Simona Halep is a Romanian tennis player. With 22 WTA singles titles and two Grand Slam singles titles under her belt, Simona Halep is one of the most successful Romanian female tennis players of all time. She is also widely considered one of the WTA Tour's best returners of the current generation.
Romanian former professional basketball player Gheorghe Dumitru Mureșan, also called Ghiță, with a height of 7 feet 7 inches (2.31 m), is counted among the two tallest basketball players (tied with Sudanese-American professional basketball player Manute Bol) in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Ghiță played for the Washington Bullets and New Jersey Nets during his NBA career.
Nadia Comaneci is a Romanian former gymnast. One of the best-known gymnasts in the world, Comaneci has five Olympic gold medals under her belt. Credited with popularizing gymnastics around the world, Nadia Comaneci was honored by the Laureus World Sports Academy by including her in their Athletes of the 20th Century list in 2000.
Known to fans as The Maradona of the Carpathians, Gheorghe Hagi is considered the most successful Romanian footballer of all time. An attacking midfielder, he began his career with FC Constanța, before playing for teams such as Real Madrid, Brescia, and Barcelona. Post-retirement, he managed the Romanian team.
Once number 1 in singles, Romanian tennis player Ilie Năstase created became the first European to cross $1 million in career prize money. A 3-time Davis Cup finalist, he won major titles such as the French Open, the US Open, and Wimbledon. He has also penned 2 French novels and a memoir.
Born to athlete parents, Hungarian-origin Romanian basketball player Robert Bobroczky became famous for his towering 7’7” frame. His abnormal height was apparently found to be a result of genetics and not any disorder. He represented the Italian club Stella Azzurra and later moved to the US to join the SPIRE Institute and Academy.
Márta Károlyi is a Hungarian-born Romanian-American gymnastics coach. She was the former national team coordinator for USA Gymnastics. Her husband, Bela, is also a prominent gymnastics coach, and between them, the couple has trained nine Olympic champions, fifteen world champions, sixteen European medalists, and many US national champions. She retired from coaching in 2016.
Romanian former footballer Mircea Lucescu is known for his successful stint in the Romanian First League, having won 6 titles. He also led the Romanian team in the 1970 FIFA World Cup. Post-retirement, he had a successful stint as a manager, especially with the Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv.
Known for his “bad boy” image, Romanian former footballer Adrian Mutu has played for teams such as Inter Milan, Chelsea, and Juventus. Controversy’s favorite child, he was once banned by Chelsea for consuming cocaine. He also made headlines for drinking the blood of porn star Laura Andresan.
Bela Karolyi is a prominent gymnastics coach who developed the Romanian centralized training system for gymnastics. His wife, Márta Károlyi, is also a gymnastics coach and together they have trained numerous Olympic, European, and World champions. The couple has been credited with transforming gymnastic coaching in USA. Many gymnasts have called him out for his abusive coaching style.
Dan Petrescu is a Romanian former football player best known for winning the 1998 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup for Chelsea. He also earned 95 caps for his national team between 1989 and 2000. Since his retirement, Dan Petrescu has worked as a manager and is currently managing CFR Cluj. Petrescu is the second-most successful Romanian manager.
Aurelia Dobre is a Romanian former artistic gymnast who won three gold medals at the 24th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in 1987. In the same World Championships, she won two bronze medals. In 1988, she helped her team win the silver medal at the Summer Olympics. In 2016, she was made an inductee of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
Ion Tiriac is a Romanian businessman and retired tennis and ice hockey player. He is best known for winning the men's doubles event at the 1970 French Open. In 2013, he was made an inductee of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. As an ice hockey player, Tiriac played for his national team as defenseman at the 1964 Winter Olympics.
Cristian Chivu is a Romanian retired football player who earned 75 caps for his national team between 1999 and 2010. He also represented popular clubs like Inter Milan, winning the FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA Champions League for the team. Cristian Chivu is currently serving as the head coach of Internazionale's Primavera side.
Simona Amânar is a Romanian retired artistic gymnast. A ten-time World Championship, 12-time European Championship, and seven-time Olympic medalist, Amânar also helped her country win four successive world team titles between 1994 and 1999. In 2007, Simona Amânar was made an inductee of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
Romanian artistic gymnast Lavinia Milosovici, also known as Milo, is not just a 2-time Olympic gold medalist but also a 5-time World Champion. She scripted history as the last person to achieve an Olympic perfect 10 and also has 4 European Championship gold medals in her kitty.
