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Sport Ianis Hagi's Rangers tunnel vision as star bats away question over difficult Belgium spell

09:15  22 october  2020
09:15  22 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Ianis Hagi (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈhad͡ʒi]; born 22 October 1998) is a Romanian professional footballer who plays mainly as an attacking midfielder for Scottish club Rangers and the Romania

Hagi scored the third and winning goal as Rangers came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Braga.

He didn’t hang around all that long.

In fact Ianis Hagi could hardly get out of the place quickly enough from the moment Rangers offered him a route to Ibrox.

Just six months into a five-year contract at Genk, Hagi arrived in Glasgow on loan at the start of this year and the 21-year-old made the move more permanent in the summer when he put pen to paper on a long-term deal.

But the Romanian arrived back in Belgium on Wednesday looking to prove he made the right decision.

Tonight, after having to sit out Saturday’s Old Firm win at Celtic Park, Hagi hopes to return to Steven Gerrard’s starting line-up for a Europa League opener against Standard Liege.

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Rangers will be in Friday' s draw after a 4-2 aggregate victory over Braga.

Interviu exclusiv cu Ianis Hagi , imediat după transferul definitiv în Scoția, la Rangers FC. Ianis Hagi is one of the most talented young football players

It was in this competition last season the son of Gheorghe really began to make a name for himself as a key creative cornerstone of Gerrard’s big rebuild.

Hagi scored twice as Rangers recovered from two goals down at home to Braga to seal a 3-2 win – before finishing off the job off in the return leg in Portugal and making it through to the last 16.

Now he’s ready for another taste of the European action. Asked by a local journalist yesterday if he looks back on his short stint in Belgium as a success Hagi managed to say a lot by saying very little.

He said: “To be honest right now I’m not in a place where I like to talk about my past. Probably there will be a time when I talk about my past but right now I just want to focus on my present and future and I’m 100 per cent focused on this match and on how to get better as a football player.

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A. Belgium has always had a lot more than the faceless administrative buildings that you can see in the outskirts of its capital, Brussels. A number of beautiful historic cities and Brussels itself offer impressive architecture, lively nightlife, first-rate restaurants and numerous other attractions for visitors.

“Obviously, playing for Rangers, every game you have to win – you have to attack and you have to score goals.

“It’s a different level probably in Belgium. The league is more balanced between the teams.

“But the pressure and the mentality that Rangers have is different to the one I met in Genk.


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“It’s much harder to deliver but as I have said, I always dreamed of playing for a team like Rangers where you have to win every single game, even if it’s domestically or on European nights. You have to go out there and deliver.

“That’s something I wished for and now here I am.”

It will have stung his pride then to be stuck on the bench on Saturday at Celtic Park.

But he seems in the mood to do something about it. Hagi added: “My motivation is to try to get better every single day and try to deliver for the team.

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Ianis Hagi was denied by Luke Southwood early on and Florian Kamberi was also foiled by the visiting goalkeeper. Further efforts by Morelos, Steven Davis and Goldson were off target. Ianis Hagi ( Rangers ) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner.

Rangers are into the last-16 of the Europa League after away win in Portugal. Ianis Hagi missed from the penalty spot with the last kick of the first Hagi ' s sweeping ball over the top sent him scampering through the inside left channel. There was still plenty to do even after he evaded Sequeira's attempt at

“When I signed here I was looking forward to playing in an Old Firm game. It just didn’t happen at the weekend.

“There are still going to be other Old Firm games this season and hopefully I’ll be fit and prepared to play in them.”

And yet here he is again, with another big European night in his sights. He said: “Coming into this season it was one of my personal objectives to be playing in Europe again so I’m really excited and hopefully I can have better

performances than last season.

Ianis Hagi standing in front of a football field © Rangers FC/PA Images

“It’s really important to play on this stage as they are different games from the domestic ones.

“But, at the end of the day, it’s a football match and you just have to deliver.”

Asked if he believes Rangers can repeat, or maybe even better last season’s achievement of reaching the knocking out stages, Hagi said: “Yes, 100 per cent.

“We’re going into this group with the same mentality, to try to win games, get out of the group and try to go as far as possible.

“But we know this is going to be a tough first game.

“I remember the atmosphere was really nice and I know Standard are a really good team, especially at home.

“So obviously tomorrow will be different without a full stadium

but they’re at home so I expect a tough game.”

James Tavernier gets the job done for Rangers as they have to grind it out against Kilmarnock .
This was a day when Rangers would have settled for any kind of victory. So there could be no complaints from Steven Gerrard at the ultimately ugly manner in which they had to ensure they left Rugby Park with the precious result which moves them nine points clear of Celtic in the title race. © Connor Goldson' header is handled by Ross Millen to concede the penalty kick which James Tavernier c... James Tavernier’s 10th goal of the season, another emphatically finished penalty kick, proved sufficient for Rangers to succeed at a venue which has been a graveyard for their aspirations of winning the league in the previous two campaigns.

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