wind and the returning Răducioiu found a late equalizer, again from a free-kick move but this time down to a deflection and a failure of the Swedes to clear. In extra time Răducioiu scored again after a mistake by Patrik Andersson, but Sweden then scored their own late equalizer as giant striker Kennet Andersson climbed above goalkeeper Florin Prunea to head home a long ball. Prunea had come in after two matches to replace Bogdan Stelea, whose confidence was shattered by the 4–1 loss to the Swiss. In the shoot-out, Dan Petrescu and Miodrag Belodedici had their kicks saved by Thomas Ravelli and Sweden went through.

Euro 1996

At Euro 1996, held in England, Romania arrived as a highly thought-of and popular team but had a nightmare. Iordănescu's side were based in the north east, with their first two games at St James' Park in Newcastle. Against France, they lost to a Christophe Dugarry header reminiscent of Kennet Andersson's two years earlier, beating the goalkeeper to a lofted through ball. An early goal from Bulgaria striker Hristo Stoichkov at St James' Park put Romania on the back foot in Euro 1996, but Dorinel Munteanu appeared to have kept Romania in the match – and in the tournament – with a thunderbolt that hit the bar, bounced over the line, and back out. Referee Peter Mikkelsen merely waved play on, however, and Romania went on to lose the game 1–0 a defeat which sent them out of the tournament. English manager Harry Redknapp was in the crowd that day, and later said that it convinced him there and then that goal-line technology was needed in football. Romania finally scored in their last game, Florin Răducioiu equalizing an early goal by Spain's Javier Manjarín. Spain had to win to qualify with France at the expense of Bulgaria and did so when Guillermo Amor stooped to head a late winner. Romania exited in total shame, with no points and tons of regrets of what could have been.

1998 World Cup

Romania played at the 1998 World Cup in France. France 98 World Cup.jpg
Romania played at the 1998 World Cup in France.

Despite a poor performance at Euro 1996, Romania impressed in qualifying, finishing ten points clear of the Republic of Ireland and were seeded for the final tournament of the 1998 World Cup thanks to their strong showing in 1994. Despite being drawn in a group with England, progression to the next round was expected in light of a declining Colombia and minnows Tunisia.

Adrian Ilie scored the only goal with a fine chip in their first match against Colombia at Lyon's Stade Gerland. In Toulouse, they met an England side starting with prodigal striker Michael Owen on the bench, with Teddy Sheringham preferred alongside Alan Shearer. A mistake by Tony Adams was punished by Viorel Moldovan, who played for Coventry City, before Owen came on to claim an equalizer. But Romania won with a wonderful late goal from Dan Petrescu, also playing in England with Chelsea, fighting off his club teammate Graeme le Saux and nutmegging goalkeeper David Seaman.

The next match was against Tunisia. Romania decided to bleach their hair before the match. Despite England–Colombia being the more decisive game, the Stade de France in Paris was an 80,000-strong sell out and the crowd were nearly rewarded with a shock as Skander Souayah scored an early penalty to give the north Africans the lead. Romania needed a point to win the group and, crucially, avoid Argentina in the round of 16, and got it when Moldovan volleyed a late equalizer. It did them little good, however, as in the round of 16 match at Bordeaux against Croatia, Davor Šuker scored a twice-taken penalty to eliminate Romania.

Euro 2000

Romania versus England: 3-2 (line-ups). ENG-ROU 2000-06-20.svg
Romania versus England: 3–2 (line-ups).

Romania had a strong qualifying campaign, winning a tough Group 7 with Portugal, Slovakia, Hungary, Azerbaijan and Liechtenstein. The Romanians impressed, never losing and winning seven times, including a big upset in Porto after defeating Portugal thanks to a late goal scored by Dorinel Munteanu. In Bucharest, the score finished 1–1.

At Euro 2000, held in Belgium and the Netherlands, Romania was facing a very difficult group against 1996 champions Germany, semi-finalists England and Portugal. The chances for the Romanians to qualify through quarter-finals were seen as slim.

Romania, however, started brightly against the Germans in Liège, with Viorel Moldovan scoring from close range. A long-range Mehmet Scholl equalizer meant they had to be content with a point and their position looked shaky after Costinha headed a last minute winner for Portugal in their second match.

