Romania in Europe: 2024/25 Coefficient Preview

The 2024/25 European season is quickly approaching, with 236 clubs set to compete in UEFA’s continental club competitions this season.

With the first qualifying round draws two weeks away, Extratime Talk will be providing a comprehensive coefficient preview. Between now and then, each country will be previewed, and all clubs participating in Europe for the 2024/25 season are discussed.

In these articles, we will provide analyses of what to expect from each country in Europe. We will explore what is on the line from a coefficient standpoint, and the keys to succeeding, in that country’s case.

Article number 16 of this preview series, will take a look at Romania and what we can expect from them in the 2024/25 European season.

Romania In Europe: Country Profile

Previous Season Coefficient (Rank)3.250 (29th)
Previous Season’s 5-Year Coefficient (Rank)21.375 (26th)
Starting 5-Year Coefficient (Rank)15.500 (29th)

A country that has been inconsistent in recent years, Romania is a country many would expect to be higher than 29th in UEFA’s five-year country coefficient ranking. Less than two decades ago, Romania was a top 10 nation, and even topped the 2005/06 seasonal coefficient ranking. Yet, we head into the 2024/25 campaign with the eastern European country down in 29th, and could drop a spot lower.

Three European regulars and a newbie is Romania’s roster for this season’s European club competitions. There is this feeling of anything could happen, as evidenced by the last couple of seasons. We could see Romania with two, or even three clubs in a league phase. Or, we could see a repeat of last term where all four clubs fell in qualifying. That makes the Romanian clubs the most interesting ones to watch.

Romania In Europe: Club Profile

ClubQualified AsRound of EntryTotal European SeasonsLast Season’s Performance5-Year Club Coefficient (2023/24)5-Year Country Coefficient Contribution, 2023/24 (%)
FCSBDomestic ChampionUCL Q18UECL Q310.5004.375 (20.47%)
Corvinul HunedoaraCup WinnerUEL Q1DebutN/A4.275N/A
CFR ClujDomestic Runner-upUECL Q2, Main Path13UECL Q226.50011.250 (52.63%)
CS Universitatea CraiovaDomestic Play-off WinnerUECL Q2, Main Path29N/A7.0002.000 (9.36%)

For the first time since 2016/17, FCSB won the Liga 1 title. They did so convincingly in the end, distancing themselves from the chase pack. That sees them enter the first qualifying round of the Champions League. Perhaps Romania’s most consistent club in Europe over the last seven years, FCSB has progressed at least one round in Europe in six of the last seven years. Despite having only having two group stage appearances in that time, FCSB regularly makes the playoff round, accumulating some good points on the way.

Cup winners Corvinul Hunedoara will be making their European bow this summer, starting in the Europa League first qualifying round. The remarkable thing about this club is that they are not even in the top flight. Hunedoara just missed out on promotion to Liga 1, and is still in the second division. As a result, they will do well to win any match in Europe this term.

CFR Cluj held on to second spot to secure a 13th season of European football. It was a disastrous continental journey for them last term, losing at the first hurdle of Conference League qualifying to Adana Demirspor. As they are once again seeded throughout qualifying, CFR Cluj can ill-afford a repeat performance from last summer.

In dramatic fashion, CS Unviersitatea Craiova managed to claim the final European spot, returning to continental play after missing out last term. CSU has become a regular fixture in the qualifying rounds, but never able to get to the main rounds. They will be seeded in UECL Q2 this summer, but no further in that. They will be a pretty dangerous unseeded team in the Q3 draw, with most sides wanting to avoid them. CSU Craiova narrowly missed out on the UECL group stage two years ago, losing a penalty shootout versus Hapoel Be’er Sheva in the playoff round.

Romania’s Season Ambitions

Romania is the lowest of seven countries with a realistic shot at 22nd spot in the coefficient ranking. However, that should not stop them from competing with the likes of Bulgaria, Hungary, Sweden and Azerbaijan, among others. Depending on how qualifying goes, there should be more optimism for Romania that they could end the season in 22nd spot.

Of course, with so many countries involved in this race, it will not be a straightforward task for Romania’s clubs. Will it be expected for Romania to finish 22nd? Probably not, but that will be the ambition for this season and beyond.

What a Successful Season Would Be for Romania

The key for 22nd place will be having at least two teams in the league phase. As a result, that should be the goal for Romania in Europe this year. Seeing that this is more than possible, a good year would be seeing FCSB and CFR Cluj make a league phase. Anything less will feel like a lost opportunity.

On top of that, CS Universitatea Craiova making the playoff round – or even the league phase – would be a positive step in the right direction. As for Cornvinul, even a win from them should be seen as a success. Not much more can be expected from them than that.

What to Expect From Romania in 2024/25

Romania has the potential to have a very strong year in Europe. Conversely, it could be zero teams in the league phase again. It is hard to see how this one will go. That is unless you are Filip B from Romanian Football.

When asked about the country’s chances of finishing 22nd, Filip had no faith, mentioning there is a “maybe 1%” chance of that happening. He was very particular on Corvinul, expecting them to contribute next to nothing despite having four matches minimum. “Corvinul won’t get anything as they’re still in the 2nd division and probably won’t be able to get points realistically,” said Filip, also pointing out that “the others (will) probably underperform.”

How likely is it that Filip is right about the three regulars underperforming? Yes, Romanian clubs are inconsistent, but the country is due for a big year. Why could it not be this year? Romania will almost surely miss out on 22nd place, but do not expect them not to try and claim that spot.

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