ANFIELD FAMILY ‘LIVERPOOL FAN OF THE WEEK’
Anfield Family’s ‘Liverpool fan of the week’ is your section. It’s an opportunity for Liverpool fans from around the world to speak their mind. If you want to be featured, simply send us a message through our Facebook page and our team will contact you back promptly.
This week, our quest takes us to Hungary, where Zsolt Szkala lives. Zsolt attributes his passion for Liverpool FC to be the reason behind the existence of his happy family! Yes, you read that right! He has an interesting story to tell, so let’s hear what he has to say.
Name: Zsolt Szkala
Address: Budapest, Hungary
Occupation: Government Worker
Interests: Football, books, movies
1. How long has it been since you supported Liverpool FC?
I think the first Liverpool match that I saw on TV was the FA Cup final back in ’92. Those days there was a Hungarian player, Istvan Kozma, who was playing for Liverpool (unfortunately, he was also voted the worst player to wear the Liverpool shirt – but I think that poll was conducted before Diouf’s exit). So after seeing a footballer from my country in the club I began to support the Reds.
2. How did you become a Liverpool fan?
As I mentioned earlier, it has to do with Istvan Kozma and the FA Cup final in ’92. I was lucky to get a glimpse of that game on TV, but it wasn’t very easy for a young boy in Hungary like me to follow the results as there wouldn’t be regular live coverage of the games like in recent years – it was even before the Premier League came into existence from its earlier form when it was called the Football League First Division. I could follow the Champions League games sometimes, but during that period Liverpool were not playing in the competition.
However, since 2001, I have been regularly watching Liverpool’s games. That year we had a very good team and we even completed the treble. With players like Owen, Fowler, Gerrard, Heskey, Redknapp and Berger – the team played a really attractive brand of football. Since then my love for the club has never become any lesser.
3. Who is your favorite Liverpool legend and why?
That’s an easy question. It has to be Steven Gerrard. To be able to watch someone playing more than 700 games in the Liverpool shirt, who has scored almost 200 goals, won a lot of games for the team and is highly respected the supporters – there should be no doubt about that. I’m very sad about his departure – I think Gerrard is more than just a player for all of us. He is a legend who should have stayed at Liverpool until the end of his career.
4. Who is your current favorite player in the team?
I’m a bit disappointed lately, because in the recent years the club has sold almost every player whom I appreciated very much. Mascherano, Agger, Xabi Alonso and Bellamy are playing in other clubs, so I don’t have any option but to name Gerrard. I really admire Skrtel as well, he is a great player for the club – in my opinion he should be the vice-captain.
5. Which one player do you suggest the Liverpool board to buy for the next season and why?
That’s a bit hard question as don’t play FIFA manager or something similar. So I would like to talk about last summer. After we let Suarez depart, we should have signed a very talented striker to fill the void. Mario Mandzukic was available for a very low price (around €22m) – especially when we compare his price with the price of someone like Borini, who is sitting mostly on a bench or with that of Balotelli. But we didn’t pursue him.
If we talk about wingers/attacking midfielders, Griezmann was the first option that came to my mind – but he also isn’t available now. The other area, what we should have strengthened was the centre of the field. We had the money to find the replacement for Stevie G and I believe that Toni Kroos could have been an excellent signing, considering that he wasn’t too expensive as well (£24m). Compare his performance with Lallana’s or Allen’s performance and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Such opportunities have already passed, so the scouts have to prove their efficiency in the summer. This summer our options will be limited as we don’t have any player who’d sell for a figure like £70m. But if I could have a chance I would sign not a player, but a manager – Jürgen Klopp. Signing him should be the first step towards a new era for Liverpool FC.
6. Given the chance to watch Liverpool play at Anfield, which opponent would you choose and why?
I have been very lucky because as I’ve been at the Anfield on eight occasions. But as I’ve never attended a Champions League game, if I had the choice, I would like to see a big rival, for example Real Madrid or Bayern Münich.
7. Which new signing in Liverpool are you most happy with in the current season?
That’s a hard question as well because I’m not really satisfied with our new signings, especially when we look at the players who have left or are left out of the squad. If I should choose then I would like to choose Emre Can, who is big, powerful and intelligent. Another recent signing who could have great career at Anfield is Alberto Moreno. Both guys are still young, but their commitment to the club is remarkable.
8. Your favorite Liverpool match (that you watched live)?
That was a game at Anfield against Manchester United in 2009. I was seated in the Kop with several guys from our supporters club and the celebration after our second goal was amazing – I thought that the strike of N’Gog wouldn’t be crossing the goal line, but as soon as it happened the stadium exploded.
9. Your favorite Liverpool goal?
It must be Gerrard’s goal against Manchester United back in 2001. I’ve never seen a goal like that before.
I would like to mention N’Gog’s aforementioned goal as well – that’s my favourite goal that I saw personally at the Anfield.
10. What’s your expectation for Liverpool this season?
I would be really happy if we could get in the top 4 again this year, but I’m afraid we won’t.
11. What’s the most memorable thing that you have done as a Liverpool fan?
I wouldn’t have met my wife and wouldn’t be getting a wonderful son if I wasn’t a Liverpool fan. Me and my wife are members of the Official Liverpool Supporters Club in Hungary and we met during one of our yearly programs. Since then we’ve watched several games together at Anfield. We were also there together at Carra’s last game against QPR. So Liverpool FC is a big reason why I have a happy family. I really love my wife – she is the most amazing gift that I got.
12. Your message to other Liverpool fans.
Keep on believing and never forget our traditions. These are the things that make us different from other clubs. We are still the most successful football team in England and we have to admire the Liverpool way. You can buy trophies, but you can’t buy tradition.