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Ferenc Puskás is perhaps the greatest footballer ever to have lived; based on statistics he is the highest goalscorer of all time, and the pride of both Hungary and Spain, Greece’s favourite, and a role model for millions worldwide.
was born 1927 in Budapest. Puskas played for the Kispest club as a youth. His father was a coach with the club. Its name was changed to Honved after World War II, when it became the team of the Hungarian Army, and Puskas soon acquired the nickname the Galloping Major, a reference to his military rank. He made his professional debut at 16 and played in his first international match against Austria in 1945 at 18.
As was the case in many Communist nations then, Honved was stacked with the some of the best players in the country, including Sandor Kocsis, Nandor Hidegkuti, Jozef Bosik and Zoltan Czibor. Technically amateurs, they played for the Hungarian team that won the gold medal at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. And they revolutionized the game, adopting a free-flowing style that was refined by the Dutch teams of the 1970s and called total football.
The Hungarian team, called the Magical Magyars and the Golden Team, won in a stunning upset, 6-3, as Puskas scored two goals. In a return match months later in Budapest, Hungary again thrashed England, 7-1.
Puskas spent 25 years in exile in Spain. In 2001, Hungary’s national stadium was renamed in his honor …
The New York Times: Ferenc Puskas, 79, International Soccer Star
In the 50s, he was captain of the Hungarian Golden Team. He won an Olympic gold medal in Helsinki in 1952; in the following year, he secured the European Cup; and in 1954, in Switzerland, he earned a silver medal in the world championship and, in the official estimate of FIFA, was the tournament’s best player. Playing for Real Madrid between 1958 and 1960, he won three European Championships, one right after another. He was top scorer four times in the Spanish league. His career as a player came to an end in 1965. Altogether, he had scored 1176 goals, 83 of them on the Hungarian National Team, where he was one country’s Best Eleven …
PuskasFerenc: Puskás Ferenc – “Öcsi”
Like Johan Cruyff, the story of Ferenc Puskas is the story of a team. Possessing possibly the best left-foot shot in the history of football, the man known as the ‘Galloping Major’ – by virtue of his playing for army team Honved – was the skipper of a team that were just about everybody’s favourite to win the World Cup …
SoccerNet: World Cup Legends – Ferenc Puskas
Hungary’s and to many, the world’s premier football-wonder, top-class player of the „Golden Team”. The only one who managed to rise to the top even abroad, leading Real Madrid to the glory of winning the European Cup, playing for both the Hungarian and later the Spanish national team. He was the only one of the defecting „Golden Team” members who was truly forgiven by politics. Although the forgiveness only came after 25 years, but when Puskás returned to Hungary in 1981 he was applauded by even the VIP section of the stadium before the Hungary–England game. Puskás started playing football in the Kispesti AC with the aid of his renowned-coach father and he went on to stay with the club (and it’s legal successor: Bp. Honvéd) until his defection. He was first called up for international duty with Hungary in 1945, at the age of 18 and obtained 84 caps until 1956 scoring an astonishing 83 goals for the National Team. (Making him the top goal scorer int he Hungarian team’s history). Captain of the 1952 Olympic champion hungarian team, 5 times hungarian champion with Honvéd, 4 times top goalscorer scoring an astonishing amount of 358 golas in 394 league matches for Honvéd while making his statistics 155 goals in 179 matches as a Real Madrid player…
Budapest Honved FC: Ferenc Puskás
Between 1945 and 1956, Puskas scored 83 goals in 84 international matches and led Hungary’s “Magical Magyars” to an astonishing record (43 wins, 7 ties, 1 loss) and the gold medal at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games, although the team suffered a stunning 3–2 upset loss to West Germany in the final of the 1954 World Cup…
Britannica Encyclopaedia: “The Galloping Major”
Stadium Puskás Ferenc (Hungarian: Puskás Ferenc Stadion) is a multi-use stadium in Budapest, Hungary. It is currently used mostly for football matches. The all-seater stadium holds 68,976. The original capacity was 104,000.
The stadium is named after Ferenc Puskás, widely regarded as the best striker in the world in his time and Hungary’s greatest footballer ever, who was a star of the national team during its glory years of the late 1940s and early 1950s. The stadium was renamed in his honour in 2001 from Népstadion (“People’s Stadium”).
The legendary rock band Queen also performed here on their last tour, in 1986. The concert was filmed with film cameras …
Wikipedia: Stadium Puskás
One of the finest ever players in the game, Ferenc Puskas never was able to fulfil his true potential in a World Cup, despite being silvermedalist in 1954.
Puskas and Hungary were unbeaten in four years of international football when they arrived in Switzerland to play in the World Cup in 1954. It looked like their record would remain after beating South Korea 9-0 and the strong Germans 8-3! Puskas missed the quarter- and semifinal through injury, but his teammates took care of the business beating Brazil 4-2 in the “Battle of Berne” where fighting seemed more interesting than football for the players. Defending champions Uruguay were beaten after extra-time and the stage was set for a final against West Germany. Puskas insisted on playing in the final despite not being fully fit. The Galloping Major took over the captaincy and after only eight minutes Hungary were two goals up, with Puskas getting one of the goals. However, The Germans characteristically came back and won 3-2. It was a shock result and Hungary’s four year unbeaten record came to an end. The team broke up a couple of years later during the revolution in Hungary. …
PlanetWorldCup: Ferenc Puskas
Ferenc Puskás compilation, YouTube: A Tribute to a Legend
Ferenc Puskas – nicknamed the Galloping Major, Hungary’s finest player and one of the best football players the world has ever seen.
“I will write of my life as a footballer as if it were a love story, for who shall say that it is not?” – Puskas, shortly before his death.
Soccerlens: Ferenc Puskás video
Metacafe: A Tribute to a Legend
Dailymotion: PUSKAS, ONE OF THE BEST SOCCER PLAYERS
Myspace: RIP Puskás
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