Nicknamed "The Maradona of the Carpathians", he is considered a hero in his homeland. He has won his country's "Player of the Year" award six times, and is regarded as one of the best football players of the 20th century.
He played for the
Romanian national team in three World Cups in 1990, 1994 and 1998, as
well as in three European Football Championships in 1984, 1996 and 2000.
He won a total of 125 caps for Romania and scored 35 goals.