2022.07.05 21:27 Frissítve: 2022.07.07 21:18

Marco Rossi: I have a beautiful ten years behind me

Ten years ago today, it all started with the Flamurtari–Bp. Honvéd Europa League qualifier. Then, even greater success followed the 1-0 victory on July 5, 2012. Over the years, not only has Marco Rossi become Honvéd fans' favorite but also the nation's.

Marco Rossi (Photo: Miklós Szabó)


– Do you know what July 5th is the 10-year anniversary of?
– Since I arrived in Hungary ten years ago, so maybe it's first the time I sat on a Hungarian club's bench during a competitive game?

– That's right!
– I have to admit that I did not remember this exact day, but I remember everything else: in the Europa League qualifier against Albanian club Flamurtari, we won 1-0 in the away game, and Richárd Vernes scored our goal. The rematch a week later was my first match at the Bozsik Stadium, where we won 2-0 that day. In the next round, Anzhi Makhachkala was awaiting us. After we lost only 1-0 away, we prepared for the match in Kispest with confidence, but we suffered a four-goal defeat. Though the referee, who happened to be my compatriot, played a significant role in this...

Is this memory somewhat beautiful now?
– A defeat never gets beautiful!

Photo: Károly Árvai

– And how do you look back to the last decade?
– It is not easy to talk about these ten years in a few sentences. What's for sure is that it was one of the most important and beautiful times of my life. When I got the opportunity to coach in Hungary, all I had in mind was to prove myself day by day, to do everything I could to bring out the best of Honvéd. Although it was not an easy task, the club's owner at the time, George F. Hemingway, had high expectations for me and the team. But let's look at the bright side of this: I learned to work under constant pressure, which has been very useful ever since.

Before the match against Flamurtari, would you have accepted the scenario that you would continue working in Hungarian football in 2022, moreover, as the national team head coach?
– Happily! Not even in my dreams did I think about how my career would turn out. If someone had told me on that particular day ten years ago that I could coach the national team one day, I would probably have smiled big... Me coaching the Hungarian national team?! It seemed like too much of a task to me at the time. After all, before that I coached for lower-tier Italian teams, I was everything in the business, but known. In fact, around that time, I was close to leaving the world of football because I had lost faith by then. There is no exaggeration in what I just said about really wanting to prove myself day by day in Kispest so that I could keep my job. And since I have mentioned George F. Hemingway, I must also note that he was extremely straightforward with me, and he always shared his opinion face to face, never behind my back. I don't think I'm indebted to him, we won bronze in my first season in Kispest, and four years later, we became the champions. In the last twenty-eight years, Honvéd has been able to stand on the podium twice, and I am very pleased that with my constant permanent, Cosimo Inguscio, we have played our part in both successes. I have already talked about it when I was a child, my grandfather had told me about two teams, the Grande Turin and the great Honvéd, after which I hardly have to describe how much it meant to me that with the Kispest club I finished third, then placed first. And I am very proud of the bronze medal I won with DAC, not to mention the results achieved with the national team! Just the way we played with the national team in Division A of the Nations League in June was beyond imagination but qualifying for the European Championship and our performance there are also wonderful memories. I think there are only a few games behind us that we haven't been able to come off the pitch with our heads held high.

Not many Hungarian national team head coaches have reached 45 games...
– I'll tell you who right now: Lajos Baróti, Gusztáv Sebes, Kálmán Mészöly, Bertalan Bicskei – and now me! Bertalan Bicskei and I are tied for fourth place. If I take a look at the all-time ranking, I will have goosebumps. In the meantime, it makes me feel good because I have already fulfilled what I promised when I was appointed. I haven't made it a secret that I would like to leave a mark on Hungarian football, and I think this desire has been achieved. Of course, not all credit goes to me because although the coach is also important, the main questions are decided on the pitch, 90% of the time it is up to the players whether a coach will be successful. I was lucky in this area because I have been able to work with great footballers for the last ten years. I am proud of them and grateful to them. Just like to my family! It's indisputable that I have a wonderful decade behind me, but I can't say that if my loved ones didn't make sacrifices to make that happen. In my first six months here, I didn't even see my son and daughter, who stayed in Italy. Those who know me know that we have a strong bond between us, and they can imagine how difficult that time was for me from this point of view. What helped me through this was my motivation: it drove me more than anything else to take advantage of the opportunity I had in Hungary. If I have spoken before about the fact that I have practically lost faith in football, I must also say that I have regained it in Hungary. I feel the love of the fans, the confidence of the players towards me, and the support of the federation. These are why I am confident that, even though we have made history with our last four-nil victory in England, we are not yet at the end of our journey.

Marco Rossi, appointed on June 19, 2018, is the 56th head coach of the Hungarian national team. The Italian trainer has reached a high level in the last four years – even in the all-time rankings. In the last match against England, he managed the national team for the 45th time. On the one hand, he caught up with Bertalan Bicskei, and on the other hand, he can say that only Lajos Baróti, Gusztáv Sebes, and Kálmán Mészöly are ahead of him. The order is:
1. Lajos Baróti 117 matches
2. Gusztáv Sebes 69
3. Kálmán Mészöly 61
4. Bertalan Bicskei 45
5. Marco Rossi 45 

Translated by Vanda Orosz.

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