Attila Szalai (second from right) is looking forward to the start of the European Championship for the Hungarian team (Photo: Nemzeti Sport)

 

Hungary's national team center back, Attila Szalai, is looking forward to the day of the match against Portugal. The Fenerbahçe player said that one of his famous teammates had recently sent the Hungarian team his best wishes.

"Mesut Özil wished us good luck for the European Championship. He also said that in addition to cheering for the Turkish and the Germans, he will support us, too."

Attila Szalai told the reporters that he owes a great deal to his father, former national team player Attila Szalai, Sr. for making it this far in his career.

"He could pass me things from a very young age that not all children could get. I learned from my father how to train, regenerate, or even eat properly. For that matter, we still do a lot of special training together if we have the time. When I was a little boy, I had coordination problems because I grew quickly. However, with Dad's help, we were able to improve and correct everything quickly."

At the press event, the center back also briefly summed up the key to the team's success.

"We have to be perfect both mentally and physically."

The center back is looking forward to running onto the pitch against Portugal on June 15 in front of a crowd of 60,000 people.

Our stadium and fans are fantastic," he concluded.

The other participant of the press conference is third-choice goalkeeper, Ádám Bogdán, who has little chance to enter the pitch. The FTC player said he doesn't mind being cast in that role.

"I'm surrounded by goalkeepers I respect and love. I help the others and can be part of a fantastic community. Being a player for the current Hungarian national team is a very big deal, but I don't think I'll play at all."

Although Bogdán hasn't played for the national team in recent years, he's experienced in a short time that he's part of a team that works very professionally and consciously.

“It's an interesting feeling that I may be one of the oldest players, but, as a half-new person, I've been watching how the team behaves together, what habits they have. It's a very professional squad that works extremely hard, does a lot of hard training. Helping each other is the team's strength. I feel like that's the key to success in contrast to other teams.”

The 33-year-old goalkeeper also said he and his fellow players aren't concerned with others' expectations.

"We have expectations of ourselves. Our opponents are probably the world's best teams. We have to play football with courage and trust in ourselves."

HUNGARIAN SQUAD
GOALKEEPERS: Ádám Bogdán
 (Ferencváros), Dénes Dibusz (Ferencváros), Péter Gulácsi (RB Leipzig – Germany)
DEFENDERS:
 Bendegúz Bolla (MOL Fehérvár FC), Endre Botka (Ferencváros), Attila Fiola (MOL Fehérvár), Ákos Kecskés (FC Lugano – Switzerland), Ádám Lang (Omonia – Cyprus), Gergő Lovrencsics (Ferencváros), Willi Orbán (RB Leipzig – Germany), Attila Szalai (Fenerbahce – Turkey)
MIDFIELDERS: Tamás Cseri (Mezőkövesd), Dániel Gazdag (Philadelphia Union – United States), Filip Holender (Partizan Beograd – Serbia), László Kleinheisler (NK Osijek – Croatia), Ádám Nagy (Bristol City – England), Loïc Nego (MOL Fehérvár), András Schäfer (DAC – Slovakia), Dávid Sigér (Ferencváros)
FORWARDS: János Hahn (Paksi FC), Nemanja Nikolic (MOL Fehérvár), Roland Sallai (Freiburg – Germany), Szabolcs Schön (FC Dallas – United States), Ádám Szalai (Mainz – Germany), Kevin Varga (Kasimpasa – Turkey), Roland Varga (MTK Budapest)
HEAD COACH: Marco Rossi (Italy)