Hungary goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi will face his idol when his team play Germany in their last match in Euro 2020 Group F at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena, home to Germany keeper Manuel Neuer.
Gulacsi, who plays for Bundesliga side RB Leipzig, said Neuer had been the best keeper of the past decade.
“This is an exceptional game for me,” Gulacsi told a news conference on Tuesday. “I know most of the German squad. I have played with some of them and against many of them.”
Acknowledging that Hungary are clear underdogs, Gulacsi said they had to approach this match like the previous ones against defending European champions Portugal and world champions France – as a defensive-minded and cohesive unit.
Gulacsi has been the lynchpin of that defence.
Hungary held off Portugal until a meltdown in the closing stages led to a 3-0 defeat but they regrouped to force a 1-1 draw with France.
Hungary took the lead just before halftime against France, who attacked relentlessly and equalised midway through the second half.
A raucous home crowd of 65 000 urged Hungary on, something they will experience the other side of playing in front of the German fans.
Coach Marco Rossi acknowledged Hungary would need to play even better on Wednesday.
“To win here in Munich we need to make even more progress. It won’t be easy but we’ll give it a good go,” he said.
“If we go gung-ho against Germany we’ll concede six,” he said, adding that Hungary was “up against a tank. Panzers… plus skill and tactics. One of the best teams in the world”.
Rossi remained optimistic, however.
“We believe, and we are right to believe, that we can do this… Our players deserve credit for keeping qualification alive. We must give it a go. Some good luck, if the Germans have an off day, we may just come away with three points.”
Hungary need a win to advance. Germany, with three points, could progress with a draw, especially if France, on four points, beat Portugal, on three, in Budapest.