Hungary defender Roland Juhász has announced that he is retiring from international football. With 94 appearances he is the third most-capped Hungary player ever, only Gábor Király and József Bozsik having appeared more times. The 33 year-old Videoton FC centre-back made his national team debut in April 2004 in a 3-2 victory over Japan and went on to become a mainstay of the side over the next twelve years, even scoring six times despite playing in defence. He played in three matches at the European Championship in France but the Round of 16 match against Belgium will be his last appearance in national team colours.
“We have received so many touching gestures and kind words upon our return home; I can’t deny that receiving so much love from the Hungarian people after our performance at the European Championship made us happy” said Juhász. “I had a little time to consider my future as the positive feedback I received sank in. I asked my family and my friends’ advice, and came to the conclusion that I have to close an important chapter in my life. I asked to speak with Bernd Storck and informed him of how I envisage my future. There comes a time when you have to make a rational decision; it would put my career up until now at risk if I can’t weigh up the situation realistically. I told the national team coach that the game against Belgium in the European Championship was my last for the national team. Mr Storck considered my move logical and accepted my decision”.
“It is impossible to summarise my twelve year career with the national team in just a few sentences. I was part of perhaps Hungarian football’s deepest crisis just as I was part of the past month which hopefully gives a new impetus to the sport which will see our football develop further and return to the European elite”.
“I consider myself lucky because I have made real friends in the national team; I played with my idols and there were even matches where I played with my best friends Sándor Torghelle, Péter Czvitkovics, Szabolcs Huszti, Márton Fülöp, Krisztián Németh and Róbert Feczesin. There are so many unforgettable memories; it sends a shiver down my spine just to think of my first match for the national team or the victory against World champions Italy – not to mention the European Championship in France. I could say thank you to many people, but it is the supporters I have to thank for the greatest experience of my career crowning my years spent with the national team. From now on I am going to focus on my club; I would like to achieve something lasting both domestically and at European level with Videoton, but of course the national team will always be as close to my heart as it has been for the past twelve years. I am fully behind the guys, and believe that we can once again be proud of our team in the World Cup qualifiers”.