South Sudan
5:00 AM UTC
Game Details
Central African Republic
5:00 AM UTC
Game Details
7:00 AM UTC
Game Details
Cape Verde Islands
8:00 AM UTC
Game Details
8:00 AM UTC
Game Details
8:00 AM UTC
Game Details
Sierra Leone
8:00 AM UTC
Game Details
Burkina Faso
11:00 AM UTC
Game Details
Sao Tome e Principe
11:00 AM UTC
Game Details
11:00 AM UTC
Game Details
11:00 AM UTC
Game Details

ESPN FC's Euro 2016 awards

Euro 2016
 By Emanuel Rosu

Romania start brightly but fade badly en route to early Euro 2016 exit

Anghel Iordanescu and Romania couldn't deliver on their early potential, crashing out early from Euro 2016.

Romania almost grabbed a draw vs. Euro 2016 hosts France in the opening game but fell apart from there. Emanuel Rosu reviews their tournament.

At a glance

Romania's trip to Euro 2016 started on a high note but ended in disaster after a defeat to Albania in the final group game. Their tournament was divided into two clear segments. Everything fell apart at half-time in the 1-1 draw against Switzerland. The minutes that followed, and the game against Albania, made Romania forget everything that went right.


The highlight has to be the first 45 minutes at Stade de France, on the opening night of the Euros.

Romania made France suffer, missed a few chances, and had a fierce attitude that made life uncomfortable for the tournament hosts. The beautiful "yellow wall" could gladly jump and scream for a set of players that looked capable of spectacular things. It was only a mirage, though, because Dimitri Payet 's 89th-minute goal made the dream fold. The 2-1 defeat to France wasn't a disaster. It was a happy defeat. Fans, journalists and pundits all agreed the attitude was right and expected some steps forward against Switzerland and Albania. Unfortunately, Romania took the message badly and abruptly went backward.

Low point

When Russian referee Sergey Karasev blew the whistle for half-time at Parc des Princes, Romania was up 1-0 against Switzerland in their second group game. Optimists were already speculating about Romania's future opponents in the knockout stage, but what happened next was a surreal turn of events that ended in dramatic style.

Manager Anghel Iordanescu's men conceded only one goal despite the Swiss trying over and over again, and the game ended 1-1. Starting from the lack of concentration that led to the goal, before abandoning any positive intentions throughout the second half, and ending with the players' reactions after the game, Romania was absolutely pathetic.

From that moment on, it became clear that these players weren't here to win, push their limits or inspire future generations to follow in their footsteps. They were here to be happy with anything that was more than nothing. The 1-0 defeat to Albania was just a logical consequence that followed the reality Switzerland provoked.

Sadly for Romania, there were no stars or standout players in a disappointing team display at Euro 2016.

Star man

No kid in Romania will want any of the current players' names written on the back of his shirt. This national team can't make you dream. This national team doesn't challenge you. They no longer have a Gheorghe Hagi, an Adrian Mutu or any other player who could make people around the world look forward to watching. Considering the results, I'd say Romania's star wasn't anywhere near Euro 2016.

Lessons learned

The game against Albania was one of the best examples of what not to do at an international tournament. Romania focused its entire campaign on this single game, which the players were too tired to play. After some decent play in the opening 20 minutes, Romania disappeared, conceded after a horrible mistake from three defensive players, and ended Euro 2016 in tears. It was a small-team attitude from a group of players who never looked capable of playing for more, really.

Maybe next time they play at a major competition -- hopefully the wait will be shorter than the eight years it took before successfully qualifying for Euro 2016 -- Romania will start by going back to its identity. There aren't new players to call upon yet and the shortlist for a new manager is vague. No matter who gets picked next time, I hope the fight will be to make the team remembered for something good and not for the disappointment of an early exit.

Emanuel Rosu is ESPN FC's Romania blogger for Euro 2016. Twitter: @Emishor


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.