Hungary and Real Madrid legend Ferenc Puskas has died at the age of 79.
Football and quiz lovers alike will today mourn the passing away of one of the great legends of football. The team with the musical names of Ferenc Puskas, Zoltan Czibor, Sandor Kocsis, Jozsef Bozsic and Nandor Hidegkuti is inevitably mentioned as one of the greatest teams to have graced the pitches of the world. The English remember the Mighty Magyars mostly for the 6-3 drubbing they received at Wembley in 1953. The greatest disappointment for the man dubbed the Galloping Major must have been the 3-2 defeat to West Germany in the 1954 World Cup final when Puskas played although not fully fit. The Magyars would have to settle for the 1952 Olympic Gold they had conquered two years before.
Ferenc Puskás Biró (born April 2, 1927, Budapest Hungary), also referred to as Puskás Ferenc or Purczeld Ferenc, is a Hungarian former footballer and coach. He played for Honvéd and Hungary before joining Real Madrid and going onto play for Spain. During the 1950s, in a Hungarian team that also included Zoltán Czibor, Sándor Kocsis, József Bozsik and Nándor Hidegkuti, he was captain of the legendary Mighty Magyars. After the 1956 Hungarian Revolution he moved to Spain where he became part of the legendary Real Madrid team that also included Alfredo Di Stéfano, Francisco Gento, Raymond Kopa and José Santamaria.Puskás, with a powerful left-foot shot, was a prolific goalscorer throughout his career. He was top scorer in the Hungarian League on four occasions and in 1948 he was the top goal scorer in any European league. While playing with Real Madrid he won four Pichichis and scored seven goals in two European Cup finals. After retiring as a player he became a coach and in 1971 led Panathinaikos to the European Cup final. In 2001 the Népstadion in Budapest was renamed the Stadion Puskas Ferenc in his honour. He was also declared the best Hungarian player of the last 50 years by the Hungarian Football Federation in the UEFA Jubilee Awards in November 2003.
Thank you Ferenc for your part in filling the annals of football with your heroic feats. I am sure that you have been given a hero's welcome up there where you have joined the stars that have left us recently like Giacinto Facchetti and George Best.