If anyone in the group stage won the sympathy of neutral football fans, then it is certainly the Hungarians. The outsider finished the competition in the group of death with two points, playing a draw with the current world champion, and then with the planetary ruler from 2014.
About six minutes separated them from the sensation and the passage to the eighth-finals, as well as the triumph over Germany, but they were saddened by Leon Goretzka, and Germany was lucky If you had asked the most optimistic fans of Hungary before the championship, hardly anyone would have claimed that his selection, without the most talented player Dominik Szoboszlai, would be dangerous for the mentioned giants, even Portugal, which broke through their wall only in the 84th minute (3: 0 defeat is not like it seems).
"The night after the game, I slept only fifteen minutes and that's very strange. I never thought that a draw with Germany would make me so empty and depressed," said Hungarian coach Marco Rossi, adding immediately: "I know we were good, but I'm extremely sorry.
" The crowded Puskas arena at the premiere saw a convincing defeat by Portugal, but also over 80 minutes of serious resistance from the hosts. This is where one of the most impressive details for Russia was born. "When we got off the bus after the first game, people applauded us, even though it was 3-0."
It was Cristiano Ronaldo who then confirmed their victory with, many will agree, the overblown goal celebration. The Hungarian coach did not miss that either. "Ronaldo is a great champion, but he can often be irritating.
After the penalty, he celebrated the goal as if he had scored it in the final. People notice such details."
The work that Rossi has done since coming to the helm of Hungary in the summer of 2018 is highly appreciated, both from the point of view of the fans and the football association.
Prior to his engagement, the Hungarians had problems with lower-class European teams. "The team that played before my arrival lost to Andorra, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg. I remember the 2019 game against Croatia. We lost it already in the locker room, and the reason was fear."
"Kadar allowed Luka Modric to steal the ball from him. Since then, I haven't called him to play for the national team, now he plays in China," Rossi recalled. The performances shown by the team of the 56-year-old Italian have raised his popularity in his homeland, and praise is pouring in on his account.
But Rossi doesn't get carried away. "It's something that won't last, but it's completely normal. I'm not interested in returning to Italy and I'll be happy if I leave a mark in Hungarian football."
"My grandfather told me about the great Hungarian national team. For me, Hungary is not like Austria or Switzerland. They practically adopted me "Rossi concluded.