Emerich Jenei, back as coach, threw caution to the wind in the last match in Charleroi against England, a match which Romania had to win. Defender Cristian Chivu's cross went in off the post in the 22nd minute but, despite Romania dominating, England led at half-time through an Alan Shearer penalty and a late Michael Owen goal after he rounded goalkeeper Bogdan Stelea to score a tap-in, both in the last five minutes of the half. Romania attacked after the break and were quickly rewarded; Dorinel Munteanu punishing a poor punch from Nigel Martyn, a late replacement for injured goalkeeper David Seaman, to equalize three minutes after the restart. England cracked under the pressure. Unable to retain possession or pose an attacking threat, they fell deep and late on Phil Neville, playing out of position at left-back, conceded a penalty scored by Ioan Ganea in the 89th minute.

Romania's relief was tempered by tough opposition in the last eight, and Italy, who would end up seconds from being crowned European champions in an agonizing final, comfortably saw them off 2–0 in Brussels. Francesco Totti and Filippo Inzaghi scoring towards the end of the first half. In the 35th minute, Gheorghe Hagi, in his final international tournament, hit the woodwork with goalkeeper Francesco Toldo stranded off his line and, after the break, was sent off for diving. Romania's tournament was over and Emerich Jenei left his job as coach again.

2000s – Near Misses

Romania failed to qualify for the next three major tournaments. They drew Slovenia, who had been surprise qualifiers for Euro 2000 in a playoff for a place in the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan. A narrow 2–1 deficit – having led through a Marius Niculae goal – after the first leg in Ljubljana was not irretrievable. With fans' hero Gheorghe Hagi now coaching the side, they were confident of getting the win they needed in Bucharest against the Balkan upstarts, but Slovenia took the lead before the hour through Mladen Rudonja. Right wing-back Cosmin Contra quickly equalized but Romania could not find the goal they needed to force extra time and Slovenia, with maverick manager Srečko Katanec, were in a major tournament again.

Euro 2004

Romania were confident of qualifying for the tournament, drawn in Group 2 with seeds Denmark, Norway, Bosnia and Herzegovina and minnows Luxembourg, with Anghel Iordanescu back as coach. Despite a good start – a 3–0 win away to Bosnia in Sarajevo – Romania stuttered. Steffen Iversen's late goal gave Norway a surprise win in Bucharest and they were stunned at home by the Danes, 5–2, with Thomas Gravesen scoring a spectacular goal from around 50 yards out, despite leading twice. They recovered slightly, completing a double over the Bosnians and earning a point in Oslo, but conceded a cutting injury time equalizer in Denmark to draw 2–2. It was decisive, as they now required Norway to fail to win at home to Luxembourg to stand any realistic chance of qualifying. Eventually, the Danes got a point in Bosnia to scrape through a tight group, with Norway going to a play-off with Spain.

2006 World Cup

Romania were put in a difficult group for the qualifying tournament for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. The Netherlands and the Czech Republic were favourites to qualify, then ranked first and second in Europe respectively. Early wins over Finland and Macedonia were unconvincing, and they were some way behind the two leaders by the time they earned a good 2–0 home win over the Czechs. Despite a record of eight wins, three losses and one draw, they finished third behind the Dutch and the Czechs and missed out on another major tournament.

Euro 2008

Euro 2016, Stade de France: France versus Romania Euro 2016 stade de France France-Roumanie (27307532960).jpg
Euro 2016, Stade de France: France versus Romania

Romania were drawn in a group with group favourites the Netherlands and tough opponents Bulgaria for Euro 2008 qualifying. Romania, however, had a good qualifying campaign, losing only away against Bulgaria and beating the Netherlands 1–0 at home with a goal scored by Dorin Goian from a suspicious off-side position not seen by referee Kyros Vassaras. On 17 October 2007, Romania became the fourth team to qualify for Euro 2008, the nation's first international tournament since Euro 2000. Coincidentally, Victor Pițurcă also led Romania to qualification for Euro 2000, only to sit back and let Emerich Jenei coach the team in the final tournament; this time, however, he stayed in the role, the first time he coached a national team in the final stages of a tournament.

Romania was drawn in the so-called "Group of death" alongside the Netherlands, world champions Italy and France, runners-up in the 2006 World Cup. Romania started with a 0–0 draw against a lacklustre France while Italy were soundly beaten by the Netherlands, 3–0. In their next match, against Italy, Adrian Mutu opened the scoring early in the second half. Their lead was a very short one, however, as Italy's Christian Panucci scored a minute later off of a corner kick. Nearing the end of the match, Daniel Niculae earned a penalty for his team, but goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon saved the subsequent Mutu penalty, leaving Romania with two points and needing a win against the Netherlands, who eliminated France 4–1 that same evening. The Netherlands beat Romania 2–0 in the final game of the group, which meant that Italy joined the Netherlands in the quarter-finals and Romania finished third, ahead of France.

