Teams: Romania, River Plate
I generally agree with PMC and Foresta but i want to add some things
Lobont (8): Practically flawless. We knew he could save us, but we also knew that some mistake was not out of the question. Luckily he got past his latest form influenced by Dinamoīs atmosphere and gave us security every time we received a shot. Also his personality is necessary to the team. He made some of his impossible saves against Italy and also againt Netherlands, that will remain within our best memories of the tournament.
Contra (8): 2 things to highlight: First, he didnīt make any of his known defensive mistakes, and was actually very solid and concentrated in that aspect. The other impressive aspect about his game is that he could be trusted with the ball at any time and almost never gave it away. Thatīs priceless for a defensive team and an example few of his teammates followed. He fought until the end. Couldnīt do much offensively because of the tactics.
Tamas (7): Very good generally, altough itīs true some of the goals were partly his fault. Very technical and brave to initiate attacks sometimes, altough his long passes werenīt accurate in these games. He gave us an extra weapon with his freekicks.
Goian (7,5): To me he was great and his absence was a main reason why the defense looked bad against Netherlands. His positioning is fantastic and he stood his ground against Toni. He couldnīt help with his offensive headers this time and missed the last game due to a dumb yellow.
Rat (8): He really stepped up in this tournament. He was great defensively which was an aspect we didnīt gave him credit for and he showed a perfect physical shape, being one of the few who was in form in the last game. Also initiated many attacks on the left even when he was restrained to go up. He gave an assist that Codrea wasted in the last game.
Ghionea (5,5): Ok but wasnīt in Goianīs level.
Radoi (8): Perfect against France, was doing the same against Italy. As noted, his attitude on the field was key for the team. Proved that he can be a worlds class DM. We missed him in the decisive game.
Chivu (7,5): An amazing performance ruined by the last game. Until then he was the balance in midfield, defensively perfect but also the one midfielder we could rely to have the ball and make the right pass. Also incredibly technical for a defensive midfielder. His flaw was not taking advantage of free kicks. In the last game, we can only imagine that all the effort because of his shoulder and the first too games took a toll on him, cause he was a real disaster.
Codrea (7): As noted, his Serie A experience showed, as he always knew where he had to be and had some great defensive interventions. Also good with the ball.
Cocis (3): Hard to place him here, but he is supposed to be an offensive minded player. He is good with the ball, but under pressure he gives it up, canīt pass and canīt shoot. He made a great effort (the player that runned the most in a game so far) but was a disaster anyway. Previously he had good games for the NT, but in this tournament he seemed out of his league.
Nicolita (5): Huge effort that canīt be overlooked, and did better than expected. He didnīt give up the ball so easily and tried to do something offensively. He can be useful for the NT, but not as an offensive player.
Petre (5): Didnīt do badly IMO, but as expected he was below par physically. Also tried really hard.
Dica (5): We expected more from him, but he only really played in 2 games, and when he came in the third game his teammates had already gave up. Against Italy he helped us offensively and was the only associate Mutu had in the tournament. We canīt blame a player like him for not being able to defend correctly in our own box.
Mutu (6,5): He was left alone and still managed to score because of his positive attitude and was the only one to create danger for us. Of course we expected more and the penalty is hard to overlook, but he never stopped trying. Incredibly Piturca also had defensive duties for him.
D. Niculae (3,5): We canīt forget that he played in the hardest position in this team, as he had no support against a whole defence. Got a penalty and also made a huge effort, but he couldnīt find any solutions to be dangerous to his opponents and lost balls too easily.
M. Niculae (3): Didnīt do anything remarcable, and couldnīt work as a pivot either, which was expected from him.
Overall, we must say that the defensive players were helped by the strategy and looked better, while the offensive ones had to do more than what they can in order to produce something, with no support from the midfield and the fullbacks.
Piturca (6): Itīs really hard to judge him. He created strategies that allowed us to arrive to the last game with great odds in this terrible group, but at the same time failed completely in the last one. Lacked courage to take risks and trust our offensive qualities, and didnīt prevent the physical and mental breakdown of the last game. He also brought a squad that had no other option than defend, and made ridiculous changes even when everything was downhill and being careful had no point anymore.