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Storck plays down Clasico comparisons and admits Austria are favourites

Hungary coach Bernd Storck believes Austria are the favourites in their Euro 2016 opener but has ordered his players to be “daring” in Bordeaux.

Storck believes with the likes of David Alaba, Christian Fuchs and Marko Arnautovic, Austria have the edge in quality but is expecting the game to be a close-fought encounter.

Ahead of Hungary’s first appearance at a major tournament since the 1986 World Cup, Storck said: “We are delighted to be here in Bordeaux and excited that the tournament is starting.

“It’s an historic game for us after such a long time without being in a major tournament. We have prepared in a very intensive fashion with a training camp in Austria and we have travelled here to battle it out on Tuesday.

“We know what to expect, the stadium will be full and we will have lots of fans on our side, so myself and the players are very excited.

“We know the Austrians have top players, they play in some top leagues. I think they have four champions in their group – one from the German champions [Bayern Munich defender Alaba], one from the English champions [Leicester City full-back Fuchs] etc – and they are a top side.

“Marcel Koller has put a very good team together but we are not afraid. We need to go for it, play our own game, create some opportunities and we will see.

“It’s the first game for both sides so it’s equally difficult for both. We want to be daring. We are well known for playing a strengthened back line but we also want to win this game.”

Austria versus Hungary is the second-most played match in international football, prompting one journalist to compare it to El Clasico, the clash between Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Storck added: “We haven’t played against them for a long time but it’s still historic. I don’t know if it’s Barcelona against Real Madrid, we will see tomorrow!”

Hungary goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly is set to become the first player over 40 to appear in a European Championship match and Storck paid tribute to the former Hertha Berlin stopper.

“I’ve known Gabor for more than 30 years, he’s a fantastic bloke,” he said. “We don’t have old or young players, all we have are good players. He is a leader, has a lot of charisma and deserves to be here.”

Mon 13 Jun, 2016
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