Vienna (AFP) – Hungary’s German coach Bernd Storck on Tuesday named his final 23-man Euro 2016 squad anchored around captain Balazs Dzsudzsak and trouser-wearing goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly, who at 40 is set to be the tournament’s oldest player.
The “Magical Magyars” were one of the best sides in the world in the 1950s, but not since 1986 have Hungary even been to a big tournament, with decrepit infrastructure, corruption and hooliganism overshadowing the game in the country.
Now, with terrier-like redhead Laszlo Kleinheisler, nicknamed the Hungarian Paul Scholes, in midfield and a rock-solid defence, they could prove a handful in Group F for Austria, Iceland and Portugal.
For goals, though, the side might turn out to be over-reliant on the free-kicks of Dzsudzsak and bulky centre-forward Adam Szalai, who is based in the German Bundesliga.
“I’m not a top model, my job is defending,” Kiraly, set to be the competition’s oldest player since Germany’s Lothar Matthaus appeared at Euro 2000 aged 39, told AFP in a recent interview.
Kiraly is back playing in his home country after a long career spent in England and Germany, notably with Crystal Palace, Hertha Berlin and 1860 Munich.
Hungary begin their campaign against Austria in Bordeaux on June 14.
Hungary 23-man squad for Euro 2016
Goalkeepers: Gabor Kiraly (Szombathelyi Haladas), Denes Dibusz (Ferencvaros), Peter Gulasci (RB Leipzig/GER)
Defenders: Attila Fiola (FC Akademia), Barnabas Bese (MTK Budapest), Richard Guzmics (Wisla Krakow/POL), Roland Juhasz (Videoton FC), Adam Lang (Videoton FC), Tamas Kadar (Lech Poznan/POL), Mihaly Korhut (Debreceni VSC)
Midfielders: Akos Elek (Diyosgyori VTK), Adam Pinter (Ferencvaros), Zoltan Gera (Ferencvaros), Lazlo Kleinheisler (Werder Bremen/GER), Gergo Lovrencsics (Lech Poznan/POL), Zoltan Stieber (FC Nuremberg/GER)
Forwards: Balazs Dzsudzsak (Bursaspor/TUR), Adam Szalai (Hannover 96/GER on loan from Hoffenheim/GER), Krisztian Nemeth (Al-Gharafa/QAT), Nemanja Nikolic (Legia Warsaw/POL), Tamas Priskin (Slovan Bratislava/SVK), Daniel Bode (Ferencvaros)
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