Ferenc Puskás- A Legendary Soccer Number 10


Dennis Lee
Staff member
Ferenc Puskás (April 2, 1927 – November 17, 2006), as Puskás Ferenc or Ferenc Puskas Biro, was a legendary Hungarian footballer and manager, one of the greatest players of all time. He scored 84 goals in 85 internationals for Hungary, and 514 goals in 529 matches in the Hungarian and Spanish leagues.

Puskás played for Honvéd and Hungary before joining Real Madrid and going on to play for Spain. During the 1950s he was both a prominent member and captain of the legendary Hungarian national team known as the Mighty Magyars. Other members of the team included Zoltán Czibor, Sándor Kocsis, József Bozsik and Nándor Hidegkuti. In 1958, two years after the Hungarian Revolution, he emigrated to Spain where he played for the legendary Real Madrid team that also included Alfredo Di Stéfano, Francisco Gento, Raymond Kopa, Héctor Rial and José Santamaria.

Puskás, with a deadly accurate left-foot, was a prolific goalscorer throughout his career. He was top scorer in the Hungarian League on four occasions, and in 1948 he was the top goal scorer in Europe. While playing with Real Madrid, he won four Pichichis and scored seven goals in two European Cup finals. In 1995, he was recognized as the top scorer of the 20th century by the IFFHS.

After retiring as a player he became a coach. The highlight of his coaching career came in 1971 when he guided Panathinaikos FC to the European Cup final, where they lost 2-0 to Ajax. Despite his defection in 1956, Puskás remained an admired hero in Hungary. In 1993, the Hungarian government granted him a full pardon, allowing to return and take temporary charge of the national team. In 1998 he became one of the first ever FIFA/SOS Charity ambassadors. In 2002 the Népstadion in Budapest was renamed the Stadion Puskás Ferenc in his honour. He was also declared the best Hungarian player of the last 50 years by the Hungarian Football Federation in the UEFA Jubilee Awards in November 2003.

Puskás was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2000. He was admitted to a Budapest hospital in September 2006 and died on November 17 2006 of pneumonia. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Erzsébet, and their daughter, Anikó. In a state funeral, his coffin was moved from Stadium Puskás Ferenc to Heroes’ Square for a military salute. He was laid to rest under the dome of the St Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest on December 9, 2006.

"May God Bless this soul of this Great soccer number 10 player that left a huge mark upon the soccer number 10 in the eye's of the soccer world..!" - soccer number 10