Romania were latecomers to the game, the national team only founded in 2003, but within three years they had qualified for their first UEFA European Futsal Championship.
In Belgium, they will be back with a team familiar from 2007 in Portugal, where they performed excellently to finish third in their group. Players such as Florin Robert Matei, Robert Lupu, Cosmin Gherman, Gabriel Dobre, Ion Al-Ioanei, Marian Şotârcă and Dumitru Mimi Stoica have been in the national team since the early days and have also been together at club level, first with FC CIP Deva and more recently City'Us Târgu Mureş, in both cases under former national coaches Zoltán Jakab and then Sito Rivera.
Having surprisingly qualified in dramatic style in 2007, they narrowly missed out on UEFA Futsal EURO 2010 and the 2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup, but made the 2012 quarter-finals. This time they pipped another side that made the last eight in Croatia, Serbia, despite the departure just before the play-offs of Rivera, long-serving assistant and goalkeeping coach Nelu Stancea taking charge.
Florin Robert Matei, Robert Lupu, Cosmin Gherman
Coach: Nelu Stancea
Date of Birth: 20 October 1967
Playing career: Progresul București, ICSIM București, Viscofil București, ROVA Roșiori, IMGB București (football), Venus București, Eurolines București, CS Concordia Chiajna (futsal)
Coaching career: ABC United, Turris Turnu Măgurele, CSMS Iaşi, Romania
The first goalkeeper of the Romanian national team in two defeats of Bulgaria in 2003, Stancea was assistant under Sito Rivera when in July 2013 the Spaniard left to coach Hungary, and the 46-year-old was promoted, masterminding the spectacular UEFA Futsal EURO 2014 play-off defeat of Serbia. He combines his role with that as coach of CSMS Iaşi.
Initially a football goalkeeper in the second and third divisions, he started playing futsal, also between the sticks, aged 33 in 2000. He eventually won ten caps and concentrated solely on futsal in the last year of his playing career, which ended in 2007. Three years earlier he had become assistant and goalkeeping coach of the national team, making him one of a handful of individuals involved with the squad throughout its first decade. In his parallel club career he led both ABC and Turris to promotion.
Qualifying top scorer
Marian Șotărcă 5
2010: Did not qualify
2007: Group stage
2005: Did not qualify
2003: Did not enter
2001: Did not enter
1999: Did not enter
1996: Did not enter
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