On 15th of September 2011, Rapid Bucharest played its’ one hundred match in continental competitions (see: ‘Welcome back!’, also on my blog!). It was a great jubilee, marked by a wonderful 1-0 win, far away from home, at Tel Aviv. It all started in 1938 and now, after 73 years, Rapid managed to win in the Europe League group stage, after six years. And after six years we can dream again, that Rapid might write once more European history pages. In 2006, with the same Razvan Lucescu on the bench, the Romanians where held by Hapoel, 2-2, and that result blocked their way through the superior stages of the second European competition.
Now, the victory was brought by Herea’s goal and by Coman’s parades. The midfielder managed to put it in for the first time in Europe and Dani reminded us about the great night from Hamburg, six years ago! He, alongside Nicolae Grigore, is the only survivor of the squad that reached the UEFA quarterfinals in 2006. And let’s hope that he will be the lad with the luck, which might bring Rapid another dream season in the European competitions.
With a few repairs and with players such are Pancu, Herea or Marcos Antonio we have great chances to fulfill our expectations. Pancu is one of the greatest Romanian players still in activity and Marcos Antonio is a defender that looks like he’s made from a combination that consists of reinforced concrete and hard steel. And what can we say more about Ovidiu… Nearly 30 goals scored in the last year for Rapid in the Romanian championship where flavored now with the masterpiece from Tel Aviv. A great assist from Rui Duarte and Herea put in the ball with a powerful and precise head kick. It doesn’t seem very spectacular, but for a true fan of Rapid it really is, especially when it brings such a sweet achievement.
The next encounter puts in our way PSV Eindhoven, one of the most successful Dutch football clubs from all time. But the home pitch will surely be an advantage for us as well as will be the taught, that six years ago the unforgettable story started with Feyenoord’s elimination. And the team from Rotterdam was only three years distance from the day in which it won the UEFA Cup, in a final against Dortmund.
Hopefully we will play on National Arena, because otherwise the boys must travel again many kilometers, to Timisoara. And such a trip would definitely affect their freshness as it did against the last championship home game when Brasov, their opponents, managed to leave with a positive result for them: 1-1.
Meanwhile, Herea was sent off in the league game against Dinamo, but thank God, he will play in the match with PSV. And I have a hunch that he will be the new Buga this season, as well as Pancu will play Daniel Niculae’s role from 2006. And I really think that this is an appropriate comparison! Don’t you? Leave your opinions here