A short retrospective of both pleasant surprises and disappointments caused by Romanian soccer teams in international competitions in 2011. PART 1-TOP 3 WORST MOMENTS Soccer,by far the most popular sport in Romania,offered its fans many unforgettable moments in 2011,and not necessarily positive ones,especially in the national league dominated by scandals and controversies which never seem to stop and which unfortunately had a negative impact on the evolution of both Romanian clubs and the national team in the past years.However,2011 also brought a few positive aspects and results which indicate that Romanian soccer is not in sucha low position and it can always grow and regain the position it had a few years ago,so this is my short retrospective of the most interesting moments,both positive and negative,which characterized the evolution of Romanian teams in international tournaments in 2011. 3.FC VASLUI MISSES A HUGE CHANCE OF REACHING THE LAST 32 OF EUROPA LEAGUE IN THE DECISIVE MATCH IN ZURICH FC Vaslui had a remarkable evolution in Europa League this season,and thatís why they will also be present in the top 3 of best achievements,but unfortunately their dream of reaching new heights ended in a cold winter night in Zurich.Before the last round of the group stage,FC Vaslui and Lazio Rome were fighting for the second place;both of them had 6 points but FC Vaslui had the advantage of direct results(2-2 in Rome and 0-0 in Vaslui),which meant that a victory in Zurich against a Swiss team which had no chance of going further in the competition would qualify them to the next round,regardless of Lazioís result against Sporting Lisbon.Unfortunately,the absence of 5 of the best players for injuries or suspensions was decisive,because those who replaced them were extremely disappointing in that match.FC Zurich played the match seriously and won by 2-0,ending the beautiful adventure of the team from Vaslui in a less pleasant manner. 2.ROMANIAN CHAMPIONS FAIL TO OBTAIN A SINGLE POINT IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE IN 2011 2011 was also the year in which Otelul Galati produced a huge surprise by winning the Romanian League,an incredible achievement
for a team with a much lower budget compared to the big forces of Romanian soccer and the big reward for the first ever team from Moldavia who won the title in Romania was a direct place in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League,Otelul being the last team who benefited of this chance because starting from next year Romania will no longer have a direct place in the group stage.Anyway,Otelul played in the Champions League with the same team that won the title,they tried to create a good impression without any reinforcements in the summer,and even if their evolutions were honourable and they didnít suffer any heavy defeat(0-2 in both matches against Manchester United,0-1 also in both matches against Benfica,1-2 and 2-3 against FC Basel)they finished the group with zero points.Itís the first time that such a thing happens with a Romanian team in the Champions League,and regardless of the fact that there were moments in which Otelul managed to play well and put some problems to their opponents,including English giants Manchester United,they received harsh critics for this unwanted number of 0 points that Will remain in the statistics.The only consolation is that they werenít the worst team in the competition this season,because Villareal and Dinamo Zagreb managed to obtain the same Ďachievementí with worse goal differences. 1.STEAUA BUCHAREST THRASHED IN ISRAEL(0-5) Steaua,the most loved and successful Romanian club,had its embarrassing moments in European competitions in the past,but itís hard to find a more shameful and humiliating result in its history than the 5-0 defeat suffered in Israel against Maccabi Haifa.The first international match under new coach Ilie Stan was a total fiasco,and after that disaster very few would dare bet that Steaua would rise from its ashes and finish the group in second place,but they did it eventually and managed to leave that nightmare in Haifa behind. Those are the worst moments of 2011 for Romanian soccer teams;in the second part of my retrospective I will present the achievements that made Romanian soccer fans happy with their favorite teams.