A Freiburg and Hungary regular with an eye for a goal and a taste for assists, Roland Sallai is hoping to make the 2022/23 campaign his best yet for club and country. bundesliga.com takes a closer look at the attacking dynamo ...
Position: Winger/ forward
Country: Hungary (36 caps, eight goals)
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 helps himself to a first Bundesliga brace
Sallai registered seven Bundesliga goals between Matchdays 12 and 29 in 2021/22, starting that sequence with a second career brace against Schalke. He also produced six assists, whilst continuing to impress on the international scene. To date, the Freiburg man has managed to find the net eight times in 36 senior appearance for Hungary, for whom he featured three times at EURO 2020.
The Budapest native went mightily close to lifting his first piece of silverware with Freiburg in 2021/22 as the Black Forest side lost out to RB Leipzig on penalties in the DFB Cup final. Sallai's assist for Maximilian Eggestein's opening goal in the Berlin showpiece came in his fifth appearance in the competition and was the sixth time he set up a goal in the campaign overall.
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 former Borussia Dortmund and current England flier, Sallai knows how to make and take chances - and has shown himself to be a handy inverted winger and second striker for Freiburg and Hungary.
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
"I have two outfield players who are consistently performing well, Dominik Szoboszlai and Roland Sallai.” - Hungary coach Marco Rossi (2020)
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