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The Golden Team (Hungarian: Aranycsapat; also known as the Mighty Magyars, the Marvellous Magyars, the Magnificent Magyars, or the Magical Magyars) refers to the Hungary national football team of the 1950s. It is associated with several notable matches, including the "Match of the Century" against England in 1953, and the quarter-final ("Battle of Berne") against Brazil, semi-final (against Uruguay) and final of the 1954 FIFA World Cup ("The Miracle of Bern"). The team inflicted notable defeats on then-footballing world powers England, Uruguay and the Soviet Union, before the 1956 Hungarian Revolution caused the breakup of the side.

Medal record
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1952 Helsinki Team
World Cup
Silver medal – second place 1954 Switzerland Team
Central European Cup
Gold medal – first place 1948-53 Central European International Cup Team

Between 1950 and 1956, the team recorded 42 victories, 7 draws and just one defeat, in the 1954 World Cup final against West Germany. Under the Elo rating system they achieved the highest rating recorded by a national side (2230 points, 30 June 1954), just ahead of 2nd place Germany (2223 points, 13 July 2014).

In 2016 the BBC listed the team as the best international football team ever in football history.[1]

The team is generally credited for successfully implementing an early form of "Total Football", later used by the Dutch in the 1970s. The team is also generally recognized for introducing new coaching and tactical innovations, which were subsequently adopted throughout the game. It was also considered emblematic of Hungarian national success and the most important subject of national pride in the worst period of oppression by the communist regime imposed on Hungary by the Soviet Union that occupied the country in 1945. In this period any "nationalistic" or even patriotic expression was strongly disapproved since these were considered being against both the internationalist ideal of the communist government as well as the expected behavior of the Hungarian nation defeated in World War II. In this atmosphere, international sport events were the only tolerated fields of expression of national pride.

Key peopleEdit

The famous 2-3-3-2 formation employed by the side

The team was built around a core of six key players: Ferenc Puskás, Sándor Kocsis, Nándor Hidegkuti, Zoltán Czibor, József Bozsik and Gyula Grosics.

The manager of the team was Gusztáv Sebes, who had been a trade union organizer in Budapest and pre-war Paris at Renault car factories, and was therefore accorded a political clean bill of health to run affairs by the Deputy Sports Minister. Sebes can be credited with three key innovations. Firstly, he implemented fitness regimes for his players, as well as a club-like policy at international level to give impetus to regular practice sessions.

Secondly, he was responsible for the tactical concept of a deep-lying centre forward. At the time, the majority of footballing sides adopted the WM formation, where the centre forward spearheaded an attack line of 3 forwards and 2 wingers. Sebes's tactic was to withdraw the centre forward back to the midfield, as well as dropping the wingers back to the midfield when necessary. This effectively created an extremely flexible 2–3–3–2 formation, allowing the team to quickly switch between attack and defense. The tactic also drew defenders out of position, as centre halves used to man-marking a centre forward would follow the deep-lying centre forward back to the midfield.

Thirdly, Sebes encouraged his players to be versatile – the ideal would be for any of his players to be able to play in any position. This was a revolutionary idea – most players were used to playing in one specific position. This was an early form of Total Football. Ferenc Puskas commented, "When we attacked, everyone attacked, and in defence it was the same. We were the prototype for Total Football."[2]

Notable matchesEdit

1952 Olympic Games (Yugoslavia vs. Hungary)Edit

The Hungarians arrived at the 1952 Summer Olympics unbeaten for two years. The team easily defeated opponents in the preliminary rounds, before meeting the 1948 defending Olympic champions, Sweden, in the semi-finals. Hungary demolished Sweden 6–0 to set up a final against Yugoslavia. Goals from Ferenc Puskás and Zoltán Czibor ensured a 2–0 victory and the Olympic gold for Hungary.

