Big guns may be firing blanks

Click to follow
The Independent Online
1 Bogdan Stelea Steaua Bucharest

Nicknamed "Arnold" (after Schwarzenegger, not Palmer), a colourful bandana-clad goalkeeper (Age 28, 33 caps).

2 Dan Petrescu Chelsea

One of the world's best wing-backs. How his former manager, Glenn Hoddle, must wish he were English (29, 51).

3 Dan Prodan Steaua Bucharest

Central defender who does a quiet but highly efficient job. Not that old, but nicknamed "grandfather" (27, 32).

4 Miodrag Belodedici Villareal

Sweeper, won European Cup with Steaua Bucharest and Red Star Belgrade, now plays in Spain (32, 47).

5 Ioan Lupescu Bayer Leverkusen

Tall and commanding defensive midfielder, has been in the Bundesliga since 1990 (28, 48).

6 Gheorghe Popescu Barcelona

Formerly with Tottenham and Barcelona, an outstanding and versatile defender or midfielder (29, 62).

7 Marius Lacatus Steaua Bucharest

Veteran forward back in squad after being left out of USA 94. Did well at 1990 World Cup (32, 76).

8 Ioan Sabau Brescia

Also missed out on USA 94, but due to injury. Clever midfielder with plenty of stamina (28, 47).

9 Florin Raducioiu Espanol

Striker who made a big impact at the last World Cup but did not excel in a spell in Italy (26, 37).

10 Gheorghe Hagi Barcelona

A tremendously gifted but temperamental play-maker, has failed to win a regular place at Barcelona (31, 97).

11 Dorinel Munteanu Cologne

Experienced, composed player who can do his stuff in defence or midfield, ever present at USA 94 (28, 46).

12 Florin Prunea Dinamo Bucharest

Solid goalkeeper. Prefers not to watch replays of Swedish goal which knocked Romania out of USA 94 (28, 31).

13 Tibor Selymes Anderlecht

Hard-working left-sided midfielder who joined Anderlecht from Cercle Bruges last month (26, 28).

14 Constantin Galca Steaua Bucharest

Authoritative and calm midfielder who is the main creative force behind Steaua's play (26, 17).

15 Anton Dobos Steaua Bucharest

Late developer at international level, making his debut when he was 30. A reliable midfielder (31, 7).

16 Gheorghe Mihali Guingamp

Good in the air, strong in the tackle. Has been in France for a year since leaving Dinamo Bucharest (31, 31).

17 Iulian Filipescu Steaua Bucharest

A capable all-rounder equally at home in defence, midfield or as a left- sided attacker (21, 3).

18 Ovidiu Stinga Salamanca

Midfielder who moved to Spain from Universitatea Craiova last summer. A fringe player (23, 12).

19 Adrian Ilie Steaua Bucharest

One for the future, a promising forward who has won three successive titles with Steaua (22, 3).

20 Dinu Moldovan Neuchatel Xamax

Striker who has just completed first season in Switzerland but is likely to be on the bench at best here (23, 3).

21 Ion Vladoiu Steaua Bucharest

Unruly striker. Sent off against Switzerland in last World Cup four minutes after coming on as a sub (28, 18).

22 Florin Tene Rapid Bucharest

Third-choice goalkeeper who is unlikely to be doing anything other than carrying the drinks (27, 5).


The team

Like Bulgaria, most of the team that made a big impact at USA 94 will be in England - but Hagi has had an unproductive season with Barcelona and Dumitrescu is injured, so Romania will be looking for others to excel, such as wing-back Petrescu and the strikers Raducioiu and Vladoiu.

The coach

A general in the Romanian Army, Anghel Iordanescu caused a storm in January by announcing his resignation (rescinded within three days after Presidential intervention) after claiming that domestic league matches were being rigged. Became national coach in 1993 after a playing and coaching career with Steaua Bucharest. Spends games fiddling with a rosary.

The fact file

Previous appearances in finals: 1960 (quarter-finals), 1972 (quarter- finals), 1984 (first round).

Qualifying record: W6, D3, L1 (Group One winners).

Top scorer in qualifiers: 5 Raducioiu.

Most appearances in qualifiers: 10 Prodan, Petrescu, Lacatus, Stelea.

Population 23.2m. Registered clubs 4,900. Registered players 207,000. Professional players 650.