Sunday, December 7, 2014

Hungary All-time 23 member team

Hungary 1950's
Please also see my All-Time Team Index.

Hungary of the 1950's was probably the best ever national team that never won the World Cup.  The Mighty Magyars was coached by Gusztáv Sebes and played an early from of Total Football.  The code of team were Ferenc Puskás, Sándor Kocsis, Nándor Hidegkuti, Zoltán Czibor, József Bozsik and Gyula Grosics.  Up until the World Cup 1954 Final, they went unbeaten for 32 games. However, at the World Cup Final of 1954, they were upset by West Germany, a team they had beat 8-3 at the Group Stage.  After the Soviet invasion in 1956, some of the players and coaches went into exile and caused a serious talent drain that eventually destroyed the standard of Hungarian football. 

If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.

GK: Gyula Grosics 
He was part of the legendary Golden Team of the 1950s. He was nicknamed "Black Panther".  He played in three World Cup Finals: 1954, 1958 and 1962.  He won the Olympic Gold medal in 1952.  He was the starting keeper when Hungary beat England in 1952.  he played for the legendary Honved FC, but transferred to FC Tatabánya after the 1956 Revolution.
Gyula Grosics 
GK: Ferenc Plattkó
He played 6 matches for the Hungary between 1917 and 1923.  In 1922, his club team  MTK Hungária FC played two friendlies against FC Barcelona. Both games finished as 0-0 draws and FC Barcelona, impressed with Platko offered him a contract.  He replaced Ricardo Zamora at Barcelona FC and spent the next 7 years there, winning the first ever Spanish League title in 1929.

GK: Antal Szabo
He was the keeper for the WC finals in 1934, where Hungary lost to Italy in the Final.  He let in 4 goals, but he considered himself saving the lives of the Italian players because Mussolini had made a pre-match threat against his own players.  At club level Szabó played for MTK Hungaria.  

RB: Jenő Buzánszky
During the 1950s he was a member of the legendary Hungarian national team known as the Mighty Magyars that won the Olympic Gold Medal in 1952 and beat England in the same year.  For club football, he played for Dorogi FC.
During his club career he played for Ferencvaros. He earned 81 caps for the Hungary national team from 1956 to 1967, and participated in the 1958 World Cup, the 1962  World Cup, the 1964 European Nations' Cup, and the 1966 World Cup.
He played the best of his career playing for Újpest FC in the 1940's.  He was capped 19 times from 1941 to 1948.  He played briefly with Ferenc Puskas on the national team.
After the War, he tried to escape to the West, but was captured by the Communists.  He was released from detention so that he could represent Hungary.  He was a member of the Mighty Magyars that won the Olympic Gold Medal in 1952, beat England twice and went the WC Final in 1954.  He also joined Honved during the early 1950's.
Gyula Lorant 
CB: László Bálint
He was one of the few great Hungarian footballers to emerge after the 1956 Revolution.  He earned 76 caps and scored 3 goals for Hungary football team from 1972 to 1982, and participated in Euro 1972, the 1978  World Cup, and the 1982 World Cup. He also won a silver medal in football at the 1972 Summer Olympics.

CB: Ferenc Sipos
He participated in the 1958 FIFA World Cup, the 1962 World Cup, the 1964 European Nations' Cup, and the 1966 World Cup.  During his club career he played for MTK Hungária FC and Budapest Honvéd FC.

LB: Mihaly Lantos 
He is also a member of the Mighty Magyars.  He played for
MTK Hungária FC and won three Hungarian titles.  He was capped 52 times and scored 5 goals. 
CM: Kálmán Mészöly
He played 61 matches and scored 6 goals for Hungary. He participated in the 1962 World Cup, the 1964  European Football Championship, and the 1966 FIFA World Cup.  Unfortunately, he also played the the World Cup Qualifiers in 1970, which saw Hungary falling to qualifying for the WC Finals and marked the beginning of the decline of Hungarian football.

CM: Jozsef Bozsik 
He was considered the second best Hungarian player of all-time after his childhood friend Ferenc Puskus and one of the greatest central midfielders in world football history.  He was also a member of the Mighty Magyars and played for Honved.  After the Revolution of 1956, he returned to Hungary and continued to play for both Hungary and Honved.  He picked up 101 caps for Hungary.
Jozsef Bozsik 

LW: Zoltan Czibor 
He was widely considered to be one of the greatest left winger in history.  He was also a member of the Mighty Magyars.  After 1956. he fled to the West. He joined Ladislao Kubala and Sándor Kocsis to play for  FC Barcelona. Together with Ramallets, Evaristo and Luis Suárez, they formed the great Barcelona team of the 1950's.

