Top Five Hungarians to Watch

(by Bence Bocsak for HungarianFootball.com)

If you weren’t already aware, Hungary are currently competing at the U17 World Cup in Brazil with one of the strongest and most promising youth sides they have assembled to date. 

They will be hoping to emulate the feat of the U20 side who finished third in the World Cup exactly ten years ago, but they have some work to do after earning just one point in their first two matches. They have a vital group match against Ecuador on Friday.

Here are Hungary’s five best players to watch during the finals in Brazil. 

Mihaly Kata 

Club: MTK 

Position: Central Midfielder 

Kata is one of the most experienced member of the side having already established himself a regular for MTK’s senior side this season at just 17 years of age. 

He is definitely the one to watch in Brazil. He has great composure on the ball, fantastic vision and reads the game incredibly well. For someone so young it is clear he is blessed with an astute footballing brain. 

He was key in breaking up the attacks against Spain, Belgium and Portugal during the European Championships and his level headedness and strong mettle will be needed in the World Cup finals too. 

It is surprising that unlike some of his team mates, Kata hasn’t made the move to Western Europe just yet, though if he replicates his form from the European Championships he will undoubtedly have a fair share of suitors come after November. 

Andras Nemeth  

Club: Genk 

Position: Striker 

The fast and agile striker was Hungary’s best player at the U17 Championships earlier this year netting 3 times in 5 games. 

Originally born in Cape Town to a South African mother and a Hungarian father, he grew up in Hungary but was quickly snapped up Belgian giants Genk. 

Still just 16 years of age, Nemeth has already netted a hat-trick for Genk’s U21 side and opened his account for their U19 team at the UEFA Youth League against Napoli. 

He will probably miss the fixtures against Liverpool due to the finals, where he will be hoping to demonstrate his lethal finishing and rapid change of pace once more to dazzle opposing defenders and help Hungary qualify out of their group. 

Nemeth is at one of the best academies in the world for his footballing development right now and he is Hungary’s most promising talent. 

Krisztian Hegyi 

Club: West Ham

Position: Goalkeeper 

He is a towering figure at 1.93 metres already and an excellent shot-stopper. Set to be one of the most talented goalkeepers of his age group. His great reflexes were crucial throughout Hungary’s journey at the U17 European Championships in Ireland. He was especially key to help secure victory against Russia and Portugal where his saves often kept Hungary in the game. 

He moved to West Ham in April 2019 and has quickly established himself as the number one goalkeeper for the Hammer’s U18 side. 

He will be hoping to avoid the last Hungarian Peter Kurucz’s fate to play for West Ham who never managed to make a breakthrough with the English side. 

But he has all the talent and skill to make it far in the game and Hungary will be relying on him to keep the goals out when the going gets tough in Brazil. 

Samuel Major 

Club: Red Bull Salzburg 

Position: Central Midfielder 

A versatile player who was one of the creative sparks for Hungary at the U17 Euros. He can play in a central midfield role, on the wing and has recently featured as a right back for Salzburg’s U19 side against Liverpool in the UEFA Youth Cup. 

He has great ball control, excellent vision and reading of the game. He can also strike the ball well from distance. He showed his cool in Ireland at the U17 Euros earlier this year with a well struck penalty against Russia to help Hungary secure victory. 

He netted twice more in penalty shoot-outs against Spain and Belgium, meaning he will be a reliable from the spot if Hungary are awarded a penalty. 

He is at Salzburg where youth are given a regular chance and Major is making good progress. The Hungarian of course has Szoboszlai to look up to and he will be hoping to follow suit of his fellow compatriot in a few years time. A good World Cup performance may just be the catalyst. 

Akos Zuigeber 

Club: MTK 

Position: Winger 

One of the highest rated prospects still plying his trade in Hungary. Zuigeber was instrumental in helping Hungary qualify for the European Championships with some well struck late goals. 

His goal scoring record at U17 level is prolific having struck 8 times in 11 games. 

He is quick, direct and plays with real power in possession. His finishing is lethal but he is also clever in the final third and often plays some astute passes to create chances for his team-mates. 

With an incredible record for MTK’s youth team having scored 263 goals in 251 games, he has already become a key member of their senior side. Zuigeber has played 4 times for the club’s first team this season and scored twice whilst also giving out two assists. 

He will still only be 16 at the World Cup finals and with a strong performance it is inevitable top European clubs will be making moves to secure his services. 

(edited by Chris Barrett)