2010 World Cup

Romanian fans at Arena Nationala Romanian fans.jpg
Romanian fans at Arena Națională

Romania were drawn into the UEFA qualifying round for the 2010 World Cup alongside France, Serbia, Austria, Lithuania and the Faroe Islands. Although Romania were seeded in the second pot, suggesting that they were a strong challenge for the first place in the group, they eventually finished fifth, above only the Faroe Islands. Their campaign was a disaster that began with a 3–0 home loss to Lithuania and included a 5–0 trashing in Belgrade by Serbia. Furthermore, various problems were caused during the poor campaign, such as the retirement from international football of Cosmin Contra, Mirel Rădoi and Adrian Mutu (the latter would later be recalled after a year's absence). Also, coach Victor Pițurcă resigned and was replaced by Răzvan Lucescu.

Euro 2012

In Euro 2012 qualifying, Romania was drawn into Group D along with France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Albania and Luxembourg. Although the team initially seemed prepared to continue their awful form from their disastrous World Cup campaign, beginning with a 1–1 draw with Pot 5 members Albania and following up with a goalless draw with Belarus and a pair of losses to France and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the team was able to rebound somewhat and register their first two victories. The first was an expected win against Luxembourg but the second was an important win in the rematch against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Romania's last good result came when they battled group favorite France to a goalless draw before ending the campaign the way it began – two disappointing draws with Albania and Belarus. They finished qualification in a distant third place and only one point ahead of Belarus.

2014 World Cup

Romania was drawn into the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying round with the Netherlands, Turkey, Hungary, Estonia and Andorra. Romania, Turkey and Hungary were expected to battle it out for second place behind the Netherlands. They made an impressive start with a 2–0 away win in Estonia followed by a 4–0 win at home against modest Andorra and another away win in Turkey (1–0). After that, Romania was defeated by Netherlands, both at home and away, and managed to secure only a draw in Hungary, in between. Romania started the last part of the campaign with a victory at home, against Hungary, but was defeated by Turkey. The last two match days were decisive, with Romania securing its place in the play-off with two wins, against Andorra and Estonia, while qualification rivals Turkey and Hungary were both defeated by the winner of the group, the Netherlands. Romania were drawn to play Greece for a place in the World Cup finals, but a 3–1 loss in Greece and a 1–1 home draw ended its run.

Euro 2016

For the qualifying stage of the Euro 2016 Romania was drawn into Group F along with Greece, Hungary, Finland, Northern Ireland and the Faroe Islands. Romania began its first successful qualification campaign since 2008 with a win over group favourites Greece before following up with a 1–1 draw with Pot 2 member Hungary and a 2–0 win over Finland. Despite the initial success, Romania decided to part with coach Victor Pițurcă by mutual consent. Anghel Iordănescu came out of retirement to return to coach Romania for a third time.

Under Iordănescu, Romania was able to follow up with comfortable 2–0 win over surprise force Northern Ireland and, despite a disappointing 1–0 win over the Faroe Islands and a 0–0 draw in the return game against Northern Ireland, Romania remained on top of Group F, one point above Northern Ireland and three points above third-placed Hungary. After a goalless draw in the match against Hungary in Budapest, however, the team fell back on the second place, one point behind Northern Ireland and three above Hungary, still placed third.

Following a 1–1 draw clinched in overtime at home against Finland, Romania secured their spot at the final tournament in the last game after a confident 3–0 win in the Faroe Islands. Romania finished the qualification group second, one point behind group winners Northern Ireland, completing their first successful qualification campaign in eight years undefeated after five wins and five draws. Romania advanced to Euro 2016 and were drawn in the same group as tournament hosts France, Switzerland and Albania. Romania was defeated by France thanks to an 89th-minute strike by Dimitri Payet to cancel out Bogdan Stancu's equalizer as Romania dropped last in Group A. In its second group match, against Switzerland, another Stancu penalty helped Romania claim its first point of the tournament after a 1–1 draw. In its last group stage match, Romania lost 0–1 against Albania to finish last in Group A, with only one point and two goals scored, both from penalties.

