Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Romanian Soccer's Revival

After more than five years of decay, the Romanian soccer/footbal is gaining ground again in the last years mostly through their club teams. Last year, two teams (Steaua and Rapid, both from Bucharest) were opposed in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals (the only country with two teams in this stage of the competition) and afterwards Steaua loosing dramatically the semi-final in the company of the brits from Middlesbrough FC. Another team (CFR Cluj Napoca) also made it to the final stage of the third European competition (as value and money of the teams involved), the Intertoto Cup, which basically is a gate toward the UEFA cup. They've lost the final in two games (1-1 and 1-3) to the French from Racing Club Lens. This year, things are looking even better: 1 team (Steaua) in the groups of Champions League in a very select company (Real Madrid, Olympic Lyon and Dinamo Kyiv) and two other teams from Bucharest (Rapid and Dinamo) in the groups of UEFA Cup facing other famous teams such as Paris Saint Germain, Besiktas Instambul or Tottenham Hotspur from London. The only downside to it remains the national team who hasn't confirm yet the value of its components as a whole team and missed a victory against the Bulgarian team (main competitors for the second qualifying seat in the group) in the preliminaries for the European Soccer Championship 2008. But..there is still hope and need mostly, after missing the last major European and global competitions.

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