Anghel Iordănescu has been appointed Romania coach for the third time following the departure of Victor Pițurcă, and will retain his role as national technical director.
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Anghel Iordănescu has been appointed Romania coach for the third time following the departure of Victor Pițurcă.
After a promising start to UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying, earlier this month Pițurcă and his technical staff opted to step down to take charge of Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad. The Romanian Football Federation (FRF) executive committee today approved the appointment of Iordănescu on a one-year contract to be assisted by national Under-21 coach Viorel Moldovan, former FC Astra Giurgiu chief Daniel Isăilă and Ionuț Badea.
Although FRF president Răzvan Burleanu admitted he was not able to get first option Mircea Lucescu as FC Shakhtar Donetsk would not release him, he said: "The new technical staff are an able, complete and united team."
Iordănescu said: "I never had the intention of again becoming Romania head coach and I have to be honest and to say that I refused the first request made by the FA president. I said yes only at the second call, because I understood very well that Romanian football and its national team are now in a very special situation.
"This situation needs an experienced coach, especially because our next game against Northern Ireland is crucial with regards to qualification for EURO 2016. On the other hand, the national team is the national team and I mean an 'icon'. Football gave me everything and I have the chance, in this special situation, to give back what it gave to me."
Iordănescu, 64, has been FRF technical director since December and will remain in that role. He coached Romania between 2002 and 2004 and from 1993 to 1998, making the FIFA World Cup quarter-finals and two other major tournaments in the nation's most successful period before being replaced by Pițurcă for the first of his three spells at the helm.
Iordănescu's most recent coaching jobs were in the Middle East, including leading Pițurcă's new club Al-Ittihad to victory in the 2005 AFC Champions League. Named the FRF's Coach of the 20th Century, Iordănescu has also managed Greece. At club level he was a player-assistant coach at FC Steaua București for their 1986 European Champion Clubs' Cup win and in charge when they won the UEFA Super Cup, made the 1989 European Cup final and claimed four league titles.
Capped 57 times as a midfielder in a career spent largely with Steaua, Iordănescu has been involved in politics since his last coaching role ended in 2006, serving as a senator between 2008 and 2012. He takes over a Romania side on seven points from three UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group F fixtures, two behind Northern Ireland who they welcome to Bucharest on 14 November; that will be Iordănescu's 86th game in charge, ten off Pițurcă's national record.