||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (November 2013)|
|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Hungarian Wikipedia. (August 2012)|
Gera playing for Fulham in August 2009
|Full name||Zoltán Gera|
|Date of birth||22 April 1979|
|Place of birth||Pécs, Hungary|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
|Current club||West Bromwich Albion|
|2004–2008||West Bromwich Albion||135||(21)|
|2011–||West Bromwich Albion||18||(4)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 January 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Zoltán Gera (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈzoltaːn ˈɡɛrɒ]) (born 22 April 1979) is a Hungarian footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for West Bromwich Albion. He is the current captain of the Hungary national team. He has previously played for Fulham, Ferencváros, Pécsi Mecsek, Harkány SE and West Bromwich Albion.
Gera is known for his overhead-kick goals and his cartwheel to back-flip celebration, which he demonstrated in Fulham's Europa League quarter-final win against Juventus in 2010. He has been named Hungarian Player of the Year on three occasions in 2002, 2004 and 2005. For his efforts in the 2009–10 season and his goals in the Europa League, Gera was named Fulham's Player of the Season.
Gera made his international debut in 2002 against Switzerland, losing 2–1. In 2009, Gera briefly retired from the national team following a dispute with the then manager Erwin Koeman. After Koeman was replaced by Sándor Egervári in 2010, Gera returned to the international squad.
- 1 Club career
- 2 Club statistics
- 3 International career
- 4 International statistics
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Honours
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Pécsi Mecsek FC
Gera was signed by Pécsi Mecsek FC in 1997. During his 3-year spell with the club, Gera made 87 appearances and scored 16 times. On 1 July 2000, Gera moved to Hungarian giants Ferencváros on a free transfer.
During his four-year spell at Ferencváros, Gera played 115 league games and scored 32 goals. He won the Hungarian league title in 2001 and 2004, the Magyar Kupa in 2003 and 2004, and the Szuperkupa in 2004. He also received his first international call up. On 30 July 2004, Gera moved to West Bromwich Albion.
West Bromwich Albion
He made his Premier League debut on 14 August 2004, replacing Andy Johnson in the 87th minute against Blackburn Rovers. The match ended in a 1–1 draw. His first time in the starting line up came on 25 August 2004, against Tottenham Hotspur. He also scored his first league goal early in the third minute. That match ended, also, in a 1–1 draw.
As the club struggled with relegation for most of the season, Gera was seen in the media as an integral part of Albion's battle to beat the drop and this was evident towards the end of the season, in which Gera became more and more influential as every game passed by. It was no surprise that as Gera produced these stirring performances (including a brilliant match-winning header against high-flying Everton on 3 April 2005), the club's form rapidly picked up, finally securing their status as a Premier League club on the final day of the season, on a day of high emotion, which saw the four bottom teams in the league all scrapping for 17th place and ultimately survival. As West Brom held their nerve to see off Portsmouth 2–0 at the Hawthorns, Southampton's defeat at home to Manchester United, Crystal Palace's home draw with Charlton Athletic and Norwich's crushing 6–0 defeat at the hands of Fulham, meant that for the first time in Premier League history, the club who were bottom of the table on Christmas Day had stayed up, a feat not matched as yet. In total, he managed to score 6 league goals in this his first season and was the only player at the club to appear in all 38 league matches. He was nominated in the end of season dream team by soccernet.com, attracting the attention of Aston Villa.
During the 2005–06 season, Gera struggled with injuries and underwent a hernia operation in November 2005. At the end of the season, West Brom were relegated. Gera committed himself to the club in a bid for them to return to the top flight.
His performance in Albion's 4–2 win against Charlton Athletic on 15 December 2007 — scoring twice and setting up a third — earned him a place in the Championship Team of the Week. Gera helped Albion to promotion in the 2007–08 season; however, with his contract expiring, he declined a new offer from Albion and moved to Fulham on a free transfer.
On 9 June 2008 Gera turned down a new contract at West Brom, having decided instead to join Fulham on a free transfer. The three-year contract was completed on 11 June 2008. He made his debut in a 2–1 defeat to Hull City on the opening day of the 2008–09 Premier League. Just minutes after coming off the bench, he scored Fulham's second goal in their 2–0 win against league leaders Manchester United.
