Zoltán Gera

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This article is about the Hungarian footballer. For the Hungarian actor, see Zoltán Gera (actor).
The native form of this personal name is Gera Zoltán. This article uses the Western name order.
Zoltán Gera
1 zoltan gera 2016.jpg
Gera playing for Hungary at Euro 2016
Personal information
Full name Zoltán Gera
Date of birth (1979-04-22) 22 April 1979 (age 37)
Place of birth Pécs, Hungary
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Ferencváros
Number 20
Youth career
1993–1996 Pécsi Bőrgyár
Pécsi Zsolnay
Pécsi Kinizi
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996–1997 Harkány SE
1997–2000 Pécs 71 (14)
2000–2004 Ferencváros 115 (32)
2004–2008 West Bromwich Albion 135 (21)
2008–2011 Fulham 86 (5)
2011–2014 West Bromwich Albion 30 (4)
2014– Ferencváros 56 (7)
National team
1999–2000 Hungary U21 3 (0)
2002– Hungary 93 (25)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 30 April 2016.
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 26 June 2016

Zoltán Gera (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈzoltaːn ˈɡɛrɒ]; born 22 April 1979) is a Hungarian footballer who currently plays for Ferencváros in the Nemzeti Bajnokság I and the Hungarian national team as an attacking midfielder. He has previously played for Fulham, Ferencváros, Pécsi Mecsek and Harkány SE, as well as enjoying two spells at 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 was named Hungarian Player of the Year 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 then-manager Erwin Koeman. Koeman was replaced by Sándor Egervári in 2010 and Gera returned to Hungary's international squad.

Club career[edit]

Harkany SE[edit]

Gera started his professional career for Harkány SE in 1996, remaining there for one year before signing for Pécsi Mecsek FC.[2]

Pécsi Mecsek FC[edit]

Gera was signed by Pécsi Mecsek FC in 1997. During his three-year spell with the club, Gera made 87 appearances and scored 16 times. On 1 July 2000, Gera moved to major Hungarian side Ferencváros on a free transfer.[2]

Ferencváros[edit]

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.

West Bromwich Albion[edit]

On 30 July 2004, Gera moved to English Premier League club West Bromwich Albion for a fee of GB£1.5 million.[3] He signed a three-year contract with Albion, with a further one-year option in the club's favour. 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. Gera's first appearance in the starting lineup came on 25 August 2004 against Tottenham Hotspur. He scored his first league goal early in the third minute; that match also ended in a 1–1 draw.[citation needed]

The club struggled against relegation for most of the season, and Gera was portrayed by the media as an integral part of this struggle. Towards the end of the season Gera's influence grew. He produced stirring performances, including a match-winning header against Everton on 3 April 2005. The club's form quickly improved, securing its continued Premier League status on the last day of the season. Gera scored six 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.[citation needed]

During the 2005–06 season, Gera struggled with injuries and underwent a hernia operation in November 2005. At the end of the season, West Bromwich was relegated and Gera committed himself to the club.[citation needed] His performance in Albion's 4–2 win against Charlton Athletic on 15 December 2007—scoring twice and setting up a third goal—earned him a place in the Championship Team of the Week.[4][5] Gera helped Albion gain promotion in the 2007–08 season; on 9 June 2008, he turned down a new contract at West Brom, having decided instead to join Fulham on a free transfer.[6] The three-year contract was completed on 11 June 2008.[7][8]

Fulham[edit]

Gera playing for Fulham
Zoltán Gera in action playing for Fulham in August 2009.
Zoltán Gera played in the 2010 UEFA Europa League Final

