At 40 years of age, goalkeeper Gábor Király became the oldest player to ever appear in a European Championship game today when took the field for Hungary’s match against Austria. You might think that his attire from today’s game—particularly, those conspicuous gray sweatpants seen above—was a knowing wink at his transition from Cool Young Soccer Guy to Lame Old Dad. But in fact, Király has been dressing like a Lame Old Dad—the kind who grabs some ratty old sweats he doesn’t mind getting muddy before he and his son head out into the backyard to practice penalty kicks—for time immemorial.
Before we take a gander at some of Király’s looks over the decades, we should find out why the keeper is so attached to his sweatpants. Thankfully, we know the answer. From Sky Sports:
“I’m a goalie, not a top model!” he told Hungarian publication Lo Journal Francophone de Budapest.
“It’s essentially a question of comfort. I’ve played on clay or grass that’s been frozen in winter; it makes your legs hurt when you fall so jogging bottoms seemed obvious.
“I always take a size above to facilitate movement.
“I tried shorts during my spells in Germany and England but it didn’t suit me. The end result is more important than your look.”
And more, from the Guardian:
These antics may not be a part of his game any more but he is still wearing the jogging bottoms. Initially he wore black ones – he liked having tracksuit trousers on rough surfaces – until before one game Haladas did not have any clean pairs. So Kiraly put on grey ones, the team won, and they did not lose in the next eight games. Haladas stayed in the first division and the goalkeeper stuck with the colour. The original grey pair – used well over 100 times – is hanging in his wardrobe with plenty of tears and holes.
“Some of my clubs had to ask their manufacturer to make the grey bottoms for me because they did not have it in their collection but at 1860 Munich they were sold in the club shop as Kiraly’s jogging bottoms,” he said. “The most important thing is that they should be loose, preferably one size bigger.”
Now, to the pictures: