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Hungary's national coach Marco Rossi: Italy's world export champion

2022-09-23T08:10:13.178Z

Marco Rossi has turned Hungary's national team into a top team. The Italian prescribed qualities for the team that he brought with him from his home country. A success that not many believed him capable of.



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Hungary coach Marco Rossi

Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Whoever thinks of Hungary when it comes to Eintracht Frankfurt is very likely to think of Lajos Detari, the football Mozart from the late 1980s whose feel for the ball delighted the crowds in the Waldstadion.

Very few will think of Marco Rossi.

It was a frugal time, this one season, 1996/1997, when Rossi joined Eintracht Frankfurt at the age of 32 in the autumn of his professional career.

Eintracht played under Dragoslav Stepanovic in the 2nd division, Rossi played 15 games, the first against Fortuna Cologne.

Before Germany, Italy, England

It all sounds a bit sad, but now both have achieved better times.

Eintracht has won the Europa League, and as the national coach of Hungary, Rossi can at least dream of winning the group stage of the Nations League.

Before the guest game in Leipzig against the DFB-Elf in the evening (8.45 p.m. ZDF, live ticker SPIEGEL.de), the Hungarians are leaders in a group with the three world champions England, Germany and Italy.

One should not underestimate the part that Rossi played in this.

"Rossi has managed to put together a team that leaves little room for the opponent," said national coach Hansi Flick in words of praise for his colleague on Thursday.

You can say that Hungary now plays more Italian than the Italians.

"There are few teams that I know that are more uncomfortable to play against," says Joshua Kimmich.

Kimmich knows what he's talking about.

Last year at the European Championship, the German team struggled to draw 2-2 and thus just avoided the early elimination that only came over them a game later in the round of 16 against England.

And in the Nations League in June, the Flick-Elf narrowly escaped the first defeat under the new head coach, the 1-1 was at least flattering.

Memory of the Wonder Elf

In both games, the freedom for the German players was almost non-existent. "It's a team where everyone runs for everyone," Timo Werner is also aware of the difficulty of the task.

Rossi has focused on defensive stability since taking office in 2018.

But the team proved that they can do things differently with the now historic 4-0 win in England in June, a humiliation for the English at Wembley.

And in Hungary they have already leafed through the history books in memory of that legendary 6: 3 victory of the wonder eleven around Major Puskas in England in 1953.

Rossi cannot defend himself against such comparisons, but he may also accept them as a reward for a career that was not foreseeable that it would end at the top of the Nations League.

Rossi's coaching career has been a slog.

AC Lumezzane, Aurora Pro Patria, Spezia Calcio, Scafatese Calcio, Cavese 1919 - this is not the delicatessen department of Italian club football, Serie C, Third Division.

Only then did Rossi go to Hungary, he likes to say that his grandfather Luigi was a huge fan of the Hungarian wonder eleven and "told me about it every day".

At some point, curiosity got the better of what his grandfather's place of longing was all about.

A phone call from the owner of Honved Budapest, George F. Hemingway, whom Rossi knew, did the rest.

A complicated workplace

Rossi became champion with Honved in 2017, he looked after the traditional club for five years, after which he was a Hungarian number.

And when a successor was sought for the hapless Belgian George Leekens in 2018, Rossi was ready.

If it weren't so obvious, one would have to write: Mr. Rossi has found happiness.

Rossi said he lacked the connections in Italian football to rise: "You don't attract attention in Italy when you're about to secure security in Serie C." Italy is "a nation of tacticians, everyone Year new coaches make the step into Serie A".

He didn't belong.

Now he can shrug it off.

“There is no place for everyone in Italy, so you have to look elsewhere.” He did.

Hungary, a complicated place to work, is a country seen by many in Europe as a pariah given Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's authoritarian policies.

Rossi has so far stayed out of politics as far as possible, he largely avoided the heated debates about the rainbow flag before the European Championship game in Munich last year with the sentence: "We never talk about politics in the dressing room."

Football is one of the beneficiaries of the Orbán fan anyway.

Between 2011 and 2018 alone, the equivalent of 2.3 billion euros flowed into football alone.

State money mind you.

Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2022-09-23

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