However, after that performance, they only qualified for 1970, 1990, 1994 and 1998 editions. Their finest hour came at the 1994 World Cup where Romania, led by Gheorghe Hagi, reached the quarterfinals, defeating Argentina in their way before losing to Sweden on penalty shootouts.
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 and Belgium and France.
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 Ştefan 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, Mexico. The first match at the Stade Chapou in Toulouse ended 3-3 after extra time, but Cuba won the replay four days later 2-1.
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 their 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.
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 beat 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.
Against the Germans in Lens, Marcel Coras 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 at Italia 90. A win over Denmark in their last match took Emerich Jenei's side to the finals for the first time in twenty years.
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 USSR at the San Nicola in Bari, with Marius Lăcătuş scoring in either half. The result was all the more impressive given the absence of Hagi. There was controversy, however, as Lăcătus's second was a penalty given for a handball by Vagiz Khidiatulin 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 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 Ireland side in Genoa, Romania didn't 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. In the process, Ireland became the smallest country ever to progress that far in a FIFA World Cup.
They were successful, though, 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, Răducioiu's late goal proving unnecessary as Czechoslovakia dropped a point in Belgium and were knocked out.
At the finals, Romania were one of the most entertaining teams in the early stages with Hagi, Răducioiu and Dumitrescu on form. Romania beat Colombia - dark horses and Pelé's tip for the tournament - at the Pasadena Rose Bowl in Los Angeles 3-1. Răducioiu opened the scoring before Hagi scored a spectacular second from wide on the left touchline. Adolfo Valencia shredded their nerves with a headed goal just before half-time, but Romania held on and Răducioiu sealed the win with a late third.
In Detroit's 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 Round 2 they faced Argentina, 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 twenty 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 counter attack, 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. With just thirteen minutes to go, 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.
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 mate 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 v Colombia being the more decisive game, the Stade de France in Paris was an 80,000 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 Round 2, 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 the Croatian team, Davor Šuker scored a twice-taken penalty in a poor match and Romania were out.
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 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 the injured Seaman to equalize three minutes after the re-start. 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 Hagi, in his final international tournament, hit the woodwork with goalkeeper Francesco Toldo stranded off his line and, after the break, was magnanimously sent off for diving. Romania's tournament was over and Jenei left his job as coach again.
Romania were confident of qualifying for Euro 2004 in Portugal, drawn in Group 2 with seeds Denmark, Norway, Bosnia-Herzegovina and minnows Luxembourg,with Anghel Iordanescu back as their 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 fifty yards out, despite leading twice. They recovered slightly, completing a double over the Bosnians and getting 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.
Romania were put in a massive group for the qualifying tournament for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Holland and Czech Republic were favourite to qualify, then ranked first and second in Europe. 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. They finished third behind the Dutch and the Czechs and missed out on another major tournament.
Romania were drawn in a group with group favourites Holland and tough opponents Bulgaria for the Euro 2008 Qualifying. However on 17 October 2007, Romania became the fourth team to qualify for Euro 2008. This the team's first big championships since Euro 2000, 8 years before. Victor Piturca also qualified Romania for EURO 2000, only to sit back and let Emerich Jenei coach the team in the final tournament. This time,however,he stayed. It was the first time he coached a national team in the final stages of a tournament.
They were drawn in the so-called "Group of Death", with their old "friends" Holland (they played each other both in the EURO 2008 qualifying group and in the 2006 World Cup qualifying group), Italy, the current world champions and France, runners-up in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. They started with a sluggish 0-0 draw against France, favorite Italy was soundlly beaten by Holland,3-0. In their next game against Italy, Adrian Mutu, playing for an Italian team, Fiorentina, opened the scoring early in the second half. Their lead was a very short one, as Christian Panucci scored a minute later, with the aid of a corner kick. Nearing the end of the match, Daniel Niculae obtained a penalty for his team, Buffon saved the shot from Mutu, leaving Romania with two points and needing a win against towering Holland, who eradicated France 4-1 on the same evening. Holland beat Romania 2-0 in the final game of the group, which meant that Italy joined Holland in the quarter finals and Romania finished 3rd, ahead of France.
|1950||Did Not Enter||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1954||Did Not Qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1958||Did Not Qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1966||Did Not Qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1974||Did Not Qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1978||Did Not Qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1982||Did Not Qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1986||Did Not Qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|2002||Did Not Qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|2006||Did Not Qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1960||Did not Qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1964||Did not Qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1968||Did not Qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1972||Did not Qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1976||Did not Qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1980||Did not Qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1988||Did not Qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1992||Did not Qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|2004||Did not Qualify||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|2012||Not Yet Qualified||-||-||-||-|
The stadium held 60,120. It was built in 1953, for the 4th World Festival of Youth and Students. It was first known as Stadionul 23 August, and later on as Stadionul Naţional (National stadium). It is now named after Lia Manoliu, a discus thrower who competed at a record six Summer Olympics, winning three medals.
In October 2005, it was decided to rebuild the stadium completely; however, initially no funding was found, so some repairs proceeded in lieu of rebuilding. Later, funds became available and the rebuilding is expected to begin in November 2007. The plan calls for completion of a new five-star arena by April 2010, with further plans to host the 2011 UEFA Cup final. The last football match played was a 6-1 win against Albania on November 21, 2007. After the match, a few seats were removed from the stadium, as a symbolic start of the rebuilding operations. The old stadium will be demolished to make room for a new one.
|Head Coach||Victor Piţurcă|
|Assistant Coaches||Ştefan Iovan|
|Fitness Coach||Marian Lupu|
|Team Doctor||Pompiliu Popescu|
|1.||Dorinel Munteanu||1991 - 2007||134||16|
|2.||Gheorghe Hagi||1983 - 2000||125||35|
|3.||Gheorghe Popescu||1988 - 2003||115||16|
|4.||Ladislau Bölöni||1975 - 1988||108||23|
|5.||Dan Petrescu||1989 - 2000||95||12|
|6.||Bogdan Stelea (*)||1988 - 2005||91||0|
|7.||Michael Klein||1981 - 1991||90||5|
|8.||Marius Lăcătuş||1984 - 1998||84||13|
|9.||Mircea Rednic||1981 - 1991||83||2|
|10.||Silviu Lung||1979 - 1993||77||0|
|1.||Gheorghe Hagi||1983 - 2000||35 (125)|
|2.||Iuliu Bodola||1931 - 1939||31 (48)|
|3.||Adrian Mutu (*)||2000 - present||29 (64)|
|4.||Anghel Iordănescu||1971 - 1981||26 (64)|
|5.||Viorel Moldovan||1993 - 2005||25 (70)|
|6.||Ladislau Bölöni||1975 - 1988||23 (108)|
|7.||Rodion Cămătaru||1978 - 1990||22 (75)|
|8.||Dudu Georgescu||1973 - 1984||21 (44)|
|9.||Florin Răducioiu||1990 - 2000||21 (40)|
|10.||Ştefan Dobay||1930 - 1939||20 (41)|
|3||3||0||0||100% (Last match)|