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Highest-paid Hungarian footballer of all time is Romani

14.1.2016 19:50
Norbert Balogh (Source:  facebook.com)
Norbert Balogh (Source: facebook.com)

What has been suspected for several days has now been officially confirmed. Hungarian footballer Norbert Balogh will continue his career as a player in the highest Italian competition, the A Series, as a member of Palermo.

The Italian club has paid EUR 2.2 million for Balogh. He has signed a contract for four and a half years, during which he will earn a total of EUR 2.8 million, according to information released by his hometown sports club, VSC.

Norbert is 197 centimeters tall and weighs 80 kilograms. He will be 20 in February.

By joining the Palermo club, Balogh will become the highest-paid Hungarian footballer to date. "You'll see, Balogh will become the new Cavanim. I paid five million euro for him plus bonuses, and I also immediately refused a certain British club who offered to pay double for him shortly thereafter," said Maurizio Zamparini, president of the Palermo club.

The striker, who graduated from the Debrecin Football Academy, began his sporting career in the town of Hajdúböszörmény. In 2014-2015 he was coached by a professional trainer and during 24 matches shot a total of five goals, but he did not make it into the actual elite of Hungarian football until this year.

In an interview for vsc.hu, the young talent spoke with unusual humility and openness about the conditions of his childhood:  "I grew up in the Romani settlement in Hajdúböszörményi. I had a difficult childhood and I experienced many different blows of fate rather early on. My parents had very little money and more than once we had nothing to eat for supper. That poverty worried me, and I was ashamed because the other children at school were wearing trendy shoes while I just had used ones from the second-hand store. I remember mourning over an advertisement for brand-name shoes with David Beckham in it because it was clear to me that something like that was not an option for me. When I look back on it, of course, I am grateful for my childhood; it taught me to appreciate what I have much more. Even if I continue to succeed, even if I may never know financial destitution again, I will never forget where I come from."

"I still nurture my friendships and relationships with people from the settlement and I want things to remain that way in the future. Those were the friends that I frequently played football with outside in the heat of the summer, after all, without any food, without anything, we just kept kicking the ball around," Balogh said. 

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Adéla Gálová, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Fotbal, Chudoba, Hungary, Itálie, Osada, Romové, Sport



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