Euro 2016 team-by-team guide: Everything you need to know about Hungary
Kevin Palmer gives us the lowdown on the France
Group F matches
- June 14th: Austria in Bordeaux
- June 18th: Iceland in Marseille
- June 22nd: Portugal in Lyon
COACH: Bernd Storck
This German tactician deserves credit for ending Hungary’s 30-year await to make an appearance in a major tournament, but his side’s qualifying push was hardly impressive as they finished behind Romania and Northern Ireland in a weak qualifying group.
Pal Dardai decision to quit his post as Hungary coach to take over at Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin last summer opened the door for the national team’s under-20 coach to step up to the top job and now he gets his chance to test himself on a tournament stage. His lists a stint as Kazakhstan national team among his former postings.
STAR MAN: Tamas Priskin (Slovan Bratislava)
A striker familiar to English soccer followers, this former Watford and Ipswich star has also scored goals during loans spells Preston, QPR, Derby and Swansea.
He is likely to be Hungary’s leading marksman at Euro 2016, with his goal in the play-off game against Norway last November crucial to securing his nation’s place in the Euro 2016 finals.
LOOK OUT FOR: Gabor Kiraly (Szombathelyi Haladas)
At the age of 40, this exuberant keeper is a talisman of the Hungary national team and he needs to lead their charge at Euro 2016.
Hungary’s most capped player, he had spells in English football with Crystal Palace, Burnley and Fulham and tends to act as a sweeper and a keeper for his national team, often racing off his line to clear the danger. He is set to become the oldest player to appear in a European Championship finals this summer, beating a record currently held by Germany’s Lothar Matthaus.
WILD CARD: Zoltan Gera (Ferencvaros) - https://twitter.com/karstxn/status/688767003134431233
Another Hungarian international who boasts experience in England’s Premier League, this silky play maker was a real force when he was at his best and while those days may be gone at the age of 37, he still has plenty to offer.
Previously with West Bromwich Albion and Fulham, Gera made his debut for Hungary way back in 2002 and at last he is getting a chance to shine in a major tournament.
VERDICT: Hungary were fortunate to be thrown into the weakest of the Euro 2016 qualifying groups, yet they were still not good enough to get through to the finals without a play-off.
While optimism is high in Hungary - especially for their crunch game against local rivals Austria - there is every chance that this ageing side will be heading home from France sooner than they might hope.