The Best: Ferenc Puskas

Born: Budapest 2 April 1927

Position: Forward

Club(s): Budapest Honved, Real Madrid

Country: Hungary

International Caps: 85 (4 for Spain)

International Goals: 84 (0 for Spain)

A prolific centre forward with a thunderous left foot Puskas was captain and record goalscorer of the Magic Magyars netting at a goal a game throughout a magnificent career that took him to global recognition as one of the great centre forwards of his time.

He debuted for Kispet FC in 1943 in the early years before they changed their name to Budapest Honved and soon got to grips with football at the highest level in Hungary scoring regularly en route to winning five league titles with the club.

After a spell in the Hungarian Army team during National Service Puskas earned the nickname “galloping major” before leading his nation to Olympic glory in 1952. A year later he was the key instigator in the Magic Magyars 6-3 thrashing at Wembley against England then in Budapest when Hungary won 7-1 scoring twice in both matches. In 1954 Puskas would lead Hungary to a World Cup final and scored the opener against West Germany before eventually losing 3-2.

Four times top league goalscorer in Hungary the performances both domestically and internationally earned Puskas and his Honved team recognition from far and wide and in 1956 they traveled Europe & South America as a touring XI against the will of FIFA leading to a two year ban from UEFA for Puskas who would be left surprisingly without a club.

In 1958 after scoring 380 goals in 367 games in Hungary, aged 31 he moved to Real Madrid and in his first season (58/59) scored 21 goals in 24 league games and lifted the European Cup all be it after missing the final due to injury.

A year later, in a side with Gento, Di Stefano & Luis del Sol he won the pichichi scoring 25 goals in 24 games and again picked up the European Cup scoring four goals in the final against Eintracht Frankfurt.

In 1961 Puskas scored a goal a game (28 in 28) as Real Madrid won the first of five back to back Spanish League titles with Puskas (and his goals) featuring in all of them. In all he scored 380 goals in 367 games for Real Madrid wining the Spanish Top Goalscorer award four times.

After retirement Puskas managed in North & South America, Spain, Greece, Saudi Arabia & Australia before taking the Hungarian National team job in 1993. His achievements never really matching what he did on the pitch during a golden era of phenominal finishing and stunning centre forward play.

A tough diminutive striker with an eye for goal and thunderbolt shot who loved to score goals and is one of the finest footballers ever to grace this planet.

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