Football at the 1952 Summer Olympics

The Football tournament at the 1952 Summer Olympics was won by Hungary.[1]

Football at the 1952 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1952 Summer Olympics Finnish stamp.jpg
Tournament details
Host countryFinland
DatesJuly 15 – August 2
Teams25 (from 5 (plus Great Britain) confederations)
Venue(s)6 (in 5 host cities)
Final positions
Champions Hungary
Runners-up Yugoslavia
Third place Sweden
Fourth place Germany
Tournament statistics
Matches played26
Goals scored135 (5.19 per match)

The games signalled the arrival (to Western Europeans at least) of the Hungarian national football team – the "Magical Magyars". Ferenc Puskás later said of the 1952 competition: "It was during the Olympics that our football first started to flow with real power."[2] It was during the Games that Stanley Rous of English Football Association invited the Hungarians to play a friendly at Wembley the following year.


Helsinki Kotka
Olympic Stadium Kotkan urheilukeskus
Capacity: 70,470 Capacity: 11,400
Helsinki Lahti
Töölön Pallokenttä Lahden kisapuisto
Capacity: 18,050 Capacity: 8,067
Tampere Turku
Ratina Stadion Kupittaan jalkapallostadion
Capacity: 20,700 Capacity: 14,224


The tournamentEdit

Miss Universe 1952 Armi Kuusela awarding the Hungarian team

Preliminary round highlightsEdit

The preliminary round saw Hungary record a narrow victory against Romania, whilst there was an 8–0 victory for Italy against the United States, and a 5–1 victory for Brazil against The Netherlands. Great Britain succumbed to Luxembourg 5–3, whilst Egypt defeated Chile 5–4. Yugoslavia were drawn against the Indians and won 10–1.

First round highlightsEdit

The first round saw Scandinavian countries join the competition; the hosts Finland were beaten 3–4 by Austria, whilst Sweden defeated neighbours Norway 4–1. The game of the round was between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union; Yugoslavia had been 5–1 ahead with 30 minutes of the match to go, only for the Soviet captain Bobrov to score a hat-trick and inspire his team to an eventual 5–5 draw. A replay resulted in a 3–1 victory for Yugoslavia; the Soviet side had been expected by Moscow to win the 1952 Games, and their defeat by Yugoslavia was not mentioned in the Soviet press until after Stalin's death the following year.


Sweden defeated Austria to ensure a Scandinavian presence in the semifinals. Germany surprisingly beat Brazil 4–2 after extra time, whilst Yugoslavia won comfortably in a 5–3 defeat of Denmark. Hungary demolished Turkey 7–1 to complete the four semifinalists.


In the first semifinal, Hungary saw off Sweden with a comprehensive 6–0 victory, whilst Yugoslavia beat Germany 3–1 to set up a Hungary-Yugoslavia final.

Bronze MedalEdit

There was some consolation for the Scandinavian countries as Sweden defeated Germany 2–0 in the third place play-off to secure the bronze medal.

Gold and Silver MedalsEdit

Two goals from Puskás and Zoltán Czibor saw Hungary beat Yugoslavia and take the gold medal.[3]


Preliminary round resultsEdit

Poland  2–1  France
Trampisz   31'
Krasówka   49'
Report Leblond   30'
Attendance: 3.752
Referee: Karel van der Meer (NED)

Hungary  2–1  Romania
Czibor   21'
Kocsis   73'
Report Suru   86'
Attendance: 10.588
Referee: Nikolay Latyshev (URS)

Yugoslavia  10–1  India
Vukas   2'62'
Mitić   14'43'
Zebec   17'23'60'87'
Ognjanov   52'67'
Report Ahmed Khan   89'
Attendance: 10.000
Referee: John Best (USA)

Denmark  2–1  Greece
P.E. Petersen   36'37' Report Emmanouilides   85'
Attendance: 4.372
Referee: Waldemar Karni (FIN)

