Rabu, 26 September 2012

Romania take the trophy in miniEURO Moldova 2012

Romania have been crowned the first ever miniEURO champions after a thrilling 2-1 final victory over Montenegro. The pre-tournament favourites saw off competition from 15 other nations to win the silverware. The final, which was watched by a crowd of over 3.000 people in the Opera Square in the Moldavian capital of Chisinau, was an exciting affair and a fitting culmination to a three day tournament which showcased all that was best about this fine and inclusive sport.

The Romanian team had carried a massive weight of expectation on their shoulders going into miniEURO Moldova 2012, having won European tournaments in 2010 and 2011, but dealt with the pressure superbly to win the tournament with a display of calm, intelligent football. Indeed, they made it double glory, as their star player, number seven 24-year old Adrian Calugareanu was given the Player of the Tournament award.

If Romania's success had been expected, then Montenegro's passage to the final was perhaps more of a surprise. In the event, their road to the latter stages was relatively easy and indeed their 7-1 beating of the highly rated England team was, for many, the performance of the weekend.

Other major nations, Germany and Italy were also beaten, although the German's did have the honour of being involved in a magnificent game. 4-1 up and cruising against Slovakia, they looked set for a place in the quarterfinals, but the Slovak's staged an astonishing comeback, scoring four late goals to run out 5-4 victors.

The tournament had got off to a wet start, with torrential rain in Moldova forcing play on Friday to be suspended, but the remaining two days were blessed with fine sunshine, which enabled all the players to showcase their formidable skills.

Despite the poor weather at the beginning, the President of the European Minifootball Federation, Razvan Burleanu was thrilled with the outcome saying, "For three wonderful days we saw all the best of what minifootball has to offer. It was a truly remarkable tournament and minifootball is a truly remarkable sport. One that can be played by anyone, but can still give us events such as this."

"I thank all the officials and teams that made it so special, and also the tremendous crowds that turned up to watch. It is only by events such as this that we can spread the word of minifootball."

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