Zoltán Gera is considered to be the best, the most valuable active Hungarian football player both by professionals and fans. He started his career in Pécs, Hungary and grow out to be the most popular player in his country. Because of his rough and pretty much problematic childhood, nobody would have given him a go to be even in the Hungarian first division. Gerzson - as his fans call him nowadays - not only the highest ranked Hungarian football player and captain of the national team but he plays at West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League.
His father supported him when he took the first steps in his football career and it was obvious already at that time that he is a football genius not to be wasted. Despite of this it almost happened.
Gerzson grew up in a very problematic family, he spent more time on the streets and in the gaming-room than in his home or school. He became an alcohol and drug addict in his teenage years. His trainers, especially József Garami supported him as much as they could but it was not enough to draw him out of the deep trouble he was in. It seemed Gera would go down the sink.
|Born: 22 April 1979, Pécs, Hungary
Height/weight: 1,82 m, 76 kg
Clubs: Harkány, Pécsi MFC, Ferencváros, West Bromwich Albion
Position: attacking midfielder
First cap: 13 February 2002, Hungary - Switzerland 1-2
First time as a captain in the national team: 19 Februar 2004, Hungary - Latvia 2-1
First goal in national team: 16 October 2002.: Hungary - San Marino (hat-trick)Achievements: Hungarian champion with Ferencváros (2001, 2004), Hungarian Cup winner with Ferencváros (2003, 2004), the Player of the Year in Hungary (2002, 2004, 2005).
At the begining he amazed everybody with his skills and he scored a lot. After his first goals he invented his well-known trademark: the handspring followed by a somersault. No question he became the favourite. He played 115 league games and scored 32 goals. He won twice both the league title and the Hungarian Cup, and not only made his way into the national team but became a key figure in the Hungarian football life.
He scored his first national goal against San Marino that was the first of his hat-trick on that game and was nominated to be the best score of the qualifier by Eurosport. Very soon he became so popular he got offers from a number of European teams. He rejected Galatasaray to play at Ferencváros, Hungary again.
The big change came in the summer of 2004 when he got married and together with his wife, Tímea they moved to Birmingham where he started his career at West Bromwich Albion. Some were sceptical, but he refuted all the doubts. He had a fantastic season. He was one of the eleven players to play on all matches and he got recognition from many professionals. He spent 2845 minutes on the field and scored 6 goals, he made a major contribution to keep his team in the Premier League.
He was nominated as member of the football dream team by many media, like soccernet.com and he was on the top of the podium in almost every nomination.
There were some whispering about him changing his club to Tottenham, Bolton, Aston Villa or Liverpool, but they all turned out to be false information and Gera started his second season at West Bromwich.
He had some health problems recently because of his previous handbreak and operations, but he is still one of the best in his team - at the end of December squarefootball.net voted him to be the best West Bromwich Albion footballer of 2005.