Hungary’s ‘Pajama Man’ Gábor Király Announces Retirement From Professional Football
Fanni Kaszás 2019.05.23.
Gábor Király, the goalkeeper who made 108 appearances for the Hungarian national football team and is well-known around Europe for his grey sweatpants, officially announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 43 on Wednesday afternoon.
In an official statement on his website, Király announced his choice to retire, summarized what he achieved over the years and thanked his family and friends for supporting him.
I thank football for teaching me everything and for making me a better person. I fought with honour, I always wanted to reach the top and I adapted myself to every mission humbly. I thank my family and my friends for always standing next to me and supporting me. I couldn’t have completed this fantastic journey, which lasted 26 years.
Back in 2016, the ‘pajama man’ announced his retirement from international football following the European Championship, 18 years and a record 108 matches. At the time, he released a statement on his on his official website explaining that he would continue playing with hometown team Szombathelyi Haladás. He has played for the team since 2016.
The former Hertha BSC, 1860 Munich, Crystal Palace, Burnley and Fulham stopper led Hungary to the round of 16 at Euro 2016, where he became the oldest-ever player to appear at a European Championships. At 40 years old, two months and two weeks, he overtook the previous record held by Germany’s Lothar Matthaus. The veteran goalie won the hearts and minds of fans with his trademark grey jogging bottoms – which he wore whatever the weather.
Several European sports portals have reported the Hungarian footballer’s resignation, including the German Sky Sport, the French L’Équipe and the Italian Calcio Mercato. Meanwhile, Hertha, one of Király’s former clubs, posted a tweet in which it recalled the last time the goalkeeper stepped on the field with the team exactly 15 years ago on 22 May 2004.