2018 World Cup

For the qualification round, Romania was drawn in Group E, being in Pot 1 for the first time after a long time. Romania's two strongest opponents appear to be Denmark and Poland; its other opponents are Montenegro, Armenia and Kazakhstan. The qualifying campaign started with a 1–1 home draw against Montenegro followed by a thrashing away victory against Armenia, 0–5. In the next match, Romania recorded another draw (0–0), against Kazakhstan. The last match played in 2016 was a 0–3 defeat against Poland, with Robert Lewandowski scoring a double. After an uninspiring campaign, Romania ended in the fourth place in Group E with 13 points. After 8 of the 10 games, due to lackluster performances, coach Christoph Daum was fired and replaced with a promising new coach, Cosmin Contra.

2018–19 Nations League

Romania's poor performance previously meant that the country had to participate in the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League C, where they were grouped again with Montenegro, alongside neighbor Serbia and minnows Lithuania. Romania managed an acceptable performance, with the team beat Lithuania and Montenegro, but three draws, two against Serbia, meant that Romania was unable to gain the top spot or a direct playoff ticket. However, when the UEFA revised the format, Romania was officially promoted to 2020–21 UEFA Nations League B.

Euro 2020

UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers: Sweden vs Romania, March, 2019 UEFA EURO qualifiers Sweden vs Romaina 20190323 42.jpg
UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers: Sweden vs Romania, March, 2019

Romania was drawn in a group including the national teams of Spain, Sweden, and Norway alongside Malta and the Faroe Islands in UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying. In the opening game, Romania suffered a 1–2 away defeat to Sweden. [3] This was followed by an easy 4–1 victory over the Faroe Islands and a 2–2 draw with Norway in Oslo, two victories over Malta and a 1–2 loss at home to Spain. Eventually, Romania kept on track by beating Faroe Islands 3–0 away, but it was later followed with a disappointing 1–1 home draw to the Norwegians. [4] This had reduced significantly their chances of automatic qualification, as they had to meet strong Swedish and Spanish sides for the two remaining competitive games. A 0–2 home defeat to Sweden ensured that Romania would be unable to finish in the automatic qualification places. [5] Romania eventually qualified for the playoff, but their performance cost Cosmin Contra his coaching position, as he was sacked prior to the playoff. Romania went on to lose 1–2 to Iceland, and was eliminated from UEFA Euro 2020.


The Romania national team mainly plays its home games at Arena Națională, the largest stadium in the country, with a capacity of 55,600 seats.

The National Stadium is a Category 4 venue and, as such, it hosted the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League final.

Some other matches, including FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Football Championship qualification games and not just friendly matches, are played at other venues such as the Stadionul Ion Oblemenco, Cluj Arena, and the smaller Stadionul Ilie Oană and the Stadionul Dr. Constantin Rădulescu.


Kit suppliers

Kit providerPeriod
Flag of France.svg Le Coq Sportif 1977–1983
Flag of Germany.svg Adidas 1984–2015
Flag of Spain.svg Joma 2015–present

Romania's kit are supplied by Spanish company Joma, which replaced Adidas, which itself replaced Le Coq Sportif in 1984. In 2017 the Romanian football federation announced its first brand identity and a new kit. The new emblem references the coat of arms of all five Romanian provinces with the intention to symbolise the unity of Romania. The kit is available in three main colours: red, yellow, and blue. All kits have "Împreună suntem fotbal" ("Together, we are football") printed on the inside of the collar. [6]

Media coverage

Romania's Nations League, qualifying matches, and friendlies are televised on Pro TV, through 2022.

Between 2008 and 2014, Antena 1 had the rights to broadcast Romania's home matches, friendlies and qualifiers. From 2014 to 2018, Romania's qualifying matches to UEFA Euro and the World Cup, plus two pre-Euro and one post-Euro friendly match were taken over by TVR. The friendly matches that were not broadcast by TVR were taken over by Pro TV. In March 2019, Pro TV took over all broadcasts of Romania's fixtures from TVR (effective broadcast per-September 2018).