Daniela Silivaș is a Romanian former artistic gymnast. She is best known for winning six medals (three gold, two silver, and one bronze) at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. She also earned six individual World Championships titles in her five-year tenure as a Romanian senior national team member. She became a coach after retiring in 1991.
Ecaterina Szabo is a Romanian former artistic gymnast who won four gold medals and a silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. She also represented her country at the World Championships and European Championships, winning 10 medals and five medals respectively. In 2000, Ecaterina Szabo was made an inductee of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
Costel Pantilimon is a Romanian football player who plays as a goalkeeper. Currently a free agent, Pantilimon has represented popular clubs like Manchester City and Nottingham Forest in the past. He was part of the Manchester City team that won the Premier League and the Football League Cup in 2014. Pantilimon also represented his national team from 2008 to 2017.
Romanian-Canadian former professional boxer Lucian Bute is best known for winning the IBF super-middleweight title for the first time in 2007 and then defending it successfully for nine consecutive times before losing it to Carl Froch in May 2012. He was given the number one ranking in the division by the American boxing magazine called The Ring.
Three-time Olympian Romanian former artistic gymnast Cătălina Ponor has 5 Olympic medals in her kitty, including 3 golds. He has also won a World Cup gold and 8 European Championship gold medals. The sports star started training at age 4 and was scouted by the national selectors during a nationwide talent search.
Sorana Cirstea is a Romanian tennis player who reached the quarterfinals of the 2009 French Open, which remains her best Grand Slam singles result so far. An aggressive baseliner, Cirstea has also represented her country at important tournaments like the Olympics and the Fed Cup.
Romanian former professional tennis player Mariana Simionescu was winner of the French Junior Championships in 1974, the year she turned pro. In 1977, she reached the fourth round at Wimbledon, marking her best Grand Slam performance. The following year, she attained a career-high singles ranking of world no. 36. Her career titles include one in singles and one in doubles.
Known to His Fans as Mr. Gentleman and Hammer, Romanian kickboxer and boxer Benjamin Adegbuyi has been a GLORY Heavyweight champion thrice. He was also a Glory Heavyweight Grand Prix runner-up once. The son of a Nigerian-origin university professor, he was also trained in karate and basketball in his school days.
Romanian retired footballer Gheorghe Popescu, known to his fans as Gica, was known as a successful defender and midfielder. Apart from winning honors such as the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup with Barcelona, he has also been a 6-time Romanian Footballer of the Year.
Gina Gogean is a former artistic gymnast best known for winning silver medals at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics. She also won three bronze medals at the 1996 Games. A nine-time world champion and five-time European champion, Gogean has been a regular gymnastics judge since 2001. In 2013, she was made an inductee of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
Răzvan Lucescu is a Romanian former football player who played as a goalkeeper. Although he did not achieve much popularity as a player, Lucescu is renowned for his coaching career. In 2018 and 2020, Răzvan Lucescu was named Romania Coach of the Year by Gazeta Sporturilor.
Romanian footballer Ștefan Radu, best known as a left-back or centre-back for the Italian club Lazio, with whom he has won the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana thrice each. His achievements earned him many honors, such as the Meritul Sportiv from the president of Romania.
Retired Romanian artistic gymnast Larisa Iordache was touted as The New Nadia when she was just 12. The 2-time Olympian has an Olympic bronze in her kitty, apart from 7 European Championship and 12 World Cup gold medals, and numerous other awards. She excelled in beam and floor exercises.
Romanian tennis player Mihaela Buzarnescu has had a career-high ranking of 20 in singles. In 2022, she was affected by Wimbledon's strict dress-code when she had to change her black bra due to the code allowing only white attire and lingerie. The tennis star also boasts of a PhD in sports science.
With 17 consecutive wins, Romanian kickboxer Cătălin Moroșanu holds the longest winning streak record in the history of SUPERKOMBAT. Initially a rugby player, he later switched to kickboxing. He has also appeared on TV reality shows, participated in anti-bullying campaigns, and been a county councilor.
Romanian professional football-coach and former-goalkeeper Bogdan Lobonț serves as head-coach of Romania national under-20 football team. As footballer, Lobonț was part of the Romania national team during two European Championships. He won Liga I (1998–99) and Cupa României (1997–98) with Rapid București; Eredivisie (2003–04) with Ajax; and Liga I ( 2001–02, 2006–07) with Dinamo București.
Virginia Ruzici is a Romanian retired tennis player best known for winning the French Open singles title in 1978. In the same year, she also won the French Open doubles title along with Mima Jaušovec. Virginia Ruzici also represented her country in important tournaments like the Fed Cup.
