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Flórián Albert, Hungary’s Only Ballon d’Or Winner, Was Born 74 Years Ago

2015.09.15.

Flórián Albert, remembered as one of the best Hungarian football players ever, was born on this day in 1941. Albert, son of a blacksmith, spent his entire playing career at Budapest-based club Ferencvárosi TC, scoring 256 goals in 351 games between 1958 and 1974. He was named European Footballer of the Year (Ballon d’Or Winner) in 1967, having remained Hungary’s only winner so far.

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As the trees of Kosztolányi, so belonged I to Üllői Street. My foes might have said: Albert loiters on the FTC pitch like the trees from Üllői Street with a slight difference; they don’t have their arms on their hips. Well, I was indeed loitering; what’s more, sometimes with my arms on my hip, but between two loitering, I performed some tricks, scored some goals and pleased a few hundred thousand football friends. For me, the FTC stadium meant everything: I, the lad from the countryside, could have become and became somebody there. My fortune lead me there since some in the sky it had been determined that my life would be Ferencváros. – Flórián Albert (source: fradi.hu)

The talented striker, nicknamed “Emperor” among Hungarian football fans, helped his beloved club to win the Hungarian title four times, topping the national scoring charts in three seasons. On club level, Albert’s biggest success came in 1965, when in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, Ferencváros, that knocked-out among others AS Roma and Manchester United, reached the final and triumphed over Juventus 1–0, obtaining the only Hungarian international club cup title in football’s history.

Albert also starred for the Hungarian national team, winning 75 international caps and scoring 31 goals. He was joint top-scorer at the 1962 World Cup with four goals and played a key role in Hungary’s third-place finish at the European Championship in 1964. Albert is also very well remembered for his sensational display in the 3-1 beating of champions Brazil in 1966 World Cup held in England.

Flórián Albert passed away in October 2011, aged 70, in a hospital in Budapest after complications following heart surgery carried out a few days earlier.

source: szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu, fradi.hu and wikipedia