Gheorghe Hagi is a football icon in Romania and the former Barcelona player is widely regarded as the greatest footballer in his country till date. Gheorghe Hagi is one of few players to play for both Barcelona and Real Madrid during the course of their football career. His international debut came against hosts Norway in Oslo in 1983 at the age of just 18.

The attacking midfielder went on to score 35 goals in 124 games for Romania. The first of those 35 Romania goals for Gheorghe Hagi came against the Northern Ireland in 1984. He would later go on to captain his country for the first time during the game against the same opposition one year later. Gheorghe Hagi and Romania failed to qualify for the 1986 FIFA World Cup tournament in Mexico but that was rectified at the 1990 edition in Italy. Romania were eliminated in Italy at the round of 16 stage by the Republic of Ireland on penalties after the two teams had battled to a goalless draw.

Romania had their best World Cup outing at the 1994 edition in the United States of America as they reached the quarterfinals. One of the greatest wins in their history came in the round of 16 when they defeated a Diego Maradona-less Argentina team 3-2 to seal a last eight clash with Sweden. Gheorghe Hagi scored one of the three goals for his country. His finest moment at the tournament came in Romania’s opening game in Group A against Colombia when he produced a 40-yard lob over opposition goalkeeper Oscar Cordoba.

The goal was later named the fifth best goal in the history of the World Cup tournament via a poll on the official website of FIFA. Hagi scored that wonder goal and also added two assists to lead his country to a 3-1 win over the Colombians. The football icon was named in the Team of the Tournament in the United States of America.