FERENCVAROS, Hungary’s most popular club, have just clinched their 30th Hungarian championship, thanks to MOL Vidi drawing with Puskas Academia and therefore unable to overtake Fradi regardless of the outcome of the Budapest derby against Honved.
Ferencvaros, in winning their latest prize, join a band of 13 clubs in Europe that have won their domestic title 30 or more times.
The European club with the most domestic wins is Glasgow Rangers with 54 title successes. Rangers are set to finish second this season, with Celtic as champions, which will be their 50th win.
Between the two Glasgow sides, Linfield of Northern Ireland have lifted their championship on 53 occasions. Linfield recently clinched the Northern Irish title, winning by a 10-point margin over Ballymena United.
Other members of this exclusive group include: Olympiakos (Greece) 44; Benfica (Portugal) 36; Juventus (Italy) 35; Anderlecht (Belgium) 34; Sparta Prague (Czech Republic) 33; Ajax Amsterdam (Netherlands) 33; Real Madrid (Spain) 33; Rapid Vienna (Austria) 32; CSKA Sofia (Bulgaria) 31; Ferencvaros (Hungary) 30.
Juventus were confirmed as Serie A champions recently, while Benfica, Anderlecht and Ajax could all yet add to their tally as they are still in the hunt for their respective titles.
Ferencvaros have been top of the table all season and clinched the title with three games to go thanks to a 10-point lead over Vidi. Their success has been based on an unbeaten home record and their 67 goals in 30 games, 20 more than the next highest club, Vidi.
It has been an excellent first season for coach Serhiy Rebrov, the former Ukraine international who played for Tottenham, West Ham and Dinamo Kyiv, among others, in his long career. Rebrov was appointed in late August when Fradi dispensed with the services of German Thomas Doll after the club failed to qualify for the Europa League when they lost to Maccabi Tel Aviv in the first qualifying round.
The vital win was on April 20 when Vidi were beaten 4-1 at the Groupama Arena in front of 16,000 people, two goals coming from former Honved striker David Lanzafame.
The Turin-born Italian was a member of Honved’s title winning side and is the second highest scorer in the Nemzeti Bajnokság I with 12 goals.
The league has seen an upturn in attendances in 2018-19. The average crowd of 3,148 is more than 8% higher than 2017-18. Ferencvaros, with regular attendance of just over 10,000 (a rise of 11.2%), lead the way but of the other Budapest clubs, only MTK have seen an increase, some 78%. Ujpest and Honved are both down by 19.5% and 28.2% respectively.
MOL Vidi may have relinquished their title in 2018-19, but they are in the Hungarian Cup final where they will meet Honved.
Photos: GOTP and PA