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Celebrating Birth Centenary of Legendary Footballer József Zakariás

At the ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of football player József Zakariás, Ádám Schmidt, Secretary of State for Sport at the Ministry of Defense, hailed each member of the Golden Team (Aranycsapat) as a symbol of Hungary’s glorious past.

During the commemoration held on Tuesday at the training center in Budafok named after the legendary footballer, Ádám Schmidt emphasized to the M1 news channel that the present and future of Hungarian sport are intertwined with its past. He expressed optimism, noting that if such successes were achieved in the past, there are reasons to be hopeful for the future. Mr. Schmidt highlighted the current outstanding period in Hungarian sport, suggesting that

today’s young people can draw strength from the achievements of previous generations to confront present challenges.

Zoltán Lomnici, president of the Golden Team Board (Aranycsapat Testület), emphasized József Zakariás’ significance as one of the most accomplished members of the “classic” Golden Team. Zakariás had been part of the Olympic champion team, the European Cup-winning team, the 6-3 triumph in London, and the 1954 World Cup final in Bern. Mr. Lomnici lamented the injustice that Zakariás did not play for the national team after the latter match.


József Zakariás (1924-1971) was a Hungarian footballer, left-back of the best Hungarian national team of all time, the so-called Golden Team. In addition to his international successes, he was twice Hungarian champion. He was the first of the legendary 11 to die at the age of 47, and his grave in Budapest’s Farkasréti Cemetery has been a national memorial since 2002.

The most famous match of the Golden Team, considered the “Match of the Century” in the history of sport, was the 1953 Hungary vs England game. In that match, the Hungarian national team defeated England, unbeaten for 90 years, 6-3 at Wembley Stadium in London. In the return match at the old People’s Stadium (Népstadion) in Budapest (now the Ferenc Puskás Stadium), the Hungarian team defeated the English again, that time scoring 7-1.

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Via MTI; Featured Image: Fortepan / Kovács Márton Ernő

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