Hagi on Romania and his superstar father

UEFA.com sat down with Romania's Ianis Hagi to discuss the U21 EURO, his father Gheorghe and UEFA EURO 2020.

Ianis Hagi celebrates scoring Romania's second against Croatia
Ianis Hagi celebrates scoring Romania's second against Croatia ©Getty Images

Born in Turkey while his father – Romania great Gheorghe Hagi – was playing for Galatasaray, Ianis Hagi is looking to make an impact with Romania at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

The 20-year-old attacking midfielder is coached by his father at club side Viitorul Constanța, but as he tells UEFA.com ahead of Friday's U21 meeting with England in Cesena, he does not get any special treatment.

UEFA.com: Congratulations on securing Romania's first ever U21 finals victory; how important was it to beat Croatia in your first game?

Highlights: Romania 4-1 Croatia
Highlights: Romania 4-1 Croatia

Ianis Hagi: It was very important to start this competition on the right note. I knew they had a very good team with top-level players, but our team game is very good and we are a force to be reckoned with in attack. We have very fast players with good technique, so we managed to get what we wanted out of the game.

UEFA.com: There were big celebrations after every goal; was that a measure of how much it meant to Romania to win?

Hagi: Of course, [especially] considering these are the first points our country has earned at a U21 championship and it was our first victory as well. The stadium was packed with Romanian supporters, so it was super cool for us.

UEFA.com: Your next game is England. What are you expecting?

Ianis Hagi celebrates victory against Croatia
Ianis Hagi celebrates victory against Croatia©Getty Images

Hagi: It will be very tough. We know they also have a very good team but we were expecting that. We are at this tournament on merit with all the best teams in Europe and we are ready to fight on an equal footing.

UEFA.com: You have been with the senior Romania team recently; is it a dream of yours to play UEFA EURO 2020 games in Bucharest?

Hagi: Yes, of course. Everything is still in our hands [Romania are third in Group F]; we've picked up some pretty good results. It's up to us now. We have some home games coming up so we hope to win them, to qualify and, of course, to play in front of our supporters at our home stadium.

UEFA.com: Your father Gheorghe is considered to be Romania's greatest player of all time, and is your coach at Viitorul; how is your relationship?

Gheorghe Hagi watching his son in action
Gheorghe Hagi watching his son in action©Getty Images

Hagi: It's a player-coach relationship. Whenever I'm at my club, at the training ground or on the pitch, there's that respect between the player and the coach and I need to do everything I am told to do. When I get it wrong, I of course suffer the consequences.

UEFA.com: Has he spoken to you much about playing for Romania?

Hagi: Of course, I talk to him both before and after matches. It's a normal father-son relationship. I talk not only to him but to my whole family. He helps me before a match and, as he watches a lot of football, he knows all of our opponents, so he helps me with some tricks of the trade. But for the most part I know what I have to do.

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