Competitive record

FIFA World Cup

 Champions   Runners-up    Third Place    Fourth Place  

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup qualification record
Flag of Uruguay.svg 1930 Group stage8th210135Qualified as invitees
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg 1934 Round of 1612th1001122211043
Flag of France (1794-1815, 1830-1958).svg 1938 9th201145Egypt withdrew [7]
Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg 1950 Did not enter
Flag of Switzerland.svg 1954 Did not qualify2420255
Flag of Sweden.svg 1958 2421164
Flag of Chile.svg 1962 Withdrew
Flag of England.svg 1966 3630397
Flag of Mexico.svg 1970 Group stage11th3102451632176
Flag of Germany.svg 1974 Did not qualify26411174
Flag of Argentina.svg 1978 2420278
Flag of Spain.svg 1982 3824255
Flag of Mexico.svg 1986 38332127
Flag of Italy.svg 1990 Round of 1612th412(1*)14316411105
Flag of the United States.svg 1994 Quarter-finals6th531*11091107122912
Flag of France.svg 1998 Round of 1611th421143110910374
Flag of South Korea (1997-2011).svg Flag of Japan.svg 2002 Did not qualifyPlayoffs105231210
Flag of Germany.svg 2006 3128132010
Flag of South Africa.svg 2010 5103341218
Flag of Brazil.svg 2014 Playoffs126242116
Flag of Russia.svg 2018 4103431210
Flag of Qatar.svg 2022 To be determinedTo be determined
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Flag of Mexico.svg Flag of the United States.svg 2026
**Denotes draws including knockout matches decided on penalty kicks. Darker color indicates win, normal color indicates loss.

UEFA European Championship

UEFA European Championship record UEFA European Championship qualifying record
Flag of France.svg 1960 Did not qualifyQuarter-finals410337
Flag of Spain (1945-1977).svg 1964 Preliminary round210137
Flag of Italy.svg 1968 First round63031814
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg 1972 Quarter-finals9432157
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg 1976 First round6150116
Flag of Italy.svg 1980 3622298
Flag of France.svg 1984 Group stage7th3012241852193
Flag of Germany.svg 1988 Did not qualify26411133
Flag of Sweden.svg 1992 38422137
Flag of England.svg 1996 Group stage15th300314110631189
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg 2000 Quarter-finals7th411246110730253
Flag of Portugal.svg 2004 Did not qualify38422219
Flag of Austria.svg Flag of Switzerland.svg 2008 Group Stage12th302113112921267
Flag of Poland.svg Flag of Ukraine.svg 2012 Did not qualify310352139
Flag of France.svg 2016 Group stage19th301224210550112
Flag of Europe.svg 2020 Did not qualifyPlay-off114251817
Flag of Germany.svg 2024 To be determined
*Denotes draws including knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

UEFA Nations League record

UEFA Nations League record
Flag of Portugal.svg 2018–19 C 4 633083Green Arrow Up Darker.svg32nd
Flag of Italy.svg 2020–21 B 1 622289Equals-sign-blue.gif26th
Flag of none.svg 2022–23 B Future event

Summer Olympics

Football at the Summer Olympics was first played officially in 1908. The Olympiads between 1896 and 1980 was only open for amateur players. The 1984 and 1988 tournaments were open to players with no appearances in the FIFA World Cup. After the 1988 Olympics, the football event was changed into a tournament for U23 teams, with a maximum of three older players. See Romania Olympic football team for competition records from 1992 until present day.

1900 to 1920 Did not enter------
Flag of France.svg 1924 Round of 16100106
1928 to 1948 Did not qualify------
Flag of Finland.svg 1952 Preliminary Round100112
1956 to 1960 Did not qualify------
Flag of Japan.svg 1964 Quarter-Finals6411126
1968 to 1976 Did not qualify------
1980 to 1988 Did not enter------

All-time head-to-head record

Last match updated was against Ulster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland on 18 November 2020.

  Positive Record  Neutral Record  Negative Record

FIFA ranking history

The following is a chart of yearly averages of Romania's FIFA ranking. [8]

