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German and English Press also Remember Puskás


INDEX / Hungarian News Service
Saturday, 18 November 2006, 16:24

On Saturday, leading articles appeared in German and English dailies, covering the life and career of Ferenc Puskás, who died on Friday morning at 79 years of age.

"He Had the World on His Left Foot", "Leader of the Miracle Team", "The Major Has Departed" - with these and other similar titles, extensive articles about the death of Puskás Ferenc, illustrated with dramatic photos, appeared in all of the national German papers.

Best of the Century

Der Tagesspiegel dubbed him one of the soccer geniuses of the century, not forgetting the significant role he played in the match of the century, 1953's England - Hungary pre-championship friendly. The paper did not leave out the final in Bern, either, stressing that the Hungarian player drank beer and smoked cigarettes during the quarter-final, only to score a goal in the sixth minute of the final match.

According to the Berliner Zeitung, he was a genius striker. His build appeared to be somewhat slight, but on the pitch, he was a giant. Meanwhile, Die Welt cited a quotation of his from decades earlier, "Football is life itself.".

Most Popular Hungarian

The Frankfurer Allgemeine Zeitung remarked that Hungary had lost its most popular citizen, since for Hungarians, Ferenc Puskás is the nation's best known representative the world over. Neither the country's Nobel Prize-winning scientists, nor its most famous composers, nor its most distinguished literary figures could hold a candle to him in this respect.

In the opinion of Britain's The Daily Telegraph, great footballers evoke admiration, wonder, and occasionally shock; however, Ferenc Puskás, the unbeatable member of Hungary's unbeatable Best Eleven, above all struck fear in his opponents. According to the largest British conservative paper, in team sports there has never been a single player who, even in his prime, attained such heights as he.

The English and the Pudgy Little Bloke

The paper recalled that, before the famous 6-3 match in London, England's Eleven Best only ridiculed "the State-subsidised Communist amateurs" and simply referred to Puskás as "that pudgy little bloke", even though the Hungarians were already Olympic champions and had been unbeaten for three seasons.

According to The Daily Telegraph, when we say in reference to exceptional talents that we will never see their like again, in many cases it proves to be false; whereas, in Puskás's case, it turns out to be true.

His Legend Lives On

On Saturday, The Sun, the British paper with the highest circulation, released an article entitled "Greatest Left-footer of All Time", in praise of the Hungarian footballer who had died the previous day. Jimmy Greaves, football expert for The Sun and one-time forward for Chelsea and England's Eleven Best, wrote, "We must erase this word legend from the sports dictionary, because after the loss of real legends, it appears altogether impossible to replace them."

The tribute piece in The Sun concluded, "Puskás's death is a tragedy in this sense, too. His own memories fell victim to the ravages of Alzheimer's Disease. Luckily, however, his legend lives on, and football is obliged to safeguard it."

Real Cannot Celebrate Cannavaro's Golden Ball

Ramon Calderon, President of Real Madrid, substantiated the Italian and Spanish press releases, according to which Fabio Cannavaro, the club's world champion player, had won this year's Golden Ball.

"I know, however, that Fabio cannot wholeheartedly celebrate, even though he has earned this honour. My joy is also overshadowed by Fernc Puskás's death on Friday," announced the leader of the King's Guard, who is also a member of the Tribute Committee assembled to commemorate the Golden Team's legendary captain.

After Robert Baggio (1993), Paolo Rossi (1982), and Cannavaro Gianni Rivera (1969), who played for Parma and Juventus, this may be the fourth Italian to win the award established by French Football magazine. The official result will be made know 27 November.


Source: Index

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