Tottenham Hotspur summer signing is looking up to his nation's past legends…
With a fearsome spine consisting of Dan Petrescu, Gheorghe Popescu and Gheorghe Hagi, collectively responsible for 335 international caps for Romania, with the latter returning 35 goals and a consensus inclusion in the 1994 FIFA World Cup team, it is little wonder why the 1990s generation is considered golden.
However, Romania has a hard task on their hands if they wish to be one of the nations involved in next summer's festival of football, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, as they face a play-off encounter with bookmakers favourites Greece.
Tottenham Hotspur defender Vlad Chiriches, an £8m signing from Steaua Bucharest, believes the current Romanian crop can emulate their past legends by guaranteeing their finals spot at the expense of their opponents.
'They were like a golden generation for us in Romania,' began Vlad, as quoted by the official Spurs website.
'They were great, but we want to beat their qualities and to go to Brazil. I think we can do it. All the players are concentrated on this. It’s a dream for me to go to the World Cup, so we have to give it everything.
'I know Greece are favourites because they are in a better position than us, but we hope to do our best and with a good performance I think we can win.'
It is perhaps a cruel twist of fate, though, that Vlad will have to spur his side on from the sidelines as the nation's captain suffered a broken nose in the club's recent loss to Newcastle United.
The first leg, competed this evening, Friday, will take place in Greece, ahead of the return clash in Romania.
image: © samlkelly