The enduring romance of Mitteleuropa’s football

THE BUDGET airline revolution has made Continental Europe very accessible for tourists and football fans alike. A return trip for barely more than £100 has made it possible for the curious spectator to extend his or her horizon beyond the 92 and non-league. As a result, we have seen the arrival of the football tourist, map-wielding obsessives who go in search of foaming beer, floodlights … Continue reading The enduring romance of Mitteleuropa’s football

Fradi joins the 30-plus club

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 … Continue reading Fradi joins the 30-plus club

The romance of Mitteleuropa

    THE BUDGET airline revolution has made Continental Europe very accessible for tourists and football fans alike. A return trip for barely more than £100 has made it possible for the curious spectator to extend his or her horizon beyond the 92 and non-league. As a result, we have seen the arrival of the football tourist, map-wielding obsessives who go in search of foaming … Continue reading The romance of Mitteleuropa

Pact men – the USSR and its friends

THE collapse of communism and the plethora of velvet revolutions across Europe undoubtedly diluted the strength of the old Eastern Bloc and its acolytes. We feared the technique, strength and organisation of the state-run footballing machines, but once the Red Army retreated and the busts tumbled from their plinths, Warsaw Pact football was all but bankrupt. While genuine honours were largely elusive – the USSR … Continue reading Pact men – the USSR and its friends

Mittel: YB Bern poised to end Basel run

YOUNG BOYS Bern look as though they’re about to end the monopoly that Basel have had on football in Switzerland for almost a decade. The two teams drew 2-2 at the Stade de Suisse over Easter as Young Boys maintained a 16-point lead over reigning champions Basel. Young Boys led twice in a game considered to be decisive in determining the destination of the title, … Continue reading Mittel: YB Bern poised to end Basel run

The last Magyars – Hungary’s 1960s revival

WHEN Hungary looked as though they were about to rule the football world, the country had a revolution and the team dubbed the best on the planet all but broke up. In September 1956, Hungary won 1-0 in Moscow in a friendly, an impressive result in front of 102,000 people against a Soviet Union team that included the great Lev Yashin. The Soviets were not … Continue reading The last Magyars – Hungary’s 1960s revival

Bread and circuses for the people: Hungary’s stadium project

ONE OF the most fascinating weekends I’ve spent in recent years was a couple of days walking around Budapest in search of traces of the famous Hungarian “golden team” of the 1950s. You have to look hard and you won’t find much evidence, especially as there’s a big stadium rebuilding programme going on, but any visit to Budapest is always worthwhile. Budapest is a real … Continue reading Bread and circuses for the people: Hungary’s stadium project

Honved: They’re dancing in the streets of District XIX

HONVED is a name that belongs to the golden age of Hungarian football. The team that Ferenc Puskas played for, a club that spread the word about the mighty Magyars, and before last season, 13 times champions. It is now 14 after a somewhat unlikely title victory in 2016-17. Based in Kispest, south-east of the centre of Budapest, Honved won the championship on the final … Continue reading Honved: They’re dancing in the streets of District XIX

Picture Post: Budapest – past and present

BUDAPEST is a classic football city. Thanks to the exploits of the Mighty Magyars and the legacy of Ferenc Puskas and his team-mates, football historians will always hold a special place in their hearts for Hungary. Clubs like Ferencvaros, Ujpest, Honved and MTK remain well-known and revered, although they are all shadows of their former selves. Florian Albert, who was named European Footballer of the … Continue reading Picture Post: Budapest – past and present

Bordeaux Diary: Dressed in red, white and black

BORDEAUX got it right when it came to public transport. Just three euros per day on the tram system during Euro 2016. At Grand Parc station we bumped into an artist who was taking her painting of a ball disguised as a globe to an exhibition. She was hoping to find a buyer. “Bonne chance,” we said as she got off with her huge canvas. … Continue reading Bordeaux Diary: Dressed in red, white and black

Bordeaux Diary: Magyars and Rosbif

THE plane from Luton was full of football fans. No, not English supporters heading for a showdown with their Russian friends, but Hungarians travelling to Bordeaux in support of their team. There are plenty of Magyars in Britain, one of the issues being debated as the nation votes on its membership of the European Union. There was a man with a chicken on his head, another with … Continue reading Bordeaux Diary: Magyars and Rosbif

GOTP country special: Hungary

IN OUR SECOND GOTP special, we cross the Austrian border into Hungary. It was good news for the Magyars that they qualified for Euro 2016 – it isn’t quite the days of Puskas and co., but Budapest will be buzzing next summer. GOTP has produced a number of articles on Hungarian football. Here’s a selection: Ferencvaros – where the world is green and white It’s a … Continue reading GOTP country special: Hungary

100% Fradi on their way back

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 … Continue reading 100% Fradi on their way back