Budapest’s most popular club could be on their way back if the first few weeks of the Hungarian football season are any indication. Ferencvaros have a 100% record after nine games and lead the 12-team competition by an astonishing 11 points already.
Fradi haven’t won the Hungarian League since 2004, although they did win the Cup in 2015. They also finished runners-up in 2014-15 to Videoton, but the champions are struggling this season and are already 18 points behind Ferencvaros.
Fradi’s success this season has stemmed from the firepower of Daniel Bode, who has netted 11 of the club’s 20 league goals. Bode, 28, is in his fourth term with Fradi, having joined them in 2012 from Paks. His scoring rate has been impressive, 52 goals in 97 league games.
The club’s away form has been exceptional and has included wins at newly-promoted city rivals Vasas (2-0), Videoton (3-1), Debrecen (3-0) and in the big Budapest derby with Ujpest (2-1). Bode scored two late goals to win this highly-charged clash.
Hungarian football needs a successful Ferencvaros. They are, arguably, the only club that could create a “European brand”, although fans of Honved and Ujpest would probably contest that. Certainly, the club’s heritage in Europe does give them a certain cachet.
Their new stadium, which Game of the People visited last year, is impressive. The club has a European history to fall back on and their support – if sometimes a little extremist – is greater than any other Hungarian club. That said, gates are down at Ferencvaros this season by 13% to an average of 7,291.
As it stands, Fradi are only likely to punch any weight in the Europa League, but this season’s early exit in that competition – they lost to Zeljeznicar of Bosnia in the second qualifying round – reminds you that they have some way to go.
If their current momentum is sustained, however, Ferencvaros could be the first team from Budapest to win the title since 2008 when MTK came out on top. Budapest’s ninth district is holding its breath!
To see Game of the People’s visit to Ferencvaros, click here