EURO 2020 review: Hungary
Thursday, June 24, 2021
They may have come up just short, but Hungary's UEFA EURO 2020 was simply unforgettable.
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Hungary held holders Portugal for 84 minutes. They drew against the two most recent world champions, having led a total of three times against France and Germany. Marco Rossi’s side were six minutes plus added time away from knocking Germany out of UEFA EURO 2020 and progressing from Group F. In a word: unforgettable.
What were the positives?
Hungary were exceedingly compact in defence, helped ably by a tenacious midfield, whose work rate was simply astounding. They didn’t attack quite as much as they would have liked, but still scored three beautifully fashioned goals. Hungary were a team.
The Puskás Aréna: a frenzied, cauldron of noise. Attila Fiola’s goal and celebration against France. Ádám Szalai’s diving header against Germany. András Schäfer’s brave header in the same match. The fans and the team proudly singing the national anthem together in Munich after Hungary had almost achieved the impossible. It's impossible to choose.
What the future holds
Good things. Hungary, under Rossi, are compact, disciplined, and resilient. A team full of heart; one capable of hurting the very best. They're well placed in their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying group, then comes 2022/23 UEFA Nations League A football. There’s also young talent aplenty in Attila Szalai, András Schäfer, Roland Sallai, Szabolcs Schön and Dominik Szoboszlai.
Prediction for the rest of EURO 2020
Should England get past Germany, don’t be surprised to see them make the final. Should Portugal defeat Belgium, Ronaldo to finish as top scorer. If not, Lukaku. A France vs Spain humdinger in the quarter-finals, an under-the-radar march to the quarters for my dark horses Ukraine, and England vs Belgium at Wembley on 11 July.