Romania's Stancu not interested in spot prize

Despite his history-making penalty-taking feats for Romania, Bogdan Stancu told EURO2016.com: "It's worth nothing to be part of such statistics if the goal of the whole team is not achieved."

Bogdan Stancu (Romania)

Bogdan Stancu made an unlikely piece of history on Wednesday but it will not be much consolation if Romania fail to progress from UEFA EURO 2016 Group A.

Only two penalties have been awarded so far in France and both have been converted by Romania's No19, leaving him level with Dimitri Payet and Gareth Bale as top marksman. However, although Stancu is the first player since Gaizka Mendieta in 2000 to score multiple spot kicks in a UEFA EURO, Romania have just one point, Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Switzerland following the 2-1 loss to France.

"It is good to be part of history," Stancu told EURO2016.com, before adding: "Honestly I don't want to say more about it, because I am kind of nervous both because we didn't win but also because I missed other opportunities against France and Switzerland. It's worth nothing to be part of such statistics if the goal of the whole team is not met."

Keșerü admits Romania were second best
Keșerü admits Romania were second best

That target is reaching the last 16, and Romania will almost certainly need to beat Albania on Sunday to have any chance of achieving it. Even if the 28-year-old Stancu is making history, precedent is not on Romania's side, because on both prior occasions they lost their opening group game at a tournament – the 1970 FIFA World Cup and EURO '96 – they have not advanced.

"We recognise how good the Albanians are, how committed they are and how physical their approach is," said Stancu, based with Gençlerbirliği in Turkey. "From this point of view we have to be clever and tricky against them, because otherwise qualifying would become problematic."

That Stancu's penalties have been Romania's sole source of goals has prompted criticism of the forwards, but centre-back Dragoș Grigore argued: "The defence is not just the goalkeeper and defenders but the whole team; equally, the attack is not only the forwards and offensive midfielders but also the players behind. It is our fault as well that the forwards have not received enough of a supply line."

That must be put right at the Stade de Lyon this weekend, by when Romania will hope Răzvan Raț (leg) and Mihai Pintilii (thigh) have overcome the injuries that forced them off against Switzerland. "Not qualifying would be sad, terrible, horrible," said Claudiu Keșerü, while fellow striker Florin Andone added: "It will be life or death, one or the other."