Results and fixtures


7 June 2020 Friendly England  Flag of England.svgCancelledFlag of Romania.svg  Romania Villa Park, Birmingham
18:30 BST
Note: This match was cancelled on 17 March in accordance with the announcement of the postponement of UEFA Euro 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. [9]
4 September 2020 (2020-09-04) 2020–21 UEFA Nations League B Romania  Flag of Romania.svg1–1Ulster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland Arena Națională, Bucharest
20:45 (21:45 UTC+3)
Attendance: 0 [note 1]
Referee: François Letexier (France)
7 September 2020 (2020-09-07) 2020–21 UEFA Nations League B Austria  Flag of Austria.svg2–3Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Wörthersee Stadion, Klagenfurt
Attendance: 0 [note 1]
Referee: Glenn Nyberg (Sweden)
8 October 2020 (2020-10-08) UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying play-offs Iceland  Flag of Iceland.svg2–1Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík
20:45 (19:45  UTC±0)
Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia)
11 October 2020 (2020-10-11) 2020–21 UEFA Nations League B Norway  Flag of Norway.svg4–0Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo
Report Referee: Ivan Kružliak (Slovakia)
14 October 2020 (2020-10-14) 2020–21 UEFA Nations League B Romania  Flag of Romania.svg0–1Flag of Austria.svg  Austria Ilie Oană Stadium, Ploiești
20:45 (21:45 UTC+3) Report
Referee: Daniel Stefański (Poland)
11 November 2020 (2020-11-11) Friendly Romania  Flag of Romania.svg5–3Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus Ilie Oană Stadium, Ploiești
19:00 EET
Attendance: 0
Referee: Georgi Kabakov (Bulgaria)
15 November 2020 (2020-11-15) 2020–21 UEFA Nations League B Romania  Flag of Romania.svg3–0Flag of Norway.svg  Norway Arena Națională, Bucharest
20:45 (21:45 UTC+2) Report Referee: Ali Palabıyık (Turkey)
Note: The Romania v Norway match was cancelled and awarded as a 3–0 win to Romania after the Norway national team were prohibited from travelling to Romania by the Norwegian government due to a positive SARS-CoV-2 test in the squad. [12]
18 November 2020 (2020-11-18) 2020–21 UEFA Nations League B Northern Ireland  Ulster Banner.svg1–1Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Windsor Park, Belfast
20:45 (19:45 UTC±0)
Referee: Sandro Schärer (Switzerland)


28 March 2021 (2021-03-28) 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Romania  Flag of Romania.svgvFlag of Germany.svg  Germany TBD
20:45 (21:45 UTC+3) Report (FIFA)
Report (UEFA)
31 March 2021 (2021-03-31) 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Armenia  Flag of Armenia.svgvFlag of Romania.svg  Romania TBD
18:00 (20:00 UTC+4) Report (FIFA)
Report (UEFA)
2 June 2021 Friendly Romania  Flag of Romania.svgvFlag of Georgia.svg  Georgia
6 June 2021 Friendly England  Flag of England.svgvFlag of Romania.svg  Romania Villa Park, Birmingham
18:30 BST
2 September 2021 (2021-09-02) 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Iceland  Flag of Iceland.svgvFlag of Romania.svg  Romania TBD
20:45 (18:45 UTC±0) Report (FIFA)
Report (UEFA)
5 September 2021 (2021-09-05) 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Romania  Flag of Romania.svgvFlag of Liechtenstein.svg  Liechtenstein TBD
20:45 (21:45 UTC+3) Report (FIFA)
Report (UEFA)
8 October 2021 (2021-10-08) 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Germany  Flag of Germany.svgvFlag of Romania.svg  Romania TBD
20:45 Report (FIFA)
Report (UEFA)
11 October 2021 (2021-10-11) 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Romania  Flag of Romania.svgvFlag of Armenia.svg  Armenia TBD
20:45 (21:45 UTC+3) Report (FIFA)
Report (UEFA)
11 November 2021 (2021-11-11) 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Romania  Flag of Romania.svgvFlag of Iceland.svg  Iceland TBD
20:45 (21:45 UTC+2) Report (FIFA)
Report (UEFA)


Current squad

The following players were called up for the friendly against Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus on 11 November 2020, and the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League games against Flag of Norway.svg  Norway and Ulster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland on 15 and 18 November 2020 respectively. [13]
Caps and goals as of 18 November 2020 after the match against Ulster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland .

No.Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClub
121 GK Ciprian Tătărușanu RET(Captain) (1986-02-09) 9 February 1986 (age 35)730 Flag of Italy.svg Milan
161 GK David Lazar (1991-08-08) 8 August 1991 (age 29)10 Flag of Romania.svg Astra Giurgiu
11 GK Cristian Bălgrădean (1988-03-21) 21 March 1988 (age 32)10 Flag of Romania.svg CFR Cluj

