Gábor Ferenc Király is a Hungarian former footballer who played as a goalkeeper. In his 22-year-long playing career, Király spent most of his career with German club Hertha BSC with whom he signed in 1997, going on to appear in 198 official games. Apart from Hertha BSC, Király has previously played for English clubs Crystal Palace, Burnley, and Fulham and has had loan spells with West Ham United, and Aston Villa. In 2015, he joined his hometown team Szombathelyi Haladás. Since making his international debut against Austria in 1998, Király has amassed a record 108 caps for the Hungary national team. He represented his nation at UEFA Euro 2016, and on 14 June 2016, he became the oldest player to represent their country at a UEFA European Championship at 40 years and 75 days of age, beating the previous record of 39 years and 91 days held by Lothar Matthäus. The record was later extended to 40 years and 87 days on 26 June 2016. Király subsequently retired from international football after the tournament.
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Kiraly joined Hertha in 1997. He was initially the second-choice keeper, but after a streak of seven matches without a win, he was chosen over the first-choice goalkeeper Christian Fiedler for Hertha’s home match against 1. FC Köln on 28 September 1997 in which they managed their first Bundesliga victory that season. He subsequently became the first-choice keeper and Fiedler did not appear in the Bundesliga for more than two years, until February 2000, when Király missed seven league matches due to an injury. He also appeared in 10 UEFA Champions League matches for Hertha in the 1999–2000 season of the competition. However, after Hans Meyer was named the new Hertha coach in the winter break of the 2003–04 Bundesliga season, Király lost his place in the starting line-up and Fiedler was named the first-choice keeper after spending most of the previous six years on the bench. Király was then told his contract would only be renewed if he took a pay cut. In the spring of 2004, he only played the last 14 minutes of Hertha’s final Bundesliga match of the season, against 1. FC Köln; the same club against whom he had made his Bundesliga debut.
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Király made his debut for the Hungarian national team against Austria in 1998. After only four minutes, he saved a penalty from Austria’s all-time top scorer Toni Polster, and Hungary won 3–2. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying, Király was the only player in the Hungarian squad to appear in all of their ten qualifying matches. He had not played for the national team since the embarrassing 2–1 defeat by Malta on 11 October 2006, but was called up to the squad for the World Cup Qualifiers against Sweden and Portugal in September 2009 and has remained in the squad despite being second choice behind Gábor Babos. On 12 November 2015, he earned his 100th cap for Hungary in a 1–0 win away to Norway in the first leg of their UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying play-off in Oslo. He was the second Hungarian to reach the milestone, after József Bozsik of the Golden Team. Király was eventually called up in Hungary’s UEFA Euro 2016 squad. Aged 40 years, 2 months and 2 weeks, Király set a new record as being the oldest player to feature in a European Championship, in Hungary’s 2–0 group win over Austria, breaking Lothar Matthäus’ record. On 14 June 2016, Király played in the first group match in a 2–0 victory over Austria at the UEFA Euro 2016 Group F match at Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France. Three days later on 18 June 2016 he played in a 1–1 draw against Iceland at the Stade Vélodrome, Marseille. He also played in the last group match in a 3–3 draw against Portugal at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon on 22 June 2016. He announced his retirement from international football on 2 August 2016. However, on 15 November 2016, he played his testimonial match against Sweden. He played first 30 minutes in 2-0 loss.
Match Worn Tracksuit Bottoms
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Throughout his career, Király has stood out for his gimmick of wearing a recognisable pair of grey tracksuit bottoms instead of shorts in almost every match he has played since 1996; several commentators have taken note of his unusual attire, which he says he chose for comfort after playing on rough surfaces and grey in colour because they bring him good luck.