Gera made his Fulham debut in a 2–1 defeat to Hull City on the opening day of the 2008–09 Premier League. Minutes after coming off the bench, he scored Fulham's second goal in a 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.[9] On 28 December 2009, Gera scored his second goal of the season at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea, when he hooked the ball over Petr Čech from 12 yards after four minutes. Despite this early goal, Fulham lost the game 2–1.[10] Gera went on to score two goals in a Man-of-the-Match performance against Juventus, Fulham winning 4–1. He scored the goal which sent Fulham to its first ever European final in a 2–1 victory against Hamburger SV.[11][12] Having scored 10 goals in all competitions, Gera was voted the fans' player of the season for the 2009–10 season.[13]

Gera started the 2010–11 season by 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 30-yard volley which deflected off the post and then off the goalkeeper, came at the Hawthorns against West Bromwich Albion. Despite this, Mark Hughes did not regularly start Gera, despite him being a fan favourite, and used him 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.[14] 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 Fulham finished ahead of closest challengers Blackpool by 0.01 points to win the qualifying berth.[15]

On 16 June 2011, Fulham announced that Gera was available on a free transfer as one of three players that were being released by the club[16] Subsequently, Gera looked to rejoin his former club West Bromwich Albion.[17]

Return to West Bromwich Albion[edit]

On 2 August 2011, West Bromwich Albion boss Roy Hodgson announced that the club had signed Gera on a 2-year deal.[18] On 5 Nov 2011, Gera made his second debut for Albion in the starting lineup against Arsenal. Albion lost 3–0.[19] After three first team appearances, Gera was injured in a 3–1 defeat against Tottenham on 26 November 2011; he was unavailable for the remainder of the season.[20] After nine months out because of his injury, Gera returned to the starting lineup 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.[21] On 8 January 2013, it was confirmed Gera would be out injured for the rest of the season after he injured a knee in a game against Queen's Park Rangers.[22] On 1 July 2013, Gera's contract with West Bromwich Albion expired, making him a free agent for a short period until he signed a new contract for another year with the club.[23][24] Gera left West Brom in 2014 after his contract expired.[25]

Ferencváros[edit]

On 2 April 2016, Gera became Hungarian League champion with Ferencvárosi TC after losing to Debreceni VSC 2–1 at the Nagyerdei Stadion in the 2015–16 Nemzeti Bajnokság I season.[26]

He scored the only and winning goal in the 2016 Magyar Kupa Final on 7 May 2016 against arch rival Újpest FC at the Groupama Arena.[27][28][29]

Club statistics[edit]

As of 7 May 2016
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Pécsi MFC 1997–98[30] Nemzeti Bajnokság II 25 2 0 0 25 2
1998–99[30] Nemzeti Bajnokság II 31 8 0 0 31 8
1999–2000[30] Nemzeti Bajnokság I 15 4 0 0 15 4
Total 71 14 0 0 71 14
Ferencváros 2000–01[31] Nemzeti Bajnokság I 32 7 0 0 32 7
2001–02[31] Nemzeti Bajnokság I 27 8 0 0 0 0 27 8
2002–03[31] Nemzeti Bajnokság I 26 6 0 0 0 0 26 6
2003–04[31] Nemzeti Bajnokság I 30 11 0 0 0 0 30 11
West Bromwich Albion 2004–05[32] Premier League 38 6 3 0 1 0 42 6
2005–06[33] Premier League 15 2 1 1 0 0 16 3
2006–07[34] Championship 40 5 3 1 2 0 3[a] 0 48 6
2007–08[35] Championship 43 8 5 1 1 1 49 10
Fulham 2008–09[36] Premier League 32 2 4 0 2 1 38 3
2009–10[37] Premier League 27 2 4 1 1 1 18[b] 6 50 10
2010–11[38] Premier League 27 1 3 1 2 2 32 4
Total 86 5 11 2 5 4 18 6 120 17
West Bromwich Albion 2011–12[39] Premier League 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
2012–13[40] Premier League 16 4 1 0 1 0 18 4
2013–14[41] Premier League 14 0 1 0 0 0 15 0
West Brom Total 169 25 14 3 5 1 3 0 191 29
Ferencváros 2014–15[42] Nemzeti Bajnokság I 26 3 3 0 0 0 1 0 30 3
2015–16[42] Nemzeti Bajnokság I 30 4 5 3 0 0 4 2 39 9
Ferencváros Total 171 39 8 3 0 0 5 2 184 44
Career totals 497 83 33 8 10 5 23 8 3 0 566 104

International career[edit]

Zoltán Gera playing for Hungary in November 2011.

