Szalai eyes coaching career after Hungary retirement

Sept 26 (Reuters) - Hungary's outgoing captain Adam Szalai already has his mind on a coaching role as he ended his international career on Monday.

Szalai, who is signed to Swiss side Basel until June 2023, announced on Wednesday that Hungary's final group game against Italy in the Nations League would be his last international.

Hungary, who stunned hosts Germany with a 1-0 win courtesy of Szalai's sensational backheel flick on Friday, lost their hopes of making the competition's final four with a 2-0 home defeat by European champions Italy on Monday.

"I still can't get over the fact that this was my last national team game because I tried to concentrate on the 90 minutes," 34-year-old Szalai said.

"We missed a big opportunity, even though we knew we had chances.

"If we look at where we have come from, then we have to thank (Italian coach) Marco Rossi, who ... put together a team that performs beyond its strength.

"I hope that in the coming years all our young talents will mature and we can continue this journey."

The striker tearfully listened to the national anthem before kick off and was got a standing ovation when Rossi substituted him in the 75th minute of his 85th international.

"A huge thank you to the fans, my colleagues, the staff. My coaching exam will be next Monday, I would like everyone to support me so that I can succeed," Szalai added.

"A new chapter is coming for me as well and I hope that it will be full of experiences here as well."

Szalai made his Hungary debut in a friendly 1-0 loss to Israel in 2009 and scored 26 goals for the national side.

Reporting by Anita Kobylinska in Gdansk; Editing by Ken Ferris

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