The German national football team will face Hungary in Leipzig on Friday (September 23, 2022). This is the penultimate group game for both teams in the Nations League and could be a preliminary decider for the group win. Pal Dardai is a great expert on Hungarian football. In an interview, the 46-year-old man explains the sports boom in his native country.
Pal Darda, the Hungarian team is currently playing well in the League of Nations. Two wins against England, a wonderful draw against Germany. Why is the team so strong right now?
Pal Darda: First of all, a big compliment to the entire management, coaches and staff of the Hungarian FA for building football in Hungary. After I managed to get to the European Championship together with Bernd Storck as national coach, the team had to be changed because it was simply too old. Now there is a generational change, which the current coach of the national team, Marco Rossi, has done very well. The team works like a machine, like an Italian Screw. She handles the back five very well. If you try to survive it only with football games – it is impossible. You have to take the lead against Hungary, otherwise it will be very difficult.
Hungary’s line-up includes three RB Leipzig players – Willi Orban, Dominik Szoboszlai and Peter Gulacsi – who are not doing well in the league at the moment. Will it affect the national team?
Darday: Not this Intermission RB Leipzig is in the Bundesliga and it’s a win-win situation for the players. At the moment, there is a good atmosphere in the national team. The three of them had an optimal training camp, so now they come to Leipzig, full stadium, good atmosphere. This will help. The Hungarians can also get another draw in Leipzig, maybe even an away win. We know that Lothar Matthäus was also able to do this with the Hungarians in Kaiserslautern. The best teams are suitable for Hungarians. They are good, they can counterattack, it doesn’t bother anyone to have only 35%.
Pals Dardai became the coach of the Hungarian national team in 2014. in November
Central Hungary 34-year-old forward Adam Szalai is the oldest in the team. He gets little playing time at FC Basel. He has also come under some criticism for his performances in the national team. Nevertheless, coach Rossi is sticking with him. Or so?
Darday: Adam is Coach Rossi’s outstretched hand. Much like Thomas Müller at Bayern Munich. He moderates the entire game. When do we get on, when do we get off? He is very disciplined on the ball both offensively and defensively and can always play together. His teammates look for him to win the ball. He’s looking for a game changer, he’s on offense, he’s taking standards. The way he works for the team upfront is unique.