Romania warns France and Italy


But despite the huge challenge that awaits them in Austria and Switzerland this summer, the side led by manager Victor Piturca are undoubtedly in a confident mood ahead of the tournament.

“Romania has more of a chance than our opponents give us credit,” said Shakhtar Donetsk defender Razvan Rat at a training camp in Mogosoaia, near Bucharest.

“Romania has not got as many great players as Italy and France and even the Netherlands, but the force of our group could make the difference if we have some luck.”

And Rat’s defensive colleague Gabriel Tamas was also in an optimistic mood, even suggesting that neither Italy, France, nor Netherlands, would go on to win the tournament.

“There is too much noise around them,” said the Auxerre man. Too many people are expecting success and this could put them under great pressure.”

Piturca told reporters that he would not yet call up a replacement for midfielder Ovidiu Petre, who will miss out on the finals after injuring his knee playing volleyball.

“Cristian Chivu, Mirel Radoi and Paul Codrea are able to play Petre’s role. Romania is a strong group and not dependent on one player or another. We always have solutions to a problem,” the coach said.

Romania will be participating in their first major tournament since Euro 2000 and start their campaign against France on June 9.