Agile and technical on the pitch, Gica Hagi is also elegant when in front of a camera. The best Romanian footballer of all-time praised Leo Messi: “I’m very happy to be able to see a player like him. He’s eager to win and to be the best, and off the field he’s honest and modest. He’s an example to youngsters.”

In the ongoing debate on who should be named the best player in the world, the ex-Azulgrana midfielder believes the accolade should go to the Argentine: “Messi is left-footed like me. Cristiano Ronaldo is phenomenal, but I pick Messi.”

An important day for Romania

The ex-Barça player also talked about the importance on FC Barcelona’s visit to his country: “the Liga and the Federation haven’t planed for any matches in Romania. This is the only match that will be played. There is a lot of respect for Barça here.”

Along the same lines, Hagi highlighted the Club’s greatness: “Barça are the best team in the world. They play a style of football that makes you enjoy the game and they’ve made history.”

His Azulgrana past

From 1994 to 1996, Hagi played for FC Barcelona. “I have friends and I have good memories from the two years I spent there, I learned a lot. I lived fantastic moments, but it was a shame that I didn’t win anything with the team,” said the Romanian.

“I like how Barça interprets the game, that’s why I signed with them,” said Hagi.

Lastly, he thanked his ex-teammate Pep Guardiola for his work on FC Barcelona’s bench these past four years: “what he has done is impressive and incredible.”