40 Greatest Goals in World Cup History: #31: Gheorghe Hagi: Romania vs Colombia ('94)

At #31 is a magician from Romania
Anirudh Menon

Known as Comandate (The Commander) to Galatasaray fans and Regele (The King) to the Romanians, Gheorghe Hagi spent a lifetime waving his left peg around like Albus Dumbledore would have his wand... splitting defences with insane through balls (sample this assist - we'll cover that goal later), dribbling around like the little round thing was his exclusive property, and most of all, scoring the most outrageous goals you'll ever see.

Any compilation of his on YouTube will leave you open-mouthed and astonished, and it's fitting for a man of his sense of theatre that arguably his best ever came at the grandest stage of them all.

The World Cup.

USA '94.

In their first game, facing the team Pele considered favourites for the World Cup - Colombia - Hagi opened the scoring with one of the most preposterous pieces of audacity you will ever see on a football field.

Maradona of the Carpathians? Pshaw! El Diego was the Hagi of Patagonia.


Look at that. Just... WOOF.

Oscar Cordoba did little wrong here, Hagi is so far out, and at such an angle that his positioning was textbook - not too far out of goal in case the cross was at the near post, not too far in, in case he lumped it toward the far post.

What he couldn't have accounted for, though, was that Hagi never really gave a solitary one about textbooks. Or common sense.

Espying Cordoba off his line, he figured why the hell not - and let loose with that cannon he carried around, calling it his left foot. Neither Cordoba nor Colombia ever really understood what hit them.

He would then go onto stun the world by orchestrating a stunning 3-2 defeat of Argentina (from which that above-linked assist comes) in the previous match and score another worldie in that one.

For his imagination, for his skill, for his sheer, blinding, audacity, Gheorghe Hagi's screamer against Colombia is #31 on our list of 40 Greatest Goals in World Cup History

Paul Merson predicts Man City vs Man Utd, Arsenal vs Tottenham and other GW 9 matches! Click here

Edited by Arvind Sriram


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