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France not playing to its usual standard at Euro 2008 and look to be bored, says Romania coach

France not playing to its usual standard at Euro 2008 and look to be bored, says Romania coach

Romania coach Victor Piturca criticized France after his team held the World Cup finalists to a 0-0 draw at the European Championship on Monday.
"Maybe the French are bored with playing at the highest level and let us Romanians win a point. Personally, I wanted three points," Piturca said. "France is not at the level of football the world is used to. We saw this today."
However, Romania captain Cristian Chivu hinted that his team was happy to settle for a point.
"We tried to start this competition without losing and obtaining points," Chivu said. "We played quite well today defensively, although we did not do so much attacking. We are confident for the next games."
The French failed to test Romania goalkeeper Bogdan Lobont in the Group C match at Letzigrund stadium. The best chance fell to striker Nicolas Anelka in the 33rd minute. After a short corner, Franck Ribery's cross into the Romanian box evaded everyone and bounced high at the far post to Anelka, who had time to pick a spot with his header but sent the ball over the crossbar.
France coach Raymond Domenech tried to sound upbeat about the result, which meant Romania hasn't beaten France in 36 years. The two teams last drew in 1995.
"It's important not to lose to a direct opponent, so you can say it's positive," Domenech said. "It was not easy."
Piturca relied heavily on a dogged defense in a match that had few scoring opportunities.
Asked about playmaker Adrian Mutu who played for only 75 minutes, Piturca said the striker who scored 17 goals in the Serie A for Fiorentina this past season had been "inactive" for while.
"We will see the other Mutu against Italy," Piturca said. "The real Mutu."
Romania was boosted by thousands of effervescent fans cheering the team and booing the more dangerous French team throughout the match.
"We felt their warmth," Piturca said. "I am glad we satisfied the crowd."
In attendance at the match were Romanian President Traian Basescu and the country's greatest ever player, Gheorghe Hagi, who took Romania to the quarterfinals of the 1994 World Cup in its best performance at a major football tournament.
Piturca said he has already started focusing on Romania's next game against Italy on Saturday.
"I am interested in preparing well for Italy, to not lose that match," he said.


Updated : 2021-07-31 06:43 GMT+08:00