Victor Piţurcă will embark upon a third spell as Romania coach after being given a contract until November 2015, saying: "It is a difficult time for the national team and I am taking a risk."
The 55-year-old Piţurcă comes in for Răzvan Lucescu – the coach who replaced him at the national-team helm in 2009. Lucescu stepped down following the 3-0 UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying win against Bosnia and Herzegovina earlier this month to take charge of FC Rapid Bucureşti.
Piţurcă led Romania to the 2000 and 2008 UEFA European Championship final tournaments in his previous spells in charge, though he was dismissed before the first of those events. Piţurcă will also contribute to a wider Romanian Football Federation (FRF) plan to reform the national game.
"I am back, as you can see," said Piţurca, who since 2009 has had his fourth spell at the FC Steaua Bucureşti helm and also coached FC Universitatea Craiova. Romania lie fourth in qualifying Group D, five points adrift of leaders France, but while the main task he has been set is to reach UEFA EURO 2016, Piţurca is not abandoning hope for Poland and Ukraine.
"It is a difficult time for the national team and I am taking a risk, but I like challenges," said Piţurcă. "Even if our chances of qualifying for EURO 2012 are slender, don't think that I will only be thinking about EURO 2016. Even if it is difficult, I want to qualify for both tournaments. Even for 2012; why not? Even as group winners."
Romania visit Luxembourg for their next Group D game on 2 September, playing host to France four days later.
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