Players of the Hungarian national football team unanimously told media that the team’s Euro 2016 play-off clashes against Norway would be two of the most important games of their playing career. Hungary finished third-placed in its qualification Group F behind Northern Ireland and Romania, which means the national team must defeat Norway in order to qualify for next year’s European Championship to be held in France. Norway came third behind Italy and Croatia in Group H.
“This kind of games the reason why we have become footballers”, striker Krisztián Németh said who has been through a long and successful season with MLS side Sporting Cansas. Hungary’s team captain Balázs Dzsudzsák, winger of Turkish side Bursaspor, added that he would do much more for the team than he did before because the “next two games are the most important games of my career.” “The stakes are very high indeed, but we need to keep calm and focus on our game to achieve a good result”, Hoffenheim forward said Ádám Szalai, who has returned to the squad of the national team after missing the last two games against Faroe Islands and Greece.
The national team’s German head coach Bernd Storck said he was rather satisfied with the physical and tactical preparation the players went through during last week. “We have a solid and quick team even in international comparison”, he insisted. “It is crucial that everybody needs to give 100%”, he said, adding that he already knows which players will make the starting lineup and what tactics the team should use against the strong Nordic opponent. “We want to achieve a good first leg result in Oslo, which could be a good starting point for us in the second leg to be held in Budapest”, Storck said.
The first leg will take place in Oslo on Thursday (20.45), while the second leg will be held in Budapest’s Groupama Arena on Sunday (20.45). Norway have not lost against Hungary in over 30 years and won five and lost eight of their 18 meetings with Hungary though they are unbeaten in nine games against the Hungarians (W4 D5) since back-to-back defeats in qualifying for the 1982 FIFA World Cup. The first leg game could be goalkeeper Gábor Király’s 100th appearance for the Hungarian national team.
Gábor Király (Szombathelyi Haladás)
Ádám Bogdán (Liverpool)
Balázs Megyeri (Getafe CF)
Attila Fiola (Puskás Akadémia)
Roland Juhász (Videoton FC)
Vilmos Vanczák (FC Sion)
Tamás Kádár (Lech Poznan)
Richárd Guzmics (Wisla Krakow)
Ádám Lang (Videoton FC)
Predrag Bosnjak (Szombathelyi Swietelsky Haladás)
Ádám Nagy (Ferencváros)
Ákos Elek (Changchun Yatai)
László Kleinheisler (Videoton FC)
Zoltán Gera (Ferencváros)
István Kovács (Videoton FC)
Ádám Pintér (Ferencváros)
Gergő Lovrencsics (Lech Poznan)
Zoltán Stieber (Hamburger SV)
Dániel Böde (Ferencváros)
Tamás Priskin (Slovan Bratislava)
Nemanja Nikolics (Legia Warsaw)
Ádám Szalai (TSG Hoffenheim)
Balázs Dzsudzsák (Bursaspor)
Krisztián Németh (Sporting Kansas City)
László Pekár (Puskás Akadémia)
via hirado.hu and mlsz.hu photos: Tibor Illyés – MTI