Player Profile – Balazs Dzsudzsak
October 11, 2010 1 Comment
In what will hopefully be a long running series on 6pointer, Player Profiles intends to highlight some of Europe’s most promising talents, right across from the Faroe Islands to Russia. Freddie Shires looks at PSV and Hungary’s best product for several years, Balazs Dzsudzak.
Since the days of Puskas’ Mighty Magyars, who dominated the international football scene during the early 1950s, I doubt many would contest the argument that Hungarian football has undoubtedly failed to live up to the enormously high standards that this legendary “Golden Team “created. 1986 was the last time we were graced with Hungary’s presence at the World Cup finals, and it has largely been a downward spiral ever since.
Consistently poor performances throughout qualifying tournaments and a constant string of managerial changes have done nothing for the stability of the side and even some promising displays during the 2010 World Cup qualifiers against the likes of Denmark, Sweden, and Portugal, could not save Dutchman Erwin Koeman’s job. Premier League fans will be aware of the likes of Zoltan Gera and Gabor Kiraly, but it is fair to say that this once great footballing nation has failed to come even close to producing a single player capable of establishing themselves as a household name amongst fans of the global game in many a year.
This all could be about to change however with the emergence of PSV winger, Balazs Dzsudzsak. His name may be a bit of a mouthful, but one can guarantee it will not be long before everyone is attempting to master its tricky pronunciation, as Dzsudzsak is quickly establishing himself as one of the most exciting players in the Eredivisie and attracting interest from a number bigger clubs across Europe.
Beginning his career at local club side Debrecen, Dzsudzsak made his first team debut in 2005, at the age of 18, after spending the previous season out on loan at lower league side Letavertes, and quickly became a vital part of a team which would go on to win three straight Hungarian league titles from 2005 to 2007. A stellar season in 2006/2007, which saw him score 7 goals in 23 games, did not go unnoticed, as Dzsudzsak was voted the Hungarian League player of the year and made his senior debut for the national team.
Beginning the 2007/2008 season in similar fashion with a further 5 goals in 13 games, convinced then Dutch league champions PSV to snap up the promising Hungarian prodigy for an undisclosed fee in October 2007, and, after a slow start, Dzsudzsak soon repaid the faith shown in him by the club’s hierarchy. 2008 saw Dzsudzsak burst onto the scene, becoming a regular in the PSV side out on the left wing, exciting crowds with his raw pace, precise dribbling, tenacious attitude, and consistently accurate free kicks and long range shots, which continue to embarrass goalkeepers throughout the league.
Over the calendar year of 2009, Dzsudzsak finished behind only Luis Suarez in league goals, with an impressive 17 from midfield, and created the most assists in the entire Eredivisie, with 15 in 32 games, winning numerous league and club awards and becoming arguably the most indispensible player in a somewhat underachieving PSV side, fuelling speculation that a move to another top European side could soon be on the cards.
Observing him on the ball, one can immediately see Dzsudzsak plays with a perfect blend of supreme technique and pace, reminiscent of a player in the mould of David Ginola or younger Ryan Giggs, terrorizing fullbacks with his ability to glide past them with ease or deliver a killer ball into the box from out on either wing. He too has shown the talent to play the role of a genuine playmaker, capable of shifting inside to a more central role, effectively as a no. 10, where his accurate passing game can cut through the tightest of defences and create numerous goal scoring opportunities for his side’s strikers.
Comfortable using both feet, the Hungarian’s greatest assets however remain his ability from set pieces and powerful shooting from outside the area, both strengths which have hugely contributed to his goal tally and make him a genuine danger to opposition defenders whenever he receives the ball near the box.
Possessing a resolute attitude to the game, his gritty determination to win the ball and dogged playing style is comparable to another player who once stared in the Dutch top flight, Liverpool’s high energy striker-cum-winger Dirk Kuyt, though it too has unsurprisingly landed him in trouble with officials on more than one occasion. He has been well known during his two and a half seasons in Holland to become overly frustrated and loose his cool at times when the rub of the green is going against him and will need to learn to curb his aggression should he wish to progress and grow as a player in the near future.
Ultimately though, there is no questioning Dzsudzsak’s commitment and love for the game, which has endeared him to PSV fans and make them dread the inevitable day when he does eventually move on to pastures new. The likes of Arsenal, Juventus, and even Real Madrid were all reportedly interested in his services this summer and it will surely not be long before we see the 23 year old Hungarian winger plying his trade for a major club in England, Italy, or Spain.
As the old saying goes, one player certainly does not make a team, and as such Dzsudzsak’s emergence has not yet translated into a turnaround in fortunes for the national team, though if the country continues to produce players of his calibre, the return of Hungary to the World stage may not be too far around the corner.
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