Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Galloping Major has ridden off into the legend

He was suffering of illness for some time and the end was all but a matter of time. But however much it is expected death is always sad. Hungarian football legend Ferenc Puskas passed away yesterday at the age of 79.

Puskas was the first authentic football star and the symbol of the game in his era. Unde his leadership "light cavalry", the famous Hungarian team of the 1950-ies, went 4 years unbeaten in any game. Alas, their first defeat came in the 1954 World Cup final and thus they were deprived of football's ultimate prize. After the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956 he defected to

The usual cliche' would be that his numbers speak for themsleves, but that certainly would not do him justice. It was not the 83 goals in 84 games for Hungary that made him great, nor the 4 goals in the 1960 European Cup final, nor the legendary game vs. England at Wembley in 1953. It was his footballing brain that made him stand above everyone else and his ability to find the right solution no matter what.

I am to young to have him seen play, but he was both of my late grandfathers' idol. Make sure you occupy good seats up there, grandads. You are about to see your favourite again.

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