Balazs Dzsudzsak - Meet Hungary's Captain and Hero
In the UEFA Euro 2016’s highest-scoring match so far (Portugal vs Hungary), we witnessed a genuine battle of the captains. Being Portugal's top scorer and most-capped player ever, everyone expected Cristiano Ronaldo to eventually perform. However, Hungary’s best player in the thrilling, open game was their captain, Bursaspor winger Balasz Dzsudzsak. With two brilliant goals in the Euro Group E’s last fixture, he was the star for Group E’s best team, and Hungary will be counting on him in their round of 16 fixture. He showed his full array of skills in the entertaining match-up, scoring 2 bombastic shots which the Portuguese defenders couldn’t help but deflect into their goal. So let’s take a look at the man who sniped down the Real Madrid superstar’s team.
Balasz Dzsudzsak – Bio & Early Years
Balasz Dzsudzsak was born in Debrecen (Hungary’s second-largest city) on the 23rd of December in 1986. He grew up in Nyirlugos, where he was signed by Nyíradony Focisuli before moving onto a Hungarian football academy called Debreceni Olasz Focisuli – a major feeder academy for Hungary’s most decorated club Debreceni VSC. By 2004, he was loaned out to Létavértes, to play in the Hungarian 3rd divison. Before the year’s end, he had already made his debut in the Hungarian top tier, playing 2 matches.
Balasz Dzsudzsak – Senior Club Career:
In Dzsudzsak’s second season, he began to establish himself in the senior squad, playing 10 games and scoring 2 goals for Debreceni. After that, he began to muscle into the starting XI spot, playing 36 matches and scoring 12 goals on his way to a hat-trick of domestic doubles – the Hungarian league and Supercup. With 14 goals in 48 matches, he began to attract interest from outside his nation. In October 2007, Dutch club PSV Eindhoven came calling, and he made the switch.
Holland (PSV Eindhoven)
Ex-PSV & Chelsea super-scout Piet De Visser (who scouted the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois) was influential in pushing through the young Hungarian star’s transfer, which was originally planned to happen in the following year. He had this to say about the future Hungarian captain, “ (Dzsudzsak) is an incredible talent. He is fast, good in the combination, can pass his man and give a good cross. You don't see them like this very often anymore. He is a modern left-winger." De Visser would prove to be right, as the winger struck 5 league goals to help his side claim the Eredivisie title in his very first season. He soon began to show his quality as his stats improved in leaps and bounds. In his 2nd season, he scored 11 and assisted 9 goals. That would improve to 14 goals and 16 assists in 2009/2010, guiding his team into the Europa League. In 2010/2011, he became a terrorist on the wings, striking 24 goals and assisting 12, including 7 in Europe. That kind of form is impossible to hide – at the end of the season, newly-rich Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala came calling with a big-money deal. He switched that summer.
Russia (Anzhi Makhachkala & Dynamo Moscow)
His move to the Russian Premier League was not nearly as successful, as the side packed with quality in Samuel Eto’o and Roberto Carlos struggled to live up to their promise. He only played 8 times for them, where injuries halted his blossoming career. In 2012, he felt the need for a change and switched to Dynamo Moscow for 19 million euros, becoming the most expensive Hungarian footballer in history. On his debut in the Moscow derby against the giants CSKA Moscow, he assisted a 75th minute equalizer to finish the game 1-1. In his 5 seasons at Dynamo Moscow, he notched up 13 goals in 112 matches in Russia, winning Hungairan footballer of the year for 2014. Despite interest from Liverpool, Inter Milan & Dortmund, he stuck with his new side until the time came for another change. In mid-August last year, he moved to Turkish side Bursaspor.
Dzsudzsak made his debut last year, and has scored 2 goals for his side. He scored 4 goals as his 24 matches last season won him a place in Hungary’s national team for this summer’s tournament.
Balasz Dzsudzsak – International Career:
From the year 2003, Dzsudzsak was already making waves in his homeland. He was selected for the Hngary u-17 side, where he scored once before immediately being bumped up to the u-19 squad, where he struck 5 goals. From 2007 onwards, he started for the full senior side, where he has made his name as a Hungarian hero. With 79 caps to date, he scored 18 goals for his national team prior to today - when he struck his 19th and 20th in incredible style against the Portuguese group favourites. After the first, he coould be seen grasping his neck as fans hugged him with slightly too much love – it was a brilliant freekick indeed. Now, he's into the Euro 2016 round of 16 - where can Hungary go from here? Wherever they go, their captain will be right at the forefront – he showed us that today.