World Renown Soccer Champion
Born: April 2, 1927
Hungarians who enjoy a good football (soccer) match the mention
of the name Puskás Ferenc, whom most prefer to speak of as "Öcsi"
(meaning "little brother"), is as if one were to speak of Pele
to a Brazilian. Though this living legend of a football player is
now seventyfive, his youthfull attitude about life, and game he
was born into, is one to be admired. Football lovers think only
the greatest of this humble, honest and rather simple man. Öcsi,
or as the Spanish affectionately have called him, Pancho, was born
in Budapest in an area of the city called Kispest, which is celebrating
its 80th year as an official part of greater Budapest. For Öcsi
Kispest ("Little Pest"), was where he spent his early childhood
years running in the fields and kicking the ball.
"As a child I never had dreamt of being anything when I would grow
up...I just knew I was born to be a football player ...however,
my father, who was a serious football player, did not have any direct
influence on my wanting to become a football player...I just grew
up in a neighborhood of kids, friends, whose passion was playing
From 1945 to 1956 played for Kispest AC and Budapesti Honvéd (Honvéd
is the military’s football team), proving himself an exceptional
player. In 1952 he was in the Hungarian Olympic Football Team that
won the Olympic Gold Medal in Helsinki, and the year after that
his great left foot won his team the Silver Medal at the 1954 World
Soccer Championship Games in Switzerland.
"I can’t say that any one event or game in my life was the peak
for me...I just love the game deeply..."
In 1956, at the height of the Revolution, Öcsi and his wife, Elizabeth
(Erzsi), a handball player he married in 1950, left Hungary. From
1958 to 1967 he was the prized player for Real Madrid. He played
spectaculary during the World Soccer Championship games of 1962
in Chile.His life in Spain was very fruitfull, and he still spends
a lot of time in Spain, where his only child, daughter Anikó, lives
and is married to a Spanish architect.
speaks several languages, including Spanish and English, and now
lives on the side of Castle Hill, Budapest, with his wife. He has
plenty to do when he visits his grand-daughters Elizabeth, 28, and
Réka 26, who live with their parents in San Sebastian. Öcsi has
several dozens awards, medals and trophies to his name, including
a world record in goals shot over a certain period of time. Budapest
Pocket Guide salutes Puskás Ferenc and wishes him and his loved
ones the best.
Puskás Ferenc Stadium (former Népstadion-People’s Stadium)