Why Romania can't qualify at a World Cup?
Updated: Apr 2, 2019
It was obvious that my first post was going to be about Romania. The national team of football couldn't achieve a qualification at a World Cup from 1998, which is now more than 20 years. I will explain you with my own words what caused this and why no one can fix this old problem.
The Squad is below average
Let me take you back in time when Romania was playing total football. In 1998, at its last FIFA World Cup, the squad was formed by players like Hagi, Munteanu, Popescu, Petrescu, Ilie and the list goes on. All these footballers were playing at great clubs from Europe like Galatasaray, Barcelona or Chelsea in much more competitve football leagues. Nowadays, we don't have so many Romanian players at highly respected clubs. Or they don't even get much time play. The competition decreased just like our championship did. There are not anymore players being contested by european clubs and also, due to the weakness of the Romanian championship, all the chances for a qualification are lost from the start. It's a good fact to promote players from your league, but in here, the truth might be harsh to accept it.
Old players instead of Youngsters
One of the biggest problem is the difference of age in the squad. Aging players are called up to play for the team and some youngsters are left behind with no explanation. Recently, Romania had two games against Sweden and Feroe Islands, Those were very important matches because the qualifiers started for the Euro 2020. I couldn't ignore the reason why Cosmin Contra, Romania's couch, opted for older players instead of some new young talents. I know that they have experience but that didn't help anyway. Romania won by 4-1 to Feroe Islands, but the Swedish were dominants and won by 2-1. As well, there were a lot of injuries which occured before the two matches. It seems like Contra didn't have enough options in hand but I believe that he didn't know how to look. Another problem, how can you be professional if you can't have proper solutions and good options. The same mistake was made by the other coaches and it still continues to hunt the side. If you need a good example, look at what England and Holland did with their young players. Surely, everyone is talking about them now.
Youth development was rubbish
The youths couldn't find their voice not until last year when the under-21 squad qualified at the U-21 Euro, in Italy. It was such a relief and the same gap. Romania under-21 qualified last time at this kind of tournament in 1998 when they hosted it. But since then, everything went in a downfall. No one was going to achieve something and even if they had obtained a transfer abroad, they would have come back in no time in the country. Let me give you an example. Denis Alibec was bought by Inter Milano in 2009 and played at that time for Romania's under-19 football team. A lot of potential was seen but it was lost through time receiving only two appearances for Inter and being loaned out all the time. He isn't the first and the last example. The board didn't know how to handle the youngsters or they didn't even care about them. Such disgrace I could say, but now, things have changed well. New talented players started to form a name for the themselves and beginning to create a new generation of Romanian football players.
Corruption ruines everything
Finally, as it says from the title, Romania has a big problem with corruption. The football Federation of Romania is not one to be proud of. They didn't know what to do and how to help the team. There were no projects intended to help this sport which is why is losing a lot of fans and money. It's nonsense, because football is making tons of money around the world and the Federation doesn't know how to increase financially. The national team is suffering, being suffocated by deluded decisions. There is still right there something that it can be built, but here corruption interferes and it's all becoming a waste. Is that hard to find something that can really work. Maybe not now, but one day someone will know how to deal with this.
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