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Hungary legend Puskas dies at 79

Hungarian legend Ferenc Puskas
Puskas led Hungary's greatest team

Hungary and Real Madrid legend Ferenc Puskas has died at the age of 79.

Puskas, who was in hospital for six years with Alzheimer's disease, died in Budapest at 0600 GMT on Friday after suffering from a fever and pneumonia.

Puskas led Hungary's golden team of the early 1950s, before taking Spanish citizenship and becoming part of Real Madrid's all-conquering team.

Puskas scored 83 goals in 84 games for Hungary from 1945 to 1956 and later played for Spain in the 1962 World Cup.

After leading Hungary to the 1952 Olympic Gold medal, he was part of the Mighty Magyars who became the first overseas team to beat England on home soil in 1953, scoring twice in the 6-3 win at Wembley.

FERENC PUSKAS FACTFILE
Born: 2 April 1927, Budapest, Hungary
Nicknames: The Booming Cannon & The Galloping Major
Clubs: Kispest Honved (177 apps, 187 goals) & Budapest Honved (164 apps, 165 goals) & Real Madrid (182 apps, 157 goals)
Honours: Hungarian league (5), Spanish league (5), Spanish Cup, European Cup (3), Intercontinental Cup, Olympics

Hungary then rolled England over 7-1 in Budapest and were consequently installed as favourites for the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland.

But injury to Puskas severely hampered the Magyars and they lost in the final to Germany.

Puskas joined Real Madrid and, along with Alfredo di Stefano, was the inspiration behind a string of domestic and European titles.

He scored four goals in Real's 7-3 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in a remarkable final at Hampden Park in 1960, and won the European Cup three times with the Madrid side.

606: DEBATE
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In all, he scored 512 goals for Real in 528 matches and in 1962 he took out Spanish citizenship in time to play for his adopted country in the 1962 World Cup.

Puskas retired in 1967, going on to coach clubs in several countries, leading Greek side Panathanaikos to the European Cup final in 1971.

As the last millennium drew to a close, Puskas was voted the 20th century's sixth best player by the International Federation for Football History and Statistics.



see also
Obituary: Ferenc Puskas
17 Nov 06 |  Football
How good was Puskas?
17 Nov 06 |  Football
Hungary's football masterclass
21 Nov 03 |  Football Focus
Stadium renamed after Puskas
02 Apr 02 |  Football


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