Sunday, December 7, 2014

Hungary Greatest 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.
Hungary's last great team (World Cup 1966)
GK: Gyula Grosics 
Gyula Grosics 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 the historical match in 1952.  At the club level, he played for the legendary Honved FC, but transferred to FC Tatabánya after the 1956 Revolution.
Gyula Grosics 
GK: Ferenc Plattkó
Ferenc Plattkó 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
Antal Szabo played 40 times for Hungary.  He was the keeper for the World Cup 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, Jenő Buzánszky 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.  He was the only member of the team not to play for either Honvéd or MTK Hungária FC. 
During his club career, Sandor Matrai played for Ferencvaros. He earned 81 caps for the Hungary national team from 1956 to 1967. He participated in the 1958 World Cup Finals, the 1962 World Cup Finals, the 1964 European Nations' Cup, and the 1966 World Cup Finals. He was Hungry's Footballer of the Year in 1965.
Sándor Szűcs 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. Szűcs was tricked  into defecting by the ÁVÓ.  The state police captured him not far from the border. He was sentenced to death for High treason during a secret, pre-arranged trial and later executed in 1951. 
After the War, Gyula Lorant tried to escape to the West, but was captured by the Communists.  He was released from detention so that he could represent Hungary.  He held 37 caps from 1949 to 1955.  He was a member of the Mighty Magyars that won the Olympic Gold Medal in 1952, beat England twice in 1952 and went the World Cup Final in 1954.  He was one of Hungary's most famous defender. At the club level, he also joined the super team Honved during the early 1950's.
Gyula Lorant 
CB: László Bálint
László Bálint 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 the Euro 1972, the 1978 World Cup Finals, and the 1982 World Cup Finals. He also won a silver medal in football at the 1972 Summer Olympics.

CB: Ferenc Sipos 
Ferenc Sipos had 77 caps for Hungary.  He participated in the 1958 FIFA World Cup Finals, the 1962 World Cup Finals, the 1964 European Nations' Cup, and the 1966 World Cup Finals.  During his club career he played for MTK Hungária FC and Budapest Honvéd FC. Sipos won Hungary's Footballer of the Year in 1958.

LB: Mihaly Lantos 
Mihaly Lantos  is also a member of the Mighty Magyars.  He played for MTK Hungária FC and won three Hungarian titles, a Hungarian Cup and a Mitropa Cup. In 1955, as Vörös Lobogó SE, they also played in the first ever European Cup. Lantos, scoring three goals, including two penalties, helped the club reach the quarter-finals..  He was capped 52 times and scored 5 goals. 
CM: Kálmán Mészöly 
Kálmán Mészöly 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 World Cup Finals and marked the beginning of the decline of Hungarian football.

CM: Jozsef Bozsik 
Jozsef Bozsik was considered the second best Hungarian player of all-time after his childhood friend Ferenc Puskus.  He was one of the greatest central midfielders in world football history.  He was also a member of the Mighty Magyars of the 1950's.  At the club level, he 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 between 1947 and 1962.
Jozsef Bozsik 
LW: Zoltan Czibor 
Zoltan Czibor  was widely considered to be one of the greatest left winger in history.  He was also a member of the Mighty Magyars of the 1950's.  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. He later played for Espanyol, t FC Basel, FK Austria Wien and Primo Hamilton FC.

LW/FW: Istvan Nyers
Istvan Nyers 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.

FW:  Florian Albert 
Florian Albert was the best players in Hungarian history to emerge after the end of the Magical Magyars.  Nicknamed "The Emperor", he was known for his elegant style.  He was the European Footballer of the Year in 1967.  At the international level, he was capped 75 times. 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: Laszlo Kubala 
Born in Hungary of a multi-cultural background, Laszlo Kubala  was known as one of the greatest Barcelona players ever.  He still managed to win 4 Li Liga titles in the 1950's in an era dominated by Real Madrid.  In 1961, Barcelona eliminated Real Madrid from the European Cup, the first ever loss by Real Madrid at the tournament. He was capped by Hungry, Spain and Czechoslovakia. He was a guest player for Catalonia national football team.

FW:  Nandor Hidegkuti 
Nandor Hidegkuti 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 how to defend him. A new position was born and the game was revolutionized. Unlike some of his teammates from the Mighty "Mgyars", he stayed in Hungary after 1956 and went to the 1958 World Cup Finals as an aging player.At the club level, he played for MTK Budapest.
Hidegkuti vs England
SS: Gyorgi Sarosi 
Gyorgi Sarosi 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 at the WC Finals. He finished with the bronze ball for being the third-highest goalscorer of the tournament. He was named the 60th European Player of the Century in the IFFHS' Century Elections.He spent his entire career with Ferencváros TC. 

