Rangers loanee Ianis Hagi insists he is living the dream after moving to ‘the best championship in the world’ with La Liga newcomers Deportivo Alaves.
In theory, the somewhat slower pace of football in Spain’s top-flight should suit Ianis Hagi down to the ground. What the Rangers-owned playmaker lacks in pace, he could make up for with poise and defence-splitting guile for an Alaves side sitting pretty in tenth after an impressive start to life back in La Liga.
Hagi made his Alaves debut off the bench against Valencia before the international break. And the resumption of the club season cannot come soon enough for a man desperate to make up for lost time after losing a year of his career through injury.
Ianis Hagi living the dream after Rangers exit
“I have reached the best championship in the world. Not the richest, but where the most beautiful football in the world is played,” Hagi smiles, speaking to Romanian publication AS.
“Spain won both women’s and men’s events (in international football). I have reached the league where I wanted to play as a small child, where the ball (can be) at my feet.
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“I can’t wait to get back to Spain, to play again. You saw on the field what motivation I have, but also the ambition to demonstrate (my talents).”
A £3 million signing from Genk back in 2020, it remains to be seen whether Hagi still has a future at his parent club. Even after recovering from a long-term ACL problem, the 24-year-old struggled to force his way into Mick Beale’s XI following the additions of Todd Cantwell, Sam Lammers, Abdallah Sima and co.
‘An extraordinary talent’
“It is a competition, La Liga, which lends itself very well to his style of play,” Gica Popescu, who played alongside Ianis’ legendary father Gheorghe Hagi for Romania and at Barcelona, tells ProSport.
“It’s a competition where most teams want to have the ball. It’s a style of play that suits Ianis very well.
“I am sure that, in the shortest period (of time), he’ll return to the form from before the injury. He is a player with potential and an extraordinary talent.”