Sándor Csányi on the left with the newly elected coach of the Hungarian football team, georges Leekens
MTI Fotó: Illyés Tibor
The Hungarian Football Association (MLSZ) has appointed Belgian trainer Georges Leekens, 68, as coach for Hungary’s national eleven, the federation’s website mlsz.hu reported.
“I am very proud and consider it a great honour that I can serve as coach of Hungary’s national eleven. I trust I can make good use of the great deal of experience I have gained in seven countries,” Leekens told a press conference at Telki, near Budapest, on Monday.
“I would not have signed the contract if I had any doubt that the Hungarian team is able to make it to the Euro 2020 tournament,” he said.
MLSZ President Sándor Csányi said that Leekens’s salary would in no small part depend on the team’s results, particularly on its qualification for the 2020 European Championship, of which Hungary would be a host.
As a player, Leekens won Belgian champion’s titles five times and played in the national eleven, too.
As a coach, he has won the Belgian league title once and the Belgian Cup twice, also winning the accolade of domestic coach of the year. He has coached the Belgian men’s national team on two separate occasions, once between 1997 and 1999 when he led them in the group stages of the 1998 FIFA World Cup and between 2010 and 2012 when he nurtured future international stars such as Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku. Amongst his successes since then have been the guidance of African national teams Tunisia and Algeria at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations respectively.