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Sándor Kocsis Péter (born Budapestmarker, Hungarymarker, September 21, 1929; died Barcelonamarker, July 22, 1979) was a Hungarianmarker footballer who played for Ferencváros TC, Budapest Honvéd, Young Fellows Zürich, CF Barcelona and Hungary. During the 1950s, along with Ferenc Puskás, Zoltán Czibor, József Bozsik and Nándor Hidegkuti, he was one of the legendary Mighty Magyars. After the 1956 Hungarian Revolution he moved to Spainmarker where he became a prominent member of the successful CF Barcelona team of the late 1950s. In 1961 he also played as a guest for Valencia CF and helped them win their own summer trophy, the Trofeo Naranja. He scored in both games as Valencia beat Botafogo and FC Barcelona. He was an all round forward being a magnificent finisher, very strong, great at positioning and most of all brilliant in aerial battles.

Nicknamed Golden Head, Kocsis was a prolific goalscorer for both Budapest Honvéd and Hungary. While playing for Honvéd, he was the top goal scorer in any European league in both 1952 and 1954. He also scored 75 goals in 68 appearances for Hungary - a phenomenal 1.10 goal/game average on the game's highest level. Kocsis was the main celebrant of the 1954 World Cup where he scored 11 goals, setting a precedent for being the first player to score two hat tricks in a World Cup, finishing the tournament as top scorer. His record 2.2 goal/game average in a single World Cup finals competition is still the benchmark today, and only Just Fontaine has scored more goals in a single World Cup.

Kocsis retired as a player in 1966 and opened a restaurant in Barcelonamarker called Tete D’ Or. He also worked as a coach with CF Barcelona and managed Hercules CF between 1972 and 1974. However his coaching career was cut short when he was diagnosed with leukemia and then stomach cancer. On July 22 1979, aged 49, he fell to his death from the fourth floor of a hospital in Barcelona. He allegedly committed suicide although it may have been an accident.

Career statistics & Individual Records

Sándor Kocsis it is argued, statistically speaking, was the most powerful striker the world has ever seen in the international game. From May 11 1955 to October 4 1970, Kocsis was the world's No. 2 record holder for most international goals scored on the world stage. United with Ferenc Puskás, the Magnificent Magyars possessed two redoubtable inside forwards and the No. 1 and No. 2 record holders simultaneously in the world on the field, indisputably the most potent partnership in football history. The likelihood that any future national side will repeat such on-field senario and performances is highly unlikely.

His 1.103 goals/game average is ranked No.1 for players past 43 caps FIFAmarker in class-A competition, closely followed by Gerd Mueller with 1.097 goals/game (68 scores / 63 games), and are the only two players in history above a +1.0 goals/game average encompassing more than 43 internationals. Ferenc Puskás with .99 goals/game (84 scores / 85 matches) is currently ranked 3rd.

Among the greatest goalscorers, Sándor Kocsis (75 goals) remains today the world's all-time winningest striker past 31 scores or 49 caps, with an astounding 84.56 % winning percentage (52 won, 11 draws, 5 lost) also impress one the most. By comparison to other great forwards: Ferenc Puskás (84 goals) won 80.59% (63 wins, 11 draws, 11 defeats) of his matches, Pelé (77 goals) 80.43% (67 wins, 14 draws, 11 defeats), Gerd Mueller (68 goals) 79.84% (45 wins, 9 draws, 8 defeats), Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima (62 goals) 80.41% (68 wins, 20 draws, 9 losses), Imre Schlosser (59 goals) 69.85% (42 wins, 11 draws, 15 defeats), and Gabriel Batistuta (56 goals) 68.59% (42 wins, 23 draws, 13 lost).

As of this writing, Spain striker David Villa (31 goals in 49 caps) owns the highest ratio of victories per game past 48 internationals with 84.69%. It remains to be seen if this percentage will converge to more modest levels due to the influence of additional internationals.

Sándor Kocsis registered 7 hat tricks for Hungary, adding weight and brevity to an outstanding and remarkable career.

European & World Top Goalscorer

Kocsis began his career as a junior with Kobanyai TC before joining Ferencváros TC where he won his first Hungarian League title in 1949. He was then conscripted into the army and joined the army club, Honvéd. His team mates at Honvéd included Ferenc Puskás, Zoltán Czibor and József Bozsik. During his time at the club he won three more Hungarian League titles in 1952, 1954 and 1955. He finished as top goalscorer in the league on three occasions in 1951, 1952 and 1954 scoring 30, 36 and 33 goals respectively. On the latter two occasions he was also the top goalscorer in any European league.

During the 1952 season at Honvéd, Kocsis was the world's top goalscorer in world 1st division football with 36 goals, only to repeat that feat again in 1954 with 33 goals.

Magical Magyars

Kocsis made his debut for the senior Hungary team in 1948. Together with Ferenc Puskás, Zoltán Czibor, József Bozsik and Nándor Hidegkuti, he formed the offensive nucleus of the legendary team that went unbeaten for an incredible 32 consecutive games. Exempting the 1954 World Cup final match that later this article will cover in depth, the Magnificent Magyars in class-A internationals suffered no defeats for six years among its 42 victories and 7 draws. On November 20 1949, Kocsis he scored his first international hat trick in a game against Sweden and he scored a further one on June 22 1952 against Finland. Kocsis also scored six goals at the Olympics in Helsinkimarker as Hungary became Olympic Champions in 1952. On October 19 1952 he scored his third international hat trick in a game against Czechoslovakia.

