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Steaua Bucharest: Need to know

ARENA NATIONALA: City will face Steaua Bucharest here during their Champions League play-off round tie.

ARENA NATIONALA: City will face Steaua Bucharest here during their Champions League play-off round tie.

City face Steaua Bucharest in the play-off round of the Champions League but what should you know about the Romanian club ahead of the tie?

How they got here

Steaua reached the play-off round after victory over Czech club Sparta Prague. After a 1-1 draw in the Czech capital, a brace from Nicolae Stanciu in Bucharest saw the Romanians through.

Where they play

Romania’s national stadium, Arena Națională, is the home of the most successful club in the country’s history.

Having officially opened in 2011 and hosted the 2012 Europa League final, the category four rating and 55,000 capacity make this an exceptional stage for elite club football.

The manager

Former Romanian international Laurentiu Reghecampf is currently in his second spell in charge of the club.

The 40-year-old’s initial reign came between 2012 and 2014 where he won the Romanian League in both seasons before he departed for Saudi-Arabian side Al-Hilal and Bulgarians Litex Lovech.

During his time at Al-Hilal, the side finished as runners-up in the AFC Champions League to Australian side Western Sydney Wanderers.

Players to watch

Attacking midfielder Nicolae Stanciu scored the goals that brought Steaua to this stage. The 23-year-old is also a crucial player for the Romanian national team having been the team’s main creative force at Euro 2016.

Algerian midfielder Jugurtha Hamroun is a crucial shield for the defence, operating in midfield and sweeping up in order to allow the likes of Stanciu and Adrian Popa I to focus on causing danger for the opposition.

 

Interview

Ferna: We must respect Steaua

FERNA FOCUS: Midfielder has experience of playing in Romania

Fernandinho has urged his City team-mates to respect Steaua Bucharest’s rich football history when the teams meet in the Champions League play-off tie.

The Romanian side have struggled to make an impact in Europe’s elite club competition in recent seasons, but were crowned winners in 1986 and have a bulging trophy cabinet thanks to sustained domestic success down the years.

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