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Hungary Euro 2024 coach Marco Rossi humiliated England and Germany and even had a movie made about him

marco rossi head coach hungary 905558826

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Dominik Szoboszlai may be ...er boy for Hungary’s new era, but by far the most-loved member of the team is the man in the dugout.

There will be better-known coaches at Euro 2024, and many more successful, but when it comes to the most adored and respected by their fanbase, Marco Rossi is in a league of his own.

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Rossi is proving a brilliant appointment by HungaryCredit: AFP

The Italian had a steady but slightly unremarkable career as a defender, amassing just shy of 100 Serie A appearances while winning the Coppa Italia with Sampdoria in 1994 alongside world class forwards Roberto Mancini and Ruud Gullit.

Like that world-class duo, Rossi followed them into coaching after retirement, but again, he was well overshadowed as Gullit won the FA Cup as player/manager at Chelsea and Mancini would go on to achieve glory at a number of Italian sides, the national team, and in England too.

Now though, with the pair well out of the limelight, it’s Rossi’s time to shine, and the signs are that he could do so very brightly indeed in Germany.

Having struggled to make an impact in Italy’s lower leagues as the start of his career, The Turin native first moved to Hungary as a punt in 2012 when a friend who owned a pizza restaurant in the capital set him up with Budapest Honved’s president.

“I always said that I didn’t get the opportunity at a higher level also because of my own personality issues,” he later explained. “You need good relations with people to get that opportunity.

“I was fortunate enough in Hungary to get jobs at a high level without really knowing anyone. You don’t get noticed in Italy when you just about secure Serie C safety, because Italy is a nation of tacticians, every year new ones make the step up to Serie A.”

The story would be the same in his first job abroad, leaving after just two seasons, however, Rossi was invited back for a second punt in Budapest, and this time around things improved spectacularly with a Hungarian top flight title in 2017, Honved’s first since 1993, and Rossi’s first since 1994 as a defender for Sampdoria.

Leaving on a high after the trophy lift, he was then hired by FC DAC 1904 and got further ingratiated himself into Hungarian culture. The team located in Slovakia and in the Slovakian league sees itself as Hungarian as its fanbase is made up of the nation’s largest minority, and there Rossi strengthened an already substantial bond with the country.

Budapest Honved players celebrated their achievement

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Budapest Honved players celebrated their achievementCredit: Getty

So profound were those links and his performances with both Honved and DAC that Rossi was approached for the national team job in 2018, and his uphill accent in eastern Europe continued.

Qualification for Euro 2020 was next up, and Hungary were drawn into a group of death with winners France, Germany and Portugal.

Former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder Emmanuel Petit previews France and Englands chance at Euro 2024

However, despite not progressing, they drew against the first two sides and Rossi had restored pride to what was considered one of football’s greatest nations before World War Two.

Hoping for an easier ride in the 2022 Nations League, this time it was England, Italy and Germany, leaving heads in hands. However, Rossi’s nephew and social media manager rather cleverly commented the word ‘Easy’ under his name on a post, and that slogan has since become legend.

The genius Facebook comment will be featured across Hungary fans' merchandise in Germany

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The genius Facebook comment will be featured across Hungary fans’ merchandise in GermanyCredit: Facebook

Hungary would go on to beat England twice, including a record 4-0 drubbing at Molineux, and they’d also take down Germany in Leipzig.

Unsurprisingly, t-shirts with Rossi’s face and the word ‘Easy’ quickly became best-sellers in Hungary.

Things have continued to be exactly that ever since, too, with Hungary finally given a favourable group in Euro 2024 qualifying, they blasted through with five wins and zero defeats in eight games to head back to Germany on a high.

The ultimate honour also arrived. During that run, in October 2023, Rossi and his assistant Cosimo Inguscio were given Hungarian citizenship, so the proud footballing nation would once again have Hungarians on their bench for the first time at an international tournament since 1986.

Rossi consoled England manager Southgate after beating his side 4-0 at Molineux

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Rossi consoled England manager Southgate after beating his side 4-0 at MolineuxCredit: AFP

A movie has since been made about his astonishing career and relationship with the nation, and football fans across the country will be watching it on repeat in the lead up to the tournament.

“I’m not interested in returning to Italy,” he said in the film. “I’m happy if I leave an imprint in Hungarian football.”

He’s already done just that, and with a Euro group that this time is far easier to conquer than ever before, Hungary could well make as big an impact on the championship as Rossi has on them.

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