During the 2009-10 Premier League season, Gera scored his first goal of the season against West Ham United in a 2–2 draw. On 28 December 2009, he then scored his second goal of the season at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea, when he hooked the ball over Petr Čech from 12 yards to stun the home crowd after four minutes. Despite this early goal, Fulham went on to lose the game 2–1, with a goal from Ivorian forward Didier Drogba and an own goal by team mate Chris Smalling. He went on to score two goals in a Man-of-the-Match performance against Juventus, Fulham winning 4–1 on the night. He scored what proved to be the goal which sent Fulham to their first ever European final in a 2–1 victory against Hamburger SV. Having scored 10 goals in all competitions, Gera was voted the fans' player of the season for the 2009–10 season.
Gera started the 2010–11 season positively, scoring a hat-trick after coming off the bench in the 66th minute against Werder Bremen in a 5–1 friendly win, and a brace against Port Vale in the second round of the League Cup. His first League goal of the new campaign, a fortunate 30-yard volley which deflected off the post and then off the goalkeeper, came at the Hawthorns against old-side West Brom. Despite this, Mark Hughes did not regularly start Gera, despite him being a fan favourite, and used him more sparingly as a substitute. Gera was sent off in Fulham's final match of the 2010–11 season on 22 May 2011, a 2–2 draw against Arsenal. This was the first red card Fulham had received all season and it nearly cost them a place in the Europa League through UEFA's Fair Play League, but the Cottagers finished ahead of closest challengers Blackpool by just 0.01 points to win the qualifying berth.
On 16 June, Fulham announced that Gera was available on a free transfer, as one of three players that were being released by the club Subsequently, Gera looked to be reuniting with his former club West Brom.
Return to West Bromwich Albion
On 2 August 2011, West Brom boss Roy Hodgson announced that the club had signed Gera on a 2-year deal. On 5 Nov 2011, Gera made his second debut for Albion, in the starting line up against Arsenal. Albion lost 3–0.
After 9 months out through injury, Gera returned to the starting line up against Liverpool on the first day of the 2012–13 Premier League season, opening the scoring with a volley from 25 yards, leading to a 3–0 win. On 8 January 2013, it was confirmed Gera would be out injured for the rest of the season, following a knee injury picked up in a game against QPR.
- As of match played 1 December 2012.
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other||Total|
|Pécsi MFC||1997–98||Nemzeti Bajnokság II||25||2||0||0||—||—||—||25||2|
|1998–99||Nemzeti Bajnokság II||31||8||0||0||—||—||—||31||8|
|1999–2000||Nemzeti Bajnokság I||15||4||0||0||—||—||—||15||4|
|Ferencváros||2000–01||Nemzeti Bajnokság I||32||7||0||0||—||—||—||32||7|
|2001–02||Nemzeti Bajnokság I||27||8||0||0||—||0||0||—||27||8|
|2002–03||Nemzeti Bajnokság I||26||6||0||0||—||0||0||—||26||6|
|2003–04||Nemzeti Bajnokság I||30||11||0||0||—||0||0||—||30||11|
|West Bromwich Albion||2004–05||FA Premier League||38||6||3||0||1||0||—||—||42||6|
|2005–06||FA Premier League||15||2||1||1||0||0||—||—||16||3|
|West Bromwich Albion||2011–12||Premier League||3||0||0||0||0||0||—||—||3||0|
Before the World Cup qualification match on 14 October 2009 between Denmark and Hungary, Gera was excluded from the match squad by coach Erwin Koeman after he arrived late to a team meeting. Following the incident Gera announced his retirement from the national team.
On 23 July 2010 the newly appointed board of the Hungarian Football Federation terminated the contract of Erwin Koeman and appointed Sándor Egervári as the new national team coach. After a personal discussion with Egervári, Gera returned to the national team on 11 August 2010 against England. On 29 March 2011, Zoltán Gera scored twice against the Netherlands in the Amsterdam ArenA in front of 51,700 spectators. He scored the first goal in the 50th minute (1–2) and his second goal in the 75th minute (3–3) in the Euro 2012 Qualifiers. On 7 September, Hungary started the FIFA world cup 2014 qualifying with a 5–0 win in Andorra, Gera scored the second goal. On 16 October 2012 Hungary battle back to beat Turkey at home 3-1. Gera scored the third Hungarian goal.
