Kispest, Wembley Stadium, the World Championship, the European Cup
Friday, 17 November 2006, 13:36
the best footballers of the past century, Ferenc Puskás, with his left
foot and his goals, made himself immortal.
Puskás made his first appearance on 5 December 1943, in the Kispest
colours. Although Nagyvárad beat the players from the capital (3-0), he
proved his talent by scoring a goal in his second match, when his team
lost to Diósgyőr at home (3-2). In March of the following year, against
Ferencváros, he scored his first double. By 20 August, the
seventeen-year-old left-footer had already made his debut as an adult on
the nation's Eleven Best.
He Quickly Became Leader
match against Austria, he played his part in the 5-2 victory by scoring a
goal. A little more than one month later, against Romania, he scored two
goals out of the seven.
In 1946, against Törekvés, he scored all five of the goals for Kispest. He
soon became leader in the nation's Eleven Best as well. In 1952, as
captain of the Olympic Championship Team, he scored important goals in the
quarter-final against Turkey, in the semi-final where they faced the
Swedish, and in the final against Yugoslavia.
Match of the Century, One of the Century's Best Goals
during the match of the century, the 6-3 defeat of the British in London,
he scored two goals. In Wembley Stadium, 105,000 spectators watched when,
at the five-metre mark, he pulled the back, faking out the rear-guard
Wright and sending him sprawling, before blasting the ball with his left
foot into the nearest corner of the net. It was one of the most memorable
goals of his career and in football history.
the world championship in 1954, the Hungarian team played a final friendly
match against the English, beating the Brits 7-1 in People's Stadium.
Puskás scored two goals on that occasion, too, as well as another two
against South Korea in the first world championship match.
Could Have Won the European Cup
goal in the group match against Germany, he received a nasty kick from
Liebrich, after which he could not even take the field against Brazil or
Uruguay. Before the final, he was thoroughly examined. His foot had healed.
He soon proved this, in the ninetieth minute, by scoring the second goal
for Hungary. The third goal sailed into the net just a little before the
end of legal playing time, but the referee mistakenly disqualified it.
This was almost certainly the most painful defeat in his life.
If the European Championship Cup had existed earlier, Honvéd (which was
the backbone of the National Team) would have been a serious contender,
but the series only kicked off in 1956. By that time, Best Eleven players
Puskás, Czibor, and Kocsis had all emigrated following the revolution.
Amazing, Even With a
For their actions, all of
the dissidents were banned by the International Football Association (FIFA)
for two years. With the intervention of Emil Östreicher, however, Puskás
managed to secure a contract with Real Madrid. He dropped his excess
weight and soon became the team's leading personality.
In the 1960 European Cup, he scored four goals in a row, sealing Real's
victory against Frankfurt (7-3). That year, he was voted Europe's second
best football player, in the running for the Golden Ball award.