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Hungary vs Germany: Under-21 EURO background, form guide, previous meetings

Co-hosts Hungary kick off their Group A campaign against Germany, who have reached the last two finals.

András Schäfer in action for Hungary's U21s
András Schäfer in action for Hungary's U21s Getty Images

UEFA European Under-21 Championship co-hosts Hungary face a stern task in their opening Group A game as they face Germany, who have reached the finals in the last two tournaments.

• The fixture at the Aréna Sóstó in Székesfehérvár brings together Hungary, who are featuring in the finals for the first time since the introduction of an eight-team tournament in 1998, and a Germany side who have twice lifted this trophy and have reached the semi-finals or better in each of the last three editions of the competition.

Previous meetings

2021 Under-21 EUROs: Meet the teams
2021 Under-21 EUROs: Meet the teams

• This is the sides' first competitive meeting at U21 level.

• The teams did cross paths in a Paderborn friendly on 1 September 2017, visitors Hungary running out 2-1 winners. A goal in each half from Donát Zsótér (15) and Máté Vida (60) proved decisive for a Hungary team led by German coach Michael Boris, Johannes Eggestein's 65th-minute response for Stefan Kuntz's Germany proving in vain.

• That was the teams' first fixture since a 3-0 Germany friendly win on 12 October 1994, an early Christian Nerlinger double (9, 16) setting up a victory that was confirmed by Alexander Zickler four minutes from time.

• Goalless draws in March 1994 and September 1983 mean it is honours even over the sides' four friendly fixtures with one win apiece.

• A Germany team including Jonathan Burkardt, Lars Lukas Mai and Jean-Manuel Mbom were 3-0 winners against Hungary in the European U19 Championship elite round on 26 March 2019. András Csonka, Norbert Szendrei, Szabolcs Schön and substitute Tamás Kiss were all in the Hungary team.

2021 Under-21 EURO: The host cities
2021 Under-21 EURO: The host cities

Form guide
Hungary
• This is the co-hosts' first appearance at the U21 EURO finals. Hungary and fellow hosts Slovenia are the only sides to be making their debuts at the 2021 tournament.

• Before the eight-team final tournament was introduced for 1998, Hungary reached the quarter-finals of the 1996 event, losing 4-3 to Scotland over two legs (2-1 h, 1-3 a).

• The Hungarians, who were also losing quarter-finalists in the inaugural edition of the U21 competition in 1978 and again two years later, enjoyed their most successful campaign in 1986, losing to eventual champions Spain 5-4 on aggregate in the semi-finals (3-1 h, 1-4 a) having beaten Poland 5-1 over two legs in the last eight (0-1 a, 5-0 h).

• Hungary's most successful European U21 Championship campaign since 1996 came in 2006, when they lost to holders Italy in the qualifting play-offs (1-1 h, 0-1 a).

• A team coached by Boris – who was succeeded by Zoltán Gera in June 2019 – finished fourth in qualifying Group 6 ahead of 2019 U21 EURO, behind Belgium, Sweden and Turkey having picked up 11 points from ten matches. Hungary lost their last five fixtures.

2019 Under-21 EURO review
2019 Under-21 EURO review

Germany
• Champions in 2009 and 2017, Germany were runners-up to Spain in the 2019 final in Italy, going down 2-1 in Udine having finished first in Group B ahead of Denmark, Austria and Serbia before beating Romania 4-2 in the semi-finals.

• This is the ninth time Germany have qualified for an eight or 12-team final tournament. Aside from their two titles, they were semi-finalists in 2015 and quarter-finalists in 1998. They also reached the last eight in 1990, 1992 and 1996.

• As West Germany, they were runners-up to England in 1982.

• Germany have reached the semi-finals or better in each of the last three U21 EUROs, and have progressed from the group stage in four of their last five finals appearances.

• Kuntz – who has been in charge since August 2016, leading the team to that 2017 European triumph – oversaw a 2021 qualifying campaign in which Germany finished five points ahead of runners-up Belgium in Group 9 despite losing home (2-3) and away (1-4) against them. Germany won their other six matches against Bosnia and Herzegovina, Wales and Moldova, including the last three.

2019 Under-21 EURO review
2019 Under-21 EURO review

Links and trivia
• Gera faced Germany in two international friendlies during his playing days - a 2-0 win in Kaislerslautern in 2004 and a 2-0 defeat in Gelsenkirchen in 2016.

• Dominik Szoboszlai and Mërgim Berisha were team-mates at Salzburg from 2019 to 2020.