The eyes of Europe may be on FC Unirea Urziceni but for Serban Dacian Varga his harshest critic remains the same – his mother. "She is never really satisfied with how I play," the forward said.
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The eyes of Europe may be on FC Unirea Urziceni as they enjoy their first foray into the UEFA Champions League, but for striker Serban Dacian Varga his harshest critic remains the same – his mother.
The 25-year-old played a key role in helping Unirea win their first title last season, scored his club's first UEFA Champions League goal against VfB Stuttgart on Matchday 2, and has broken into Romania's national team this year. Yet one person still expects more. "I always speak with my mother before matches," Varga said. "She means everything to me, but she is never really satisfied with how I play. She never gives tactical advice, but what she does give, and this means everything to me, is morale and a good mood."
Varga has had plenty of reasons for cheer recently. He was playing second-division football when coach Dan Petrescu took him on loan from FC Sportul Studenţesc last term, turning him into a Romanian champion. After the No9's loan expired in the summer, following a yield of four goals in eight league starts, Petrescu returned to Sportul at the eleventh hour to bring him back to Unirea. Varga now locks horns with some of European football's biggest names.
The confident forward even predicted that Unirea – second in Group G behind Sevilla FC – would beat Rangers FC in Glasgow on Matchday 3. While the resulting 4-1 triumph could provoke a Rangers reaction in Wednesday's rematch on Romanian soil, he is again backing his side to meet the challenge. "It will be a much more difficult match than in Glasgow," he said. "I would say it will be a do-or-die game because their pride was deeply hurt when we beat them. They will give everything to succeed in Bucharest."
Unirea, though, have similar reserves of passion and desire according to Varga. "I want everybody to know we will give our lives on the pitch. To win, we will have to give everything because in the domestic championship we have not played as our coach wants and expects." Seventh in Liga 1, Unirea ended a three-match winless run on Saturday, overcoming FC Universitatea Craiova 3-2, and Varga promises another improved showing against Rangers at the Steaua Stadium. "It is important for us to have a full stadium," he said. "This would be a huge help and we will not disappoint anybody."