1953 Central European Championship (Italy vs. Hungary)Edit

In 1953 Hungary took part in the Central European International Cup, a nations cup for teams from Central Europe and the forerunner of the European championship. The competing teams included Austria, Czechoslovakia, Italy and Switzerland. Hungary eased their way to a final against Italy, which they won 3–0 with a goal from Nándor Hidegkuti and two from Puskás.

1953 "Match of the Century" (England vs. Hungary)Edit

A friendly match was arranged for 25 November 1953 against England. England had never been defeated on home soil by a team from outside the British Isles (it lost to the Republic of Ireland in 1949), and the FA were complacent – as the inventors of the game, they were assured that their players were technically and tactically superior to any other countries. At the time, England were ranked as the 3rd best team in the world; Hungary were ranked as the best team in the world. The game was eagerly anticipated; the British Press reported it as "the Match of the Century".[3][4]

The game was played in front of 105,000 in Wembley Stadium. Hungary simply demolished England; they scored in the first minute, and after 27 minutes they were 4–1 up. The final score was 6–3, with a hat-trick from Hidegkuti, two goals from Puskás and one from Bozsik. It was a footballing lesson that sent shockwaves through English football, and which ultimately caused English clubs to adopt continental coaching and tactics.[3]

1954 Hungary 7 England 1Edit

The Hungarian crowd cheers following the conclusion of England's heaviest ever defeat (1–7)

England were anxious for revenge after the defeat at Wembley, and a return match was scheduled in Budapest for 23 May 1954, three weeks before the start of the 1954 World Cup. Any hopes that the Wembley game had been an aberration were immediately dispelled as Hungary tore England apart; Hungary won 7–1, inflicting England's heaviest ever defeat.[3]

1954 World Cup First Round GamesEdit

Hungary went to the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland as firm favourites; they were unbeaten since 1950, and had issued served notice of their ability with 6–3 and 7–1 thrashings of England.

The 16 finalists were assigned to four groups, with each group having four teams in it. Each group contained two seeded teams and two unseeded teams. Only four matches were scheduled for each group, each pitting a seeded team against an unseeded team (this contrasts with a conventional round-robin in which every team plays every other team, which would have resulted in six matches in each group). In a further oddity, extra time would be played if the teams were level after ninety minutes in the group games, with the result being a draw if the scores were still level after 120 minutes.

The top two teams from each group would qualify for the quarter finals. Hungary shared Group B with Turkey, West Germany and South Korea; Hungary and Turkey were the two seeded sides in the group.

Hungary won their opening game against South Korea 9–0, with Kocsis scoring a hat-trick. In the second game, Hungary thrashed West Germany 8–3, with Kocsis scoring another 4 goals; however, cynical fouling on Puskás left him with a hairline fracture of the ankle which left him unavailable for selection for the quarter final and semi final stages.

1954 World Cup Quarter Final: "Battle of Berne" (Brazil vs. Hungary 1954)Edit

Hungary met Brazil in an eagerly anticipated quarter final; both sides had a reputation for open, attacking football. The Brazilians had lost the 1950 World Cup final to Uruguay, and were anxious to reach the final again.

Unfortunately, the game was notable for the number of cynical fouls performed by both sides rather than as an exhibition of footballing technique; Hungary took a 2–0 lead after 7 minutes, and after that the game descended into a series of fouls, free kicks and fights on the pitch resulting in three dismissals. The game ended 4–2 to Hungary. Fighting continued off the pitch in the tunnels and in the players dressing rooms.

The game's English referee Arthur Ellis commented: "I thought it was going to be the greatest game I'd ever see. I was on top of the world. Whether politics and religion had something to do with it I don't know, but they behaved like animals. It was a disgrace. It was a horrible match. In today's climate so many players would have been sent off the game would have been abandoned. My only thought was that I was determined to finish it."[5]

1954 World Cup Semi Final (Uruguay vs. Hungary)Edit

Uruguay were the defending champions, and had never lost a World Cup match in their history, winning both tournaments they had previously entered.

