'It's the best feeling ever'
by Andy Potts|16 MAY 2023
Jubilant Hungarian players share the moment with their fans after defeating France in overtime at the 2023 World Championship in Tampere, Finland.
World Championship hockey produces many moments of high drama and emotion. However, the scenes as Hungary celebrated victory over France on Tuesday evening were among the more spectacular so far in 2023.

This, after all, was only the second time Hungary won a top division game in this century. The previous success, against Belarus, was back in 2016 when the Magyars last played at this level. Moreover, it’s a real boost to the country’s hopes of surviving at the top.

As the party continued for the fans, Hungary’s players tried to put it into words for IIHF.com.

Gergo Nagy, team captain
“I promised to the media a couple of days ago that our national anthem was going to be on the loudspeakers. And we sang it with our fans. It's the best feeling ever. Our job is not done, though. We're happy until midnight. We're going to use our day off to recover and then look forward in the tournament.

“This is what we're capable of. We're playing good as a team. And when we do that, we're pretty hard to beat.”

Winning goalscorer Istvan Bartalis
“First and foremost, we are happy we could do it for our fans. They follow us all over the world. That’s the most important.

“We wanted to get three points, but right now it’s two and we have to keep going because it’s not enough [to stay in the top division].”

Goalie Bence Balsizs on the celebrations with the fans
“It’s just like always. Our fans are the best in the world, there’s no doubt about that.”

Goalscorer Vilmos Gallo
“We are a small hockey nation and to be able to win in this tournament, it's a big achievement for us. Everybody knows that. All our fans know that. They were cheering from the beginning. And it's just incredible. Incredible! 

“We're not the most skilled team in this tournament. Usually, we play against opponents who are better than us, and we have to work together as a team. We have a really strict structure in our game. And that's what can make us so successful. Everybody knows that and follows that. Of course, we make some mistakes sometimes, but today, we corrected them right away and won the game.”