Gera earned his first international cap on 13 February 2002 in a 2–1 defeat to Switzerland. Up to 2009 he had played 63 games for Hungary, scoring 18 goals. 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 at a team meeting. Following the incident, Gera announced his retirement from the national team.[43] 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, Gera scored twice against the Netherlands in the Amsterdam ArenA in front of 51,700 spectators in a UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying match. He scored the first goal in the 50th minute and his second goal in the 75th minute. Gera's goals weren't enough though as Hungary lost 5–3. On 7 September 2012, Hungary started their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign with a 5–0 win in Andorra; Gera scored the second goal.[44] On 16 October 2012, Hungary beat Turkey at home 3–1. Gera scored the third Hungarian goal.[45][46]

On 31 May 2016, Gera was selected as vice-captain for the Hungarian squad for Euro 2016 in France.[47]

On 14 June 2016, Gera played in the first group match in a 2–0 victory over Austria at Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux in Hungary's first Euro 2016 match.[48] Four days later on 18 June 2016, he played in a 1–1 draw against Iceland at the Stade Vélodrome, Marseille.[49] On 22 June 2016, he played in the last group match in a 3–3 draw against Portugal at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon and scored the first goal with a terrific half-volley from 25 yards out with his weaker foot. He became the second-oldest goalscorer and the oldest goalscorer from open play at a European Championship aged 37 years and 62 days with Austria's Ivica Vastić the oldest scorer at 38 years and 257 days when he converted a penalty at Euro 2008.[50][51] The goal was voted the "Goal of the Tournament" in a UEFA online fan poll.[52][53]

International statistics[edit]

As of 26 June 2016.
National team Season Apps Goals
Hungary 2002 8 3
2003 6 2
2004 13 2
2005 6 2
2006 7 3
2007 10 3
2008 7 2
2009 6 1
2010 5 1
2011 5 2
2012 4 2
2013 0 0
2014 3 1
2015 6 0
2016 7 1
Total 93 25

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 16 October 2002 Ferenc Szusza Stadium, Budapest, Hungary  San Marino 1–0 3–0 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying
2 16 October 2002 Ferenc Szusza Stadium, Budapest, Hungary  San Marino 2–0 3–0 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying
3 16 October 2002 Ferenc Szusza Stadium, Budapest, Hungary  San Marino 3–0 3–0 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying
4 30 April 2003 Ferenc Puskás Stadium, Budapest, Hungary  Luxembourg 1–0 5–1 Friendly
5 7 June 2003 Ferenc Szusza Stadium, Budapest, Hungary  Latvia 3–1 3–1 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying
6 8 September 2004 Ferenc Szusza Stadium, Budapest, Hungary  Iceland 1–1 3–2 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
7 17 November 2004 Ta' Qali Stadium, Ta' Qali, Malta  Malta 0–1 0–2 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
8 4 June 2005 Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík, Iceland  Iceland 1–1 2–3 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
9 4 June 2005 Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík, Iceland  Iceland 1–2 2–3 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
10 16 August 2006 UPC-Arena, Graz, Austria  Austria 0–1 1–2 Friendly
11 2 September 2006 Ferenc Szusza Stadium, Budapest, Hungary  Norway 1–4 1–4 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
12 6 September 2006 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Bosnia and Herzegovina 0–2 1–3 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
13 28 March 2007 Ferenc Szusza Stadium, Budapest, Hungary  Moldova 2–0 2–0 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
14 22 August 2007 Stadium Puskás Ferenc, Budapest, Hungary  Italy 2–1 3–1 Friendly
15 8 September 2007 Stadion Sóstói, Székesfehérvár, Hungary  Bosnia and Herzegovina 1–0 1–0 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
16 6 February 2008 Tsirion Stadium, Limassol, Cyprus  Slovakia 0–1 1–1 Friendly
17 19 November 2008 Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland  Northern Ireland 0–2 0–2 Friendly
18 1 April 2009 Stadium Puskás Ferenc, Budapest, Hungary  Malta 2–0 3–0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
19 8 October 2010 Stadium Puskás Ferenc, Budapest, Hungary  San Marino 8–0 8–0 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
20 29 March 2011 Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands  Netherlands 1–2 5–3 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
21 29 March 2011 Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands  Netherlands 3–3 5–3 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
22 7 September 2012 Estadi Comunal, Andorra la Vella, Andorra  Andorra 0–2 0–5 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
23 16 October 2012 Stadium Puskás Ferenc, Budapest, Hungary  Turkey 3–1 3–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
24 14 November 2014 Groupama Arena, Budapest, Hungary  Finland 1–0 1–0 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
25 22 June 2016 Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon, France  Portugal 1–0 3–3 UEFA Euro 2016