LW/FW: Istvan Nyers
He was of the same age as the members of the Mighty Magyars, but he was not a member of them.  He was capped twice by Hungary between 1945 and 1946. Born in France of Hungarian immigrants, he moved back to Hungary and played for various numbers of clubs in Eastern Europe.   He joined Inter Milan in 1948, where he won two Serie A titles and finished as the top scorer of the league.

CM/AM:  Gyorgi Orth
He was the first star of Hungarian football.  He was capped 32 times between 1917 and 1927.  He played aboard for Pisa in Italy and at home with MTK.

FW:  Florian Albert 
He was the best players in Hungarian history to emerge after the end of the Magical Magyars.  He was the European Footballer of the Year in 1967.  He played in the 1962 and 1966 World Cup Finals, where he was the joint top-scorer in 1962 and reached the quarterfinal in 1966. He spent his entire club career with Ferencvárosi TC.
Florian Albert

FW:  Nandor Hidegkuti 
He was a key member of the Might Magyars of the 1950's.  He was best remembered for the game vs England in 1953, where he scored a hat-trick.  Playing as a "False 9", the English defenders did not know what to do him, and a new position was born and the game was revolutionized. H stayed in Hungary after 1956 and went to the 1958 World Cup Finals as an aging player.
Hidegkuti vs England
SS: Gyorgi Sarosi 
He was primarily a second striker, but also played in the midfield and as the center-back.  He played in both 1934 and 1938 World Cup Finals.  In 1938, he captained the team and finished second while scoring 5 goals.  He spent his entire career with Ferencváros TC.

FW/RW: Kalman Konrad
He played for the Kingdom of Hungary between 1914 and 1928. He played mainly for MTK in Hungary, but went to play in the US for a season.

FW: Ferenc Bene
He was a member of the team that won the gold medal at the 1964 Summer Olympics. He was the top scorer of the tournament.  He helped Hungary to come third at the European Championship of 1964, and a quarter-finalist at the World Cup of 1966.
Ferenc Bene

ST: Sandor Kocsis 
He was a prolific goalscorer for the Mighty Magyars in the 1950's.   He scored 75 goals in 68 appearances for Hungary.  He scored 11 goals at the WC in 1954, the second highest for a single tournament.  He played for Honved at home before he went to play for Barcelona after the Soviet invasion in 1956.  With fellow Hungarian exiles Ladislao Kubala and Zoltan Czibor, Barcelona became a force in Europe.

He played 68 times for Hungary in which the team won 70% of the games in which they fielded Schlosser.  He scored 59 goals between 1906 and 1927.

ST/FW: Ferenc Puskas 
He was one of the greatest footballers in history.  He scored 84 goals in 85 international matches for Hungary. He became Olympic champion in 1952 and led his nation to the final of the 1954 World Cup where he was named the tournament's best player.  He played with Honved at home and went to Real Madrid after the Soviet invasion.  With Alfredo Di Stefano, Raymond Kapo, etc, Real Maadrid became the greatest club team in history.
Ferenc Puskas 
Honorable Mention
Gábor Király, Ferenc Deak, Gyula Zengeller, Ferenc Sas,  Ernö Solymos, Jozsef Fogel and Károly Fogl.

Squad Explanation
-- Hungarian football went dead after the 1960's.  No modern player was ever seriously considered for this team.  The Revolution of 1956 forced a lot of players and coaches to go exile.  Hungary never recovered from the exodus.
-- Gábor Király only got honourable mention because he had played until after he turned 40.  
-- Hungary has many great forwards.  Even Ferenc Deak, Gyula Zengeller and Ferenc Sas could not make the squad.
-- For defense, I considered Ernö Solymosi and the Fogl brothers and their teammate Gyula Mándi.
-- Laszlo Kubala is on my All-time Czechoslovakian and Slovakian team. He should be on his team, given that he had represented Hungary.  I basically did not select him because I preferred a spot to another player, not mentioned anywhere on my blog.

Starting lineup
Formation I: 4-2-4
This formation is linked with the Golden Age of Hungary's football.  Gustav Sebes used this formation to conquer the world with the "Magical Magyars".  Bela Guttmann also used it to turn Benfica into the best in Europe.  Some people even credited him for bringing this to Brazil, where the formation turned Brazilian football into the best in the world. The team was basically the Mighty Magyars adding three players from other eras.  Sándor Szűcs actually crossed path with the Hungarian stars of the 1950's.

Formation II: 4-4-2
The 4-2-4 formation is probably not suitable for the modern game.  This alternative formation is more realistic for the modern game.  On paper, I am able to field the best ever players. I used an extra midfielder Orth to replace Hidegkuti. Bozsik is converted into a box-to-box midfielder, which is very similar to the way he covered the field in the 4-2-4 formation.

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