Hungarian football was at the top of the world decades ago. In 1938 and 1954, the country was only a heartbeat away from sitting on the throne of world football. Furthermore, in 1964, the team won a bronze medal in the European Championship.
The last time the Hungarian national team took part in the football world cup was in Mexico in 1986. Despite the great expectations, the Hungarian team was easily knocked out in the group stage. They suffered a 6-0 defeat from the Soviet Union and were beaten 3-0 by France.
In the second half of the 2010s, Hungarian football seemed to recover.
Thanks to an increased number of countries able to take part in the EURO championships, they managed to take part in the EURO2016 in France, as well as the EURO2020.
In the former, the team performed miraculously. For example, it drew with the team later winning the championship, Ronaldo’s Portugal. In the EURO2020, Hungary was knocked out in the group stage, but
the team played very well
in the so-called “death group” containing former WC2018 champion France, EURO2016 winner Portugal, and the ever-favourite Germany.
However, in 1938, the situation was quite different. The Hungarian team qualified easily to the third world cup held in France. They started the tournament well with a 6-0 against the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). This was followed by Switzerland’s 2-0 knockout, which enabled Hungary to progress into the semi-finals. There, the Hungarian team played against Sweden who suffered a 5-1 defeat in Paris, Parc des Princes stadium.
The final took place in the Olympique stadium where Hungary’s national team was up against Italy, the titleholder.
The Italian team scored the first goal, after which Pál Titkos managed to equalise. However, Italy quickly regained the lead eight minutes later with a goal from Silvio Piola. This was upped again to 3-1 in the 35th minute. Even though Captain György Sárosi scored a second goal for Hungary, it was only enough to reduce the goal difference. Finally, in the 82nd minute, Silvio Piola advanced Italy to 4-2. This meant that Italy retained the world cup.
Almost everybody knows in Hungary how the Ferenc Puskás-led Hungarian team defeated England first 3 to 6 in Wembley in November 1953. That victory meant that Hungary became the first overseas country to win there. As a result, England’s invincibility broke in Europe after 90 years. The next year, in May 1954, they played in Budapest where the Hungarian team won 7 to 1.
Here is a video about the highlights in Wembley Stadium:
And here you can watch the highlights of the Budapest match (from 7:00):