Soviet Union  2–1 (a.e.t.)  Bulgaria
Bobrov   100'
Trofimov   104'
Report Kolev   95'
Attendance: 10.637
Referee: Istvan Zsolt (HUN)

Italy  8–0  United States
Gimona   3'51'75'
Pandolfini   16'62'
Venturi   27'
Fontanesi   52'
Mariani   87'
Attendance: 15.342
Referee: Arthur Ellis (GBR)

Brazil  5–1  Netherlands
Humberto   25'
Larry   33' (pen.)36'
Jansen   81'
Vavá   86'
Report Van Roessel   15'
Attendance: 9.685
Referee: Giorgio Bernardi (ITA)

Luxembourg  5–3 (a.e.t.)  Great Britain
Roller   60'95'97'
Letsch   91'
Gales   102'
Report Robb   12'
Slater   101'
Lewis   118'
Attendance: 3.656
Referee: Vincenzo Orlandini (ITA)

Egypt  5–4  Chile
Elfar   27'
Mechaury   43'
Eldizwi   66'75'80'
Report Jara   7'78'
Vial   14'88'
Attendance: 5.354
Referee: John Nilsson (SWE)

First round resultsEdit

Finland  3–4  Austria
Stolpe   11'34'
Rytkönen   36'
Report Gollnhuber   8' (pen.)30'
Stumpf   59'
Grohs   79'
Attendance: 33.053
Referee: William Ling (GBR)

Brazil  2–1  Luxembourg
Larry   42'
Humberto   49'
Report Gales   86'
Attendance: 6.776
Referee: Marijan Matancic (YUG)

Yugoslavia  5–5 (a.e.t.)  Soviet Union
Mitić   29'
Ognjanov   33'
Zebec   44'59'
Bobek   46'
Report Bobrov   53'77'87'
Trofimov   75'
Petrov   89'
Attendance: 17.000
Referee: Arthur Ellis (GBR)
Yugoslavia  3–1  Soviet Union
Mitić   19'
Bobek   29' (pen.)
Čajkovski   54'
Report Bobrov   6'
Attendance: 16.916
Referee: Arthur Ellis (GBR)

Germany  3–1  Egypt
Klug   33'
Schröder   38'61'
Report El-Dizwi   64'
Attendance: 6.813
Referee: Giorgio Bernardi (ITA)

Denmark  2–0  Poland
Seebach   17'
S. Nielsen   69'
Attendance: 6.024
Referee: Folke Bålstad (NOR)

Sweden  4–1  Norway
Brodd   23'35'
Rydell   81'
Bengtsson   89'
Report Sørensen   83'
Attendance: 4.072
Referee: Johan Aksel Alho (FIN)

Hungary  3–0  Italy
Palotás   11'20'
Kocsis   83'
Attendance: 13.870
Referee: Karel van der Meer (NED)

Turkey  2–1  Netherlands Antilles
Tokaç   9'
Bilge   76' (pen.)
Report Briezen   79'
Attendance: 3.696
Referee: Carl Jorgensen (DEN)

Quarterfinals resultsEdit

Sweden  3–1  Austria
Sandberg   80'
Brodd   85'
Rydell   87'
Report Grohs   40'
Attendance: 12.564
Referee: Vincenzo Orlandini (ITA)

Germany  4–2 (a.e.t.)  Brazil
Schröder   75'96'
Klug   89'
Zeitler   120'
Report Larry   12'
Zózimo   74'
Attendance: 11.451
Referee: Arthur Ellis (GBR)

Hungary  7–1  Turkey
Palotás   18'
Kocsis   32'90'
Lantos   48'
Puskás   54'72'
Bozsik   70'
Report Guder   57'
Attendance: 4.743
Referee: Waldemar Karni (FIN)

Yugoslavia  5–3  Denmark
Čajkovski   19'
Ognjanov   35'
Vukas   41'
Bobek   78'
Zebec   81'
Report Lundberg   63'
Seebach   85'
Hansen   87'
Attendance: 11.456
Referee: Waldemar Karni (FIN)

