The MLSZ held its review of the year on 25th November – Hungarian Football Day – with many former national team players and coaches in attendance.
The ‘Match of the Century’, when Hungary defeated England 6-3 at Wembley, was played on 25th November 1953. To commemorate the match the MLSZ announced in 1993 that 25th November would from then on be considered as Hungarian Football Day. Since then, the federation holds its annual review of the year on this day with the participation of the defining personalities of Hungarian football.
“One of the goals of the Hungarian Football Day is that we remember and get together with those who helped make Hungarian football great” began MLSZ President Dr Sándor Csányi, who declared that 2016 has been a successful year.
“It’s been a good year compared to previous ones; qualifying for the Euros by getting past Norway in the play-offs was huge, and progressing from the group had a huge effect on many people. I believe that we have done much this year to make Hungarian football more popular, even if in many places further development and opportunities are required. In the past six years the MLSZ has built more than 800 pitches and upgraded 1,700 and this infrastructural development has great importance. Where spectator numbers are concerned we would like to make progress, but at the same time consider it a great success that aggression and vandalism have been eradicated from stadiums in the top division and also that an increasing number of home-grown players are getting playing time. The national-team squad has more and more younger players, which can act as an inspiration for young talent” he announced.
Vice-President Sándor Berzi also thanked those present. “We have numerous positive memories of 2016; Hungarian football has made great strides forward” he stressed, thanking national-team head coach Bernd Storck as well as everyone in Hungarian football, for their year’s work.
“I believe that the success of the Hungarian national team at the Euros was a defining experience for all of us, one which at the same time shows road to development to us for the next ten years. For the first time since the 1966 World Cup the Hungarian national team successfully progressed from their group at a major tournament, and this is certainly an important milestone in the history of the MLSZ and Hungarian football” he announced, emphasising that in the provinces the development of infrastructure and at grass roots level holds at least the same importance”, Berzi said.
Berzi then turned his attention to women’s and youth football. “Women’s football continued to close the gap in 2016 and the number of registered players has multiplied in recent years. At youth level the overall picture is heartening, 2016 being the first year in which all four of our male and female teams at both U17 and U19 have qualified for the elite round of their respective European Championship qualifiers” he continued, before then also wishing the Aranycsapat’s ‘twelfth man’ György Szepesi, who was unable to attend the event, good health.
The official programme of events came to a close with those in attendance watching every goal that the Hungary national team scored in 2016.
Source: MLSZ – press release