Cluj hoping for Roma repeat

The Romanians travelled to the Stadio Olimpico for their first

fixture in Europe’s premier club competition in 2008, and stunned

their hosts with a 2-1 success. Culio, 27, got both the visitors’

goals that night after they had fallen behind to a Christian

Panucci effort and he is hoping there can be another “dream” result

at the end of 90 minutes, especially with his side full of

confidence after beating Basle 2-1 in their first group game. “I’m

happy I’ve the opportunity to listen to the Champions League anthem

again, especially here with Cluj,” the Argentinian midfielder told “Fate has enabled me to play at the Stadio Olimpico in

Rome again. “What happened two years ago was a dream and I’m so

happy that what I and the team did in that match is still

remembered by many. I’m sure we are a stronger and much more

experienced team than in 2008 and that we will be able to perform

at least as well.” Roma boss Claudio Ranieri was not in charge of

the Giallorossi for their defeat 24 months ago, but he has warned

his side, who lost their opening group fixture against Bayern

Munich, that to avoid a repeat they must be focused and not

underestimate their opponents. The former Chelsea and Juventus

manager also believes that Europe’s more-established teams need to

be wary of the increasing threat of the game’s ever-improving

minnows. “Teams who haven’t played in the Champions League much

have this willingness, this determination and motivation,” he said.

“While you may have more technical qualities or play in a tougher

league, the gap is getting smaller and smaller.” Roma have had a

difficult start to the season, but they picked up their first Serie

A win of the season against defending champions Inter Milan on

Saturday. And Ranieri hopes that win can kick-start their season.

He said: “This win gives the players even more conviction,

determination and is just the tonic the boys were missing. They

worked until the last second for the victory, and this spirit

should be brought into the Champions League. “We are dealing with a

side from Romania whom we lost to two years ago and we must be

ready for tomorrow.”