Football - Soccer-Romania coach Piturca desperate for Chivu rethink

BUCHAREST, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Romania coach Victor Piturca is hoping to persuade Inter Milan defender Cristian Chivu to come out of international retirement.


The 32-year-old, capped 75 times, quit the national team in May last year, saying that age and injuries were behind his decision.

"I have spoken to him on the phone recently and I will go to Milan to meet him before Christmas or at the beginning of 2013," Piturca told local media on Friday.

Last month, Piturca hinted Chivu could return, saying "this time he shouldn't be stubborn".

Chivu has not played since Inter's 3-0 win at Hajduk Split in the Europa League on Aug. 2 when he suffered a toe injury.

"The most important thing for him is to start playing again," added Piturca.

Romania are third in 2014 World Cup qualifying Group D with nine points from four matches, three points behind leaders Netherlands.

The Balkan side, who have not qualified for the World Cup finals since 1998, will resume their campaign in March with a much-anticipated visit to second-placed neighbours Hungary, who also have nine points. (Writing by Angel Krasimirov in Sofia, editing by Justin Palmer)

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