Manager: Bernd Storck
Colours: Red shirt, white shorts and green socks.
Twitter: No official account but @MagyarFociLIVE should serve you well.
v Austria (June 14, Bordeaux)
v Iceland (June 18, Marseille)
v Portugal (June 22, Lyon)
Third Place (1964)
Fourth Place (1972)
When it comes to history and tradition, few can come close to Hungary. An immensely-talented side lead the way in European football from the early to mid-twentieth century, introducing what can only be described as ‘total football’.
The Magical Magyars’ 6-3 victory over England at Wembley in 1953 eptimised their quality, becoming the first non-British or Irish side to defeat the English on their own turf. A Ferenc Puskas-inspired outfit reached the final of the 1954 World Cup before a group stage and a quarter-final exit in 1958 and 1962.
Despite not winning the Euros, Hungary certainly left their mark on the tournament when they obtained a third place finish in 1964 before they finished fourth in 1972. This summer’s finals will be their first European Championships in 44 years though and you can bet that this crop of 23 players will want to leave their own mark.
How They Got There
The Hungarians got off to a dismal start when attempting to qualify for their first European Championships since 1972. After going ahead courtesy of a Tomas Priskin strike with a quarter of an hour remaining, Hungary conceded a valuable lead at home against Northern Ireland due to late Niall McGinn and Kyle Lafferty goals.
Manager Attila Pinter, who has just recently guided Mezokovesd to promotion, lost his job following the defeat and novice Pal Dardai took the helm. A valiant point against arch-rivals Romania in his first competitive outing in charge set the tone as the 40-year-old guided Nemzeti Tizenegy to vital back-to-back victories over Finland alongside obtaining points against both Greece and the Faroe Islands.
Dardi, who has said to have made the biggest impact of the three managers who took the reigns of the national team during the qualification period, left his position to focus on Hertha Berlin’s charge for a European spot. Bernd Storck took over and ensured a third place finish due to draws over Romania and eventual group winners, Northern Ireland.
A play-off with Norway stood in the way of a place in Euro 2016, which Hungary navigated superbly. A surprise call-up for Laszlo Kleinheisler paid dividends after the attack-minded midfielder opened the scoring in Oslo. An early goal in from Tomas Priskin in Budapest all but sealed qualification due to Hungary’s defensive approach.
v Northern Ireland – 1-2 (H), 1-1 (A)
v Romania – 1-1 (A), 0-0 (H)
v Finland – 1-0 (H), 0-1 (A)
v Faroe Islands – 0-1 (A), 2-1 (H)
v Greece – 0-0 (H), 4-3 (A)
Draws with a talented Croatia team and African champions Ivory Coast, both coming before a decent performance against world-champions Germany, are testament to Hungary’s quality. These friendlies, that were well organised by the Hungarian Football Federation, gave Storck’s men an opportunity to face sides of severe quality going into a competitive tournament.
A brilliant Balazs Dzsudzsak free-kick secured that aforementioned draw against Croatia and the winger will be integral to his team’s chances in France. The Bursaspor forward might not have fulfilled his potential at club level due to a few damaging transfer moves in recent years, but shines in his national team’s jersey.
Tricky, agile, two-footed and a dead-ball specialist, Dzsudzsak has to potential to bring the game to the opposition. Superb on his day, Dzsudzsak will be at the forefront of everything Hungary do in the final third of the pitch despite plying his trade on the right flank.
Midfielder Laszlo Kleinheisler, who impressed so greatly in the play-offs that he was offered a contract with Werder Bremen, plays in the number 10 role for his country and provides the unpredictability that Hungary might otherwise lack. Nicknamed Scholes due to his hair colour, expect he and fellow youngster Adam Nagy to appear regularly for years to come.
Goalkeepers: Gabor Kiraly (Szombathelyi Haladas), Denes Dibusz (Ferencvaros), Peter Gulasci (RB Leipzig)
Defenders: Attila Fiola (FC Akademia), Barnabas Bese (MTK Budapest), Richard Guzmics (Wisla Krakow), Roland Juhasz (Videoton FC), Adam Lang (Videoton FC), Tamas Kadar (Lech Poznan), Mihaly Korhut (Debreceni VSC)
Midfielders: Akos Elek (Diyosgyori VTK), Adam Pinter (Ferencvaros), Zoltan Gera (Ferencvaros), Lazlo Kleinheisler (Werder Bremen), Gergo Lovrencsics (Lech Poznan), Zoltan Stieber (FC Nuremberg)
Forwards: Balazs Dzsudzsak (Bursaspor), Adam Szalai (Hannover, on loan from Hoffenheim), Krisztian Nemeth (Al-Gharafa), Nemanja Nikolic (Legia Warsaw), Tamas Priskin (Slovan Bratislava), Daniel Bode (Ferencvaros)