In its next game at the EURO 2020, the Hungarian team is set to clash with France on Saturday. The reigning World Champion apparently respects the Hungarian team and looks forward to playing in front of a full and loud stadium. In the mean time, Hungarian players say they have to continue to play on the same level as they did against Portugal, at least until the 84th minute.
“Hungary is a great football nation”
After their victory in Germany, defender Raphaël Varane claimed that they consider Hungary a good team and do respect them. “They represent a different quality than the German national team, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that an easier game awaits us. Our Saturday opponent is a united one, their attackers may be dangerous on one-on-ones. We are really looking forward to playing them in front of a full stadium…”, the Real Madrid defender concluded.
“Hungary is a great football nation with good players,” said defender Lucas Hernández at the French team’s first press conference held in Hungary. “I’ve gotten to know them as a strong and aggressive team that defends strongly, giving little room for opponents. We need to be very focused, as they performed well against Portugal…their players played excellent football for eighty minutes, they held their own- this further highlights that it is a massive, strong team. I know the Hungarian footballers in the Bundesliga, I have already seen them play. I can be sure that they would want to outsmart us, so I have to pay attention,” said the Bayern Munich star, who had an indispensable role in France’s winning goal against Germany on Tuesday.
Everyone tends to forget about the Hungarians, but that match also promises to be a difficult one,” French star Paul Pogba also commented.
Same spirit and organization as against Portugal
As to the other side, following the performance against Cristiano Ronaldo’s team, Hungary’s goalkeeper appeared to be optimistic about the team’s outlook before the second game. “If we play like this against France, anything can happen, Péter Gulácsi said after Tuesday’s game.
Meanwhile, winger Roland Sallai highlighted that “our most important task now is to correct those mistakes we made in the first match and see how can we get even better. I am convinced that our team has the quality and strength, this time we have shown that we can perform well without one or two of our key players. We need to carry this over to the next match as well.” In response to a question about any potential advantages on their side, the Freiburg player highlighted the fans who are “one of the best worldwide” and who “gave us a huge boost by constantly cheering and by applauding us after the final whistle. They gave it everything, we did too – we continue on Saturday!, he concluded.
In reference to coach Marco Rossi’s statement, injured attacking midfielder Zsolt Kalmár, who showed up among the fans on Tuesday, said the team has no reason to cry, and they have to take up the fight with the other big teams as well. “I think they are ready for it because there is huge mental strength in the guys and you can benefit from such a meeting for the next coming matches too, even for the World Cup qualifiers,” he said.
Actually, the Saturday duel will be the 23rd one between the two opponents and interestingly the balance leans in favor of Hungary, who won 12 games and only lost 8. It was back in 2005, when the two faced each other for the last time (in Metz, France won 2-1).
Hungary-France in Group F kicks off today at 3pm Budapest time.
In the featured photo by Tamás Kovács/MTI