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Euro 2024: What can Scotland expect from Hungary?



Euro 2024: What can Scotland expect from Hungary?

Hungarian internationals have come and gone down the years, living in the indomitable shadows of the great sides of the 1930s, when the likes of Gyorgi Sarosi, Ferenc Sas, Gyula Zsengeller and Pal Titkos drove them towards the World Cup semi-finals, with the greats of the 1950s going a step further at the tournament in Switzerland 16 years later.

The latter contained Ferenc Puskas, one of the greatest players to kick a football, along with Nandor Hidegkuti, Jozsef Bozsik and Sander Kocsis, all of whom provided an able supporting cast for the side known as the “Magnificent Magyars”, or the Golden Team.

They would come up short against the West Germans in Bern despite being big favourites.

Two quarter-final berths would follow in the 1960s before a decline from which they have only really recovered in the last few years.

They haven’t been to the World Cup since 1986, but their recent Euros record suggests they are finally getting their credibility back as a footballing force. Qualifying for Euro 2016 was celebrated wildly and they have kicked on since then.

Indeed, they were unfortunate not to progress from their group at the last Euros considering they drew with both France and Germany, while the current side were unbeaten as they won their qualifying group.

However, it has not been plain sailing in Germany.

A disappointing first-half performance against Switzerland has severely damaged their hopes of progression and it will have left them frustrated because they could have taken something from that match despite being 2-0 down at half-time.

There followed a positive showing against Germany. It was so positive that they had more shots at goal against the host nation than anyone has managed at a European Championship group match since the Netherlands in Kharkiv in 2012. This is a dangerous side.

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