No Room For Racism

Szoboszlai: My father helped me achieve the impossible

21 Oct 2023
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Hungarian says relationship with his dad helped him join Liverpool and become captain of his country

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The support of family can go a long way to helping one achieve greatness, and this certainly was the case for Dominik Szoboszlai who expressed his gratitude to his father for helping him become captain of Hungary and a Liverpool player.

Szoboszlai is the 12th Hungarian to play in the Premier League, which is celebrating its diversity through the theme of "Greatness comes from Everywhere" as part of the No Room For Racism initiative.

"When I started, me and my dad, we had a plan. I put, and he put me on the highest level that I should play," Szoboszlai said.

"After school my dad just picked me up. We went to training. He was my coach and from three until seven every day, the same: trained with my own team, trained with the youngsters, trained with the elders and then went to sleep and the next day was the same.

"He was always harder with me than with the others. Even the other parents were like, 'Why are you so hard with him?' And he was like, 'It will pay, it will pay at the end'. But he always wanted me to be the best, and that's why he was like this, and now I understand why he did, and now we are close, we are very close.

"At the end, now I'm a Liverpool player, national team captain, so, yeah, it almost went that we planned the impossible, and I made it possible."

Szoboszlai also spoke about his pride of being Hungarian, how he had to overcome the obstacle of proving to people that he can become a great player and inspiring children of Hungary in the same way that Ferenc Puskas, one of the country's greatest ever players, did.

"I love to be Hungarian," the 22-year-old added.

"It’s a proud thing that I can play in the Premier League, but of course as a Hungarian you have to prove yourself, because if you're Hungarian, nobody looks at you as if you were from Spain, from Italy, from England, so as a Hungarian, if you can do it, it’s even better. 

"I said it before, he’s [Puskas] an iconic player, the best player who ever played in Hungary, no doubt, but I want to do my own thing. I want to be for the kids, not the new Puskas, the new Szoboszlai, you know, he was for us, I want to be like that for the kids. 

"I will be the same person, when I was 13 and lived in a one room apartment with my family. I'm the same guy I was before, and I will never, never change."

Also in this series

Part 1: How the Premier League is fighting racism
Part 2: How Sarr's family prepared him for success
Part 3: West Ham achieve Premier League equality standard
Part 4: How clubs and players supported No Room For Racism campaign
Part 5: Ogbene: It's important to teach younger generation about diversity
Part 6: Danjuma: My greatness comes from going through hardship
Part 7: How Wolves are educating young people about inclusion
Part 8: 'It's everyone's responsibility to do something about discrimination'
Part 9: Caicedo: Learning through diversity helped me reach the top
Part 10: Darren Bent on the men and women who've inspired him
Part 11: Benjamin Zephaniah on the Premier League and the legacy of Windrush
Part 12: Desailly: I looked far for my black sporting heroes
Part 13: Jimenez: Family support helped me become great
Part 14: Pittman: Sharing my knowledge will help the next generation
Part 16: Amadou Onana on the people who've inspired him
Part 17: Why family support is so important for Mbeumo and Wissa
Part 18: Gomez: Positive black role models are so important

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