Personal life[edit]

Gera married on 19 June 2004; his wife gave birth to a boy named Szabolcs on 15 March 2008; following the birth he was given leave by his national team manager Péter Várhidi to miss Hungary's friendly against Slovenia to spend time with his family.[54][55] In 2005, Gera featured in a television advertisement for Pepsi, representing the 2006 FIFA World Cup alongside Thierry Henry, David Beckham, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldinho, Nicklas Bendtner, Neil Ruddock and Raúl.[56]

Gera is a member of the Faith Church and was featured in billboard advertisements promoting the organization. He has often defended the church from its critics and promoted it several times in the media.[57] He credits the church with saving his life, helping him change his destructive lifestyle which included crime and drug abuse.[58]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Ferencvárosi TC

West Bromwich Albion

Fulham

Individual[edit]

  • Tibor Simon Award: 2003
  • Hungarian Footballer of the Year: 2004 & 2005 [59]
  • Fulham Player of the Year: 2009–10
  • UEFA Euro 2016 Goal of the Tournament

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Premier League Player Profile". Premier League. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Zoltan Gera – News, Stats and Info About The Soccer Player". Sports Pundit. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Albion bag Gera". BBC Sport. 30 July 2004. Retrieved 30 April 2007. 
  4. ^ "WBA vs Charlton". West Bromwich Albion F.C. 15 December 2007. Retrieved 8 January 2008. 
  5. ^ "Coca-Cola Championship Team Of The Week. (17/12/2007)" (PDF). The Football League. 17 December 2007. Retrieved 8 January 2008. 
  6. ^ "Gera decides to join Fulham". West Bromwich Albion F.C. 9 June 2008. Retrieved 9 June 2008. 
  7. ^ "Gera joins Fulham from West Brom". BBC Sport. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2008. 
  8. ^ "Gera makes Fulham switch". FIFA. 11 June 2008. 
  9. ^ "West Ham 2–2 Fulham". BBC Sport. 4 October 2009. Retrieved 4 October 2009. 
  10. ^ "Smash and grab from Chelsea in W.London clash". BBC Sport. 28 December 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2009. 
  11. ^ "Gera hails most important goal". FIFA. 29 April 2010. 
  12. ^ "Fairytale Fulham reach final". FIFA. 29 April 2010. 
  13. ^ "Zolly scoops award". Fulham Official Website. 28 May 2010. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "Fulham 2–2 Arsenal". BBC Sport. 22 May 2011. 
  15. ^ "Fulham gain Europa League spot through Fair Play league". BBC Sport. 26 May 2011. 
  16. ^ "Retained player lists reveal big name players available for free". The Independent. 16 June 2011. 
  17. ^ "West Brom open talks with Zoltan Gera". The Independent. 8 July 2011. 
  18. ^ "Zoltan Gera rejoins West Brom after Fulham exit". 
  19. ^ Christopher Lepkowski (6 November 2011). "Arsenal 3 West Brom 0: Sunday Mercury Big Match Report and Pictures". Sunday Mercury. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  20. ^ "West Bromwich Albion's Zoltan Gera out for rest of season". BBC Sport. 30 November 2011. 
  21. ^ "West Brom 3–0 Liverpool". BBC Sport. 18 August 2012. 
  22. ^ "West Brom's Zoltan Gera out for season with knee injury". BBC Sport. 8 January 2013. 
  23. ^ "Zoltan Gera expecting to sign new deal at West Brom". Sky Sports. 3 July 2013. 
  24. ^ Zoltan Gera signs new one-year contract with West Brom. Sky Sports. 14 August 2013.
