Hungary dedicate Euro 2024 win to stricken Varga after 'terrible' injury

AFP , Monday 24 Jun 2024

Hungary winger Roland Sallai dedicated Sunday's 1-0 win over Scotland at Euro 2024 to Barnabas Varga who was stretchered off and taken to hospital after a sickening collision which will rule him out of the rest of the tournament.

Barnabas Varga
Players and stewards hold a cloth as Hungary s forward #19 Barnabas Varga (DOWN) falls after a collision during the UEFA Euro 2024 Group A football match between Scotland and Hungary at the Stuttgart Arena in Stuttgart on June 23, 2024. AFP

Varga collapsed to the pitch in Stuttgart and was struggling to move after chasing a long cross into the area as Scotland goalkeeper Angus Gunn came to collect the ball late in the second half.

After a long delay, medics took the 29-year-old player from the pitch while sheets were draped around the stretcher in scenes that were initially reminiscent of Christian Eriksen's collapse after suffering cardiac arrest during Denmark's Euro 2020 match against Finland.

Hungary captain Dominik Szoboszlai appeared to be in tears as he consoled his stricken teammate.

"It was terrible. It was a terrible moment to see Barnabas like that," said Sallai.

"Fortunately he is in a much better condition. He is probably going to have to go for a minor operation.

"We cross our fingers that he can return quickly. Naturally it was a terrible incident. Of course we were fighting for him in the remaining 15-20 minutes. We wanted to win for him and we dedicate the win to him."

Coach Marco Rossi said Varga suffered what appeared to be a facial fracture.

"It was a confusing situation. What I heard from the players is that Barny at that moment looked like he was not conscious so everyone was really worried about his condition and also worried about the fact that the doctors arrived a bit late we can say," said Rossi.

"But of course they probably didn't realise it was a dangerous situation. Fortunately we can say now that Barny is not under any kind of risk.

"Probably he will be operated in the coming hours because he suffered a fracture here (pointing to his cheek/eye socket). If we go through the competition of course he will not be part of the team any more."

Varga was immediately taken to hospital after the incident.

"The condition of Barnabas Varga is stable," the Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ) wrote on X.

"The Hungarian national team player is currently in one of the hospitals in Stuttgart. We will inform you immediately if there is any news on his status."

German broadcaster Magenta TV reported that Varga was conscious and talking when he arrived at hospital in Stuttgart.

Kevin Csoboth grabbed the winning goal in the 10th minute of stoppage time in the Group A game to keep alive the team's hopes of making the last 16.

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