Gera married on 19 June 2004. Gera became the father of a baby girl named Hanna-Shahil in 15 March 2008; following the birth he was given leave by his national team manager Péter Várhidi to miss Hungary's friendly against Slovenia in order to spend time with his family.
Gera is a member of the Faith Church, and was featured in billboard advertisements promoting the organization. He also often defended the church from its critics, and promoted it several times in the media.
West Bromwich Albion
- Tibor Simon Award: 2003
- Hungarian Footballer of the Year: 2004 & 2005 
- Fulham Player of the Year: 2009–10
- "Premier League Player Profile". Premier League. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
- "Zoltan Gera – News, Stats and Info About The Soccer Player". Sports Pundit. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- "Albion bag Gera". BBC Sport. 2004-07-30. Retrieved 2007-04-30.
- "WBA vs Charlton". West Bromwich Albion F.C. 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2008-01-08.
- "Coca-Cola Championship Team Of The Week. (17/12/2007)" (PDF). The Football League. 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2008-01-08.
- "Gera decides to join Fulham". West Bromwich Albion F.C. 2008-06-09. Retrieved 2008-06-09.
- "Gera joins Fulham from West Brom". BBC Sport. 2008-06-11. Retrieved 2008-06-11.
- "Gera makes Fulham switch". FIFA. 11 June 2008.
- "West Ham 2–2 Fulham". BBC Sport. 2009-10-04. Retrieved 2009-10-04.
- "Smash and grab from Chelsea in W.London clash". BBC Sport. 2009-12-28. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- "Gera hails most important goal". FIFA. 29 April 2010.
- "Fairytale Fulham reach final". FIFA. 29 April 2010.
- "Fulham 2 – 2 Arsenal". BBC Sport. 22 May 2011.
- "Fulham gain Europa League spot through Fair Play league". BBC Sport. 26 May 2011.
- "Retained player lists reveal big name players available for free". The Independent. 16 June 2011.
- "West Brom open talks with Zoltan Gera". The Independent. 8 July 2011.
- "Zoltan Gera rejoins West Brom after Fulham exit".
- Christopher Lepkowski (6 Nov 2011). "Arsenal 3 West Brom 0: Sunday Mercury Big Match Report and Pictures". Sunday Mercury. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
- "West Bromwich Albion's Zoltan Gera out for rest of season". BBC Sport. 30 November 2011.
- "West Brom 3–0 Liverpool". BBC Sport. 18 August 2012.
- "West Brom's Zoltan Gera out for season with knee injury". BBC Sport. 8 January 2013.
- "Zoltan Gera expecting to sign new deal at West Brom". Sky Sports. 3 July 2013.
- Zoltan Gera signs new one-year contract with West Brom. Sky Sports. 14 August 2013.
- "Gera, Zoltán". National Football Teams. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
- "Ferencvaros". Zoltán Gera. 30 November 2005. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
- "Games played by Zoltan Gera in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
- "Games played by Zoltan Gera in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
- Appearances and goals for this season are taken from:
"Games played by Zoltan Gera in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
"West Brom 3-2 Luton". BBC Sport. 12 January 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
- "Games played by Zoltan Gera in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
- "Games played by Zoltan Gera in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
- "Games played by Zoltan Gera in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
- "Games played by Zoltan Gera in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
- "Games played by Zoltan Gera in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
- "Games played by Zoltan Gera in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
- Gera retires from Hungary
- "Five-goal Hungary brush aside Andorra". FIFA. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
- "Hungary battle back to beat Turkey". UEFA. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- "Turkish hopes dented after Hungary defeat". FIFA. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- "PHOTO GALLERY: Albion 1 Leicester 4". West Bromwich Albion F.C. 2008-03-15. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
- "Gera granted baby break by Hungary". West Bromwich Albion F.C. 2008-03-22. Retrieved 2008-03-24.
- "Gera joined the Blue Team!". Careers Management Group. 2005. Retrieved 2005.
- "Gera Zoli, a gyülekezet arca". Népszabadság. 2008. Retrieved 2012.
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