We secured the services of the latter duo after their impressive performances for Romania in the 1994 World Cup – Ilie having scored twice in his country’s famous 3-2 victory over Argentina that summer.
But with a two-legged qualification play-off against Greece standing between Romania and next year’s tournament finals in Brazil, our modern-day centre-half Vlad is determined not to just equal the achievements of that successful side of the mid-1990s – but to actually better them.
“They were like a golden generation for us in Romania,” reflected our 24-year-old defender, the captain of his nation.
“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.”
Vlad believes Greece, who Romania will visit in the first leg of their play-off on Friday evening before hosting the return match on Tuesday, are considered to be favourites to book their place in Brazil due to their loftier position in the FIFA World Rankings.
According to the latest standings, Greece are ranked 15th in the world, some way ahead of Romania in 29th place.
But regardless of this, Vlad feels his nation has enough in their locker to see off Greece over the two games – and he’s determined to realise his ambition to play at the World Cup next year.
“It’s a dream for me to go to the World Cup, so we have to give it everything,” he continued.
“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.”