Budapest, Dec 19: Hungarian Attila Pinter, 47, was named head coach of the national team by the Hungarian Football Federation (HFF) Thursday.
The move came as a surprise to the sports world since the Federation had been negotiating with a number of coaches from other countries.
According to Hungarian News Agency MTI, HFF president Sandor Csanyi acknowledged that over ten foreign coaches had been interviewed for the job, but most of them were willing to commit to building the team quickly enough to qualify for 2016 European Championships. Qualification rounds begin in September.
The previous coach, Hungarian Sandor Egervari, had been with the team since 2010. He quit in October after several disastrous defeats, most notably an 1-8 loss to the Netherlands in a World Cup qualifier that effectively knocked Hungary out of the running.
Pinter, whose contract runs to 2016, has had remarkable success with several Hungarian club sides. He has coached First Division Sopron, Ferencvaros, Vasas and Gyor. With Ferencvaros he won the 2003-2004 national championship and the Super Cup.
In 2004 he won the Hungarian Cup with the same team. Coaching Sopron in 2005 he won the Hungarian Cup, beating his old team, Ferencvaros. Last year, coaching Gyor, he won the national league championships and the Super Cup.