Pál Dárdai

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The native form of this personal name is Dárdai Pál. This article uses the Western name order.
Pál Dárdai
Pál Dárdai - Hertha BSC Berlin (2).jpg
Dárdai as a Hertha player
Personal information
Date of birth (1976-03-16) 16 March 1976 (age 38)
Place of birth Pécs, Hungary
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
Pécsi Munkás
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1995 Pécsi Munkás 68 (11)
1996 BVSC 22 (3)
1997–2011 Hertha BSC 297 (17)
National team
1998–2010 Hungary 61 (5)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Pál Dárdai (born 16 March 1976) is an Hungarian retired footballer who played mainly a defensive midfielder.

In a 20-year professional career he played for over a decade in the same team, Hertha BSC in Germany. With 286 Bundesliga appearances, he is the club's most capped player.

Club career[edit]

Born in Pécs, Dárdai started his professional career with local Pécsi Mecsek FC, moving in January 1996 to BVSC Budapest. He helped his new club finish second in both the league and cup.

In the same month of the following year Dardái signed with Germany's Hertha BSC, appearing in ten games for the second division side before the end of the season as it eventually promoted. In the 1998–99 campaign he contributed with 21 matches (only six starts however) to the team's final third position, only trailing vice-champions Bayer 04 Leverkusen by one point.

From then onwards, Dárdai became an essential first-team member for Hertha, as it qualified several times for the UEFA Cup. After appearing sparingly from 2004 to 2006 (33 games combined), he again featured heavily in the following years. From 2009, his appearances became less and less frequent: after only one match in 2010–11 – with The Old Lady eventually returning to the top level – and also being demoted to the reserve team, the 35-year-old retired from football, having appeared in 297 league contests, more than any other player in the club's history.

International career[edit]

Dárdai began playing for Hungary with the U21s, in 1996. He made his senior debut in a friendly against Slovenia on 19 August 1998, and scored his first international goal on 10 October in an UEFA Euro 2000 qualifier against Azerbaijan, in the 58th minute of a 4–0 triumph.

Often cast as starting central midfielder alongside Krisztián Lisztes, under managers Bertalan Bicskei and Imre Gellei, Dárdai captained the national side seven times during 2006, netting twice. On 15 November 2006 he was not included in Péter Várhidi's provisional 25-man squad for Euro 2008 qualifiers, but featured in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying stages, as Hungary was now managed by Erwin Koeman.[1]

International goals
Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 10 October 1998 Baku, Azerbaijan  Azerbaijan 1–0 4–0 Euro 2000 qualifying
2 7 September 2002 Reykjavík, Iceland  Iceland 2–0 2–0 Friendly
3 20 November 2002 Budapest, Hungary  Moldova 1–1 1–1 Friendly
4 30 May 2006 Manchester, England  England 1–2 1–3 Friendly
5 24 May 2007 Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Bosnia-Herzegovina 3–0 3–1 Euro 2008 qualifying

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

BVSC
Hertha

Individual[edit]

  • Hungarian Footballer of the Year: 2006[2]

Club statistics[edit]

Season Club Country Competition Matches Goals
1991–92 Pécsi Munkás Hungary NBI 4 0
1992–93 10 1
1993–94 10 1
1994–95 30 4
1995–96 14 5
1995–96 BVSC Budapest 7 0
1996–97 15 3
1996–97 Hertha BSC Germany 2. Bundesliga 10 0
1997–98 Bundesliga 14 0
1998–99 21 1
1999–00 15 1
2000–01 24 2
2001–02 27 3
2002–03 29 4
2003–04 29 0
2004–05 17 0
2005–06 16 2
2006–07 28 3
2007–08 23 0
2008–09 26 1
2009–10 17 0
2010–11 2. Bundesliga 1 0

Personal life[edit]

Dárdai is married and has three sons: Pál, Márton and Bence. His brother, Balázs, also a footballer, died during a friendly match in 20 July 2002. He was only 23 years old.

Dárdai's father, also named Pál Dardái, was also a footballer.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dardai: Anything is possible". FIFA.com. 1 September 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2008. 
  2. ^ "Dárdai Pálé a Magyar Aranylabda" (in Hungarian). Sport Geza. 14 November 2006. Retrieved 14 November 2006. 

External links[edit]