Romania have a long tradition on the international stage, having never failed to qualify for a World Championship and missing only one EHF EURO, in 2006. The team always aim to rank among the best, but have not had the same success at EHF EUROs as at World Championships. Romania’s EHF EURO medal record is one bronze, from 2010.
However, two years ago in France, the side came close to reaching the final, losing out to Russia by six goals in the semi-final. In the end Romania finished fourth after defeat to the Netherlands in the fight for bronze – still their joint-second best performance at an EHF EURO.
This year, having won both qualification matches before the Covid-19 pandemic stopped play, the Romanians were drawn into a tough group containing hosts Norway, Germany and Poland.
The Romanian team is in a period of transition, developing young and talented players, but still relies heavily on four-time IHF World Player of the Year Cristina Neagu and other stars such as Crina Pintea and the exceptional goalkeepers Denisa Dedu and Yuliya Dumanska.
Recent Team News
The experience and shooting prowess of Neagu is Romania’s biggest advantage and weapon. The left back is the only female to have won the IHF World Handball Player of the Year award four times, and the only person to win it in consecutive years (2010, 2015, 2016 and 2018). Neagu was also named EHF Player of the Year in 2017 and the Champions League All-star left back for the last four seasons. She won the Champions League with Buducnost in 2015 but now plays for CSM Bucuresti. With the national team, Neagu has been named in three EHF EURO All-star Teams (2010, 2014 and 2016) and was named All-star left back and MVP of the World Championship 2015. She was the top scorer in two EHF Champions League seasons – 2014/15 and 2017/18 – and at the World Championship 2015. After helping Romania to a fourth-place finish in France two years ago with 44 goals, Neagu became the all-time leading goalscorer in EHF EURO history with 237 goals.
Goalkeeper Dumanska has already made a name for herself on the international stage, playing a critical part as her former club SCM Craiova won the EHF Cup in 2017/18. Her performances during the season were enough to earn her the award for best goalkeeper in the Romanian league. For the 2018/19 season, Dumanska transferred to SCM Ramnicu Valcea and immediately helped her new club claim the Supercup against powerhouse CSM Bucuresti. After winning a bronze medal at the Junior World Championship 2016, Dumanska made her debut for the senior squad in 2016. She was brought in to play one game at the EHF EURO 2016, facing two penalty shots and saving both. In 2019 she lifted the national title with SCM Ramnicu Valcea before making a move to HC Podravka Vegeta in Croatia this year.
A strong and sharp tactician, Bogdan Burcea comes from a family with handball roots, as his father was also a coach. Has never played handball at a high level but plied his trade in Greece since he was 23. A globetrotter, also coaching in Cyprus and the Faroe Islands, Burcea came back to Romania in 2011 and that is where his career took off.
An assistant for the women’s Romanian national team between 2012 and 2015 under legendary Romanian coach Gheorghe Tadici, Burcea made a name for himself at club level with SCM Craiova, winning the Women’s EHF Cup in the 2017/18 season. The 48-year-old coach took up the challenge to lead the women’s Romanian national team in January 2020, replacing Swedish coach Tomas Ryde and will break his duck in an official game at the EHF EURO 2020.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events
|2008||FYR Macedonia||5th place|