Steaua undaunted by Chelsea

Steaua Bucharest are unfazed at the prospect of facing 2012 Champions League winners Chelsea after already eliminating Ajax from the Europa League this term.

Last Updated: 07/03/13 at 17:04 Post Comment

Ciprian Tatarusanu: Believes Steaua can be a match for anyone

Ciprian Tatarusanu: Believes Steaua can be a match for anyone

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Steaua host Chelsea on Thursday in the Europa League last-16 first leg at the National Arena in Bucharest after the Blues narrowly negotiated their round-of-32 clash with Sparta Prague and the Romanians claimed a penalty shootout victory over Ajax.

Goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu, the penalty shootout hero, said on www.uefa.com: "Chelsea are a better team [than Ajax] - they are the UEFA Champions League holders so they are obviously the stronger team.

"Sure, it will be much harder than a game against a top Romanian side - we are talking about 'Europe's queen' - and I have no doubt I will have much more work to do than against a 'normal' European team.

"As we proved in the two games against Ajax, we can be a match for anyone, no matter who they are.

"Before every game - regardless of the competition - I don't feel any pressure on me. All I focus on are positive thoughts, which help me take a serious and professional approach to each match, and be focused for every second."

Like Chelsea, Steaua have one European Cup to their name, having won the continent's most prestigious tournament in 1986.

This season is the first time they have reached the last 16 in Europe since 2005/06, when Steve McClaren's Middlesbrough knocked them out in the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup.

Two Romanians have played for Chelsea to mixed degrees of success.

Former Steaua right-back Dan Petrescu won the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup Winners Cup during five years at Stamford Bridge, while striker Adrian Mutu's short spell ended in disgrace when he tested positive for cocaine.

While not experiencing the same type of scandal since, the Blues have often been portrayed as a dysfunctional unit in recent times and this season in particular.

Laurentiu Reghencampf's Steaua side are eight points clear at the top of the Romanian league and their only loss in their last seven was the first leg with Ajax, at the Amsterdam Arena where the Europa League final will be held in May.

Tatarusanu believes the sum of Steaua's parts can perform better than the Blues' undoubtedly talented individuals.

"Chelsea have more skilful individuals but we are a very solid group," the 27-year-old said.

"Chelsea are the favourites but we all know that football is unpredictable and anything is possible."

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

ilarious, thanks for that. But if I may, I do suspect the reason of your partners' ire is not Tottenham, but most probably all the compusilve gambling :)

DannySmith
Backing Costa To Keep Banging 'Em In

T

wo police horses in a paddock. Horse 1: What's with the long face? Horse 2: I'm working St James Park this weekend.

hump3.
Pardew braced for protests

T

wo things. First, I can't stop reading your name as 'Dane Bowers'. Second, you used the words 'philosophy' and 'Redknapp' in the same sentence.

ajsr1982
Can United's Defence Handle Ulloa?

Footer 365

No concerns over Steven Gerrard, says Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers remains confident that Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard will continue to deliver at the highest level.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hails strength of Abou Diaby ahead of return

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hailed the strength of character in Abou Diaby following his latest injury comeback.

Premier League: Brendan Rodgers says Mario Balotelli is a 'good guy'

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says he is enjoying working with Mario Balotelli.

Mail Box

Will Rodgers Finally Drop Gerrard?

The mailbox wants to know if Brendan Rodgers has the stones to drop Steven Gerrard. Plus, thoughts on Wayne Rooney's display, sitting down, and thanking United fans...

Clattenburg And Assistants Should Be Suspended

It's a Mailbox containing Manchester United fans taking defeat to Leicester pretty well, plus some long thoughts on Gerrard and Liverpool, plus Southampton congratulations...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property