Nicknamed Magyarok, the male Hungarian national team is one of the most iconic teams in football history. Though their reckoning has dropped recently, Hungary was a top gun in the football world decades ago. Between the 1930s and 1950s, the Hungarian team held sway in world football, winning several titles, including the Olympics and World cup trophies against heavyweights like Brazil.
The Hungarian national team players of that period were some of the best in the world, scoring goals at will thanks to the prowess of Ferenc Puskas and others. Their results on the football pitch and high world ranking helped popularize football in Hungary.
The sport has attained cultural status in Hungary, becoming a driving force for MightyTips foci fogadás across the country. Football is also popular on Hungarian sport betting platforms as punters look to capitalize on the local passion for the game. In this article, we look at some of the great football players from Hungary.
- Ferenc Puskas
If you’re familiar with the FIFA Puskas award, then you should know the legend it is named after. Ferenc Puskas was a Hungarian striker renowned for his clinical finishing. Popularly known as the Galloping Major, Puskas began his career at Budapest Honved Hungary football club, eventually becoming the captain of the Hungary side that revolutionized the Total Football brand.
This involved an energetic style of play that required the team to attack and defend as one. Puskas’ goal scoring was phenomenal, scoring 162 times in 123 games for the national team. At club level, he scored 514 goals for Real Madrid and Budapest Honved, winning 5 La Liga titles and four Pichichis. Puskas is the fourth-highest goalscorer of all time, according to FIFA records.
- Sandor Kocsis
Kocsis was one of the Hungary national team football players of the Mighty Magyars era alongside Ferenc Puskas. The duo was a formidable team, which terrorized opposition defenders in equal fervor. Kocsis was a legendary goalscorer, the first to score two hat tricks at the World Cup. He was also the first player to score eleven goals at a single edition of the World Cup, a record that Miroslav Klose later broke.
Kocsis played for several teams in his days, including Honved, Ferencváros, and FC Barcelona. He scored 75 goals in 68 appearances for the Hungary national side. In terms of personal accolades, Kocsis is an Olympic gold medalist and has the highest goals per match (GPM) ratio of all strikers in FIFA history. Kocsis scored 370 goals for club and country during his career, helping the national team to a 32 game unbeaten streak between 1948 and 1954.
- Zoltan Czibor
Zoltan was a core part of the Hungarian national team of the 1950s. The winger’s pace and powerful shot made him one of the most prominent members of the Mighty Magyars team. Zoltan began his career at Komarom AC before signing for Ferencvaros and later, Honved. His national team debut came in 1949, and he was part of the Hungarian Golden Team that won the Olympics.
Czibor moved to Spanish Giants, Barcelona in 1958 and played there for three seasons. He scored 36 times in 84 games during his time there, winning the La Liga and Copa Del Rey titles with the club. Czibor’s career was littered with medals, as he also won three Hungary Championship titles before moving abroad.
- Gabor Kiraly
Gabor Kiraly is one of the more recent football greats out of Hungary. The goalkeeper holds the record for most national team appearances, wearing 108 caps for his country. In a career spanning 25 years, Kiraly will mostly be remembered for wearing track bottoms rather than shorts.
While his fashion sense may have been unusual, the goalkeeper held his end when it came to shot-stopping. Kiraly’s goalmouth heroics took him worldwide, as he featured for several top sides, including Crystal Palace, Hertha BSC, West Ham, and Aston Villa. Kiraly is the oldest player to represent his country at the UEFA European Championship, doing so at the age of 40years and 86 days in 2016 when he finally hung his boots.
- Gyula Grosics
While the Mighty Magyars had dependable attackers upfront, one man kept it all together between the sticks. Gyula Grosics pioneered a never-before-seen style of play, which saw him play as an extension of the defense. This gave the Hungarian backline more room to press the opposition, forcing them into making errors – a key driver of their unbeaten streak.
In Grosics’ initial five years with the national team, Hungary only lost one of their 50 international games, a 3-2 loss to West Germany that saw them lose their world title crown. As a testament to his role with the national team, the Hungary football stadium in Tatabanya was renamed in his honor. Grosics won the Hungary Football Federation Player of the Year award twice in addition to two World Soccer XI features.
These footballers are some of the Hungary football legends who put the country on the map. Their heroics and world dominance certainly paved the way for the current Hungary national team players like Dominik Szoboszlai, Peter Gulacsi, and Andras Schafer who are doing the nation proud with their club sides. Their footballing skills deepened Hungarians’love for football and provided a breeding ground for football betting in the country as Hungarians learned they could back their national side against any opponent.
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