Hungary were without Puskás, but still managed to take the lead via Zoltán Czibor. Uruguay rallied but were unable to even the scores before half-time. Almost immediately after the restart, Nándor Hidegkuti scored a second goal for Hungary. Uruguay's unbeaten World Cup record seemed to be over, but they still had most of the second half to recover.

The champions were not going to give up without a fight, and spent much of the remainder of the match launching attack after attack at the Hungarian defence. With a quarter of an hour to play Juan Hohberg scored for Uruguay; Hungary defended desperately until the 86th minute, when Hohberg scored his second to force extra time.

Appearing to have much more energy than their opponents, Hungary retook the lead midway through the second period of extra-time when Sándor Kocsis headed home from close range; Kocsis scored again four minutes from injury time. Uruguay were beaten 4–2, their first ever World Cup loss, while Hungary went on to their second World Cup final.

The game was in direct contrast to the quarter final between Hungary and Brazil; both Hungary and Uruguay had played attractive, attacking football in what was arguably one of the finest displays of football in a World Cup.

1954 World Cup Final: "The Miracle of Bern" (West Germany vs. Hungary)Edit

A well-known photograph of the 1954 final is installed in front of the Wankdorf's successor stadium, the Stade de Suisse.

The final was between Hungary and West Germany. Hungary were in their second World Cup Final (their 1938 team had lost to Italy 4–2 in Paris); in addition, they had a record of 34 wins, 6 draws, and 1 defeat since August 1949, and were unbeaten in their last 31 matches. Hungary had beaten West Germany 8–3 in a first-round game. The only issue the Hungarians faced was the ankle injury sustained to Puskás in the same game, from which he had not fully recovered – Sebes still took the decision to play him.

Hungary took an early lead in the 6th minute, with a goal from Puskás. Two minutes later, Czibor made it 2–0 to Hungary. However, the Germans rallied, and swiftly pulled the score back to 2–1 through Max Morlock. In the 18th minute, the Germans drew level from a corner kick; the goal was scored by Helmut Rahn.

In the second half, Hungary poured forward looking to retake the lead, but their attempts were repeatedly foiled by the German defence, with goalkeeper Toni Turek pulling off several fine saves.

With six minutes left and the score still 2–2, Helmut Rahn scored West Germany's third goal. Two minutes before the end, Puskás appeared to equalise, but he was ruled off-side. The match ended Hungary's unbeaten run in one of the biggest upsets in the history of football; West Germany won 3–2 in the "Miracle of Bern".

There were three controversial incidents in the final, each favouring the Germans; Hungarian goalkeeper Grosics was allegedly obstructed for the second German goal, Puskás apparently equalised in the 89th minute but was deemed to be offside, and there was an alleged foul on Kocsis in the penalty area in the final minute of the game.

1955 Scotland 2 Hungary 4Edit

On 8 December 1954, Scotland hosted Hungary at Hampden Park in a friendly match, before a crowd of 113,000.[6] Scotland were determined not to be humiliated as England had been a year earlier, and attempted to take the game to the Hungarians in a display of counterattacking football. This made for an open, attractive game with plenty of goals; Hungary scored on 20 minutes through Bozsik, and Hidegkuti made it 2–0 six minutes later. Scotland rallied and pulled one back on 36 minutes through Tommy Ring, but Sandor made it 3–1 to Hungary just before halftime.