Semifinals resultsEdit

Hungary  6–0  Sweden
Puskás   1'
Palotás   16'
Lindh   36' (o.g.)
Kocsis   65'69'
Hidegkuti   67'
Attendance: 30.471
Referee: William Ling (GBR)

Yugoslavia  3–1  Germany
Mitić   3'24'
Čajkovski   30'
Report Stollenwerk   12'
Attendance: 25.821
Referee: Wolf Waldemar Karni (FIN)

Bronze Medal match resultEdit

Sweden  2–0  Germany
Rydell   11'
Löfgren   86'
Attendance: 28.470
Referee: Vincenzo Orlandini (ITA)

Gold Medal match resultEdit

Hungary  2–0  Yugoslavia
Puskás   70'
Czibor   88'
Attendance: 58.553
Referee: Arthur Ellis (GBR)


First Round Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
  Hungary 3
  Italy 0
  Hungary 7
  Turkey 1
  Turkey 2
  Netherlands Antilles 1
  Hungary 6
  Sweden 0
  Sweden 4
  Norway 1
  Sweden 3
  Austria 1
  Finland 3
  Austria 4
  Hungary 2
  Yugoslavia 0
  Denmark 2
  Poland 0
  Denmark 3
  Yugoslavia 5
  Yugoslavia 5 (3)
  Soviet Union 5 (1)
  Yugoslavia 3
  Germany 1
  Luxembourg 1
  Brazil 2
  Brazil 2
  Germany 4 (AET)
  Germany 3
  Egypt 1


Gold: Silver: Bronze:
Gyula Grosics
Jenő Dalnoki
Imre Kovács
László Budai
Ferenc Puskás
Zoltán Czibor
Lajos Csordás
Jenő Buzánszky
Gyula Lóránt
Mihály Lantos
József Bozsik
József Zakariás
Nándor Hidegkuti
Sándor Kocsis
Péter Palotás
Vladimir Beara
Branko Stanković
Tomislav Crnković
Zlatko Čajkovski
Ivan Horvat
Vujadin Boškov
Tihomir Ognjanov
Rajko Mitić
Bernard Vukas
Stjepan Bobek
Branko Zebec
Dušan Cvetković
Milorad Diskić
Ratko Čolić
Slavko Luštica
Zdravko Rajkov
Vladimir Čonč
Vladimir Firm
Karl Svensson
Lennart Samuelsson
Erik Nilsson
Holger Hansson
Bengt Gustavsson
Gösta Lindh
Sylve Bengtsson
Gösta Löfgren
Ingvar Rydell
Yngve Brodd
Gösta Sandberg
Olof Åhlund


7 goals
6 goals
5 goals
4 goals
3 goals
2 goals
1 goal
Own goal

Soviet Union vs YugoslaviaEdit

The first meeting between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia is still the most famous one. On the political level, the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and the Yugoslav leader Josip Tito split in 1948, which resulted in Yugoslavia being excluded from the Communist Information Bureau. The origin of the conflict was Tito’s refusal to submit to Stalin’s interpretations and visions of politics and in process becoming a Soviet satellite state. Before the match, both Tito and Stalin sent telegrams to their national teams, which showed just how important it was for the two head of states. Yugoslavia led 5–1, but a Soviet comeback in the last 15 minutes resulted in a 5–5 draw. The match was replayed, Yugoslavia winning 3–1. The defeat to the archrivals hit Soviet football hard, and after just three games played in the season, CDKA Moscow, who had made up most of the USSR squad, was forced to withdraw from the league and later disbanded. Furthermore, Boris Arkadiev, who coached both USSR and CDKA, was stripped of his Merited Master of Sports of the USSR title.[4]


  1. ^ "Football at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Puskas on life and football". The Guardian. 19 November 2006. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  3. ^ Football at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games Archived March 14, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "USSR – Yugoslavia, the Story of Two Different Football Conceptions". Retrieved November 27, 2017.

External linksEdit