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Romania welcome France spotlight

"The pressure is on them," Claudiu Keșerü said as he and his Romania team-mates looked forward to taking on France in Group A in the first game of UEFA EURO 2016.

Claudiu Keşerü is looking forward to the EURO opener against France
Claudiu Keşerü is looking forward to the EURO opener against France ©Getty Images

Taking on France in the opening match of UEFA EURO 2016 will put Romania in the spotlight next summer, something that coach and players believed will be to their advantage as they digested the Group A draw.

Anghel Iordănescu, Romania coach
It's a difficult group and playing the opening match of a major tournament for the first time will be something special. We all know how good the French and Swiss are, and we don't have the right to underestimate Albania. Albania have made huge progress in the last few years; they have plenty of players who play in Italy and France. If we hope to qualify, we'll have to treat Albania in the same way as France and Switzerland.

Răzvan Raț, Romania defender
France will put a lot of focus on this opening match, but we will do the same. I played my first match for the national team [at Stade de France, a 2-1 friendly loss in February 2002] and it means a lot to me to come back. It is also very important for me to advance to the knockout stages. Anything can happen. The match starts at 0-0 and we have a chances; not such a big chance in theory, but we will see.

Romania: Top five qualifying goals
Romania: Top five qualifying goals

Claudiu Keșerü, Romania forward
To face France in the opening match, when the whole world will have its eyes on us, is something fantastic. The pressure is on them. For us it's only an extra motivation.