32 DF Alin Toșca (1992-03-14) 14 March 1992 (age 28)230 Flag of Turkey.svg Gaziantep
52 DF Ionuț Nedelcearu (1996-04-25) 25 April 1996 (age 24)132 Flag of Greece.svg AEK Athens
212 DF Cristian Manea (1997-08-09) 9 August 1997 (age 23)101 Flag of Romania.svg CFR Cluj
112 DF Cristian Ganea (1992-05-24) 24 May 1992 (age 28)70 Flag of Greece.svg Aris
62 DF Iulian Cristea (1994-07-17) 17 July 1994 (age 26)30 Flag of Romania.svg FCSB
132 DF Vasile Mogoș (1992-10-31) 31 October 1992 (age 28)30 Flag of Italy.svg Chievo
152 DF Bogdan Țîru (1994-03-15) 15 March 1994 (age 26)20 Flag of Poland.svg Jagiellonia Białystok
22 DF Valentin Crețu (1989-01-02) 2 January 1989 (age 32)20 Flag of Romania.svg FCSB
222 DF Camora (1986-11-10) 10 November 1986 (age 34)20 Flag of Romania.svg CFR Cluj
42 DF Bogdan Mitrea (1987-09-29) 29 September 1987 (age 33)11 Flag of Romania.svg Sepsi Sfântu Gheorghe

103 MF Alexandru Maxim (1990-07-08) 8 July 1990 (age 30)446 Flag of Turkey.svg Gaziantep
183 MF Răzvan Marin (1996-05-23) 23 May 1996 (age 24)252 Flag of Italy.svg Cagliari
173 MF Eric Bicfalvi (1988-02-05) 5 February 1988 (age 33)81 Flag of Russia.svg Ural Yekaterinburg
233 MF Alexandru Băluță (1993-09-13) 13 September 1993 (age 27)71 Flag of Hungary.svg Puskás Akadémia
203 MF Dennis Man (1998-08-26) 26 August 1998 (age 22)61 Flag of Italy.svg Parma
83 MF Dan Nistor (1988-05-06) 6 May 1988 (age 32)60 Flag of Romania.svg U Craiova
193 MF Florin Tănase (1994-12-30) 30 December 1994 (age 26)50 Flag of Romania.svg FCSB
143 MF Cristian Albu (1993-08-17) 17 August 1993 (age 27)00 Flag of Romania.svg UTA Arad

94 FW George Pușcaș (1996-04-08) 8 April 1996 (age 24)208 Flag of England.svg Reading
74 FW Denis Alibec (1991-01-05) 5 January 1991 (age 30)172 Flag of Turkey.svg Kayserispor

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up for the team within the last 12 months.

Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClubLatest call-up
GK Valentin Cojocaru COV (1995-10-01) 1 October 1995 (age 25)00 Flag of Romania.svg Viitorul Constanța v. Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus , 11 November 2020
GK Florin Niță (1987-07-03) 3 July 1987 (age 33)20 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Sparta Prague v. Flag of Austria.svg  Austria , 14 October 2020

DF Vlad Chiricheș INJ (1989-11-14) 14 November 1989 (age 31)590 Flag of Italy.svg Sassuolo v. Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus , 11 November 2020
DF Nicușor Bancu COV (1992-09-18) 18 September 1992 (age 28)170 Flag of Romania.svg U Craiova v. Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus , 11 November 2020
DF Mihai Bălașa INJ (1995-01-14) 14 January 1995 (age 26)80 Flag of Romania.svg U Craiova v. Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus , 11 November 2020
DF Andrei Burcă (1993-04-15) 15 April 1993 (age 27)40 Flag of Romania.svg CFR Cluj v. Flag of Austria.svg  Austria , 14 October 2020
DF Dragoș Grigore INJ (1986-09-07) 7 September 1986 (age 34)381 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Ludogorets Razgrad v. Flag of Norway.svg  Norway , 11 October 2020
DF Sergiu Hanca INJ (1992-04-04) 4 April 1992 (age 28)50 Flag of Poland.svg Cracovia v. Flag of Norway.svg  Norway , 11 October 2020
DF Florin Ștefan (1996-05-09) 9 May 1996 (age 24)10 Flag of Romania.svg Sepsi Sfântu Gheorghe v. Flag of Austria.svg  Austria , 7 September 2020

