Marco Rossi answered journalist questions during the press conference (Photo: MLSZ/Gábor Baricsa)

 

– Can Paks striker Martin Ádám, who leads the NB I goalscoring list, count on the national team invitation?
– Martin Ádám is certainly closer to the national team than ever before – said Marco Rossi, head coach of the Hungarian national team, at a press conference on Friday morning in Telki. – He took the personal advice he had received recently – he runs more, faster, and he is more dynamic and fit than ever before. We also have our eyes on Soma Novothny, who signed with Cyprus in the winter. After Germany, he will have more opportunities there, but Paks's striker is in a better position in terms of the invitation.

– Was Martin Ádám really expected to lose weight?
– I don't want to go into this in much detail, but the players who play for the national team certainly represent the entire Hungarian football world. I find it important that the Hungarian players are seen as professionals on the international level too. I'm going to talk to the striker personally in the next few days, and if he performs like that in the next few weeks, we'll probably invite him in for the next training. I wonder how he'll fit in the community and the team.

– What do you think of the winter transfer window from the national team's point of view?
– András Schäfer and Kevin Varga, who signed for Young Boys, have also made progress, and István Bognár's contract with Cyprus is also noteworthy. We're paying attention to every player who goes to a league stronger than the NB I and has a new challenge to face.

– When are you going to announce the squad for the pre-season matches against Serbia and Northern Ireland?
– On March 14th.

– Are there any young players, either from the U21 or U19 national teams, who'd you like to try out in the next two games?
– All the potential players are in the picture, but talent alone is not enough. It is also important to throw players into the deep water at the right time in order to avoid burning them. As for the specifics, I am aware that City Football Group bought Zalán Vancsa, but if I look at his minutes of playing in adult football, the invitation is not relevant at the moment. If I'm not mistaken, he will play for MTK's U19 team in the spring, but this level is far from international adult football, so the invitation is not justified yet. However, he can definitely be one of the important players of the future if he works hard. In the U21 national team, András Németh also came out with a good performance and scored goals, but he did not get enough minutes of play in Genk to count on him now, and Milos Kerkez has not yet delivered a performance that would call for an invitation. We don't have young players like Gavi at Barcelona, who became a key player at his club at 17 years old. When the time comes, we try to give the opportunity to the young people who deserve it. Tamás Kiss and Botond Balogh could prove themselves in the fall, but everyone has to earn the invitation. Let's just say that we can probably count on two or three recruits to the next squad. Although there is no shortage of recommendations...

– What do you mean?
– That since I've been working as a head coach, I've never criticized my colleagues. In comparison, sometimes, I read that club coaches recommend a footballer to me in the newspaper, or they do not understand why their player in good shape does not receive an invitation. I would like to inform you that if anyone wishes to draw my attention to a player, I am always available on the phone to all my colleagues, but I do not want to receive ideas through the media.

Callum Styles (Photo: Getty Images, archive)

What is the reality of Corbu Marius' naturalization?
– According to the relevant international rules, this is not possible at the moment, because although his ancestors are Hungarians, they were not born in Hungary, and it hasn't been five years since he started playing football in the country. Also, we have our eyes on Callum Styles, who is of Hungarian descent through his grandparents. He would fit very well in the national team, he can be used in many positions in midfield, his strength is his left foot, and he is very tactical. He is only 21 years old, but I am ready to send him an invitation if the rules allow it to do so.

Which position seems to be the biggest problem?
– I would have said the left side before, but Zsolt Nagy has performed well in the last few matches in this position. He plays regularly at the Puskás Akadémia and he did what I expected from him in the national team. So, now we're in trouble with the center striker. Ádám Szalai is in good condition after his operation, he is still the captain, the number one center, but he is already thirty-four years old. I don't know how long he will play, and if he falls out, there is no footballer in the field who can substitute him. Roland Sallai and Szabolcs Schön are different types of players, and the aforementioned Martin Ádám has never played for the national team, so he is questionable for now.

Can Tamás Kádár, who has signed with Újpest, have a way back?
– Based on his age, yes. The 57 caps are not a coincidence, but at the time, he excluded himself from the national team. Though with proper performance, the door is open to anyone.

Do you plan on sending the strongest team to the games in March?
– Yes, we will send an invitation to all the Hungarian players in the Bundesliga, and then we will see how their clubs will react. It has happened that a club tried to put pressure on the player and was reluctant to let him go. In this regard, I can say that we respect the clubs, we strive to maintain a fair relationship, but in return, we expect them to act the same way. We are aware of our rights and opportunities. If they want a footballer not to play against Serbia and Northern Ireland, they should not notify us through the players, but directly.

By the way, what do you expect from the match against Serbia and Northern Ireland?
– 
For now, I'm just focused on Serbia. We meet the team that defeated Portugal in the World Cup qualifiers, and the fans only see this game as a friendly match until the starting whistle. According to the paper form, we can lose by three or four goals, and if it, God forbid, will happen, nobody's going to care that it was just a warmup. Because of the expectations, we don't have a "just" friendly game, and as a coach, it's not worth looking too far ahead anyway. If I sense it well, because of the last few years' results, most of the fans, the profession, and the media are supporting us now, but two or three weaker matches are enough to demand my departure. A coach should always be prepared for every match as it would be his last.

Would expanding the number of teams in the NB I and reintroducing the “youth rule” increase the immersion potential?
– As far as the number of teams is concerned, we should first examine whether there are 16 teams in Hungary that would be competitive in the topflight. There is no point in expanding it so that five or six teams from the field are fighting among themselves to remain in the league. Regarding the youngsters, I would just say that when we won the championship with Honvéd, we were the only club that followed the recommendation for young people from the beginning to the end of the season. That meant we shouldn't be scared if the player is young. I also want to be 20 years younger.

HUNGARIAN NATIONAL TEAM SCHEDULE UNTIL SEPTEMBER

PREPARATION MATCH
March
24
HUNGARY–Serbia (Puskás Aréna)
March 29

8.45pm:
Northern Ireland–HUNGARY (Belfast, Windsor Park)

NATIONS LEAGUE, GROUP STAGE
LEAGUE A, GROUP 3

HUNGARIAN NATIONAL TEAM PROGRAM
June 4, 6pm:
HUNGARY–England
June 7, 8.45pm: Italy–HUNGARY
June
11, 8.45pm: HUNGARY–Germany
June 14, 8.45pm:
England–HUNGARY
September
23, 8.45pm: Germany–HUNGARY
September
26, 8.45pm: HUNGARY–Italy

(Translated by Vanda Orosz)