Hungarian goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly won the hearts of football fans all around the world, becoming the oldest ever player to play in the European Championships against Austria last night.
At the age of 40, Kiraly prefers to keep it old school, entering the pitch wearing his traditional lucky grey Slazenger Joggers.
Kiraly wore his lucky ‘trackies’ during Hungary’s qualification phase that saw them finally qualify for the European Championships after 44 years.
The tradition clearly worked, as Hungary pulled off a surprising 2-0 defeat to Austria in their first group game.
Kiraly quickly broke the internet last night, with his famous ‘baggy greys’ that are now the talk of town on social media.
Hungary have a 40-year-old man wearing pyjamas playing in goal. Liverpool goalkeeper Adam Bogdan didn't make the squad.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) June 14, 2016
hungary's goalkeeper looks like someone's old enough uncle who accidentally showed up in the pitch
— despoina (@neuerisch) June 4, 2016
The story begins at Hertha Berlin, where Kiraly decides to switch it up, changing from his usual dark trousers to the new grey Joggers in a Champions League game in Bordeaux. Remarkably Kiraly kept a clean sheet, which transcended into eight clean sheets. Kiraly never looked back and has worn the baggy grey tracksuit pants ever since.
With over 10 Champions League starts to his name, Kiraly took the giant leap into the English Premier League with Crystal Palace as their first choice keeper. It paid off for the Hungarian, playing over 100 games for the London side.
Hungarian coach Bernd Storck has great belief in the veteran, and believes age is no barrier for the old timer.
“He radiates confidence and is a goalkeeper with an incredible aura and charisma. He will help us be successful at the Euros.”
Most footballers know how comfortable the joggers are when playing in goals, and Kiraly is no exception refusing to let a professional tournament stop him from continuing that trend.
“Some of my clubs had to ask their manufacturer to make the grey bottoms for me because they did not have it in their collection but at 1860 Munich they were sold in the club shop as Kiraly’s jogging bottoms,” said Kiraly.
“The most important thing is that they should be loose, preferably one size bigger.”
Hungary now sit in first place of Group F, after Portugal and Iceland drew 1-1 last night in Saint-Etienne.