The second half continued in the same vein, with Partick Thistle winger John Mackenzie constantly beating Hungary full back Mihály Lantos. Bobby Johnstone scored a second goal for Scotland on 46 minutes, and only poor finishing prevented Scotland from equalising. The home side continued to press forward, but were caught on a counter break right at the end of the match when Kocsis scored to make the final score 2–4 to Hungary. It was the closest any team had come to beating Hungary in a friendly competition since 1950. Afterwards, Puskas complimented the excellent work of Mackenzie, stating that he had "never seen wing play of such a high standard".[7]

1956 Soviet Union 0 Hungary 1Edit

On 23 September 1956, the Soviet Union played Hungary in a friendly game at the Lenin Central Stadium in Moscow, before a crowd of 102,000.[8] The Soviet Union were unbeaten at home, and were generally regarded as the natural successors to the Hungarians as the world's premier footballing side. In addition, the Soviet team and players were regarded as ideals of socialist principles by senior communist authorities, who expected the Soviet Union to win comfortably, as befitting the senior member of the Eastern Bloc. However, a single goal from Zoltán Czibor ended the Soviet Union's unbeaten home record; the result did little to encourage good relations between the two countries, and was a minor contributing factor to a wave of patriotic fervour that resulted in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.


Hungary continued to dominate international football; between July 1954 and February 1956, Hungary played a further 19 games, winning 16, drawing 3 and losing none.

Despite this, manager Sebes was sacked in June 1956, and was replaced by Márton Bukovi; however, Sebes remained President of the Hungarian Olympic Committee from 1948 to 1960, and was also Vice President of UEFA from 1954 to 1960. He also managed several Hungarian clubs in the 1960s (Ujpesti Dozsa, Budapest Honvéd FC and Diosgyori VTK) with moderate success.[9]

The majority of the team played for Budapest Honvéd, who entered the 1956–57 European Cup and were drawn against Athletic Bilbao in the first round. Honvéd lost the away leg 3–2, but before the home leg could be played, the Hungarian Revolution erupted in Budapest. The players decided against going back to Hungary and arranged for the return with Athletic to be played at Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium. Honvéd were eliminated 6–5 on aggregate, and the Hungarian players were left in limbo. They summoned their families from Budapest, and despite opposition from FIFA and the Hungarian football authorities, they organised a fundraising tour of Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Brazil. After returning to Europe, the players parted ways.

Kocsis and Czibor moved to Spain to play for Barcelona.

Puskás emigrated to Spain to play for Real Madrid.

Hidegkuti returned to Hungary as a player and later became manager of MTK Budapest FC before emigrating to successfully manage clubs in Italy, Poland and Egypt.

Bozsik also returned in Hungary, becoming the manager of several Hungarian teams.

Historic significanceEdit

Statue of Ferenc Puskás (1927-2006) Hungarian footballer in Óbuda. The work of art inspired by a photograph taken in Madrid commemorates the legendary player of the "Golden Team" who elegantly dressed in costume teaches an ad hoc course in keepie uppie to street children. The statue was unveiled March 28, 2013 in Budapest, District III

The historical significance of the team lay in three areas; the introduction of new tactics, the concept of using a core set of well trained players used to playing as a team, and the idea that each player could play in any position if necessary.

The importance of Gusztáv Sebes cannot be underestimated. His tactics – especially the concept of a deep lying centre forward – revolutionised a game where the majority of club and international sides had played the WM formation for the previous 20 years. The introduction and success of the Hungarian 3–2–3–2 formation led other managers and countries to experiment, with the 3–2–3–2 eventually evolving into the 4–2–4 formation.

Sebes's idea of using a core set of players, drawn from just a handful of clubs, was a new idea that was critical to the success of the team. Most national teams were selected on the concept of picking the best players, not the best team; England famously had a selection committee that selected the team for each game, with little or no sense of continuity. By using players who were familiar with each other's strengths at a club level, Sebes introduced a sense of continuity at a national level – something no other nation had at the time. The Soviet Union adopted this approach throughout the 1960s, with success at a European level; England won the World Cup in 1966 with a core of players from one club, West Ham United. Sebes also demanded rigorous training and standards of physical fitness from his players, as well as good tactic awareness – again, these were areas that many national sides of the time neglected. As a consequence, the Hungarian side were able to outrun, outpass and outplay their opposition.