  25. ^ "Baggies release five players". West Bromwich Albion Official. Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  26. ^ "Ferencváros crowned Hungarian champions". UEFA.com. 2 April 2016. 
  27. ^ "Újpest FC 0–1 Ferencvárosi TC". magyarfutball.hu. 7 May 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016. 
  28. ^ "Újpest FC 0–1 Ferencvárosi TC". csakfoci.hu. 7 May 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016. 
  29. ^ "Újpest FC 0–1 Ferencvárosi TC". Nemzeti Sport. 7 May 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016. 
  30. ^ a b c "Gera, Zoltán". National Football Teams. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  31. ^ a b c d "Ferencvaros". Zoltán Gera. 30 November 2005. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  32. ^ "Games played by Zoltan Gera in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  33. ^ "Games played by Zoltan Gera in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  34. ^ 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. 
  35. ^ "Games played by Zoltan Gera in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  36. ^ "Games played by Zoltan Gera in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  37. ^ "Games played by Zoltan Gera in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  38. ^ "Games played by Zoltan Gera in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  39. ^ "Games played by Zoltan Gera in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  40. ^ "Games played by Zoltan Gera in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  41. ^ "Games played by Zoltan Gera in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  42. ^ a b "Ferencvaros". Soccerway. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  43. ^ Gera retires from Hungary Archived 7 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  44. ^ "Five-goal Hungary brush aside Andorra". FIFA. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012. 
  45. ^ "Hungary battle back to beat Turkey". UEFA. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  46. ^ "Turkish hopes dented after Hungary defeat". FIFA. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  47. ^ "Gera, Dzsudzsak and Kiraly lead Hungary at Euro 2016". Daily Mail. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  48. ^ "UEFA Euro 2016: Austria 0–2 Hungary". UEFA.com. 
  49. ^ "UEFA Euro 2016: Iceland 1–1 Hungary". UEFA.com. 
  50. ^ "UEFA Euro 2016: Hungary 3–3 Portugal". UEFA.com. 
  51. ^ "EURO 2016 group stage number crunching". UEFA.com. 24 June 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  52. ^ "Gera wins fans' goal of the tournament". UEFA.com (Union of European Football Associations). 13 July 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  53. ^ "Zoltan Gera goal named Euro 2016's best ahead of Ronaldo, Shaqiri efforts". ESPN FC (Entertainment and Sports Programming Network). 14 July 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  54. ^ "PHOTO GALLERY: Albion 1 Leicester 4". West Bromwich Albion F.C. 15 March 2008. Retrieved 15 March 2008. 
  55. ^ "Gera granted baby break by Hungary". West Bromwich Albion F.C. 22 March 2008. Retrieved 24 March 2008. 
  56. ^ "Gera joined the Blue Team!". Careers Management Group. 2005. Retrieved 2005. 
  57. ^ "Gera Zoli, a gyülekezet arca". Népszabadság. 2008. Retrieved 2012. 
  58. ^ "Zoltan Gera: I could be dead now if I had not found religion". 11 May 2010. 
  59. ^ "Player of the year - Hungary". 

External links[edit]