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Romania captain Vlad Chiriches wants to give the travelling fans something to shout about when he and his team-mates take on hosts France in today’s Euro 2016 opener.
Napoli defender Chiriches was part of a miserly backline that kept a stunning eight clean sheets in 10 qualifying matches, but they are set to have their steeliness tested to the full by a formidable French frontline.
Pockets of Romania supporters brightly attired in their trademark yellow have sprung up on the eve of the match in Paris, and allowing them to celebrate a silenced Stade de France provides plenty of motivation for Chiriches.
“Yes, we can’t wait for this competition to start and, of course, we want to score some goals,” the ex-Tottenham man said.
“We know that they’re a very powerful, a very strong side and they have players that play their club football at the best clubs across the continent.
“We hope that because of our concentration, our focus and our strengths we will be a match for them.
“The message to the Romania fans would be get behind us, support us – we want to hear them inside the Stade de France and I hope that we’re going to win the match and not disappoint them.”
The last line of defence behind Chiriches is the reassuring presence of Ciprian Tatarusanu and the Fiorentina goalkeeper is keen for Anghel Iordanescu’s men to keep their emotions in check on what could be a highly charged occasion.
“It’s a very important game, just as are the other two group matches,” he said. “Of course, it’s the opening match of the competition, which makes it slightly more important.
“It’s about emotion and joy because it’s going to be a very important match for us.”