Perhaps his most revolutionary idea was that every player should be able to play in all positions; previously, each player in a team was assigned a specific position or role, usually marking a specific opposition player. The Hungarian tactic of players constantly changing roles and positions contributed greatly to the success of the team – however, it could only be introduced by using a core set of talented players who were used to playing together at both a club and national level for a period of time. It would be nearly 20 years before the Dutch national team of the 1970s utilised the same approach with their concept of Total Football.

All-time team highs and lowsEdit

The following is a list of national football teams ranked by the highest Elo rating they ever reached.[10] The table also includes the highest ranking as well as the lowest rating and ranking reached by each nation. The team that has achieved the highest rank in each confederation is shown in color.

  1. ^ The ranking in parentheses is that at the time the highest rating was reached.
  2. ^ a b The date given is when the highest or lowest rating was first reached.
  3. ^ The team's indicated lowest ratings and rank may not have coincided in time.
  4. ^ Russia reached its lowest rating as the Russian Empire (after 7 matches) and its highest rating and ranking as the Soviet Union.

International football's highest rated matchesEdit

The Mighty Magyars feature in three of the top 10 highest rated matches all-time. A list of the 10 matches between teams with the highest combined Elo ratings (the nation's points before the matches are given) as of July 16, 2010.

Rank Combined
Nation 1 Elo 1 Nation 2 Elo 2 Score Date Occasion Location
1 4211   Netherlands 2100   Spain 2111 0 : 1 2010-07-11 World Cup F   Johannesburg
2 4161   West Germany 1995   Hungary 2166 3 : 2 1954-07-04 World Cup F   Bern
3 4157   Netherlands 2050   Brazil 2107 2 : 1 2010-07-02 World Cup QF   Cape Town
4 4148   West Germany 2068   Brazil 2080 0 : 1 1973-06-16 Friendly   Berlin
5 4129   Spain 2085   Germany 2044 1 : 0 2010-07-07 World Cup SF   Durban
6 4119   Brazil 2050   West Germany 2069 1 : 0 1982-03-21 Friendly   Rio de Janeiro
7 4118   Hungary 2108   Brazil 2010 4 : 2 1954-06-27 World Cup QF   Bern
8 4116   Hungary 2141   Uruguay 1975 4 : 2 1954-06-30 World Cup SF   Lausanne
9 4113   West Germany 2079   Netherlands 2034 2 : 1 1974-07-07 World Cup F   Munich
10 4108   Brazil 2015   West Germany 2093 1 : 1 1977-06-12 Friendly   Rio de Janeiro


