Inter-Allied Games, 1919

Thanks to Brian D. Bunk of the excellent soccerhistoryusa.org website for drawing my attention to this multi-sport competition, held a hundred years ago, after the cessation of hostilities on the western front. Romania was one of eight countries which sent a team to take part in the football tournament. Although the composition of the team was entirely different from the squads that would line up for the country’s first official internationals in 1922, there are some fascinating stories connected with the characters who took the field at the Pershing Stadium in Paris in the early summer of 1919. I’d welcome any further information readers are able to provide about the Romanian participants. Continue reading

Romania at the 1930 World Cup (1)

Only about 188 weeks to go until the long-awaited Qatar World Cup kicks off!!!! That, and the upcoming 88.75th anniversary of the event in question, combine to mean it must be another timely Romaniaballs blog post. We will be EXPLODING myths, EXPOSING biased reporting and possibly even EXPANDING our knowledge of men in big, baggy shorts running around in black and white. Continue reading

90stalgia (part 1)

These things elicit a certain reaction from me, which I cannot control: Chrissy Waddle’s mullet; Platty’s last-gasp volley against Belgium; the ball ballooning off Paul Parker’s back and over Shilton’s head into the net; and, especially, Gary Lineker gesturing to the bench to “have a word”. And if you spent a lifetime striving to compose a piece of music perfectly suited to soundtracking slow-motion footage of men in short shorts glowing with sweat on hot Italian evenings, fouling each other, diving extravagantly to get each other booked, and missing important penalties, you could not do better than the lad Puccini with his smash hit aria Nessun Dorma.

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Those were the days

The British football monthly When Saturday Comes runs a feature in the back, where they review a season from times gone by and track what has happened since then to selected teams and individuals. I thought it would be fun to do that for the Romanian league. Let’s see if I’m right. Cast your mind back to a time when the iPhone was brand new, Avril Lavigne was a superstar, and the USA had its stupidest ever president… up to that point… Continue reading