🇭🇺 HUNGARY 🇭🇺
The Hungarian championship was established in 1901. Since its inception, the Hungarian championship has been dominated by four teams from the capital, Budapest. These are Ferencváros, MTK Budapest, Újpest and finally Honvéd.
The twelve best teams meet 3 times in the Hungarian championship. At the end of the 33 matches, the 1st is crowned champion and qualifies for the Champions League. The 2nd, 3rd and winner of the Hungarian Cup go to the Europa League. At the end, the bottom two in the Hungarian championship are relegated to the second division.
Hungarian football has left its mark on world football through great players and illustrious administrators. Even today, we remember 60 years ago when Hungarian footballers, led by Ferenc Puskás, were the example to follow in terms of technique and tactics. Despite Hungarians‘ pride in their past, they are ready to write a new chapter in their history.
The first official match played in the Central European state was between two teams of the Budapesti Torna Club on 9 May 1897. Football became so popular in the following years that in 1900 the Budapest City Council considered banning football because of the many injuries it caused. However, on 19 January 1901, football gained credibility when 12 Budapest clubs founded the Hungarian Football Federation (Magyar Labdarúgók Szövetsége or MLSZ). In the same year, the first championship was organised and in 1902 the national team made its debut, losing 5-0 to Austria in Vienna.
The MLSZ existed independently of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and became a member of FIFA in 1906. After the First World War and Hungarian independence, the federation reorganised: in 1921 it introduced compulsory injury insurance for all players and in 1926 the first division was allowed to become professional. However, it was after the Second World War that Hungarian football really exploded.
During the communist era, the federation continued its work as a department of the sports office. The national team won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1952, and the following year, with players of the calibre of Nándor Hidegkuti and Ferenc Puskás, beat England 6-3 at Wembley in a match still known as the ‘Match of the Century’.
After losing the 1954 FIFA World Cup Final to the Federal Republic of Germany, Hungary lost many of its legendary players. In 1956, Soviet soldiers put down an uprising of the Hungarian people. Many players emigrated and political leaders stopped supporting football.
Despite this, the country continued to enjoy success at the Olympic Games (gold medals in 1964 and 1968, silver in 1972, bronze in 1960), finished third in the 1964 UEFA European Championship and fourth in the 1972 edition. Flórian Albert was voted Golden Ball in 1967. Hungarian clubs were also successful: Ferencvárosi TC won the Fairs Cup in 1965 and finished second in the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1975, as did MTK in 1964. Videoton FCF was a finalist in the UEFA Cup in 1985.
However, the national team has not qualified for a FIFA World Cup finals since 1986, despite having had such illustrious coaches as Lothar Matthäus and Erwin Koeman.
Since 1989, the MLSZ has operated as an autonomous democratic organisation. With the support of the government, it has been able to initiate major stadium reconstruction and high-level coaching programmes.
In July 2015, former German international Bernd Storck, former sports director of the MLSZ, was appointed coach of the national team, which he qualified for UEFA EURO 2016 44 years after the last major tournament played by the Hungarian national team. His team even qualified for the knockout phase by winning Group F.
The official website: www.mlsz.hu