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Moldovan's Romanian u-turn

Published: Thursday 26 September 2002, 18.19CET
Viorel Moldovan has backtracked on his decision to retire from international football.
Published: Thursday 26 September 2002, 18.19CET

Moldovan's Romanian u-turn

Viorel Moldovan has backtracked on his decision to retire from international football.

Three weeks after announcing his retirement from international football, striker Viorel Moldovan has said he wants to play for Romania again.

Available again
The FC Nantes Atlantique player responded to his call-up for the EURO 2004™ qualifier against Bosnia-Herzegovina this month by declaring he wanted to "concentrate on his club commitments". However, the 30-year-old has now backtracked and announced his availablility for the matches next month against Norway and Luxembourg.

'I'll take the first flight'
"Before the game against Bosnia, I was broken down," he said. "But now I'm perfectly healthy and can play consistently without problems, so I can do good things for my club, as well as the national team. If Mr [Anghel] Iordanescu, the national coach, sends me a nomination telegram, I'll take the first flight to Bucharest."

Repeated injuries
Moldovan had decided he could no longer combine playing for club and country after missing seven of Romania's previous ten matches through injury. He said at the time: "I am at a certain age and have done a lot for the national team. Due to repeated injuries, I cannot play on two fronts, for my club, Nantes, and for the national team.

'Good youngsters'
"Last season, when I was more injured than fit, the staff at Nantes were fantastic with me and it's my duty to give back what they gave me. I want to concentrate exclusively on my club activity. In the national team there are a lot of youngsters who can do a tremendous job."

Bright future
Moldovan has scored 23 goals in 64 games for Romania in a nine-year international career spanning the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, as well as EURO 96™ and EURO 2000™. Romania won 3-0 in Bosnia-Herzegovina in their opening EURO 2004™ qualifier and Moldovan wants to be part of what he believes will prove a bright future for Iordanescu's side.

'We'll qualify for EURO 2004'
"I am sure that we will qualify for EURO 2004," he said. "I even think we'll manage this as group winners. We have a very good team. And in two to three years, after the young players in the team have gained more experienced, we can become one of the top teams in the world."

Last updated: 26/09/02 18.39CET

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