Irina-Camelia Begu is a Romanian tennis player who has represented her country at important tournaments like the Fed Cup and Olympic Games. She also competes in Grand Slam events, reaching the semifinals of the 2018 Australian Open and the 2021 French Open in women's doubles events.
Cristina Neagu is a Romanian handball player who plays for the Romanian women's national team. She was part of the team that won the bronze medal at the 2010 European Championship and the 2015 World Championship. Considered the greatest player of all time, Cristina Neagu is the only female handball player to win four World Player of the Year awards.
Romanian-American former professional basketball player Ernest Grunfeld was part of Team USA that won gold medals at the 1975 Pan American Games and 1976 Summer Olympics. Grunfeld played with NBA teams Milwaukee Bucks, Kansas City Kings and New York Knicks. He later served as General Manager of Knicks and Bucks respectively and as president of basketball operations for Washington Wizards.
Ana Bogdan is a Romanian tennis player who competes in Grand Slam events. Although she is yet to win a Grand Slam, Bogdan has won 14 singles titles on the ITF Women's Circuit so far. Ana Bogdan has also represented her country in important tournaments like the Billie Jean King Cup.
Initially a bodyguard to the Romanian president, Daniel Ghiță later established himself as a talented kickboxer. Known to fans as The Savage Samurai, he popularized his signature low kicks. Once the world number one heavyweight and a World Championship bronze medalist, he later joined politics and also worked for UNICEF.
Romanian boxer Bogdan Dinu currently has a WBA heavyweight ranking of 3. Apart from being a boxer, he is also part of the SIIAS, or the Romanian police task force. His achievements include gold medals at the Romania National Amateur Boxing Championship and Cadet World Amateur Boxing Championship.
Horia Tecău is a Romanian retired tennis player who specialized in doubles. He is best known for winning three Grand Slam titles, including the 2012 Australian Open mixed doubles. Horia Tecău also competed in the 2016 Olympic Games where he earned the silver medal for his country in the men's doubles event.
While Romanian gymnast Andreea Răducan began training at age 4. She won the individual all-around gold medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics but had to give it up due to a doping accusation. She, however, retained her team gold and vault silver, which she won at the same Olympic Games.
Hungarian-origin Romanian table tennis player Bernadette Szocs had the highest rank of 14 in the International Table Tennis Federation rankings and once topped the European Table Tennis Union ranking. A 2-time Olympian, she also has an older brother, Hunor, who is a national table tennis player.
Claudiu Keșerü is a Romanian football player who plays for the Romania national team. Over the years, he has also played for popular clubs like FC Oradea, Angers, and Ludogorets Razgrad. Claudiu Keșerü is currently signed to UTA Arad.
Romanian retired footballer Dorinel Munteanu is best known as a midfielder for clubs such as 1. FC Köln and VfL Wolfsburg. Now a manager for the club Oțelul Galati, he has led them to win a Liga I, a Liga III, and a Supercupa României title.
Bogdan Stancu is a Romanian football player who represented his national team from 2010 to 2017. He has also played for popular clubs like Orduspor, Bursaspor, and Gençlerbirliği. Bogdan Stancu is currently playing for the Turkish professional football club, Eyüpspor.
Romanian boxer Răzvan Cojanu, known for his Jeux de la Francophonie super-heavyweight gold win, grew up fighting in the streets before being spotted by a trainer. He gained fame after his Beijing Olympic appearance and later moved to the US. He became the first Romanian to fight to win a world heavyweight title.
Alexandru Lungu is a Romanian judoka, kickboxer, and mixed martial artist. He is best known for representing his country in the men's Judo event at the 1994 World Championships in Egypt where he won the gold medal. Alexandru Lungu also won the bronze medal at the 1999 European Championships in Bratislava.
Miodrag Belodedici is a Romanian retired football player known for his elegant tackles, which earned him the nickname the deer. He represented his national team from 1984 to 2000, during which he played in two European Championships and at the 1994 World Cup. Belodedici also played for clubs and won the European Cup with Steaua București and Red Star Belgrade.
Sandra Izbașa is a Romanian former artistic gymnast who won a gold medal at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. She also won seven gold medals at the European Championships during her illustrious career. Sandra Izbașa's best result at the World Championships came at the 2006 Championships where she won the silver medal in the Balance Beam event.
Former runner Gabriela Szabo is not just an Olympic gold medalist but also a 3-time World Champion. The Romanian-Hungarian sportsperson also has 4 World Indoor Championship gold medals in her kitty. She made headlines after she collided with Ghanaian long-jumper Kofi Amoah Prah in Stuttgart, while she was leaving the track.