Offensive. Born an attacking winger, he has, with his exponential physical growth, gradually carved out his own space in the center of the area. A path that has led him to be an atypical number 9, who does not disdain dirty play but who knows how to be lethal in space, in progression. Ball control isn’t the most delightful, but it’s hard to move it when launched on the run. The kicking ability that combines precision with power is interesting.
Defensive. Defending is not his prerogative but he knows how to be useful in bringing the first pressing, dirtying the opponents’ ball exit, and in sacrificing himself in the final third, allowing teammates to reposition and catch their breath.
In Ugric mythology, the óriások referred to creatures of enormous size, Golyats that resided in the gorges of the Precarpathian highlands of northern Hungary halfway between the laws of good and evil, in what was called the Middle World.
It’s folklore but those legendary lands are now home to Bence Mervó, a giant (about 190 cm and 80 kg) who came down from the Carpathians to scare the U20 defenses of half the globe.
A character who came out almost out of nowhere, followed like a shadow by an obstinacy configured in small gestures of pure bestial instinct. No curfew in sight, though, because the Hungarian bomber is harmless and only does what is in his nature: score by any means possible.
Even at the cost of plucking the roots from the soil in which it grew and developed, along the left sideline of the field.
An unexpected transplant but one that would not have been fruitful without the spirit of sacrifice of the twenty-year-old from Mosonmagyaróvár and the iron convictions of the German Bernd Storck, current coach of the Hungarian U20 and author of Mervó’s transformation from winger to old-school number 9.
And to think that in New Zealand the Győri ETO FC striker risked not being there due to an annoying injury, a topic, unfortunately for him, addressed too much in these early stages of his professional career. Maybe that’s also why he put aside for a moment the frenzy, the freedom (and luxury) to look at the goal from afar and then aim for it, alone, perhaps through an exchange with his teammate near the edge of the opponent’s area.
Now, in the jungle around the penalty spot, his guiding virtue is patience.
The same one he needed to study and live away from his family, from his father, a coach, who had brought him closer to this wonderful sport. A lot of time has passed since those uncertain steps behind a ball to the goals in Oceania and never has waiting been so well paid.
Perhaps not even using all his conviction and fortitude would he have ever imagined that one day someone would end up renaming him ” Mister Goal” and becoming the fourth Hungarian footballer to score a hat-trick in a FIFA World Cup, thirty-three years after Laszlo Kiss.
A modest boy but with many dreams in the drawer, such as that of playing for Barcelona. He certainly does not lack application and temperament, as well as respect for his teammates and the coach.
Centre forward, winger
Pros & Cons
MORE: power, opportunism
MINUS: slow ball offloading, unaccustomed to teamwork