Friday, November 03, 2006

The Budapest Sun: Bölöni looks set to replace Bozsik

Bölöni looks set to replace Bozsik
By Márton Vajda

Romanian-Hungarian coach László Bölöni is the front runner for the position of Hungary’s national team coach, following the resignation of Péter Bozsik last Thursday (Oct 26). Bozsik was forced to step down just seven matches into his tenure after the presidium of the Hungarian Football Federation (MLSz) rejected his report on the shameful defeat against Malta in a Euro2008 qualifier on Oct 11. In an interview afterwards, Bozsik said he was disappointed, but saw no alternative. It is unclear whether his assistant, Lajos Détári, who has not resigned, will also be forced to go. “I regret this turn of events, because this is also a personal failure for myself,” MLSz president István Kisteleki commented. “Péter Bozsik worked honorably, but unfortunately he also made professional errors and the presidium does not see the future as outlined in his report. “In addition to professional issues, however, it is very important for the future that the state should also play a role in developing Hungarian football.” After Bozsik’s departure, the debates about whether the country needs a Hungarian or a foreign manager (like Bozsik’s predecessor, Lothar Matthäus) resurfaced. This time, however, it seems Kisteleki has come up with a seemingly ideal compromise to satisfy both camps. The MLSz president announced that he is to hold talks with Bölöni, a Hungarian coach born in Transylvania with extensive – and successful – western European coaching experience.


The 53-year-old Bölöni won the European Champion Clubs’ Cup with Steaua Bucharest in 1986 and was capped 108 times by Romania as a player before becoming a coach. He won the domestic double with Sporting Lisbon in 2002 and has coached Nancy, Rennes and Monaco in France, as well as the Romanian national team in 2000-2001. Conveniently for Kisteleki, he was released by Monaco on Oct 23 after a poor run of results. “In order to avoid uncertainty and unnecessary speculation, I only wish to negotiate with László Bölöni, and this will remain the case until he says to me that he does not want to become Hungary manager,” Kisteleki confirmed. “I think he is suitable for the job as he is a man of hard work. If negotiations fail, we will consider other candidates, but as long as we have a chance of contracting László Bölöni, we will not talk to anyone else.” Bölöni has confirmed that talks have begun, but declined further comment, saying the details of a potential deal are due to be hammered out in the coming days and weeks. Meanwhile, UEFA president Lennart Johnasson and his wannabe successor, FIFA executive member Michel Platini were the most illustrious guests of honor at the official opening of MLSz’s new headquarters at the posh Kôérberek-Tóváros housing estate in Pest’s District XI. Both organizations contributed funds to the project. Platini said European football is waiting for ailing Hungary’s return to its ranks, whilst Johansson said he hopes Hungary, among the finalists for Euro2012 in a joint bid with Croatia, will be given the chance to host a European championship at some point in time.{B44BC75E99B64F9484B20143942ECDD6}&From=Sport


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