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Romania's defender Paul Papp celebrates a goal against Northern Ireland

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.

The team
With Adrian Mutu (77 caps, 35 goals) having hung up his boots in 2015, there are few seasoned veterans. The lynchpins of a solid defence are Dragos Grigore and Vlad Chiriches, but there is less stability up front, where, of the current batch of forwards, Bogdan Stancu boasts the best goalscoring records. The guile in the middle of the park comes from experienced midfielders Gabriel Torje and Alexandru Maxim.

*The coach
Former international Cosmin Contra was brought in to take over the final two group games after Christoph Daum's dismissal.

The stat
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