h National teams

The Hungarians (in red) are excited about the Italy game. © IIHF/Vanna Antonello

“Coach is a clown”: huge noise from Italy’s opponents

For Italy, the penultimate match of the home World Cup against Hungary on Friday evening was a crucial one. In this explosive phase of all times, the opponents from Eastern Europe are in awe.

Italy and Hungary have the same goal at the Ice Hockey World Championships in Bolzano: both want to advance. That's why the match between the two formations on Friday evening was a game of fate, which Hungary won 3-2. But now, of all times, the Magyars' hats are on fire. There are obviously deep rifts between the team and the coach.


There is no other explanation for what is happening in Bolzano these days. The Hungarians lost 1-2 against Romania on Wednesday, completely unexpectedly. A defeat that was the last straw. Because star striker Vilmos Gallo (he will play for Kookoo in the top Finnish league from next season) launched an unprecedented attack live on Hungarian television: “Unfortunately, our national coach is a clown,” said Gallo in the direction of Don MacAdam, the coach the Hungarians.

The big attack is coming live on TV

“I give my best in every game, but the coach tries to push me further and further down. He took me off the power play line, which frustrated me. We'll see what happens next," complained the Hungarians' most well-known crack. Although Gallo later apologized for his public statements, the words of his teammates confirm that the coach and the team are at odds.

Vilmos Gallo (left) is the star of Hungary.


For example, Janos Hari (he is also known to some fans in this country as Fehervar captain) said: “Unfortunately, we don’t just have to fight with the opponent on the ice.” Goalie Bence Balizs agreed with him: “Unfortunately, the atmosphere in the dressing room was bad not good. Of course, the players have to have the mentality to be able to deal with something like that, but it's really difficult when you're being attacked for days by someone you don't expect it from."
“The comments were not worthy of a professional athlete.” Hungary's Ice Hockey Association

And what does coach MacAdam himself say? He shot back against striker Gallo. “We have a player who didn’t want to play because he wasn’t called up for the power play. That took a lot of energy away from the team.” The Hungarian association has so far continued to stand behind its controversial coach and explained in a press release: “Vilmos Gallo’s statements were not worthy of a professional athlete. Whatever happened in the dressing room before Wednesday’s game is an internal matter for the national team.”

There have been problems for a long time

The fact is: things have been simmering in the Hungarian team for a long time. A year ago, the Hungarians were relegated from the World Group, and coach Kevin Constantine unexpectedly left the team. Don MacAdam was the Hungarians' sporting director at the time and should have found a new coach. He didn't succeed, instead he took the helm himself. That caused dissatisfaction - and it was probably no coincidence that some top performers ended their careers in the national team in recent months. The barrel overflowed at the World Cup, of all places. In any case, the action had no consequences for Gallo: he was in the lineup against Italy.

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