A historical lesson for young people and children about soccer, being Hungarian, and love
The Hungarian national football team won the last group match and ended the continental championship qualifiers undefeated, as the first in the group, thus confidently advancing to next year’s European Championship in Germany. This time, a non-professional analysis follows, although we will fall in love with it in the near future. However, this article is now addressed to those children and young people who, thank God, are coming out to support the national team in ever greater numbers and proportions.
Children! You don’t even know what a lucky era you were born into! Not only because you could basically live in peace and in unprecedented abundance, when – in most cases – your main concern is whether there is a free Wi-Fi code on the wellness holiday, and if so, whether it can be uploaded somewhere to charge it the gadget at your fingertips that is running low? You were born in a lucky era also because you can love football and you are given the chance to support a Hungarian national team that performs one miracle after another.
We, who are (much…) older than you, already know exactly how much value this is. You don’t want to know how much we went through… Suffering, torment, painful slaps, blushing defeats, and the subsequent explanations and excuses. In the absence of results, we could hear the current explanations that again, why did he FAIL to play well, FAILED to win and finally FAILED to get to the current world tournament.
We’ve been fans of this amazing game since the beginning, just like you are now. We went to the games, rain, heat, sun, wind, everything. Although you preferred to go by car, we traveled on trolley number 75 at the time. Many times we got off a stop or two early because one of the biggest things is walking to the stadium before the game. You have to approach the Sanctuary on foot, it also enhances the atmosphere and makes the anticipation for the match to its peak. We went, steadfast, but our last experience was usually the National Anthem before the game, because then came the suffering.
After the whistle, regardless of the final result, the team and the audience sing the National Anthem together. After the European Qualifier against Montenegro, the national team that qualified as group leader was celebrated by the fans of the full house Puskás Aréna. Photo: Attila Kovács
What are we left with? The memory of our fathers and grandfathers. The stories of the Puskás, Cziborés, Alberts, Göröcsés, Vargás, Törőcsík goals, tricks and successes. About which, even if we explained the “beautifying distance of time” – which is known to make everything look a little more beautiful than it actually was – we still listened with longing envy. It is true that we, the older ones, have been given one last “Golden Team”, one last, world-beating national team. The one you have heard about several times recently. That particular “Mexican” national team, until now, was the last one capable of direct qualification.
At least we still saw them. Détári’s amazing tricks and goals, Garaba’s uncompromising defensive play, Sallai Sanyi’s – Roland’s uncle’s trouble on the right wing, Kiprich’s memorable solos, Petya Disztl’s feats. We saw the wilting of the tulips in Rotterdam, the defeat of the Germans on the “ice rink”, the miracle in Vienna – 3-0 here, so that the home team didn’t have much of a chance – and the retina-burning beating of Brazil in the People’s Stadium.
Then came Mexico and with it all success disappeared. Hungarian football has become an unending series of failures. A nice result sometimes slipped by, but was immediately followed by a sobering slap. Moreover, the slaps came without good results. Continuously. One jacket was followed by another, one elimination was also followed by another. Decades have passed without us being able to cheer for our own team at a major world tournament.
You, children and young people born in today’s fortunate age, cannot even imagine how much bitterness we went through. You can’t even imagine what it feels like at the moment of the draw, after reading the roster of the qualifying opponents, to accept the obvious: we won’t make it to the European Championship again, dammit… Despite this, we persevered. We trusted, in our better days we may even have believed in the truth of the classic proverb: hope dies last. So we kept hoping.
We hoped that there would still be a good Hungarian national team. We hoped to see more Hungarian football successes. We hoped that we would be able to support our team at a major world competition. And ultimately, we hoped that one day we could be happy Hungarians even in the stadium. It is right here for you. You could wear your Hungary T-shirt and Szoboszlais No. 10 jersey with pride, because there is someone to admire and something to be happy about.
Not only the fans feel that the national team belongs to them, the team members also fully understand what it means to fight for a nation and how much joy it gives when they win! Photo: Attila Kovács
Be happy, enjoy every minute of this miracle! Love this national team very much! Not only because of the present – and the beautiful future predicted by Szoboszlai – but also because these guys, this team, really deserve it. Go to every game you can. Sing the Absence with a veiled gaze and a full throat. Be proud Hungarians and support with all your heart and soul. Just the way these guys put their heart and soul on the pitch. With this, you will not only get an identity and emotions that cannot be experienced anywhere else, but you will be part of something that is passed down from generation to generation in the country of Sárosi, Zsengellér, Toldi, Puskás, Albert, Varga, Törőcsik and Détári. This nation has been a football lover for more than a century now. Now you also know this and carry the flag forward.
Finally, a good piece of advice for you, small and even smaller fans. Don’t leave your love even when worse times come. Because sooner or later, everything will be fine again. We old people just know. We lived through dark times when all seemed lost. But now, with an aging head, we feel our hearts again. We are in love again!
Leading image: The live image of the Hungarian fans after the anthems during the Hungary-Montenegro European Championship qualifying match at the Puskás Arena. Recording of the author.