‘We placed a bet’: Georghe Hagi explains why the entire Romanian squad bleached their hair during the 1998 World Cup

Romania: The bleach blonde Romanians line up before the World Cup group E game against Tunisia at the Stade de France in St Denis. Romania finished top of their group as the match ended 1-1.
Romania players line up before their World Cup match with Tunisia (Image credit: Getty Images)

When Romania were preparing for their final group game at the 1998 World Cup against Tunisia, they had already secured qualification for the knockout stages and were relaxed heading into their third game of the tournament. 

So relaxed, in fact, that the entire playing squad - all 23 members - rocked up at the Stade de France with unmissable bleached blonde hair. Manager Anghel Iordanescu even had to shave his head, leaving many perplexed, but accepting, of the decision taken by the last-16 bound Romanians. 

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Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future. 

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