Barcelona, Real Madrid and Romania legend Gheorghe Hagi has seen some pretty special nights in football, but even he was blown away by the Rangers support at Ibrox on Thursday night.

Hagi Snr was in town to watch 21-year-old son Ianis make his European debut for new club Rangers, and he saw his son smash in two goals to win the game 3-2 for the Gers.

It was a performance and result which had the talented former playmaker beaming, but he reserved special praise for the role the Rangers support played on the night.

Romanian footballing legend Gheorghe Hagi was at Ibrox on Thursday evening. (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)

“I watched a great game with extraordinary supporters. It was a fantastic evening,” said Hagi [Daily Record].

“I found it incredible the way Rangers fans supported and backed their team. There’s no doubt it gave the Rangers players a massive lift and gave them a huge shot of pure adrenaline.

“In my view, that was the secret of Rangers’ success. Their fans pushed the players to win.

“Rangers are a very big club, they are desperate to get back to where they were, so there’s a lot of motivation at the club. Ianis’ knows that and buys into it.”

Gheorghe Hagi, now 55, is currently the manager of Romanian outfit FC Viitorul Constanța and he also reserved special praise for Rangers gaffer Steven Gerrard after the game.


Citing the Liverpool and England legend as one of the main reasons son Ianis chose to join Rangers, Hagi believes the legendary midfielder is the best man to help develop his boy.

More than that, Gheorghe also believes that there is nowhere better than Ibrox for his 21-year-old son to be right now.

“From the beginning, the Rangers manager made it very clear he wanted Ianis. He was convinced of his quality,” said Hagi.

“The manager there is of great importance in Ianis’ development. He knows exactly how to get the best out of him. He knows how to talk to him and he knows how to integrate him in the group.

“Rangers have a very good group of players and supporters. That’s why I said they are an ideal club for him.

“For his mentality and his future growth, this is perfect for him. He’s just turned 21 and you can see the confidence growing in him.

“That’s come from the Rangers manager.

Rangers midfielder Ianis Hagi stole the show as the Gers came back from 2-0 down to beat Braga 3-2. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“I feel he is getting better every day. At Rangers, he is now playing in a top European competition and that will make him better. Young players need to experience this.”

Gheorghe Hagi is widely considered the greatest Romanian footballer of all time, making 124 caps for Romania and scoring 35 times.

Hagi also played for Steaua Bucharest, Brescia and Galatasaray during an illustrious 20 year playing career.

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