Date Venue Opponents Score Comp Hungary scorers Attendance
1949-05-08   Budapest   Austria 6–1 Central European Cup Puskás (3), Kocsis, Deák (2) 50,000
1949-06-12   Budapest   Italy 1–1 Central European Cup Deák 47,000
1949-06-19   Stockholm   Sweden 2–2 Friendly Kocsis, Budai 38,000
1949-07-10   Debrecen   Poland 8–2 Friendly Deák (4), Puskás (2), Egresi, Keszthelyi 30,000
1949-10-16   Vienna   Austria 4–3 Friendly Deák (2), Puskás (2) 65,000
1949-10-30   Budapest   Bulgaria 5–0 Friendly Puskás (2), Deák, Budai, Rudas 36,000
1949-11-20   Budapest   Sweden 5–0 Friendly Kocsis (3) Puskás, Deák 50,000
1950-04-30   Budapest   Czechoslovakia 5–0 Friendly Kocsis (2) Puskás (2), Szilágyi 47,000
1950-05-14   Vienna   Austria 3–5 Friendly Kocsis, Puskás, Szilágyi 65,000
1950-06-04   Warsaw   Poland 5–2 Friendly Puskás (2), Szilágyi (3) 60,000
1950-09-24   Budapest   Albania 12–0 Friendly Puskás (4), Budai (4), Palotás (2), Kocsis (2) 38,000
1950-10-29   Budapest   Austria 4–3 Friendly Puskás (3), Szilágyi 45,000
1950-11-12   Sofia   Bulgaria 1–1 Friendly Szilágyi 35,000
1951-05-27   Budapest   Poland 6–0 Friendly Kocsis (2), Sándor, Puskás (2), Czibor 42,000
1951-10-14   Ostrava   Czechoslovakia 2–1 Friendly Kocsis (2) 45,000
1951-11-18   Budapest   Finland 8–0 Friendly Hidegkuti (3), Kocsis (2), Czibor, Puskás (2) 40,000
1952-05-18   Budapest   East Germany 5–0 Friendly Hidegkuti (2), Szusza, Kocsis, Sándor 38,000
1952-06-15   Warsaw   Poland 5–1 Friendly Kocsis (2), Puskás (2), Hidegkuti 50,000
1952-06-22   Helsinki   Finland 6–1 Friendly Puskás, Bozsik, Kocsis (3), Palotás 25,000
1952-07-15   Turku   Romania 2–1 1952 Olympics Czibor, Kocsis 14,000
1952-07-21   Helsinki   Italy 3–0 1952 Olympics Palotás (2), Kocsis 20,000
1952-07-24   Kotka   Turkey 7–1 1952 Olympics Palotás, Kocsis (2), Lantos, Puskás (2), Bozsik 20,000
1952-07-28   Helsinki   Sweden 6–0 1952 Olympics Puskás, Palotás, Lindh (o.g.), Kocsis (2), Hidegkuti 35,000
1952-08-02   Helsinki   Yugoslavia 2–0 1952 Olympics Puskás, Czibor 60,000
1952-09-20   Bern   Switzerland 4–2 Central European Cup Puskás (2), Kocsis, Hidegkuti 35,000
1952-10-19   Budapest   Czechoslovakia 5–0 Friendly Hidegkuti, Egresi, Kocsis (3) 48,000
1953-04-26   Budapest   Austria 1–1 Friendly Czibor 44,000
1953-05-17   Rome   Italy 3–0 Central European Cup Hidegkuti, Puskás (2) 90,000
1953-07-05   Stockholm   Sweden 4–2 Friendly Puskás, Budai, Kocsis, Hidegkuti 40,000
1953-10-04   Sofia   Bulgaria 1–1 Friendly Szilágyi 45,000
1953-10-04   Prague   Czechoslovakia 5–1 Friendly Csordás (2), Hidegkuti, M. Tóth, Puskás 50,000
