Hungary hires Marco Rossi as coach, replaces George Leekens

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) Marco Rossi has been hired as the new Hungary coach.

The former Brescia defender and ex-coach of Budapest Honved replaces former Belgium and Algeria coach George Leekens, who was hired in October and had three losses and a draw in exhibition matches.

Rossi led Honved to the Hungarian league championship in 2016-17 and recently coached Slovakian team Dunajska Streda.

While Hungary reached the European Championship in 2016 for the first time since 1972, it last qualified for the World Cup in 1986.

The Hungarian Football Federation said Tuesday that the national team’s main task is to qualify for the 2020 European Championship, when Hungary will host four matches.

Soccer is a major interest for Prime Minister Viktor Orban, founder of the Ferenc Puskas Football Academy.