Ádám Szalai, the captain of the Hungarian national team preparing for the Nations League matches against Germany and Italy, announced his retirement from the national team at a press conference. Afterwards, national team captain Marco Rossi also shared his opinion on the decision.
|Szalai last played for the national team during the 4-0 victory against England (Photo: Károly Árvai)|
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“I planned this press conference a little differently. After all these years, as team captain, I felt that I deserved not to have press reports a few hours before the announcement. I am still sitting here for one thing only, because of our fans, who I hope will continue to support us in the same way in the future. Of course, I have already brought all the news, but now I confirm that I will end my international career after the Italian match. This is not a recent thing, I have been looking for an appointment for this in the past weeks and months” he began passionately Adam Szalai.
“At the age of 35, I feel that the national team is on the right track, the national team captain is leading the team in the right direction. After the Nations League, our next stakes match will be in March, a European Championship qualifier. I wanted to find a time that would be suitable for the team to prepare to find my successor” – the team captain explained the timing of his decision.
“It was a huge dream of mine to play in the Hungarian national team. It was my biggest dream to make it happen. The fact that I was able to participate in two European Championships and be a part of it as a team captain is a huge experience for me. The successes and failures of the past years, as well as the criticism and support received during the worst periods, all helped me grow into an adult” – he declared, and then listed at length who owed thanks to everyone.
“Thanks to everyone who supported us, to the captains with whom we could work, to the teammates with whom we could play, and to our fans, without whom the team would not perform as it did. We were able to experience matches where the fans created a sensational atmosphere, I think this atmosphere is unique in the whole world. Togetherness and patriotism always came out next to them. I hope the national team will continue on this path, I want us to focus on the two games, I don’t want this to be any kind of farewell.”
After Ádám Szalai, the national team captain, Marco Rossi followed, who took the floor in a sad mood.
“When Ádám announced that he was leaving the national team, a lot of things came to mind. I’ve been thinking a lot about the situation since you told me about your decision. This is not a happy moment either from a personal point of view or from the point of view of the national team. I’m not in the same mood as I was three months ago, after the away game against England. I hope we get over this. The good memories remain. I understand your decision, even if it causes us a lot of trouble” – revealed the national team captain.
His best moments were as captain of the national team, and his worst moments were when he wasn’t with us – now I’m thinking of the defeats against the Albanians when he was absent due to injury and surgery. I respect your decision. Tactics and technique are important in football, but psychological aspects are also highlighted. Ádám was a player who could always be chosen as a leader. This ability did not come naturally, but everyone in the team recognized him.
“We are losing an extremely important player. No one in life is irreplaceable, but it will be difficult for us to replace him. The very first day when I started working on the bench of the national team, I received criticism because of him, but I can only say that whoever is so negative is only harming himself.”
Marco Rossi spoke about the selection of Ádám Szalai’s successor. The national team captain said that the decision will be in the hands of the players in the first round, as they have to accept a new leader, but at the same time he emphasized that the final decision will be in his hands.
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ÁDÁM SZALAI IN THE SELECTED
Adam Szalai On February 11, 2009, as a player of Real Madrid Castilla, he made his debut in the Hungarian national team during Erwin Koeman’s captaincy. He made his debut in a competitive match in September 2010, in a 2-1 European Championship qualifier at home against Moldova – Sándor Egervári was already the national team captain here – while he played for the first time as a starter a month later, also in a European Championship qualifier, against San Marino, and at that point he was already successful, and not even once, as he scored a hat-trick in the clash that ended with an 8-0 victory.
On February 29, 2012, after a longer, almost one-year absence caused by an injury, he returned to the field in the national team, and immediately scored against the Bulgarians. In September, the qualifying series for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil began, in which he also scored for the national teams of Andorra and Turkey.
On August 28, 2014, the newly appointed national team captain, Attila Pintér, announced the squad of the national team, of which Szalai was not a member. Not long after, the player stated that as long as Pintér manages the team, he does not wish to be available to the national team. Attila Pintér led the national team for five matches, and in the first squad announced by Pál Dárdai, who replaced him as the appointed national team captain, we met Ádám Szalai again.
He helped our team in eight matches in the 2014-2015 European Championship qualifying series, which ended with a historic success, and in the continental tournament in France, in our first match, he scored the lead in an unforgettable 2-0 win against the Austrian national team.
He started with five goals in six games in the qualification series of the 2018 World Cup, and later, in the qualifiers for the 2020 European Championship, he scored in a 2-1 win against the silver medalist of the current World Cup, Croatia, in a match in Budapest.
He scored Hungary’s only goal against Uruguay (2–1) in the preparatory match organized on the occasion of the handover of the rebuilt Puskás Arena.
He wore the captain’s armband for the first time on September 8, 2018, in the Nations League match against the Finns, and since then he has worn it a total of twenty-five times.
He last played for the national team on June 14, during the historic 4-0 victory at home to England. So far, Szalai has donned the crested shirt 84 times, scoring 25 goals and 5 assists in these matches.
SELECTED FRAMEWORK OF HUNGARIAN
Goalkeepers: Dénes Dibusz (Ferencváros TC), Péter Gulácsi (RB Leipzig – Germany), Péter Sappanos (Budapest Honvéd FC)
Protectors: Bolla Bendegüz (Grasshoppers – Switzerland), Endre Botka (Ferencváros TC), Attila Fiola (Mol Fehérvár FC), Ákos Ketskés (LASK – Austria), Adam Lang (Omonia – Cyprus), Attila Mocsi (Zalaegerszegi TE FC), Willi Orbán (RB Leipzig – Germany), Attila Szalai (Fenerbahce – Turkey)
Midfielders: Péter Baráth (Debrecen VSC), Milos Kerkez (AZ – Netherlands), Laszlo Kleinheisler (NK Osijek – Croatia), Adam Nagy (AC Pisa – Italy), No Loic (Mol Fehérvár FC), András Schäfer (FC Union Berlin – Germany), Stiles Callum (Millwall FC – England), Bálint Vécsei (Ferencváros TC)
Forwards: Ádám Martin (Ulsan Hyundai – South Korea), Daniel is rich (Philadelphia Union – United States), Adam Szalai (FC Basel – Switzerland), Dominik Szoboszlai (RB Leipzig – Germany), Zalán Vancsa (Lommel SK – Belgium)Varga Kevin (Hatayspor – Turkey)
LEAGUE OF NATIONS, GROUP ROUND
A-LEAGUE GROUP 3
September 23, 8.45 p.m.: Germany–HUNGARY
September 26, 8.45 p.m.: HUNGARY–Italy
HUNGARY’S SELECTED MATCHES SO FAR IN THE GROUP
June 4: HUNGARY-England 1-0
June 7: Italy-HUNGARY 2-1
June 11: HUNGARY-Germany 1-1
June 14: England-HUNGARY 0-4
|2. Germany||4||1||3||–||8 to 5||+3||6|
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