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Fixtures:

 

DateTime (CET)HomeResultAwayCompetition
13.1120:00Senegal2:0CongoACN qual.
14.1119:00Gibraltar U210:6Netherlands U21Euro U21
14.1119:45Spain U213:0N. Macedonia U21Euro U21
14.1120:45France2:1MoldovaEuro qual.
15.1120:45Spain7:0MaltaEuro qual.
15.1118:00Brazil0:1ArgentinaFriendy
15.1119:00Hungary1:2UruguayFriendy
16.1120:45N. Ireland0:0NetherlandsEuro qual.
16.1120:45Germany4:0BelarusEuro qual.
16.1120:45Croatia3:1SlovakiaEuro qual.
17.1114:00Eswatini-:-SenegalACN qual.
17.1120:45Albania-:-FranceEuro qual.
18.1120:45Spain-:-RomaniaEuro qual.
18.1120:15Argentina-:-UruguayFriendly
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GoldSilver2

Born 90 years ago in the wake of the most brutal war in history, two Hungarian boys survived the horrors and helped form the greatest team the world had ever seen. Faced with war yet again, they decided to run for their very lives and found a new home in Barcelona.

Being overshadowed by Puskás in the national team and Kubala at Barça, unfortunately the names Zoltán Czibor and Sándor Kocsis are rarely spoken these days, but during their careers they were widely recognized as one of the greatest players of all time. Forming the legendary attack that hypnotized fans in the newly built Camp Nou, they helped establish Barça as a true powerhouse of European football.

Early life and football during the war

Zoltán Suhai Czibor was born on August 23rd 1929 in Kaposvár, Hungary. Some time after his birth, his family moved to Komárom. He started playing football with his two older brothers and soon they joined the local club as amateur players. He debuted as a 12 year old. It was the middle of World War II , so living off football alone was impossible. To survive as a teenager Czibor was forced to do hard labor in factories and worked as a train engine driver..

Sándor Péter Kocsis was born on September 21st 1929 in Budapest. Living in the capital may have saved him from famine and hard labor, but it brought him closer to war as 38 000 citizens died during the liberation of Budapest and the city was destroyed by allied bombings. He only started playing football at a club after the war when he signed for Kőbányai TC.

Ferencváros and forming the Honvéd team

After just a year at Kőbányai, Kocsis was noticed by Ferencváros, the biggest club in Hungary. He signed for them in 1946 at the age of just 16. During his first season he met a fellow young player from Budapest - Kubala. Even though Kubala left for Czechoslovakia after just one season, the Ferencváros squad was improving every year. Kocsis was very young and didn’t get too many chances in his first few seasons, but he grew as a player while training with Ferenc Deák, who was one of the best players in the world at the time and is to this day the eight greatest goalscorer in history. Czibor finally moved to Budapest in 1948 and the great team was formed. Ferencváros won the league with mind blowing 140 goals scored in just 30 matches. However, the squad that looked ready to dominate for years was about to be destroyed.

In 1949 Hungary officially became a communist country which forced many players like Kubala to leave. It also meant that the club system was about to be changed. Hungarian party leaders made a genius, but vicious plan that would potentially ruin club football in order to create a great national team. And it worked.

The plan was devised by Gusztáv Sebes who became the national team coach in 1949. As a player during the 30s, he admired the great national sides of Austria and Italy who based their strength on having almost the entire squad from one or two clubs. Austrians formed their team around Vienna clubs Austria and Rapid, while the Italians used a Juventus based squad. He also adopted the idea of total football from Jimmy Hogan, an Englishman who coached MTK Budapest and Austria Wien during the 20s. The rise of communism gave Sebes, who ran the workers union, the power he needed to turn his vision into reality, as he was named deputy minister of sport. Initially two clubs were chosen for his project. Honvéd was given to the army, while MTK was given to the ministry of internal affairs. MTK was later discarded as they were known to be a right wing club, but they got to keep and develop their squad. That left Honvéd as the only appropriate club to be the base for a great national team.

The plan was simple, but very effective. As the army club, Honvéd had rights to any player that served the military at that time. The club already had quite a foundation with Ferenc Puskás and József Bozsik and were previously coached by Béla Guttman who fled the country in 1949. Now able to basically take any player they liked for free, Honvéd was becoming a team to be feared. Kocsis and Budai joined from Ferencváros, Lóránt joined from Vasas and Grosics was recruited after he was caught trying to defect. Czibor was one of the players who tried to avoid serving the military. He faked being a student at the university and cleverly signed for Csepel which was a workers club and as such didn’t get harassed by the army. After years of waiting, Sebes insisted and finally in 1953 Czibor was conscripted into the army and thus Honvéd.

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Is Lenglet world class? Is Pique still world class? Would you guys sell Umtiti since he's injury prone? And do you guys rate Todibo and do you think he has a bright future at this club? Should you bring in another centre back? And if so, who?

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I remember seeing the Bilbao(CDR Final) goal and I was just holding my head,speechless, I couldn't even celebrate the goal.

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