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2022. December 01. 11:49  -  David Rechnitzer
Off the pitch: Szabolcs Schön

Our new column with our players will cover many topics, but one thing is for sure: it won't focus on football. This time we had a chat with our Hungarian international forward.

You signed for Ajax as a youngster, what challenges did this bring you in your life off the pitch?

It was difficult, I had to struggle with the language at the beginning, when I came to the Netherlands I didn't speak English, let alone Dutch, but you can get used to it in a few months. I had to learn English first and then Dutch. I was 16 at the time, far away from family and friends, but I managed to overcome the obstacle.

Does this mean that you can be called upon to act as a Dutch interpreter if necessary?

It would be a nice challenge (laughs). After a while I learned Dutch very well, and I spoke it better than English at the time. But I was able to improve the latter in America.

You mentioned that you moved to the Netherlands when you were 16, but you were already in Japan when you were 14. Was that your first trip outside Europe?

Yes, we were in Japan with the junior national team for a tournament, it was my first really long flight, we travelled for 8-9 hours. I also got to experience a new culture and play against teams I'd never played before, like Japan and Mexico. We didn't get to see much of the country, it was a 5 hour bus ride from Tokyo, so we saw more Japanese villages than metropolises.

When you arrived in America, what did you have to get used to the most?

The language was probably the hardest at the beginning. I went out already knowing English, but we had some difficulties at the beginning, English was spoken quite differently from, say, before in the Netherlands. Also, the culture of the game in soccer is different, almost all teams in the US play only attacking soccer.

Are you captivated by the atmosphere of classic American sports?

I followed them, but I wouldn't say I became a fan of American sports. I've been to hockey games, always a good atmosphere, in a stadium of 20-25,000 people - one of my former teammates' girlfriends worked in the arena cleaning the ice, so that's how we got closer to the sport.

If you're travelling to Dallas or Amsterdam for the first time, what's the first thing you should see?

Dallas is not a city with a lot of attractions, of course there are a lot of tall buildings, office buildings, besides seeing them I would definitely recommend the amusement park, it takes five or six hours to try everything there. Amsterdam is probably best known for the red light district, but otherwise it's a very nice, typical pedestrianised city, I think it's nicer than Dallas.

So far you've been to three continents. Are you planning to conquer them all?

Good question, I'm not really planning to go to Australia because I keep reading about the shark attacks (laughs). Africa is not on my specific plans either, luckily I've already been to most of the places I wanted to go. But I haven't been to France yet, if I had to pick a bucket list place, it would be Paris.

Dallas has thirteen times more people than Székesfehérvár, where you live now. How hard was that to get used to?

It was strange at the beginning, America is completely different in that respect, there are not many parts of the country where the big cities don't have very many people. My girlfriend and I moved to Fehérvár, we spend most of our week here, but it's not completely new for us, so we're getting used to it. We don't go out in the city that much, but we have a dog and we walk with him.

What will you do after you finish your career?

I would like to be a coach or a player agent, so I would definitely stay in football. When you're so involved in football on a day-to-day basis, coaching seems almost easy, but of course it's not.

What would you do if you didn't stay in football?

Then I would definitely like to have my own company, I don't know yet in what field, but if I manage to stay in football, then maybe it won't be a thing.

Where would you most like to live when you're 50?

I would love to go back to America to live and I would choose Los Angeles.

MOL Fehérvár FC - Minden jog fenntartva
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