Evaluation of Romania’s squad prior to their first qualifier, against Bulgaria away.
Silviu Lung (newly transferred to Steaua), with more than 50 caps to his name, was the first-team choice of Emeric Jenei. More uncertain who would be the stand-in goalkeeper. Gheorghe Liliac and Gheorghe Nițu were probably the most likely contenders for a place on the bench.
Miodrag Belodedici (Steaua) would no doubt play libero, while there was discussion about who would partner him in the central defence: either Adrian Bumbescu (Steaua) or Ioan Andone (Dinamo). The former had been a regular in the qualification for the 1988 Euros, but Jenei increasingly favoured Andone during the qualifiers in 1988. Ştefan Iovan (Steaua) was the likely right back, although Jenei here also could call upon the experienced Mircea Rednic (Dinamo). On left back, Jenei also had good options: he would probably again rely on Nicolae Ungureanu (Steaua), but Michael Klein (Corvinul) would be a more than good enough deputy. All in all, Jenei could be quite happy with his options in defence, with a lot of routine and quality to choose from.
Football prodigy Gheorghe Hagi (Steaua) would play in a free role in midfield, the question was whether Jenei could find a replacement for László Bölöni, who had retired from international football during summer. The young and promising Gheorghe Popescu (Univ. Craiova) was used in the deep lying midfield role against Albania, and would be a fresh breath of air in an otherwise well-established team. Ioan Sabău (Dinamo) had emerged as an exciting player since the 1988 qualification, and looked certain to start in his role as a sort of wide playmaker on the right hand side of midfield. On the left hand side, Jenei had several options: Dorin Mateuț (Dinamo) looked the more likelier choice, but here again Jenei could trust the work rate of Michael Klein, and even the energetic Iosif Rotariu, another new face in the team, who in fact held this position against Albania. A versatile player, Rotariu could also be deployed as a defensive midfielder or left back.
Jenei would probably play with two strikers: the target man Rodion Cămătaru (Dinamo) and second-striker Marius Lăcătuș (Steaua). Former star striker Victor Pițurcă had retired from international football after the 1988 qualification. Claudiu Vaișcovici, a player resembling Lăcătuș in his playing style, although perhaps even more eager to seek the touch lines, was another new face in this setting.