How did they make the play-offs?
Hungary started their qualifying campaign rather inconsistently, with a win, a draw and a loss from the first three games. In a fairly open group, without any big name national team, many would say all the places were up for grabs. Greece, champions in 2004, would’ve been expected to be up there, but surprisingly finished bottom as Northern Ireland shocked all by finishing as winners. Hungary however, continued with their inconsistent form, only gaining back-to-back wins once all campaign. They might be disappointed with finishing third, but they’re still in touching distance of qualifying.
Have they ever qualified for the Euros?
Since Belgium hosted the tournament in 1972, Hungary have failed to qualify for the Euros. In fact, their last major tournament was the 1986 World Cup, where they were knocked out at the group stage. But in the two European Championships they have been involved in, the Golden Team have finished a respectable third and fourth. Lack of experience may be a factor if they were to qualify for the finals, but they would go in with no pressure at all.
Who’s their man in charge?
Former Borussia Dortmund man Bernd Storck has been tasked with taking Hungary through to the Euros. Having earned most of his trade as an assistant manager, Storck has since been in charge of the Kazakhstan national side, both at U-21 and senior level. Before becoming senior coach for Hungary, the German was briefly manager of their U-20 side, so knows the youth players to bring through for the future.
Who’s been their star man?
Having been the only man to play in all 10 games for the Golden Team, Balazs Dzsudzsak is the heart of this current Hunagrian side, and a deserved captain. The winger, who plays in Turkey for Bursaspor, has been his country’s star man for many years. However, failing to secure a move to a big club has maybe held him back in his progression. Scoring the equaliser against Romania in the second game, the 28-year-old has played almost every minute in qualifying, providing two assists.
Will they be seen as a big threat?
Without a group of star players, Hungary have always played as a team to achieve success, and they’ll need to grind out performances to qualify this time round. A solid centre-back partnership between Tamas Kadar and Roland Juhasz is the key for this side, and they’ll need to forget any mistakes made in the 4-3 loss to Greece. Having just scored 11 times in 10 matches, Daniel Bode was the top scorer with two, they need the draw to be kind to them.