Why are Hungarian Footballers so eager to come home?


Recent weeks has stirred plenty of speculation in Hungary regarding the future of Roland Juhász and Balázs Dzsudzsák who are both thought to be wanting a return back to Hungary, Bence Bocsák investigates

Firstly, Dzsudzsák has finally been able to produce excellent performances in Russia, scoring 3 and assisting 3 goals in his last 6 matches for Dinamo Moscow. However, it’s not his good form what seems to be on the agenda in Hungary. In an interview with Nemzeti Sport, Dzsudzsák spoke about Dinamo’s awful start to the season and he was also asked if he misses the Netherlands where he was the star man at PSV, he replied by saying that he does miss PSV but he misses Hungary even more. Then his reply to the question whether or not he would return back to NB1 was: Why not? This is what has led to the rumours about his future, although a return to the Hungarian league looks very unlikely for the Hungarian winger.

Meanwhile in Belgium Roland Juhász has revealed that he has been thinking about a return to the Hungarian first division as well. The 29 year old has been a great servant for Anderlect playing for the club since 2005. However, he hasn’t been left on the bench frequently in recent weeks and has only made one league appearance this season. Rudolf spoke to Nemzeti Sport telling the newspaper that he was glad Dzsudzsák has finally came out to the media about this topic which they have talked about for a long time now. He also stated that football in Hungary has been improving recently and he would very much welcome a return.

Both stories are very different I have to admit, Roland Juhász is now 29 years old and his next transfer could be his last one so maybe it wouldn’t be as big of a shock if he moved to a top team in NB1. On the other hand Dzsudzsák is only 25 years old which means he is on the prime years of his career, so if he would move back to NB1 right now, it probably wouldn’t help him to develop his abilities as a footballer. However, I could see him return in the future, after he had a successful career abroad.

There is no doubt that Juhász and Dzsudzsák would improve the quality in NB1 and would definitely attract bigger crowds and more television viewers, also maybe if they return more and more players could follow in their footsteps. I mean just imagine Zoltán Gera at Fradi, Gábor Király at Haladás, Ádám Szalai at Újpest, Roland Juhász at MTK and Balázs Dzsudzsák at Debrecen , how good would that be? It would increase the reputation of NB1 instantly, we could also see more Hungarian teams in Europe which would bring in more money to invest in the domestic football scene.

Speaking of money that’s the biggest issue about this topic, as right now the teams in Hungary are struggling to pay top wages to their best players and that’s why they leave in the first place. So how would the teams be able to convince them to rejoin? That’s the most important question and I am struggling to find an answer, most people would probably point out to me that Gergely Rudolf returned to NB1 this summer but he was an unwanted free agent, nobody was willing to buy him until Diógyőr came along. Although he is getting a quite good pay for an NB1 footballer at 7 million forint a month, that is roughly about £19 500 and that all adds up to £234 000 a year which is nothing compared to the £2.2 million Balázs Dzsudzsák earns during a year in Russia without bonuses. That means if Dzsudzsák really wants to come home he would need to take a massive pay cut, and also play in a league which is nowhere near as good as the one he is in right now.  Also, the Hungarian players abroad learn so much more about football due to the fact that they get to go up against top class players, instead of playing in NB1 against players who are nowhere near as good as them. So right now, Szalai, Gera, Dzsudzsák, Juhász and co should stay where they are and then maybe one day when they are passed their best they could return to Hungary and give on their experiences to the younger players.

Another massive problem which affects the financial difficulties in Hungarian football is the facts that NB1 teams are struggling to get people to watch games, as football isn’t as popular as it used to be. Currently in Hungary kids want to play handball or water polo because those are the sports they see Hungarian’s have success in. Meanwhile the quality of these sports have increased, Hungarian football is still not at its best. Although, there has been improvement as Videoton have had a success of their own this year by qualifying to the group stages of the Europa League which was greeted with huge joy around Hungary, bringing good crowds to the Sóstoi Stadium so far. Videoton should be an example to follow for the national team and other NB1 team who get the opportunity to play in Europe, proving that you can beat teams who are stronger than you. If the Hungarian national team would qualify for the 2016 European Championship it would get more people interested in Hungarian football again and it would definitely be a major boost for the nation as well.

Finally, these statements have come after a very busy transfer window in NB1 this summer as we saw the likes of Gergely Rudolf and Péter Czvitkovics return to the Hungarian league. It’s a good start but there is still improvement to be made, so if Balázs Dzsudzsák will be making his way home to NB1 any time soon I would be very surprised. However, football is unpredictable and so is Dzsudzsák as he has made some crazy transfer decision so far in his career and you just never know what he is going to do next.