Freiburg forward Roland Sallai isn't the first family member to play for Hungary. - © imago
Freiburg forward Roland Sallai isn't the first family member to play for Hungary. - © imago

Roland Sallai: Who is the Freiburg and Hungary forward?

Roland Sallai has become a key player for Germany's UEFA Euro 2020 Group F rivals Hungary. takes a closer look at the Freiburg forward...

Roland Sallai

Age: 24
Club: Freiburg
Position: Winger/ forward
Country: Hungary (24 caps, four goals)

Key stats

Sallai reportedly scored 100 goals in one season for the Puskas Akademia U13s, where he went on to make his professional debut at 17. He traded Hungary for Italy's top flight two years later, finding the net once in 22 appearances for Palermo in 2016/17. A two-year stint in Cyprus proved far more fruitful.

As well as playing in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage, Sallai won the Cypriot league title. The 5'11" winger produced 10 goals and six assists in 42 appearances for Apoel, before switching to Freiburg in January 2018. The 24-time Hungary international put away a Bundesliga debut goal in Wolfsburg, but it wasn't until approaching the midpoint in the 2020/21 season - with various injury set-backs behind him - that he found top gear.

Watch: Sallai helped himself to a first Bundesliga brace on Matchday 12

Sallai registered seven of his 12 Bundesliga goals to date between Matchdays 12 and 29, starting with a second career brace against Schalke. He also produced six assists, whilst swelling his international tally to four goals and three assists in the March round of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

Plays a bit like: Jadon Sancho

Sallai is a modern wide player in the mould of Jadon Sancho, only too happy to give opposition players the swerve with his quick feet and acceleration. Like the Borussia Dortmund and England flier, he knows how to make and take chances - and has shown himself to be a handy inverted winger and second striker for Hungary.

Sallai has 12 goals and seven assists to show for his first 59 Bundesliga appearances. - BEAUTIFUL SPORTS/Wunderl via images/Beautiful Sports

Did you know?

Sallai has football in his DNA. His father, Tibor, won the 1993/94 Hungarian First Division with Vac; his uncle Sandor played at the 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cups; uncle Laszlo was also a footballer; while his sister played the game before becoming a professional handball player.

What they're saying

"Roland is easy-going, but determined. He's really come on a lot." - Freiburg head coach Christian Streich

"At the moment, I have two outfield players who are consistently performing well, Dominik Szoboszlai and Roland Sallai.” - Hungary coach Marco Rossi (2020)

"He's one of the Hungary players who can decide a game on his own." - former Hertha Berlin, Bayer Leverkusen and Hungary goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly