Friday, November 17, 2006

RIP Puskas

While most of the desi blogosphere seems to be writing obituaries to Milton Friedman, the death of the legendry Hungarian footballer Ferenc Puskas seems to have escaped the notice of most desi bloggers.

Puskas is one of the best strikers ever in my book, even better than his compariot, Alfredo de Stefano, who played alongside him at Real Madrid. While I have not had the pleasure of ever watching a game of his, his exploits present a vivid story of a remarkable footballer. He had an astonishing goal scoring record for both club and country, scoring 84 goals in 85 appearances for Hungary, and 324 goals in 372 appearances for Real Madrid! The highlight of his career is undoubtably the European Cup final of 1960 against Eintracht Frankfurt at Glasgow, where he scored four goals in a 7-3 win (de Stefano scored the other three)! He had also made it a habit of scoring hat-tricks for Real Madrid in big games, including one in the European Cup final of 1962 against Benfica, and yet ended up on the losing side on that occasion!

Predictably, he was very popular in Hungary. When he returned to Hungary in 1981 to play a game, the demand for tickets was five times the stadium capacity; this for a game whose only publicity was by word-of-mouth!

I doff my cap off to one of the most brilliant footballers of all times!


Nikhil said...

Yeah.. a great footballer indeed. Sadly, his last days were quite painful:


Sailesh Ganesh said...

Yes I know about that part, I read it in Anshul's blog a long time ago. Wonder what kind of a team Real Madrid is if they want such a huge appearance fee for the fund-raising of one of their best ever players!

pratyk said...

well the thing with puskas is even many footie fans don't knw what a phenomena he was .. i would go ahead and say that he indeed was better than de stefano .. i back this up by the articles i've read and some video footage on youtube and sky sports ..

and about the fund-raiser .. its just that the madrid players are a greedy bunch .. they lack the humility even to commemorate one of the greats that played for their own club .. and not some other club .. if that was the case, i still think that they shouldn't be asking for money in honoring a legend .. not just for hungary or real madrid .. but of the entire footballing world .. bet that most of the madrid players themselves won't know who puskas was !!