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Last Updated: Friday, 17 November 2006, 09:48 GMT
How good was Puskas?
Ferenc Puskas scores in the 1960 European Cup final

Hungary and Real Madrid legend Ferenc Puskas died on Friday at the age of 79. But just how good was the man they called 'Galloping Major'?

REAL MADRID TEAM-MATE ALFREDO DI STEFANO

The man was a supertalent.

I have lost a friend and quality player. That's how Puskas was as a person and a football player.

He was one of the greatest players of all time but life, my friend, when you least expect it comes to an end.

REAL MADRID PRESIDENT RAMON CALDERON

This is one of the saddest days for Madrid fans, I can assure you it is the most painful day since I took the presidency.

606: DEBATE
GH

He had many friends and was a man liked by everyone, admired as a professional and a person.

The Madrid fans in general, and those of my age in particular, will feel a great emptiness for the loss of one our childhood heroes.

I want to send a big hug to his all of his family and friends in these very painful moments.

HUNGARY TEAM-MATE NANDOR HIDEGKUTI

Of all of us, he was the best.

He had a seventh sense for soccer. If there were 1,000 solutions, he would pick the 1,001st.

HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER FERENC GYURCSANY

There is not one Hungarian who would be left untouched by the death of Ferenc Puskas.

The best-known Hungarian of the 20th century has left... Ferenc Puskas has left us, but "Puskas Ocsi" the legend will always stay with us.

HUNGARIAN JOURNALIST ART SZOCZI

He was always looked up to as a role model for anyone who wanted to do anything in sport.

He left this amazing legacy - this was a guy who at 31 defected from Hungary, had to sit out a Fifa ban and came back to be a great star at Real Madrid, becoming one of the best players in the history of the game.

I spoke recently to two members of the West Germany team that played Hungary in the 1954 World Cup final, and they don't think there will ever be anyone like him ever again.

GIL MERRICK, ENGLAND GOALKEEPER IN THE 6-3 DEFEAT

They were far in advance of us, football-wise. I just did my best.

In his book, Puskas said if I hadn't had a good game they would have had 12! It was a privilege to play against that team, even though we got done.

Not only was Puskas a great footballer, he was a lovely man. It is a sad day for football.

ENGLAND LEGEND TOM FINNEY

We'd never seen the likes of that Hungarian side of 1956 before and Ferenc truly was just a wonderful player.

He had a roly-poly physique but a wonderful left-foot and he was a brilliant finisher.

After losing 6-3 at Wembley we went to Budapest and lost 7-1. They were a wonderful side that day, not just Puskas, although he had a fine game as per usual.

I would put Puskas in any list of all-time greats. A wonderful player and a wonderful person and he really enjoyed playing the game.

JIMMY HILL, WHO LOOKED ON AS HUNGARY BEAT ENGLAND 6-3

It took my breath away to see someone who could manipulate a football and play passing movements against an England team and beat them 6-3.

It was just quite staggering. I paid my own money to go and I was only a supporter but it took my breath away that a country could produce 11 players like that and one stood out above the rest .

He had such control of the ball and so much skill. He could make long, accurate passes and could score goals.

MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER SIR ALEX FERGUSON

When a great player like him passes, the one thing you can do is reflect on what a great player he was and the great games he played in.

He was a special player in his day, without question. How that Hungary team didn't win the 1954 World Cup is beyond me.

OLALLA MARANON, A FORMER NEIGHBOUR IN MADRID

Although he was a famous footballer he seemed very normal compared to today's modern stars.

He lived in a modest flat below ours and was very generous. He often brought home footballs from training for the kids in the block to play with.

NIGEL JOHNSON, BBC RADIO STOKE COMMENTATOR

I was at Stanley Matthews' testimonial match in 1965, where Ferenc Puskas was in the International XI.

My two outstanding memories of the great man were prior to kick-off and at the end of an emotional evening.

Puskas was talking to the ref in the centre-spot and at the same time - without batting an eye - juggling the ball with his magical left foot.

When the final whistle blew at the Victoria Ground, Puskas and the Russian goalkeeper Lev Yashin lifted Matthews up on their shoulders and paraded him off. There was not a dry eye in the house.

Matthews said Puskas was one of the best. That is good enough for me.



SEE ALSO
Hungary legend Puskas dies at 79
17 Nov 06 |  Football
Obituary: Ferenc Puskas
17 Nov 06 |  Football
Stanley Matthews' testimonial
17 Nov 06 |  Championship


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