FIFA World Cup™ finals history
Romania is one of just four teams, along with Brazil, France and Belgium, to have taken part in the first three World Cups. The Tricolorii were then forced to wait until 1970 to experience the illustrious event once again, but it was not until the 1990s that they truly came into their own, qualifying three times in a row, in 1990, 1994 and 1998. USA 1994 saw the Romanians reach their zenith, as they topped their section and knocked out the mighty Argentina (3-2) in the Round of 16, prior to losing out to Sweden on penalties in the quarter-finals. Since then, Romania, whose fans are anxious for a new generation of talents to emerge, have failed to return to football’s greatest stage.
With Adrian Mutu (77 caps, 35 goals) having hung up his boots in 2015, only the captain, Razvan Rat, could now be regarded as a seasoned veteran. The lynchpin of a solid defence, Rat generally lines up alongside Dragos Grigore and Vlad Chiriches at the back, but there is less stability up front, where, of the current batch of forwards, Bogdan Stancu and Ciprian Marica possess the best goalscoring records.
An ex-Romania international (64 caps, 26 goals), Anghel Iordanescu was handed the reins of his country’s national team for the third time in 2014, having previously taken charge between 1993 and 1998, and 2002 and 2004. A dynamic forward during his playing days, he lifted the 1986 European Cup with Steaua Bucharest. After retiring, he impressively guided Romania to the quarter-finals of USA 1994.
9 – Romania’s largest competitive win came on 14 October 1973, when they defeated Finland 9-0. That also happens to be the scoreline from their worst defeat, which occurred versus Hungary on 6 June 1948.
The former stars
Laszlo Boloni, Mircea Lucescu, Gheorghe Hagi, Christian Chivu, Adrian Mutu