1953-10-11   Vienna   Austria 3–2 Friendly Csordás, Hidegkuti (2) 65,000
1953-11-15   Budapest   Sweden 2–2 Friendly Palotás, Czibor 80,000
1953-11-25   London   England 6–3 Friendly Hidegkuti (3), Puskás (2), Bozsik 105,000
1954-02-12   Cairo   Egypt 3–0 Friendly Puskás (2), Hidegkuti 28,000
1954-04-11   Vienna   Austria 1–0 Friendly Happel (o.g.) 65,000
1954-05-23   Budapest   England 7–1 Friendly Lantos, Puskás (2), Kocsis (2), M. Tóth, Hidegkuti 92,000
1954-06-17   Zurich   South Korea 9–0 1954 World Cup Puskás (2), Lantos, Kocsis (3), Czibor, Palotás (2) 15,000
1954-06-20   Basel   West Germany 8–3 1954 World Cup Kocsis (4), Puskás, Hidegkuti (2), J. Tóth 53,000
1954-06-27   Bern   Brazil 4–2 1954 World Cup Hidegkuti, Kocsis (2), Lantos 60,000
1954-06-30   Lausanne   Uruguay 4–2 (a.e.t.) 1954 World Cup Czibor, Hidegkuti, Kocsis (2) 50,000
1954-07-04   Bern   West Germany 2–3 1954 World Cup Puskás, Czibor 65,000
1954-09-19   Budapest   Romania 5–1 Friendly Kocsis (2), Hidegkuti (2), Budai 93,000
1954-09-19   Moscow   Soviet Union 1–1 Friendly Kocsis 85,000
1954-10-10   Budapest   Switzerland 3–0 Friendly Kocsis (2), Bozsik 94,000
1954-10-24   Budapest   Czechoslovakia 4–1 Friendly Kocsis (3), Sándor 93,000
1954-11-14   Budapest   Austria 4–1 Friendly Kocsis, Czibor, Sándor, Palotás 94,000
1954-12-08   Glasgow   Scotland 4–2 Friendly Kocsis, Hidegkuti, Bozsik, Sándor 134,000
1955-04-24   Vienna   Austria 2–2 Central European Cup Hidegkuti, Fenyvesi 65,000
1955-05-08   Oslo   Norway 5–0 Friendly Puskás, Kocsis, Palotás (2), Tichy 34,000
1955-05-11   Stockholm   Sweden 7–3 Friendly Puskás (2), Kocsis (3), Hidegkuti, Szojka 40,000
1955-05-15   Copenhagen   Denmark 6–0 Friendly Kocsis (2), Sándor (3), Palotás 41,000
1955-05-19   Helsinki   Finland 9–1 Friendly Palotás (3), Puskás, Tichy (2), Csordás (2), J. Tóth 30,000
1955-05-29   Budapest   Scotland 3–1 Friendly Kocsis, Hidegkuti, Fenyvesi 100,000
1955-09-17   Budapest   Switzerland 5–4 Central European Cup Puskás (2), Kocsis, Machos (2) 45,000
1955-09-25   Budapest   Soviet Union 1–1 Friendly Puskás 103,000
1955-10-02   Prague   Czechoslovakia 3–1 Central European Cup Kocsis, Tichy, Czibor 50,000
1955-10-16   Budapest   Austria 6–1 Central European Cup Kocsis, Puskás, Czibor (2), Tichy, J. Tóth 104,000
1955-11-13   Budapest   Sweden 4–2 Friendly Puskás, Tichy, Czibor (2) 90,000
1955-11-27   Budapest   Italy 2–0 Central European Cup Puskás, J. Tóth 103,000
1956-06-03   Brussels   Belgium 4–5 Friendly Puskás, Kocsis (2), Budai 75,000
1956-09-23   Moscow   Soviet Union 1–0 Friendly Czibor 105,000

