Peter seeking inspiration from Petr
© Getty Images

At first sight, you could be forgiven for thinking that Peter Gulacsi, Hungary's U-20 goalkeeper, and Czech Republic and Chelsea shot-stopper Petr Cech are related by birth.

The two custodians certainly have plenty in common: the same mop of chestnut hair, the same loping gait and the same inclination to remind their defenders exactly where they need to be. And then there is that fact that they both have birthdays in May and play their club football in England.

"It's not the first time someone has mentioned all that to me," the youngster tells FIFA.com. "But we just look the same and that's it. I'd love to be compared to him as a player one day, but I'm still a long, long way from achieving that. I still have a lot of work to do to get there."

Despite his obvious admiration for his near namesake, the Hungarian youngster, who plays his club football for Liverpool, admits to having another role model in the game. "Petr is not my only idol. Having Pepe Reina alongside me has helped improve my game tremendously. His sense of anticipation is very impressive and the speed with which he comes off his line. With Cech, I tend to draw more inspiration from his positional sense. Let's just say that they're the two players I model myself on."

Amazingly, Gulacsi has also emulated Cech by making his debut on the international stage at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, a tournament that the former Stade Rennais player appeared in at Argentina 2001.

Having Pepe Reina alongside me has helped improve my game tremendously. His sense of anticipation is very impressive and the speed with which he comes off his line.
Peter Gulasci, Hungary goalkeeper.

After kicking off with a clean sheet in a goalless draw against Angola, the Czech keeper helped his side reach the quarter-finals. The Hungarian tyro would no doubt be happy to match that achievement, particularly after conceding three goals against Honduras on Sunday, a harsh statistic that does not reflect the quality of his performance behind a struggling defence.

"There are times when we win when I'm not happy with my performance," says the refreshingly modest Gulacsi. "And then there are other occasions, like the Honduras game, when I feel I've done my job but we've still ended up losing heavily. Unfortunately, that's football for you."

Having moved abroad to play for one of Europe's most prestigious clubs, the Hungary No1 is a figure the rest of his team-mates can look up to. Nevertheless, the self-effacing keeper is anxious to play down such status. "I'm not the only one in the team who plays abroad and as far as I'm concerned that makes all of us role models. I don't like to take the spotlight too much but I try to make as much of a contribution as my experience allows."

Given their opening-day disaster, Hungary will need their last line of defence to be at his very best if they are to advance beyond the first round. Currently lying bottom of Group F, Sandor Egervari's charges have the chance to revive their fortunes when they take on South Africa on Wednesday.

"Our dream when we came here was to reach the last 16," concludes Gulacsi, contemplating the scale of the task the young Magyars now face. "And if we're going to do that, we need to look upon each match as a final."