Despite Realistic Concerns, the New Coach of the Hungarian National Team is Up to the Task
The Hungarian national team’s newly appointed coach, Marco Rossi, has embraced his new position with sights set high. As Magyar Idők’s interview reveals, despite a number of concerns and rigorous objectives, the trainer feels excited rather than stressed.
Following Georges Leekens’ early and quick dismissal, Rossi signed his contract in June; however, up until last week, he continued to train his previous club while they searched for his replacement. Last weekend, Rossi watched four Hungarian championship games and evaluated potential players. Options are quite limited according to Rossi as he claims that the young players haven’t shown much potential, and the older players are nearing the ends of their careers. Therefore, he predicts that the core of the team will remain more or less the same.
His selection pool has narrowed even further as he insists on only picking athletes who regularly play with their clubs. As a result, Balázs Dzsudzsák–previously known as one of Hungary’s most promising talents–won’t probably have a secure spot as he is currently without a club.
Zoltán Gera–who Rossi considers the second best Hungarian player in the last 35 years–will work as his assistant. Having made 97 appearances with the national team, Rossi expects Gera to serve as an efficient, honest and competent mediator between himself and the players.
The objective has been set: Hungary must qualify for the upcoming UEFA Euro 2020. As reported previously, four of the tournament’s games will be held in Budapest’s expensive and newly built Puskás stadium. This leaves Rossi very little time to experiment, as Hungary is scheduled to play in the UEFA Nations League in Finland on September 8. There are two ways to qualify for the next edition of the European Championships: via the UEFA Nations League or through the usual qualification process. In the UEFA Nations League, only the overall winners of each of the four separate divisions can qualify. Hungary is currently set to compete with Greece, Serbia, and Romania among other teams.
Marco Rossi first arrived in Hungary in 2012 to coach Budapest Honvéd. In 2015 he played an indispensable part in avoiding relegation, and just one season later helped the team become champions. This achievement left many astonished as Honvéd receives fewer state funds and has a significantly smaller budget than Puskás Academy, Videoton or Ferencváros. In the next season, Rossi took over DAC Dunajská Streda (Dunaszerdahely)–a Hungarian club despite playing in the Slovakian championships. Rossi led DAC to its best performance in the Slovakian championships since 1994; the team finished third, securing them a spot in the Europe League.