FC Oţelul Galaţi have been confirmed as the new Romanian league champions, though midfielder Gabriel Ioan Paraschiv admitted: "We will only realise what we have achieved when we play in the UEFA Champions League group stage."
Oţelul took a four-point lead at the top of the table with a 2-1 win against second-ranked FC Timişoara in the penultimate game of the season. However, they could not be certain of winning the title until today, when the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld a decision to award Oţelul a 3-0 win in a game against CS Pandurii Lignitul Târgu Jiu rather than replaying the fixture.
The Steelmen had never finished higher than fifth in the league before, and experienced midfielder Paraschiv said: "
We will only realise what we have achieved when we play in the UEFA Champions League group stage. It is only in that competition that you feel you are really a football player. We must not make fools of ourselves in the group stage. Anyway, we deserved this title."
The title is remaining outside Bucharest for the fourth season in succession, with Oţelul the first side from the Romanian province of Moldova to take the crown. Their success hinged upon a solid work ethic fostered by their coach Dorinel Munteanu, Romania's most capped player with 134 appearances, though the likes of Cornel Râpă, Silviu Ilie and Adrian Salageanu have now been recognised with national-team call-ups.
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