The 31-year-old has led his country at international level and he’s also played consistently at Champions League level for several seasons so in terms of free transfers, this is as good as it gets for the Hammers.
Here are a few more facts about the club’s new signing;
1) He started his life in football at the age of seven, playing for Rapid Piatra-Olt, a side managed by his father.
2) His first move came when he was 13-years-old as he committed to play for Universitatea Craiova.
3) He was part of the Universitatea Craiova which was transferred in its entirety to Constructorul Craiova when the manager was released.
4) He was spotted by Mircea Lucescu in the summer of 1998, who convinced him to make his first move into professional senior football with Rapid Bucuresti.
5) He was signed by Shakhtar Donetsk in 2003, where he’s been a key first team player ever since.
6) He’s made over 170 appearances for Shakhtar in the Ukrainian league scoring just six goals in the process.
7) In total he’s made over 400 appearances in senior football scoring 17 goals during his career.
8) He’s only ever played for Romania at two different levels; Under-21 and Senior level.
9) He was called up to the Romanian national team in February 2002, making his full senior debut against France.
10) His only goal for Romania was scored in a friendly against Germany in 2004.
What do you make of him West Ham fans? Will you consider getting 'Rat' on the back of your shirt?
image: © law_keven