MF Nicolae Stanciu (1993-05-07) 7 May 1993 (age 27)4210 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Slavia Prague v. Flag of Austria.svg  Austria , 14 October 2020
MF Ciprian Deac (1986-02-16) 16 February 1986 (age 35)264 Flag of Romania.svg CFR Cluj v. Flag of Austria.svg  Austria , 14 October 2020
MF Alexandru Mitriță (1995-02-08) 8 February 1995 (age 26)142 Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg Al Ahli v. Flag of Austria.svg  Austria , 14 October 2020
MF Ianis Hagi (1998-10-22) 22 October 1998 (age 22)140 Flag of Scotland.svg Rangers v. Flag of Austria.svg  Austria , 14 October 2020
MF Alexandru Cicâldău (1997-07-08) 8 July 1997 (age 23)100 Flag of Romania.svg U Craiova v. Flag of Austria.svg  Austria , 14 October 2020
MF Alexandru Crețu (1992-04-24) 24 April 1992 (age 28)40 Flag of Slovenia.svg Maribor v. Flag of Austria.svg  Austria , 14 October 2020

FW Claudiu Keșerü (1986-12-02) 2 December 1986 (age 34)4013 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Ludogorets Razgrad v. Flag of Austria.svg  Austria , 14 October 2020
FW Gabriel Iancu (1994-04-15) 15 April 1994 (age 26)40 Flag of Russia.svg Akhmat Grozny v. Flag of Austria.svg  Austria , 14 October 2020
FW Florinel Coman (1998-04-10) 10 April 1998 (age 22)40 Flag of Romania.svg FCSB v. Flag of Austria.svg  Austria , 7 September 2020
FW Sergiu Buș (1992-11-02) 2 November 1992 (age 28)00 Flag of South Korea.svg Seongnam v. Flag of Austria.svg  Austria , 7 September 2020

Coaching staff

As of September 2020. [14]
Head Coach Flag of Romania.svg Mirel Radoi
Assistant Coaches Flag of Romania.svg Nicolae Dică
Flag of Romania.svg Florin Constantinovici
Goalkeeping Coach Flag of Romania.svg Leontin Toader
Fitness Coach Flag of Romania.svg Horațiu Baciu
Doctor Flag of Romania.svg Claudiu Stamatescu
Physioterapists Flag of Romania.svg Toma Vasilescu
Flag of Romania.svg Ovidiu Blendea
Flag of Romania.svg Adrian Gherovăț
Flag of Romania.svg Alin Burileanu
Flag of Romania.svg Dragoș Paraschiv
Head of Performance Analysis Flag of Romania.svg Rareș Ene
Team Manager Flag of Romania.svg Cătălin Gheorghiu
Storeman Flag of Romania.svg Cornel Mateiași


Most capped players

As of 18 November 2020 [15]
Players in bold are still active with Romania.
1 Dorinel Munteanu 134161991–2007
2 Gheorghe Hagi 124351983–2000
3 Gheorghe Popescu 115161988–2003
4 Răzvan Raț 11322002–2016
5 László Bölöni 102231975–1988
6 Dan Petrescu 95121989–2000
7 Bogdan Stelea 9101988–2005
8 Michael Klein 8951981–1991
9 Bogdan Lobonț 8601998–2018
10 Marius Lăcătuș 83131984–1998
Mircea Rednic 8321981–1991

Top goalscorers

As of 18 November 2020 [15]
Players in bold are still active with Romania.
1 Adrian Mutu 35770.452000–2013
Gheorghe Hagi 351240.281983–2000
3 Iuliu Bodola 31480.651931–1939
4 Viorel Moldovan 25700.361993–2005
Ciprian Marica 25720.352003–2014
6 László Bölöni 231020.231975–1988
7 Dudu Georgescu 21400.531973–1984
Florin Răducioiu 21400.531990–1996
Anghel Iordănescu 21570.371971–1981
Rodion Cămătaru 21730.291978–1990

Youngest debutants

As of 7 June 2014, the five youngest debutants for Romania are: [16]

1 Cristian Manea 16 years, 9 months and 22 daysRomania–Albania 1–02014 [17]
2 Grațian Sepi 17 years, 3 months and 15 daysRomania–Turkey 4–21928 [17]
3 Ilie Balaci 17 years, 6 months and 10 days France–Romania 1–01974 [17]
4 Nicolae Kovács 17 years, 8 months and 17 days Bulgaria–Romania 2–31929 [17]
5 Gheorghe Popescu I 17 years, 10 months and 14 daysRomania–Belgium 2–11937 [18]


Below is the full list of all former coaches for Romania: [19]

See also


  1. 1 2 Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, all matches scheduled for September 2020 are being played behind closed doors. [10] [11]

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