Age irrelevant for 40-year-old world-class Gabor Kiraly, says Hungary coach Bernd Storck

Gabor Kiraly became the oldest man to play in the European Championship when he helped Hungary to a 2-0 victory over Austria on Tuesday, leaving coach Bernd Storck to declare he was still among the world's best.

Reuters June 15, 2016 01:59:55 IST
Age irrelevant for 40-year-old world-class Gabor Kiraly, says Hungary coach Bernd Storck

Gabor Kiraly became the oldest man to play in the European Championship when he helped Hungary to a 2-0 victory over Austria on Tuesday, leaving coach Bernd Storck to declare he was still among the world's best.

Kiraly, the first 40-year-old to feature in the finals, marked the occasion with some fine stops, the best one denying Zlatko Junuzovic 10 minutes before halftime.

Age irrelevant for 40yearold worldclass Gabor Kiraly says Hungary coach Bernd Storck

Hungary's Gabor Kiraly makes a save
against Austria. Reuters

"I don't talk about old and young players, just good players and he's one of the best in the world," Storck told reporters after goals from Adam Szalai and Zoltan Stieber steered Hungary to a surprise Group F win.

"He was chosen to start in goal because he's a good player."

The eccentric Kiraly made his debut in 1998, coming on against Austria and denying the nation's top scorer Toni Polster from the penalty spot.

Eighteen years later the balding keeper with the trademark grey tracksuit bottoms finds himself competing at a major tournament for the first time.

Kiraly has had a nomadic career that has taken Hungary's most-capped player to nine different clubs including Hertha Berlin, Crystal Palace and 1860 Munich.

"He contributed to this victory in helping to keep a clean sheet," added Storck. "He led the team to this victory and was rewarded for his hard work."

The praise was echoed by Hungary's impressive midfielder Laszlo Kleinheisler.

"I would like to congratulate Kiraly and (37-year-old Zoltan) Gera," he said.

"They may be a little bit older now but they've done everything to get this victory and they've done everything for this team."

Updated Date:

also read

'It is something very special': Manchester City to unveil Sergio Aguero statue
Sports

'It is something very special': Manchester City to unveil Sergio Aguero statue

Sergio Aguero's statue will celebrate the striker's stoppage-time strike against QPR that sealed Manchester City's Premier League title triumph at the Etihad Stadium in 2012.

Karim Benzema equals Raul as Real Madrid's second-highest goalscorer
Sports

Karim Benzema equals Raul as Real Madrid's second-highest goalscorer

Karim Benzema has now scored 323 goals for Real Madrid and is only behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

Premier League: Tottenham thrash 10-man Arsenal to keep top-four bid alive
Sports

Premier League: Tottenham thrash 10-man Arsenal to keep top-four bid alive

Tottenham striker Harry Kane scored two goals as Spurs defeated Arsenal in the Premier League.