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West Bromwich Albion FC Player Profiles

ZOLTAN GERA
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  • ZOLTAN GERA
  • MIDFIELDER

UPDATED 07:06 17th July 2012

ZOLTAN Gera endured an injury-hit first season back at The Hawthorns after rejoining for the Baggies on a Bosman in August 2011. 


Before re-signing, Gera underwent an ankle operation, which held up his return to action at the start of the 2011/12 term.


And, after only three first-team appearances, Gera's campaign ended during Albion's November defeat to Tottenham, in which he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligaments in his left knee.


The midfielder's two-year contract expires in the summer of 2013, with a further year's option in the club's favour.


Gera previously spent four years at Albion, scoring 25 times in 155 appearances, after moving to England from Ferencvaros in a £1.375million deal.


He signed for Fulham on a free transfer in June 2008 after being snapped up by then-Cottagers boss Roy Hodgson.


Gera made a big impression at Craven Cottage where he was voted Player of the Season in 2009/10.


During the second half of that campaign he formed a strong understanding in attack with Bobby Zamora and scored a total of ten goals in all competitions - including some historic strikes.


He fired the decisive goal in Fulham's 3-2 win over Basel in Switzerland, bagged a brace against Juventus and netted the winner against Hamburg in the semis to reach the Europa League Final.


Last term he found his opportunities largely restricted to appearances from the bench under Mark Hughes but still clocked up 27 Barclays Premier League outings.


And the 6ft ace continues to thrive as his country's captain, with 21 goals in 71 international appearances before rejoining Albion.


He proved an instant hit with Baggies supporters in his first Hawthorns spell, scoring less than three minutes into his full debut in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham before treating the Hawthorns hordes to his now customary acrobatic celebration.


He fired a further five top-flight goals to help the club pull off the 2004/05 'Great Escape' in a memorable first season in England.


Pepsi were quick to make the most of Gera's new-found stardom as he joined the likes of Ronaldinho, David Beckham, Roberto Carlos, Raul Gonzales, Thierry Henry, Fernando Torres and Rafael van der Vaart in promoting their brand.


The following campaign was a virtual write-off for the 'Magic Magyar' due to a perplexing pelvic problem.


But he was buoyed by retaining the Hungarian Player-of-the-Year Golden Ball award, with all 29 judges on the panel voting for him.


He enjoyed a steady first-ever Championship season when the Baggies reached the 2007 play-off final.


And his ten goals from midfield in all competitions in the 2007/08 season helped Tony Mowbray's men clinch promotion back to the Barclays Premier League as champions and reach the FA Cup semi-finals.


The former Pecs star arrived in the Black Country having clinched the domestic league and cup double with Ferencvaros and he was courted by a host of continental clubs including Lens, Borussia Moenchen-gladbach, Spartak Moscow and Galatasaray.


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(LAST UPDATED AUGUST 13, 2012)

 

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