In an interview with broadcasting company DAZN Italy, as relayed by Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, Hakan Çalhanoğlu has rated himself as Europe’s number one regista, or deep-lying playmaker.

As part of the interview, DAZN’s producers asked Hakan to rate regista’s around Europe including himself, Manchester City’s Rodri, Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich, Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos and Chelsea’s Enzo Fernández on a scale from one to five.

The Turkish international’s final list was as follows: 

  1. Hakan Çalhanoğlu
  2. Rodri
  3. Toni Kroos
  4. Joshua Kimmich
  5. Enzo Fernández

Before answering the question, the midfielder ensured that the question pertained to the regista position, deep-lying playmaker, rather than the mezzala role, a wide and attacking central midfielder- a position Hakan does not play at Inter.

After ranking himself ahead of some of Europe’s most talented midfielders, Çalhanoğlu gave his reasoning. The 30-year-old explained that, “Months ago I said that I was one of the best regista’s in the world, nobody believed me. But I know my qualities and I’m not afraid of anyone”. Hakan continued with confidence, “Nobody scores the goals I do, I don’t score goals from 5 metres, I score difficult goals. I never make 5 metre passes, I always try to make final passes, passes that lead to goals. But you can always improve”. He also noted that “now teams always man mark me, like against Roma. I have also grown in the defensive phase”. The midfielder concluded by giving kudos to his midfield partners, Nicolò Barella and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, stating that “with Barella and Mkhi helping me, we will always be able to create space”.

Hakan Çalhanoğlu definitely has a case to make as one of Europe’s top midfielders this season. The Turkey captain has completely reinvented himself at Inter under Simone Inzaghi playing in the regista role. Currently, Çalhanoğlu is enjoying an extraordinary season with nine goals and three assists to his name in Serie A.