FW/RW: Kalman Konrad
Kalman Konrad played for the Kingdom of Hungary between 1914 and 1928. He played mainly for MTK in Hungary.  He played 94 games scoring 88 goals. In 1926, he went to play in the US for a season. In 1999, he was listed by World Soccer as one of the 100 greatest players of all-time.  His brother Jeno also played for Hungary.

FW: Ferenc Bene
Ferenc Bene obtained 76 caps and scored 36 goals. 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 also helped Hungary to come third at the European Championship of 1964, and a quarter-finalist at the 1966 World Cup Finals in England.  Bene was named Footballer of the Year in 1969. At the club level, he spent his entire career with Újpest FC.
Ferenc Bene
ST: Sandor Kocsis 
Sandor Kocsis 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.

Imre Schlosser played 68 times for Hungary in which the team won 70% of the games when they fielded Schlosser.  He scored 59 goals for the national team between 1906 and 1927. He played for many clubs in Hungary. In his club career, Schlosser reportedly scored 417 league goals, a number believed to be the sixth highest of all-time.

ST/FW: Ferenc Puskas 
Ferenc Puskas was one of the greatest footballers in history.  He scored 84 goals in 85 international matches for Hungary, a team known as Mighty Magyars. 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 in 1958 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, László Budai, Ferenc Deak, József Zakariás, Gyula Zengeller, Ferenc Sas, Ernö Solymos, Jozsef Fogel and Károly Fogel, Gyorgi Orth.

Squad Explanation
-- The six code players of the Mighty Magyars are automatic selections.  They are Ferenc Puskás, Sándor Kocsis, Nándor Hidegkuti, Zoltán Czibor, József Bozsik and Gyula Grosics.  Then, I have Florian Albert and Ferenc Bene from the 1960's and Imre Schlosser of the 1920's are also players definitely in the team.  No need for explanation.
-- The Mighty Magyars of the 1950's dominated this team.  The historical significance of the team lay in three areas; the introduction of new tactics, the concept of using a core set of well trained players used to playing as a team, and the idea that each player could play in any position if necessary. The importance of Gusztáv Sebes cannot be underestimated. His tactics – especially the concept of a deep lying centre forward – revolutionised a game where the majority of club and international sides had played the WM formation for the previous 20 years. The introduction and success of the Hungarian 3–2–3–2 formation led other managers and countries to experiment, with the 3–2–3–2 eventually evolving into the 4–2–4 formation.
--  I selected 10 players from that era: Ferenc Puskás, Sándor Kocsis, Nándor Hidegkuti, Zoltán Czibor, József Bozsik, Gyula Grosics, Sandor Matrai, Mihaly Lantos, Gyula Lorant and Jenő Buzánszky. Sándor Szűcs also belonged to this generation, but he was dead before the Mighy Magyars started to dominate. Laszlo Kubala and István Nyers are also from that age.
-- István Nyers only played twice for Hungary.  I chose him because of his club career with Inter Milan. He was around the same age as some of the Mighy Mgyars, but he never played with them.
-- Laszlo Kubala is on my All-time Czechoslovakian and Slovakian team. He was born in Hungary and had represented Hungary.  
-- 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. László Bálint is the youngest players selected. His retired in 1984.  He was a member of Hungary's team in the 1982 World Cup Finals, but his active years were from 1967 to 1984.
-- Gyorgi Sarosi and goalkeeper Antal Szabo represented Hungary at the 1934 World Cup Finals, where Hungary finished second.
-- Hungary reached the quaterfinal of both 1962 and 1966 World Cup Finals.   Ferenc Sipos, Kálmán Mészöly, Florian Albert and Ferenc Bene are from that generation. Florian Albert was the European Footballer of the Year in 1967. 
-- Goalkeepwer Gábor Király got honourable mention because he played until after he turned 40.  I do not know much about him, but he stood out during the Euro 2016, wearing grey track pants.
-- Hungary has many great forwards and I selected too many 9forwards or strikers.  So Ferenc Deak, Gyula Zengeller and Ferenc Sas could not make the squad. 
-- Ferenc Deák scored 29 goals in 20 matches for Hungary. The players ahead of him included Florian Albert, Ferenc Bene,  Imre Schlosser, Ferenc Puskás, Sándor Kocsis and Nándor Hidegkuti.
-- Kalman Konrad is considered to be a forgotten man.  He is selected by "World Soccer" as one of 100 greatest players of all-time. He was born under Austria-Hungary, but both side of their countries had their own football association.  Both Konrad and Imre Schlosser played for Hungary.
-- For defence, I considered Ernö Solymosi and the Fogl brothers and their teammate Gyula Mándi.

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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