Eric Naszalyi is a legend of the game of Subbuteo. The French International has had many magical moments including runner up in the World Cup Final in 1994. Our exclusive interview is a fascinating read for all Subbuteo players old and new.
1. When did you first start playing?
It was back in 1981, at a time when Waddington organised tournaments in toy shops...and I won that first tournament I ever played in!!! Great souvenir :)
2. Which was your first ever big tournament?
I would say Rochefort in 1982. Rochefort in Belgium was a big tournament with great players, and many Italians were there too. It's the first timeI played against players like Bruno Goset (0-0) or Alphonse Paulis (1-1, he played with flats!) of Belgium.
3. Which is the best tournament you have ever attended?
Probably the World Cup 1994, in Paris. There were so many nations, public, great players, media coverage...and it was during my career peak (lost in the final against Dominique Demarco 1-2 after a great tournament, beating the greek, the spanish, the scottish champion (Dav Baxter), and Paulo Sobral of Portugal, reigning European Champion, in the semis...
4. What was the best goal you have ever scored?
I have two in mind, one vs Carl Young in Oldham's final after a fantastic spin on the shooting area corner followed by a shot on the move, for a 4-3 victory...the other one was vs Christophe Fuseau in the French cup final, long pass and volley without seeing the ball hidden by fuseau's arm for a 6-2 win! Funny great goals come on great occasions!
5. Who would you describe as being the toughest player you have faced in England?
I realised I haven't played many times vs English players, more Scottish and Welsh! But Kevin Dyson was probably the toughest I faced. Be great to play Justin Finch, Bob Varney, and a few others now that we're old :)
6. Who would you describe as being the toughest player you have faced in the World?
Again, it's so tough...I go for Vasco Guimaraes, Willy Hofmann, Dominique Demarco, Renzo Frignani and Christophe Fuseau. Do you accept 5 names??? I do respect great players so much...be easy to add another half-dozen!!!
7. What has been the best match you have ever played in?
Certainly my semi final against Fuseau in Sucy in 1994, beating him 5-2, in front of all the best world players...great souvenir, despite a short loss 2-3 vs Gil Delogne in the final.
8. What has been your best moment or achievement in the game?
My best achievement is creating FTC Issy in 1991, that we grew up to 43 members of which EVERY single member won a tournament, and played well enough to have fun. The club still exist, has 10 French titles in 22 years, plus a European Cup semi final...
9. What has been the funniest moment you have seen on a trip away to a tournament?
That was definetely the Irish tour in early 1990's with Belgians, English, Greeks, Portuguese, English, Dutch, Austrians, Maltese, Irish friends...Dublin, Limerick, Belfast...3 tournaments in one week!!!
10. Which football team do you support?
No Multiple choice here: Saint-Etienne in France and Liverpool FC abroad!
11. What is your favourite food?
12. Do you have any other hobbies?
Enjoying every minute!
13. What is your favourite holiday destination?
Skying holidays, but unfortunately, it's not often enough...
14. What is the best movie you have ever seen?
The green line, staring Tom Hanks
15. What is your favourite TV series?
16. What is your favourite music?
Pop-Rock, The Beatles and Paul McCartney!
17. Which person do you have most respect for in life?
Probably Nelson Mandela...but at the end of the day, every one of us is unique and every one of us inspire respect.