Football has a huge following in both Romania and Moldova. Romania's national team made impressive showing in the World Cups throughout the 1990s when their biggest star was Gheorghe Hagi. Two most popular teams are Steaua Bucuresti ( and Dinamo ( Top club Steaua Bucharest forged itself a formidable international reputation by winning the European Champions' Cup in 1986. Since then, it has suffered from bribery scandals and match-fixing allegations. Dinamo, formed in 1948, has won nine Romanian Cups and won the national championships 16 times. Steaua Bucharest's home ground is Steaua Stadium (g 21-410 7710; B-dul Ghencea 35). $tefan eel Mare Stadium (g 21-210 3519; ┬žoseaua Stefan eel Mare 7-9), and Rapid Stadium (g 21-220 2149; Calea Giule$ti), are other notable stadiums in the capital. Tickets are sold at the stadium gates.

One of the biggest names in Romania's sport world is gymnast Nadia Comaneci, born in One$ti. In 1976, at the age of 15, she stunned the world by receiving the first perfect 10 in Olympic history (plus five medals) for her dazzling feats on the compulsory bars at the Montreal Olympics. She later emigrated to the USA and has written several memoirs.

See p304 for an amusing account of Moldova's infamous underwater hockey team. For more information on sports in Moldova, see www , Moldova won three medals at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics.

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