Hungary coach Marco Rossi said that despite exiting the European Championship after the group stage his team could hold their heads up high for playing a remarkable three games against some of the top teams in the world.
Hungary drew 1-1 with world champions France and 2-2 with Germany, their only loss a 3-0 defeat by Portugal in a very tough group.
“I would challenge anyone to say they knew that coming up against these teams we would get any points,” Rossi told a news conference. “But we drew against France and Germany. This will go down in recent Hungarian football history.
“The guys have done something that people will recall in years to come and they will be proud of them.”
In an exhilarating game against the ever powerful Germans, Hungary took the lead and went ahead again after a first German equaliser before conceding the final goal late in the match.
“(My players) were disappointed with the result because we went very close to advancing, which would have been incredible, unimaginable, but unfortunately even in the greatest fairytales there can be less than happy endings,” Rossi said.
“That said I am very proud of my players tonight. From a technical perspective we are not the best in the world, but we are for every other perspective. Tactically, helping each other out, digging in, sacrificing…
“I am very proud to coach this side. I congratulated all lads, told them, they need to keep their heads up, because two months from now World Cup qualifying resumes.”
Hungary rarely gets experience of playing such strong opponents.
“We were never forced to experiment because we never have opponents this strong,” Rossi said. “For instance, I like to press all over the pitch, play a more attacking brand of football but I do have to realise who we came up against now.”
“Players followed what I told them to the letter. I told them, play these people without any respect to who they are. Do not fear anything. They did all of that and I would like to thank them.”