The Romanian squad going to Euro 2008 will be fighting for national pride and not any bonuses on offer, their captain Cristian Chivu said on Monday.
Chivu and national coach Victor Piturca insisted despite large bonuses being offered to the players it was not the money that was driving them on to even qualify out of Group C or the Group of Death consisting of world champions Italy, World Cup finalists France and perennial contenders The Netherlands.
“We are not going to the finals for the money but for the unique pleasure of playing for our country,” said Chivu, who recently landed the Serie A title with Inter Milan edging out his former side AS Roma.
Piturca, who is in his second spell as national coach, said that the players were playing for far bigger stakes than merely bonuses.
“I told them (the squad) that all eyes will be on those who play well and could result in lucrative contracts with clubs,” said Piturca, a former international striker.
“There are important people involved in domestic football who have made generous offers in terms of bonuses but the important thing for us is the tournament and not the money.
“The money will come with the results.”
Gigi Becali, owner of Steaua Bucharest, promised bonuses of up to 5.5million euros to the squad if they win the title, including 500,000 if they qualify out of their group.
According to star striker Adrian Mutu, the financier of another Romanian club and a former president of Steaua had already made bigger offers than Becali which had been turned down by the Romanian Football Federation (FRF).
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