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Hosts France kick off against Romania

Although France have never lost a competitive game to Romania, including two previous EURO finals meetings, history suggests the first game of UEFA EURO 2016 will be tight.

Background: France v Romania ©Getty Images

France are yet to lose a competitive game against opening UEFA EURO 2016 Group A opponents Romania, but recent meetings have been tight.

Previous meetings
• Four of the sides' last five competitive games have ended in draws, the exception a 2-0 win for Laurent Blanc's France at the Stade de France in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying. Loïc Rémy opened the scoring in that October 2010 match.

• Romania drew 1-1 in their only previous game against France in Saint-Denis, a FIFA World Cup qualifier in September 2009.

• Didier Deschamps was in the France midfield and Anghel Iordănescu was in his first spell as Romania coach when the teams first met in a EURO '96 finals game in Newcastle on 10 June 1996 – 20 years to the day before their UEFA EURO 2016 meeting. Christophe Dugarry's goal earned France a 1-0 win.

• That was Deschamps' second game against Iordănescu's Romania; the other game was a 3-1 away win in EURO '96 qualifying.

• Iordănescu's record in four games against France is W0 D1 L3.

• The sides met in the first match of Romania's most recent final tournament, Raymond Domenech's France held 0-0 by Victor Piţurcă's Romania at UEFA EURO 2008.

• The teams in Zurich on 9 June 2008 were:
Romania: Lobonţ, Contra, Raţ, Tamaş, Chivu, Rădoi (Dică 90+3), Cociş (Codrea 64), Goian, Nicoliţă, D Niculae, Mutu (M Niculae 78).
France: Coupet, Thuram, Sagnol, Abidal, Gallas, Makelele, Toulalan, Ribéry, Malouda, Anelka (Gomis 72), Benzema (Nasri 78).

• France and Romania met in the inaugural match at Bucharest's National Arena – a 0-0 draw in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying on 6 September 2011.

1960 opener: France 4-5 Yugoslavia

EURO facts – France
• France have won one and lost one of their previous opening games as EURO hosts. They beat Denmark 1-0 at Parc des Princes in 1984 en route to winning the title, having lost 5-4 to eventual runners-up Yugoslavia at the Parc des Princes in the 1960 semi-finals.

• France won their first matches as World Cup hosts in 1938 and 1998 (3-1 against Belgium and 3-0 against South Africa respectively), going on to lift the trophy in 1998.

• The hosts' 17 opening games at EUROs have ended W5 D6 L6; Italy's 0-0 draw against the Soviet Union in 1968, won on the toss of a coin, is classed as a draw.

• France are one of only three sides to have won a EURO as hosts, along with Spain (1964) and Italy (1968).

• France's competitive record at the Stade de France reads W21 D8 L3. The defeats came against Spain (0-1, 2013), Belarus (0-1, 2010) and Russia (2-3, 1999).

Romania: Top five qualifying goals

EURO facts – Romania
• Romania have never featured in the opening game of a final tournament.

• Two teams have beaten the hosts in their opening game and won a EURO: Greece in 2004 (2-1 v Portugal) and West Germany in 1972 (2-1 v Belgium).

• Romania are yet to start a EURO with a win; they lost their EURO '96 opener 1-0 to France, and drew 1-1 with Germany at UEFA EURO 2000 and 0-0 with France at UEFA EURO 2008.

• Under Iordănescu, Romania qualified for the last major tournament in France – the 1998 World Cup – and breezed through the group stage unbeaten before bowing out with a 1-0 loss to Croatia in Bordeaux.

• Romania failed to win at their most recent final tournament, UEFA EURO 2008 (D2 L1), scoring only once. They have not won in four finals games (D2 L2) since a 3-2 victory against England in Charleroi at UEFA EURO 2000.

Coach and player links
• Have played together:
Hugo Lloris (France) and Vlad Chiricheş (Romania) – Tottenham Hotspur, 2013–15
Eliaquim Mangala (France) and Cristian Săpunaru (Romania) – Porto, 2011/12
Claudiu Keşerü (Romania) and Dimitri Payet (France) – Nantes, 2005–07
Claudiu Keşerü (Romania) and Olivier Giroud (France) – Tours, 2008/09

• Keşerü played in France from 2003 to 2013, representing Nantes, Libourne, Tours, Angers and Bastia.

• Romania centre-back Dragoş Grigore has been on the books at French side Toulouse since 2014, but spent this season out on loan at al-Sailiya in Qatar.

• Romania's assistant coach Viorel Moldovan was a Ligue 1 winner with Nantes in 2001, a year after he had helped the club claim the French Cup.

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