Nov 16th 2021

The Turkish midfielder spoke to 433 about his childhood and time at Inter so far

MILAN – Childhood, Turkey, Inter, objectives and family life were all on the agenda for Hakan Calhanoglu during an episode of 433’s The Home of Football podcast which was dedicated to the Nerazzurri midfielder.

What was your childhood like?

“I was a boy with huge dreams. My father always pushed me so much. Whenever I had free time, I’d play football with kids who were bigger than me. My biggest dream was to make my family proud. They’re the ones who’ve allowed me to become Hakan Calhanoglu. 

“My father was always by my side, always went everywhere with me and was part of every step in my career. That’s why I’ll always be grateful to my parents.

“My father was also my coach and he was very strict with me. I’m pleased that my parents are proud of me.”

Turkey and family

“I was born in Germany and my father was born in Turkey, so I had to choose which national team to play for. I felt very honoured when I choose Turkey. I’m proud of my decision.

“I now play for Inter and Turkey, which is proof that if you believe, you can accomplish any target that you set.

“I really like going back to Turkey. I go back whenever I have time because the country inspires me. The countryside is fantastic and I love spending time there with my family.”

Joining Inter, the dressing room and the team’s progress

“I decided to join Inter because I wanted a new challenge in my career and I reached that decision with my family. I’m pleased to be here. It’s a huge club that won the Scudetto last year and is playing in the Champions League.

“Before I came here, I knew that Inter were a top team. The day when I arrived was fantastic, but there was hardly anyone here because so many of the players were on international duty, but then they started coming back and it was brilliant to get to know the whole squad.

“I have a great relationship with everyone, especially Denzel Dumfries and Stefan de Vrij, given that they speak Dutch, which is similar to German, so we understand one another well.

“I already knew Simone Inzaghi from his time in charge of Lazio. There was a strong connection with him from the start, which has grown ever since, thanks to the hard work that we’re doing on a daily basis.

“My debut against Genoa was special. I was happy to score and get an assist. I wanted to show what I could do from day one and I managed it in that game.

“As for dreams, mine are similar to everyone else’s, but I don’t want to say too much about them. Of course, we want to battle to win the league. We beat Sheriff in the Champions League and now we want to get a good result against Real Madrid and Shakhtar. Then we have the Coppa Italia as well.”

Italian version

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ROME, ITALY - MAY 24:  Samir Handanovic of FC Internazionale rises up the trophy with his team-mates at the end of the Coppa Italia final match between ACF Fiorentina and FC Internazionale at Stadio Olimpico on May 24, 2023 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Mattia Ozbot - Inter/Inter via Getty Images)


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