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Puskás Even Overshadows Golden Ball-winner Cannavaro

 

Gábor Joó
17 November 2006, 12:40

Foreign web pages featured news of Ferenc Puskás's death in lead articles. The most significant Spanish, Italian, English, and French newspapers wrote about one of football history's best with great respect. In Germany, however, their tribute did not do him justice.

Sports pages in all of Europe's significant football-playing countries began with the death of Ferenc Puskás. The most important Spanish, Italian, English, and French football magazines, as well as the daily web pages, began with articles about how on Friday morning, at 79 years of age, the world-class footballer passed away.

"Gold-footed Major"

Naturally, it was Spain that covered Puskás in the most detail. Several articles are accessible on his former club Real Madrid's website, realmadrid.com. In one of them, Ramon Calderon, the association's current president, and Alfredo di Stefano, a former teammate, bid their farewells.

"Mythic Puskás has passed away," wrote Madrid-born Marca, and his biographical article maintains that the 20th century's best goal shooter was gone. In 528 official matches, he scored 512 goals - 324 goals in 372 matches for Real Madrid, in whose strip he was Spain's top scorer four times and a winner of the European Championship Cup twice. The capital's other important newspaper AS led with the article "Puskás, the Gold-footed Major, Has Died," in which they referred to him by his nickname spread abroad, the Speedy Major.

In Madrid papers, Puskás managed to push even Fabio Cannavaro into the background, although that very Friday it turned out that the Real Madrid guard had earned this year's Golden Ball Award.

"But What a Left!"

On the website for Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy's top sports page, the biographical article "Legendary Puskás, God Be With You" played a leading role, and a few minutes of video from the footballer's career appeared as well.

The British BBC's opening page bore Ferenc Puskás's portrait, and the sports section led with an article covering his death and featuring an extraordinary eulogy.

"Puskás was a unique player: short, stocky, barrel-chested, and overweight. He could not hit the ball with his head, and he could only kick with his left foot. But what a left! Since 1953, we have not seen such technique in a player. In Wembley Stadium that year, our captain Billy Wright kicked the air, while Hungary beat the English National Team (up till then undefeated at home), 6-3."

At bbc.co.uk, they even make available Puskás's club statistics from Hungary, 354 matches and 357 goals in the Honvéd strip.

"Adieu, Monsieur Puskás"

"The great Hungarian has passed away," ran the skysports.com article, highlighting his 83 goals in 84 National Team matches, better even than Pelé.

The France Football website begins with Puskás's photo and biography. "Ferenc Puskás is no more." In France's leading daily L'Equipe, the article "Adieu, Monsieur Puskás" appeared; only it is a little strange that in the databank he appears as a mid-fielder, when he was one of the best-scoring strikers of all time.

"Ferenc Puskás Dead"

The German kicker.de featured the dry title "Ferenc Puskás Dead". On top of that, the picture of Puskás they chose to include was taken in 1954, as he shook hands with the victorious German captain Fritz Walter after losing the world championship. In the photo, Puskás stands with his back to the camera.

The Bundesliga.de website did not lead with the news of Puskás death, and neither did Sport Bild, the nation's leading sports journal.

 

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