The name Callum Styles doesn't exactly scream goulash and Rubik's cubes but the Bury-born midfielder will be as Hungarian as every one of his team-mates during tonight's Nations League clash against England.
Last summer Styles was cheering the Three Lions on at Euro 2020, and now he's about to rub shoulders with his heroes in front of 67,000 people – quite literally living the dream.
The 22-year-old Barnsley star only found out that his grandmother was Hungarian two years ago, and while he insists he's "still an England fan", he leaped at the chance to switch allegiances after being approached by Hungary boss Marco Rossi a few months ago.
"I’m still as English as any of the lads we’ll be facing," Styles told The Sun, "but for this game and the return on June 14, I’ll be giving everything for the Magyars."
He made his international debut against Serbia back in March and started his first match a few days later against Northern Ireland, and is now fully embracing his newly-discovering eastern European roots.
"I remember watching the European Championship final last year in Manchester in a pub and nobody was more gutted than me when we lost out to Italy," Styles added. "Back then I didn’t know about my Hungarian roots – now I believe I could also have qualified to play for Poland, too.
"But Hungary approached me and the head coach Marco Rossi has been brilliant, as have been my international team-mates."
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Styles is a lifelong Manchester United fan and is keeping his fingers crossed that Gareth Southgate gives Harry Maguire the nod tonight, though the midfielder insists that he won't let the wonderment of the evening get the better of him.
"It will still be a surreal experience facing England. There was a time when I thought maybe it would happen for me with England but I’ve been given an alternative and I’m loving it … and I will give everything against them."
Styles joined Burnley's academy as a youngster but was released in 2016 after failing to earn himself a professional contract. He was snapped up by League One side Bury, who eased him into the first-team over the next two seasons, but relegation to League Two saw the would-be Hungary international looking elsewhere.
He moved to Barnsley in 2018 and has spent the last two seasons honing his craft in the Championship, attracting offers from the likes of Blackburn Rovers and even Premier League-bound Nottingham Forest – offers he ultimately rejected.
Hungarian outfit Ferencvaros have also reportedly made contact with the midfielder, though Styles admits he has his heart set on a move to the summit of English football instead.
"Playing for England never happened for me but now I’m an international and, fingers crossed, the next three games might lead me to a Premier League club," he said.
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