Bence Bocsak takes a look at the Hungarians taking the Bundesliga by storm.
The likes of Lajos Detari, Pal Dardai and Krisztian Lisztes are just three of many Hungarians who have had success in the Bundesliga over the years. Now, it seems that this long list will be extended by a few more.
It has been an incredible start for the Hungarians in the Bundesliga this season! Unfortunately, it’s rare to see Hungarians do well in prestigious leagues such as the Bundesliga, so it was a massive shock to see our Hungarians get off to such a good start. One in particular was Szabolcs Huszti who has been left to rot on the bench for Zenit during the last few season until he decided to flee the club this summer.
There wasn’t much clubs interested in the left winger, however his former club Hannover 96 decided to give him another chance and secured the services of Huszti by agreeing a 3 year contract with him. The Hungarian winger had a successful spell at the club from 2006-2009 where he managed to score 18 goals and make 21 assists in 87 appearances. The decision to resign Huszti is one that Mirko Slomka the current manager of Hannover will definitely not be regretting as Huszti has been incredible once again since his move. Although many doubted him at the start, they questioned whether or not he would be able to make the same kind of influence as before. However, Huszti who is now 29 years of age proved his doubters wrong straight away by producing an exceptional performance on match day 2 of the Bundesliga against Wolfsburg. Wolfsburg’s defence were torn to shreds by Huszti as he made 4 assists during the match and was clearly the best player on the pitch. Another outstanding performance followed against one of Hannover’s main rivals Werder Bremen as Huszti grabbed 2 goals and an assist for Hannover. Huszti’s last goal came in the dying second of the game when the scoreboard was still at 2-2, before the Hungarian winger scored a magnificent overhead kick to make sure his side won. However, while celebrating his goal Huszti was sent off as he was awarded two yellow cards for celebrating with the fans and taking his shirt off. That silly mistake made him miss the following game which Hannover lost 3-1 to Hoffenheim. He returned a weak later looking immense once again as he contributed with 2 assists and 1 goal to his side’s win over Nuremberg. Although since then we have not seen Huszti give an assist or score a goal in the Bundesliga, he’s still been playing well but he just hasn’t been able to reward his good performances with a goal or an assist. Hopefully, he will keep his performances up and we will Huszti playing well in the Bundesliga for a long time to come.
Another player who has been flourishing in the Bundesliga is young Adam Szalai. The 24 year old striker has been playing in Germany since 2010, although he did have a short spell at Stuttgart II during the 2006/2007 season when he was only 19 years of age. Szalai really came onto the scene though during the 2010/2011 season at Mainz when he started the season on great form, before suffering a massive setback as he was ruled out for nearly a year with a serious injury. He came back during the second half of last season; however he failed to produce his old performances and only scored 3 goals.
During this summer he had interest from other clubs and it took him a long time to decide on his future before committing himself to Mainz until 2015. Szalai and Mainz actually had a bad start to their campaign this season in the Bundesliga as Mainz failed to win their first two games and Szalai failed to grab a goal. However, since then Szalai has been on absolutely exquisite form as he has scored 8 goals in his last 8 Bundesliga matches this season. He also became the first Hungarian ever to score a hattrick in the Bundesliga as he produced sublime performance to make sure his beloved Mainz got the win. The form Szalai is in, I wouldn’t be surprised if he finished the season with about 20 odd goals in the Bundesliga. I also think it’s a matter of time before him and Mainz have to part ways, as if Szalai keeps on performing like he is I am sure a bigger club will come in for him either in January or during the summer next year. However, I am not too sure whether moving clubs would be the best option for him, obviously I would like to see him prove himself at a big club where he would play in Europe. However, too many Hungarians have made the wrong decisions when choosing their new club and I don’t want to see Szalai do the same. Right now though let’s hope he keeps this outstanding form running as at the moment he is a joy to watch.
During the last couple of games we also got to see the best of Zoltan Stieber in the Bundesliga. Stieber, who had a very unsuccessful time at Mainz last season, where lack of opportunities prevented him from proving himself at the club. The season before that he was magnificent in Bundesliga 2 for Alemannia Aachen where he scored 10 goals in 34 league appearances.
This summer he moved to newly promoted Greuther Furth hoping to get some first team football at the club. He didn’t get the many opportunities during the start of the season; however during his last 4 games he has finally been given a chance by his manager Mike Buskens. Stieber wasn’t quick to disappoint either as he has scored 2 goals and assisted 1 since during his last 4 games.His second goal this season was a stunning chip over the keeper against Frankfurt to make sure his side got the draw they deserved. He has looked very exciting over the last couple of games and it looks like he will have a successful campaign this season.
One player who is an exception from the players above is Tamas Hajnal who hasn’t had the best of starts to this season as he hasn’t played a full 90 minutes for Stuttgart in the Bundesliga only making 4 starts. He has been playing in Germany for ages now and maybe at the age of 31 he is not at his best anymore. Although, he has been fighting for his place and scored recently for Stuttgart in their DFB-Pokal game against St Pauli. I am sure he will keep fighting as he is a resilient and hard working man, and he won’t give up on his place easily.
One thing for sure the Hungarians doing so well in the Bundesliga has really increased the interest back home and it has been great watching our players do so well abroad. You don’t normally see Hungarian players performing well abroad, so it’s good to see that changing. Hopefully, we will see more and more players achieve great things around the world and increase the reputation of Hungarian football. Those players will also be able to implement their form into the national team which we have already seen through Adam Szalai and unfortunately not with Szabolcs Huszti due to him falling out with Egervari. So, I am optimistic this is just a start of more and more good things to come.