Balász Dzsudzsák faces a test of his professionalism as he returns to Debreceni VSC with PSV Eindhoven looking to deliver another blow to the Hungarian champions' chances of reaching the UEFA Europa League round of 32.
Defeats in their opening two games have left Debrecen bottom of Group I, and they know to expect another tricky proposition in the form of PSV and their left-winger Dzsudzsák. The 23-year-old Hungarian international blossomed with Loki, helping the club win three titles in a row between 2005 and 2007 before heading for the Netherlands in January 2008.
Coming home in such circumstances will be tough for Dzsudzsák, but he told UEFA.com he knew his responsibilities. "There are still a lot of emotional ties between DVSC and me and these links will continue after the game, but during the match no one in Debrecen can expect me to give anything but my best against Loki. I am a PSV player and my job is to do my best when I play."
PSV have already brought Dzsudzsák on, with his ability to hare past the last defender and deliver excellent crosses with both feet much admired in the Netherlands. His goalscoring record of 30 in 90 Eredivisie games is not to be sniffed at either, but his friends back at Debrecen always knew that the boy was a bit special.
His one-time captain Zsolt Vadicska recalled: "He is a talented player but he also had a special dedication to the game. Even when he was a small boy, he took extra lessons to improve and spent all of his free time practising shots and different techniques. That's what makes a talented player into a really great one."
General manager Sándor Szilágyi added: "He always respected the older players and he was really humble. He would ask the goalkeepers to stay out with him after training to practise free-kicks from the left and right, from near and far. Although he moved abroad and became a star player he still calls us frequently and is still same guy as he was."
Dzsudzsák continues to watch out for his old side, and is aware that – whatever previous results might suggest – they will be no pushover on home turf. "Debrecen are still a strong side," he said. "You can see their biggest strength when they play on the counterattack. They are sharp and quick and have some stylish creative players so they are not easy opponents."
The forward promised not to "run around the stadium with his shirt off" in the event that he scored against his old side, eager to maintain good relations with local fans. However, Debrecen are urging him on towards bigger things yet. Midfielder Zoltán Kiss explained: "He is a good guy and a good player. I am sure that PSV is not his last club; he will play for an even stronger side one day."
©UEFA.com 1998-2016. All rights reserved.