Kocsis and friends also twice gave England a footballing lesson. In 1953 they stunned England with a 6-3 win at Wembley Stadiummarker and then in 1954 they gave them a 7-1 hammering in Budapestmarker. During the latter game Kocsis added a further two goals to his increasingly impressive record. In 1953 Hungary also won the Central European International Cup.

1954 World Cup

Although the 1954 World Cup would end in disappointment for Hungary, it was a personal success for Kocsis. He finished the competition as top goalscorer, scoring 11 goals and two hat tricks. In the opening game he scored his first hat trick of the tournament against South Korea as Hungary cruised to a 9-0 win. In the next game against Germany, he went one further and scored four of the goals in an 8-3 win against the understrength team of coach Sepp Herberger. In the quarter-finals Hungary played Brazil, in a game infamously referred to as the Battle of Berne, Kocsis scored twice in a bruising encounter which saw Hungary win 4-2. Hungary then reached the final after they defeated reigning World champions Uruguay in the semi-finals. The game was 2-2 in extra time until Kocsis scored twice to seal another 4-2 win. In the final they met Germany once again. However for the first time in the competition Kocsis failed to score and the Germans won the Miracle of Berne 3-2.

On October 24 1954 he scored his sixth international hat trick and second against Czechoslovakia. He completed his seventh and last hat trick for Hungary on November 5 1955 in a game against the same opponents, Sweden, that he had scored his first.

Honvéd World Tour

In 1956 Honvéd entered the European Cup and in the first round they were drawn against Atlético Bilbao. Honvéd lost the away leg 2-3, but before the home leg could be played, the Hungarian Revolution had erupted back in Budapestmarker. The players decided against going back to Hungarymarker and arranged for the return with Atlético to be played at the Heysel Stadiummarker in Brusselsmarker. Despite drawing 3-3 they went out on 6-5 on aggregate.

Elimination left Honvéd in limbo. The players summoned their families from Budapestmarker and, despite opposition from FIFAmarker and the Hungarian football authorities, they organised a fundraising tour of Italymarker, Portugalmarker, Spainmarker and Brazilmarker. After returning to Europe, the players parted ways. Some, including Bozsik, returned to Hungarymarker while others, including Czibor, Kocsis and Puskás, found new clubs in Western Europe.

CF Barcelona

Kocsis spent one season with Young Fellows Zürich before another Hungarian refugee, László Kubala, persuaded him and Zoltán Czibor to join him at CF Barcelona. He subsequently scored on his La Liga debut in a 4-1 win over Real Betis and as part of a legendary team that also included Ramallets, Evaristo and Luis Suárez, Kocsis won a Copa del Generalísimo/La Liga double in 1959 and a La Liga/Fairs Cup double in 1960. CF Barcelona also reached the final of the European Cup in 1961 and this saw Czibor and Kocsis return to the Wankdorf Stadiummarker in Bernemarker, where in 1954, while playing for Hungary, they had lost the World Cup Final. Despite both of them scoring, they finished on the losing side once again. They also lost by the same 3-2 score again, this time to S.L. Benfica.

Although no longer the prolific goalscorer he was in his earlier career, Kocsis still proved a useful player for CF Barcelona. He scored twice in the 1959 Copa del Generalísimo final as CF Barcelona defeated Granada CF 4-1. In the 1960 European Cup he scored four of the goals in a 5-2 quarter-final win over Wolves. He also scored a hat trick against Real Sociedad in a La Liga game in 1961 and scored all three goals in the 1962 Fairs Cup final that they lost to Valencia CF 7-3 on aggregate. Kocsis also scored in the 1963 Copa del Generalísimo final held at the Camp Noumarker. CF Barcelona beat Real Zaragoza 3-1.

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Honours

Hungary
  • 1952
1945-46 Kobanyai Hungarian National Championship I 5 0
1946-47 Ferencvárosi Hungarian National Championship I 3 2
1947-48 21 5
1948-49 30 33
1949-50 30 30
1950 Budapest Honvéd Hungarian National Championship I 15 24
1951 26 30
1952 26 36
1953 25 24
1954 26 33
1955 21 17
1956 21 13

1957-58 Young Fellows Juventus Super League 11 7

1958-59 Barcelona La Liga 4 4
1959-60 9 3
1960-61 10 4
1961-62 20 15
1962-63 9 2
1963-64 19 12
1964-65 4 1
249||247||||||||||||||||
11||7||||||||||||||||
75||41||||||||||||||||
335||295||||||||||||||||
  • 1953
  • Runner-up: 1954


Ferencváros TC

Honvéd FC

CF Barcelona

Valencia CF

  • Trofero Naranja
    • 1961


Sources

  • Behind The Curtain — Travels in Eastern European Football: Jonathan Wilson (2006) [93559]
  • The World Cup — The Complete History: Terry Crouch (2002) [93560]
  • 50 Years of the European Cup and Champions League: Keir Radnedge (2005) [93561]


See also



References



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