2021.09.10 21:15

RB Leipzig: "We are excited to see how Szoboszlai can play"

The American head coach of RB Leipzig took the time to answer Nemzeti Sport's questions before their game against Bayern Munich, and he also talked about the three Hungarian national team players.

Saturday's clash will also be a test of strength for Leipzig head coach Jesse Marsch: his team hosts the feared Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga (Photo: AFP)


After losing 1–0 to Wolfsburg, another test of strength awaits RB Leipzig. The club that employs three Hungarian footballers will host defending champions Bayern Munich on Saturday afternoon. Just like for the team, the match is a test for head coach Jesse Marsch as Leipzig has shown an ambiguous performance of themselves since his arrival in the summer. In the German Cup, they knocked out second-tier Sandhausen (4–0) without any problems, but in the first round of the league, they lost to Mainz with a goal that is usually shown in the New Year's Eve summaries. After that, the 4–0 win (including two goals by Dominik Szoboszlai) over Stuttgart on home soil somewhat restored the team's confidence, but in the league before the national team break, the silver medalist of the previous season was left again without a point, Wolfsburg (0–1) was too big of a bite for the team that was looking for itself.

Based on the matches so far, the American expert believes in the high-pressure defense and the intense attack typical of Red Bull clubs. However, for now, it's a question of what he can do on the Leipzig bench in the long run.

"The progress the club has made in recent years is incredible, but we have not reached its top yet," said Jesse Marsch, whom Nemzeti Sport had a few questions for before the game against Bayern. "We do not set a limit for ourselves; the quality of the current squad and the mentality of the players entitle us to aim for the trophies. At the same time, we are aware of the realities and, since Saturday's opponent, Bayern Munich, is in the same league as us, we are obviously not the Bundesliga favorites. Nevertheless, we're still doing everything we can to finish in the lead and try to stay loyal with the club's motto: you can do anything!"

The coach is a pioneer in his own way. It is not typical that an overseas professional is given control of the top teams in the four strongest European leagues. So, we also wanted to see if he felt any pressure to prove himself as an American coach in European football.

"Pressure only occurs when one lets the expectation paralyze him. I don't feel any pressure on myself, but I'm rather grateful to be working with people like me who live off what they love. In this story, I'm not the one who's important anyway, it's Leipzig. We are quite ambitious; we expect a lot from ourselves. We are hungry for success, and all that's before our eyes is to become stronger every day."

Péter Gulácsi and Jesse Marsch (Photo: AFP)


RB Leipzig announced on Thursday that Péter Gulácsi had been appointed the club's new team captain. According to a statement released by the Leipzig club on Thursday, it was the decision of head coach Jesse Marsch and the professional staff to replace Marcel Sabitzer, who signed for Bayern Munich, with the Hungarian national team goalkeeper. According to the head coach, the 31-year-old Hungarian goalkeeper is fully recognized within the team, shows the way to the others, and is the spokesman for the team. Péter Gulácsi has been the vice-captain until now, telling the club's website the following: "This post is an honor and a great responsibility, but I have been the leader of the team for the past few years, and I have been acting as vice-captain. Now, I'm going to be the number one — but it doesn't change my role and duties much."  His assistants are Kevin Kampl and Willi Orbán, who is also a Hungarian national team player.

Dominik Szoboszlai, who returned for the current season after a protracted injury, can also be a contributor along with two other Hungarian national team footballers, Péter Gulácsi and Willi Orbán, who have been key players for many years, to Leipzig's success. The goalkeeper was kicked in the head during the World Cup qualifier against Albania on Sunday. He was replaced during half-time and returned to Leipzig. Kicker reported that he trained with his teammates for the first time on Wednesday after the incident. Also, having not suffered a serious injury, he is likely to be in front of the goal line in Saturday's clash.

"Péter is not only an excellent goalkeeper but also a great man. It is no coincidence that he has an important role both on the pitch and in the dressing room. I like him because he sets an example for others, and he is characterized by extraordinary professionalism. Like him, Willi is an important link in the team, and I would like to emphasize his mentality in particular. He inspires others, always wants more and more and pushes his own boundaries. He is essential in the structure in which we defend; his understanding of the game is outstanding at the Bundesliga level, too. As for Dominik, he is a young footballer who already boasts outstanding individual skills but can still develop in many areas. He has made a lot of progress in recent years, and that can only happen if the footballer wants to learn and has the persistence to step up. Obviously, such a long injury won't go away without a trace, but he's back and we're excited to see how he can play.”

Like the Hungarian footballers in Leipzig, Ádám Szalai will play in this weekend's Bundesliga round, in which Mainz will meet the striker's former club Hoffenheim. The striker tested positive for coronavirus ahead of last Sunday's World Cup qualifier against Albania, so he missed the match. However, the two tests he completed afterward were negative, so he does not have to go into quarantine, and he scored a goal against Andorra on Wednesday. According to Kicker, he will be ready to go with his teammates again on Friday. 

Translated by Vanda Orosz

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