Group C - 09 June 2008
Romania v France
Letzigrund - Zurich
uefa.com wrote:France aiming for Romanian repeat
Twelve years after the winning start they made to EURO '96™ at Romania's expense, France will hope to repeat the trick when the teams meet in their opening Group C fixture in Zurich.
• Aimé Jacquet's men had Christophe Dugarry to thank in 1996 as his 25th-minute goal gave France a 1-0 win against Romania in Newcastle. That victory precipitated a run to the semi-finals for Les Bleus but for Romania, it was the first of three defeats as they returned home from England without a point.
• Romania will hope for better in Austria-Switzerland after qualifying in style as one of the seven group winners. However, with world champions Italy and the Netherlands still to play, France too will be desperate for a positive result in the first game of what appears to be the toughest of the four UEFA EURO 2008™ sections.
• Recent history favours France, the winners in the teams' last three encounters, the middle one of which was the aforementioned victory at EURO '96™.
• The teams for that match in Newcastle on 10 June 1996 were:
Romania: Bogdan Stelea, Dan Petrescu, Miodrag Belodedici, Ioan Lupescu, Gheorghe Popescu, Marius Lăcătuş, Florin Răducioiu, Gheorghe Hagi, Dorinel Munteanu, Tibor Selymes, Gheorghe Mihali.
France: Bernard Lama, Eric Di Meco, Laurent Blanc, Vincent Guérin, Didier Deschamps, Marcel Desailly, Youri Djorkaeff, Zinédine Zidane, Christophe Dugarry, Lilian Thuram, Christian Karembeu.
• France prevailed 2-1 when the teams last met in a friendly at the Stade de France on 13 February 2002. Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit gave France a two-goal half-time advantage before Ioan Ganea halved the deficit in the closing minutes.
• The teams that day were:
France: Ulrich Ramé, Lilian Thuram, Marcel Desailly, Philippe Christanval, Vincent Candela, Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit, Zinedine Zidane, Robert Pires, Thierry Henry, Christophe Dugarry. Romania: Bogdan Lobonţ, Cosmin Contra, Gheorghe Popescu, Cristian Chivu, Mirel Rǎdoi, Dorinel Munteanu, Rǎzvan Rat, Adrian Mutu, Tiberiu Ghioane, Viorel Moldovan, Adrian Ilie.
• France's Claude Makelele and David Trezeguet and Romania's Laurenţiu Roşu all featured as substitutes.
• France also won on their most recent visit to Romania with Karembeu, Djorkaeff and Zidane scoring in a 3-1 qualifying success on the road to EURO '96™ in October 1995.
• Romania's last victory against France was a 2-0 friendly success in Bucharest in April 1972.
• Overall, France have recorded six wins to Romania's three in the course of ten head-to-head meetings.
• Romania qualified as winners of Group G, finishing three points above the Netherlands with a record of W9 D2 L1. They secured their finals' berth with two games to spare by winning 2-0 in Luxembourg on 17 October last year.
• Their best performance in the UEFA European Championship was in 2000 when they reached the quarter-finals before losing to Italy. Romania's two prior final round appearances in 1984 and 1996 had failed to produce a single victory but they beat England at UEFA EURO 2000™ to advance from the group stage. That was Romania's last taste of a major tournament.
• The only survivors from Romania's UEFA EURO 2000™ campaign are goalkeeper Bogdan Lobonţ, defenders Cristian Chivu and Contra, midfielders Florentin Petre and Lorenţiu Roşu and forward Adrian Mutu.
• France qualified as Group B runners-up behind Italy with a record of W8 D2 L2. Their two defeats both came against Scotland but Raymond Domenech's men – who took four points off Italy – recovered from those upsets and had their qualification assured by Scotland's home defeat by the Azzurri on 17 November last year.
• France have been European champions twice before, lifting the Henri Delaunay trophy in Paris in 1984 and repeating the feat in Rotterdam in 2000.
• That 1984 triumph remains the only time the host nation have won the UEFA European Championship since the introduction of an enlarged final tournament in 1980.
• In their last appearance at a major tournament, France finished runners-up at the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals in Germany, going down 5-3 on penalties to Italy after a 1-1 draw.
• As a player, France coach Domenech appeared for FC Girondins de Bordeaux in a 1-0 win against FC Universitatea Craiova in the 1982/83 UEFA Cup third round. He missed the return fixture in Romania which Bordeaux lost 2-0.
• Romania forward Nicolae Dică scored past France goalkeeper Grégory Coupet in FC Steaua Bucureşti's 1-1 draw at Olympique Lyonnais in the UEFA Champions League group stage in 2006/07. The previous season he struck twice in a 4-0 win for Steaua against another French side, RC Lens, in the UEFA Cup group stage.
• Romania's Chivu plays alongside Vieira of France at FC Internazionale Milano and previously played in the same defence as Philippe Mexes at AS Roma.
• Romania duo Daniel Niculae and Gabriel Tamaş play their club football in France with AJ Auxerre.
• Romania forward Mutu is a former team-mate of France's Makelele at Chelsea FC.
• Romania coach Victor Piţurcă finished his playing career in France at Lens in 1989/90.
• This is the 13th edition of the UEFA European Championship and the eighth that features a final tournament with a group phase.
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