Dominik Szoboszlai was greatly rewarded for his patience at the very start of his Leipzig career. In his first game at the Red Bull Arena against VfB Stuttgart, Szobo picked up the ball on the edge of the Area and smashed it across the goalkeeper and into the back of the net for his first Bundesliga goal. He then followed it up in the second half with a stunning free kick from thirty yards to give him his second goal in just two games.
It wasn’t all plain sailing before that, however. After his move to Leipzig from Salzburg in the winter of 2021, Szobo was plagued with adductor problems and he spent the first 224 days of his RBL career on the sidelines. The injury also ruled him out of the European Championship that summer.
A goal and an assist on Rose's debut
Since then, Szobo has remained injury-free, but he needed a little bit of patience at the start of the season. He only managed an appearance off the bench in the first game and he was sent-off on matchday 2 against FC Köln, which led to a two-match ban. The change of head coach, however, seemed to revitalise the Hungarian. In Marco Rose’s first game, Szobo shone as Leipzig thumped Borussia Dortmund 3-0. He assisted Willi Orbán’s opener and scored RBL’s second from range.
A super shooting technique
Szobo is known for his ability to strike the ball, but what is his secret? The answer is simple. Lots and lots of training and his small feet. He has already scored multiple times from distance for Leipzig and his stunner against Dortmund came as no surprise.
But it is not only his shooting ability that sets him apart. The 1.87m winger is also blessed with real pace and he also has excellent ball control, which allows him to assert himself in one-on-one situations. His quick-thinking and his ability to act under pressure allow him to make an impact on the game, even when there is little space to play in.
Comparisons with Puskas
Back in his native Hungary, Szoboszlai is often compared to Ferenc Puskas because of his wide-range of skills. Puskas was the captain of the legendary Hungary team of the 1950’s, which was considered the best in the world. They were, however, beaten by Germany in the 1954 World Cup final, which became known as “The Miracle of Bern.” Puskas, who played for Real Madrid between 1958 and 1966 scored the opening goal in the final. Real Madrid’s formidable attack back in the 50’s and 60’s became known as the “white ballet,” because the players used to dance through the opposition penalty area. Puskas won the European Cup on three occasions.
Szobo has never been phased by the levels of expectation put upon him in his homeland. The Székesfehérvár-born player, who moved to the RB Salzburg academy at the age of 16, simply wants to stay fit and continue to play football. And in this sense, Marco Rose seems happy to oblige him. Szobo has played for the full 90 minutes in all three of the new head coach’s games in charge so far and it looks as though the Hungarian is well on his way to becoming a key player for RBL. If you have patience in Szobo, you will be rewarded.