Puskas, Ferenc


Puskas, Ferenc
▪ 2007
“The Galloping Major” 
      Hungarian-born footballer (b. April 2, 1927, Budapest, Hung.—d. Nov. 17, 2006, Budapest), used dogged determination and a lethally accurate left foot to power the dominant Hungarian national association football (soccer) team in the 1950s, as well as the three-time European champion club Real Madrid in the 1960s. Between 1945 and 1956, Puskas scored 83 goals in 84 international matches and led Hungary's “Magical Magyars” to an astonishing record (43 wins, 7 ties, 1 loss) and the gold medal at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games, although the team suffered a stunning 3–2 upset loss to West Germany in the final of the 1954 World Cup. Puskas played professionally (1939–56) for Kispest Honved, scoring 357 goals in 354 appearances. After the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, however, he defected to Spain, and two years later he joined Real Madrid. Over the next eight years, the deceptively short and stocky Puskas scored 512 goals in 528 appearances for the Spanish club and was instrumental in Real Madrid's five consecutive Primera Liga championships (1961–65) and three European Cup titles (1959, 1960, 1966). After becoming a Spanish citizen in 1961, he represented Spain at the 1962 World Cup, but he failed to score a goal in four matches. He retired in 1966 and worked for several years as a coach. In 1993 Puskas returned to Budapest, where in 2002 the football stadium was renamed in his honour.

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Universalium. 2010.

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