He played for Steaua Bucureşti since he was 12, playing for the first time in the Divizia A in 1968. He played for the Romanian national team 64 times and scored 26 goals. He was named Romania's third best player in 1976 and second best in 1980. For two seasons - 1983 and 1984 - he played for OFI Heraklio in Crete, Greece where, in 54 Alpha Ethniki league matches he scored 7 goals.
He became assistant manager for Emerich Jenei at Steaua in 1985, contributing to the winning of the European Champions' Cup in 1986 and the winning of the 1987 European SuperCup. Between 1987 and 1989, he was the manager of Steaua winning three Romanian Cup and three Romanian Championships and also played the final of European Champions' Cup, losing 0-4 against AC Milan. Between 1990 and 1992 he was the manager of the Anorthosis Famagusta team in Cyprus, which participated in the UEFA Cup. In 1992-1993 he came back to Steaua and won the Championship again after four years.
On September 8, 1993 he became the manager of the Romanian National team. He led the Romanian team to two World Cup finals 1994 and 1998 and one of the European Championship (Euro 1996). He left the Romanian National team and, on April 8, 1998 became the coach of the National Football Team of Greece without much success. He resigned after a home loss to Norway on March 27, 1999. In 2002, he returned as manager of the Romanian national team.
In 2005 he won the African Football Confederation CL with Al-Ittihad.
- Romanian Championships won: 2
- Romanian Cups won: 4
- Played games for the national team: 64
- Goals for the national team: 26
- Championships played for Steaua: 14
- Goals for Steaua: 146
- Played games for Steaua: 317