Records and statisticsEdit

Memorial of the Aranycsapat in Szeged, Hungary
  • World Record: (June 4, 1950 to Feb 19 1956) 42 victories, 7 draws, 1 defeat ("Miracle of Bern") – 91.0% winning percentage ratio.
    • Team Record (June 4, 1950 to July 3, 1954) 31 game undefeated narrative.
  • World Record: most consecutive games scoring at least one goal: 73 games (April 10, 1949 to June 16, 1957).
  • World Record: longest time undefeated in 20th and 21st centuries: 4 years 1 month (June 4, 1950 to July 4, 1954).
  • World Record: most collaborative goals scored between two starting players (Ferenc Puskás & Sándor Kocsis) on same national side (159 goals).
Hungarian pennant for the 1954 World Cup.
  • 20th Century Record: Hungary manager Gusztáv Sebes holds the highest ratio of victories per game past 30 matches with 82.58% (49 wins, 11, draws, 6 defeats). Brazil legend Vicente Feola (1955–1966) owns the second highest with 81.25 (46 wins, 12 draws, 6 defeats).
  • 20th Century Record: Most International Goals: Ferenc Puskás (84 goals).
  • World Cup Record: 27 goals scored in a single World Cup finals tournament.
  • World Cup Record: 5.4 goals-per-match in a single World Cup finals tournament.
  • World Cup Record: +17 goal differential in a single World Cup finals tournament.
  • World Cup Record: 2.2 goals-per-match average for individual goal scoring in a single World Cup finals tournament (Sándor Kocsis 11 goals in 5 games).
  • World Cup Record: highest margin of victory ever recorded in a World Cup finals tournament match ( Hungary 9, South Korea 0 – July 17, 1954).
  • World Cup Precedent: first national team to defeat two-time and reigning World Cup champion Uruguay in a World Cup finals tournament (Hungary 4, Uruguay 2, semi-final — July 30, 1954).
  • World Cup Precedent: Sándor Kocsis, first player to score two hat tricks in a World Cup finals tournament (Hungary 8, West Germany 3 – July 20, 1954 & Hungary 9, South Korea 0 – July 17, 1954).
  • National Record: Highest margin of victory recorded by Hungarian national team (Hungary 12, Albania 0 – Sept. 23 1950).
  • Precedent: first national side from outside the British Isles to defeat England at home since the codification of association football in 1863, a span of 90 years (Hungary 6, England 3, see "Match of the Century" – Nov. 25 1953).
    • Hungary's 7–1 defeat of England in Budapest the next year is still England's record defeat.
  • Precedent: first national side in the world to eclipse an 1888 Scottish record of being undefeated in 22 consecutive matches (32 games).
  • Precedent: first non-South American national side to defeat Uruguay (Hungary 4, Uruguay 2, semi-final — July 30, 1954), breaking a 17-game Uruguayan unbeaten run against non-South American competition dating from May 26, 1924.
  • Precedent: first national side to defeat the Soviet Union at home (Hungary 1, Soviet Union 0 – Sept. 23 1956).
  • Precedent: first national team in history to simultaneously host the No.1 and No. 2 world record holders for most goals scored internationally (Ferenc Puskás 84 goals, Sándor Kocsis 75 goals) from May 11, 1955 to October 14, 1956.
  • Team Record vs. Elo Ranked Opponents: (June 4, 1950 – Oct. 14 1956), vs. world Top 10 ranked opponents: 11 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss / vs. world Top 5 opponents: 4 wins, 0 draw, 1 loss.
  • 2nd strongest power rating ever attained in the sport's history using the Elo rating system for national teams with 2166 points (on June 30, 1954). The record stood for 60 years and was finally broken by Germany on July 8, 2014 with 2180 points.



  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c Glanville, Brian (17 May 2009). "The Hungarian disasters – England v Hungary, 1953-4". The Observer. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  4. ^ "Hungary marks 50th year since England win". Sports Illustrated. CNN/Sports Illustrated. 25 November 2003. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  5. ^ "Football: Ellis a knockout during the Battle of Berne – Sport". The Independent. 1998-06-09. Retrieved 2011-03-14.
  6. ^ "Scotland International Matches 1951–1955". Retrieved 2012-10-12.
  7. ^ "The firhill flyer | Comments | The Official Gateway to Scotland". Retrieved 2011-03-14.
  8. ^ "International football MATCH report: 23.09.1956 Soviet Union vs Hungary". Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  9. ^ "Classic Coach: Gusztav Sebes". 1953-11-25. Archived from the original on 2007-07-09. Retrieved 2011-03-14.
  10. ^ World Football Elo Ratings; under the columns tab choose "Highest Rank / Rating" as well as "Lowest Rank / Rating"


  • Rogan Taylor, ed. (1998). Puskas on Puskas: The Life and Times of a Footballing Legend. Robson Books. ISBN 1861051565.
  • Terry Crouch, ed. (2006). The World Cup: The Complete History. Aurum Press Ltd. ISBN 1845131495.
  • Michael L. LaBlanc & Richard Henshaw, ed. (1994). The World Encyclopedia of Soccer. Invisible Ink Press. ISBN 0810394421.
  • Jonathan Wilson, ed. (2006). Behind the Curtain: Travels in Eastern European Football. Orion Publishing. ISBN 9780752879451.
  • Rogan Taylor & Andrew War, ed. (1996). Kicking & Screaming: An Oral History of Football in England. Robson Books. ISBN 0860519120.

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