Romania faces Spain on the National Arena in Bucharest on Thursday, September 5, in the Euro 2020 qualifiers, hoping for a good result that would increase the team’s chances of qualifying to the tournament’s final stage next year, in which Bucharest will host four matches.
In terms of history, Romania and Spain are equal. The two teams have met 16 times in official and friendly matches, since 1962, each winning five games, while six ended in draws. Moreover, Spain hasn’t beat Romania in the last 22 years. The two teams have met three times and Romania won one of the matches, while two ended in draws. The latest match took place in March 2017, in Cluj-Napoca, an ended in a goalless draw. However, they were all friendly matches. Meanwhile, Spain won the last official match, 2-1, at the European Championship in England, in 1996.
When it comes to the value of the players, Spain is the clear favorite. The total market value of the Spanish squad is over EUR 1 billion, according to transfermarkt.com, and the most expensive player, Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Nigues, is valued at EUR 90 million, more than the whole Romanian squad (EUR 87 million). Romania’s most valuable players are Genoa goalkeeper Ionut Radu (EUR 15 million) and Ajax midfielder Razvan Marin (EUR 13 million).
Romania’s manager, 43-year old Consmin Contra, is familiar with Spanish football. He played many years in the Spanish league for clubs such as Alaves, Atletico Madrid and Getafe and he also managed Getafe for a year.
Here is what Contra thinks Romania’s chances against Spain: “Spain is super-favorite, but we will surely pose them problems! We dream to get at least a draw, why not? Of course, for this, we need a perfect day and a bit of luck, and they should have a bad day. Romania has always posed problems to the big teams,” Cosmin Contra said in an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca, according to Digi Sport.
Contra is confident that Romania will qualify to the Euro 2020. Romania is currently second in its group, after Spain, which has won all of the group matches so far. Romania has 7 points after two victories against Malta and Faroe Islands, an away draw with Norway and an away defeat in Sweden.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos / Manases Sándor)