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Chivu, Mutu out of Romania squad for World Cup qualifiers

SoccerNews in World Cup 1 Sep 2008


Romania coach Victor Piturca has left Cristi Chivu and Adrian Mutu out of his 22-man squad unveiled on Monday for 2010 World Cup qualifiers against Lithuania and the Faroe Islands.

Romania captain Chivu is still recovering from a shoulder operation, while striker Mutu, just back from an elbow injury, hurt his ribs during training on Saturday with his Italian club Fiorentina.

Both also missed last month's friendly win over Latvia.

Also missing for the first two qualifiers are Shakhtar Donetsk's Razvan Rat, Florentin Petre of Russian club Grozny and Steaua Bucharest's George Ogararu.

Romania, who are in Group 7 along with France, Serbia and Austria, host Lithuania on September 6 in the northwestern city of Cluj and travel to the Faroe Islands four days later.

Piturca said that despite the absences of Chivu and Mutu “the strength of the group remains the key element” and his side would be looking for maximum points from the two ties before hosting France on October 11 in Constanta.

“The aim is to win six points by beating Lithuania and the Faroe Islands because I think we can then welcome France more calmly,” Piturca told AFP.

The Romania coach believes France are the group favourites despite his side drawing with the French in the first round of Euro 2008 last June.

“I think that France have the first chance (of qualifying) because they have fantastic players, who play in the top European clubs, and could line out three top level teams.”

But he warned: “The Netherlands were favourites for Euro 2008 qualification and we finished in first place. The country that takes the maximum points against little teams and is the most consistent will qualify.


Goalkeepers: Bogdan Lobont (Dinamo Bucharest), Eduard Stancioiu (CFR Cluj)

Defenders: Cosmin Contra (Getafe/ESP), Cristian Sapunaru (FC Porto/POR), Gabriel Tamas and Cosmin Moti (Dinamo Bucharest), Dorin Goian and Sorin Ghionea (Steaua Bucharest), Stefan Radu (Lazio/ITA), Mihai Nesu (FC Utrecht/NED)

Midfielders: Banel Nicolita and Pihai Radoi (Steaua Bucharest), Razvan Cocis (Locomotiv Moscow/RUS), Paul Codrea (Siena/ITA), Costin Lazar (Rapid Bucharest), Marian Aliuta (FC Vaslui), Nicolae Dica (Catane/ITA)

Strikers: Florin Bratu and Marius Nicolae (Dinamo Bucharest), Ciprian Marica (VfB Stuttgart/GER), Daniel Niculae (Auxerre/FRA), Florin Costea (Univ. Craiova)


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