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Dr. György Sárosi - Mitropa Cup 1937
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-11-15 16:30:36
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SÁROSI LEADS FRADI
This article was made in honor of the dedication to the memory of Mr. József Sándor.
Ferencváros, the runners-up of Nemzeti Bajnokság I. 1936/37, had participated for the seventh time in the Mitropa Cup. This time, the team led by Dr. György Sárosi would try, once again, to reach an excellent spot. After all, in the 1936 edition Ferencváros had been quite disappointing, being eliminated in the first phase of the tournament by a team considered quite inexperienced. Dr. Sárosi had stood out a lot in the first match against S.K. Slavia, scoring four goals against František Plánička and being in the middle of absolutist football, but that wasn't enough for Fradi to advance to the next stage.
Dr. Sárosi was in excellent goal-scoring form , but his last league matches did not show such brilliant football as in other times. Furthermore, he appeared to be in poor physical condition. Once again, Ferencváros would face S.K. Slavia in the first phase, and many remembered very well the embarrassment they had gone through. However, this time, the first match would be played in Prague.
In the first match, Ferencváros drew 2:2 with S.K Slavia, with goals by Dr. Sárosi and Géza Toldi. It was commented by Dr. Mihály Mamusich that Fradi's star was without much energy. He wrote:
— Sárosi was also moving languidly. It seems that his condition is weaker than of others.
However, both Austrians and Czechs, respectively, highlighted Dr. Sárosi as follows:
— The most distinctive players were Dr Sárosi, who showed some fine attacking actions, and the robust Toldi, the soul of the attack. Ferencváros also had the best line in their half-backs, with Polgár and Lázár excelling above average. Sárosi was the best in attack, well supported by both wings, while Toldi did more on the left flank.
With a result considered at least good for the second match, which would be played in Budapest, Ferencváros, even so, ended up entering with a certain nervousness. Dr. Sárosi himself had commented during the break that it would be better for them to find a better position for him. In the first ten minutes of the second half, Dr. Sárosi, through a header, increased the advantage for Fradi. The Hungarian centre-forward, nevertheless, was not in the best form and played a very average match for his level.
A VERY EQUAL OPPONENT.
Following the stage, Ferencváros would face the third-placed team in Wiener Liga I., First Vienna, with experienced stars such as Fritz Gschweidl, Leopold Hofmann and Karl Rainer. This was a team well known for its strong defensive system throughout the decade. They finished the league as the third best defence.
The first game was played in Üllői-út, Budapest, and had a bad performance from the entire forward line, mainly from Dr. Sárosi, who had played a disappointing and weak game, constantly trying moves that would not work in front of First Vienna's solid defense.
MATCH REPORT: Dr. Sárosi "disappeared" between Rainer and Hofmann. No wonder. Two old foxes! How much experience accumulated under a worn jersey! Sárosi's best tricks were lost in vain inside the Vienna area. And that was Dr. Sárosi's biggest mistake in this match, not realizing that he could not manage between Rainer and Hoffmann. He didn't realize it, or he didn't believe it, but the fact is that he didn't try to get rid of them. There he was, stumbling between them, trying and trying again. Hopelessly. Once again, the Ferencváros forward line was left without a director. Sárosi was content to plough the left wing for the young and stage fright Gyetvai.
MATCH REPORT: Ferencváros was very disturbed by Sárosi's completely aloof, barren, worthless game. It is incomprehensible how a player of class can play so poorly. The centre-forward's fatal weakness is an explanation and excuse for the rest of the line.
The second match was played at Praterstadion, with Ferencváros looking to maintain the result acquired in Budapest. As planned a few times before, Fradi had Dr. Sárosi as centre-half to hold the result against a First Vienna that would look more attacking to at least match the loss at Üllői-út.
Acting as centre-half this time, Dr Sárosi's clashes with the Austrian inside trio and especially against Hofmann were perhaps the greatest moments of the match. However, Gyurka Sárosi didn't seem to be so well adapted as before, sometimes he performed good individual movements — as overdid elegant movements at the beginning of the match —, but almost ignored the wings. In the first half of the match he played excellently in defence and in supporting the attack. He was not only content with the build-up work, but also shot very diligently himself. After the break, he fell out of this role and faded away as much as possible.
In the second half, Jakab was injured and had to leave the field. After the match, Dr. Sárosi said:
— I already felt today that it would not end well. We did what we could under difficult conditions. We cannot be blamed for the fact that it was not a good game. But I dare say that with eleven men we would certainly have won.
The match ended with only one goal scored by Gustav Pollak. A third match was scheduled to be played in Budapest, precisely Üllői-út, to perhaps decide which team would take the place in the semi-finals.
The third match against First Vienna was another true team clash that belonged at a very close level. One of the most important moments of the match was after Otto Kaller's goal, because that was when Dr. Sárosi joined the half-back line, especially with a lot of defensive prominence.
MATCH REPORT: The team was definitely saved at the point of the cover line by Sárosi's centre-half play and from then on he was a serious axis for the team. Although Sárosi had little power left to launch hopeful attacks, he held his own in defence in a great way.
Dr. Sárosi was essential in Ferencváros' defensive phase – and many attributed the fact that Ferencváros did not concede another goal to Sárosi's excellent defensive performance. As a forward, although Sárosi encountered too much resistance with Hofmann, who was playing in a splendid way, the decisive importance for the development and outcome of the match came from him; he was actually able to prepare the decisive shots. With the two wingers Kemény and Bíró, Dr. Sárosi created a very lively and prompt attacking play, leaving the finishing to Toldi. Nevertheless, with the loss of their leader in the forward line, Ferencváros almost didn't attack anymore, thus holding the result of the match for 30 minutes until the end.
* * *
Ferencváros went on to the semi-finals, but they would face too many challenges against a team that had won all their matches in the tournament and were considered the best Austrian team, F.K. Austria Wien, of Matthias Sindelar and Walter Nausch. They knew they would have to enhance their performances to outplay the Austrians. Their last matches against the Czechs and Austrians were not enough for the supporters to point equivalence in both battles between the two sides, although their last matches showed great superiority for the Hungarians. However, football was, is and always will be moment.
SINDELAR VS. DR. SÁROSI.
In yet another clash, a true technical battle, the great representatives of their schools, Dr. György Sárosi, from the old refined Hungarian school, and Matthias Sindelar, the most thoughtful disciple of Alfréd Schaffer and, especially, Kálmán Konrád, would fight one of the most classic duels: centre-half against centre-forward. After all, Dr. Sárosi, once again, had been assigned to the arduous mission of stopping the forward line of F.K. Austria, more precisely trying to mitigate the Austrian centre-forward.
Of course, completely without Dr. Sárosi on the forward line, Ferencváros had very little chance of having a match for the opposing defensive system. It was quite obvious that Ferencváros' plan was to hold the match in order to acquire a slight result in Budapest.
Through Dr. Sárosi can be reflected in the individual performance and the hope of Ferencváros, however almost completely exhausted, in the tournament. Sárosi wasn't like before, no, he was much better, especially in terms of fitness. In this condition, Dr. Sárosi was impeccable. As in the great moments of his footballing heyday as a centre-half, the Hungarian star played a brilliant, clever and even bravery covering game. He defended excellently, was able to take Sindelar out of the game many times, and positioned himself with a superb sense for his opponents' draw lines.
For the second clash between the two main teams of the tournament, the most performing teams in this edition of the Mitropa Cup, some changes would have to be made by Fradi's side. After all, keeping Dr. Sárosi as a centre-half while the forward line perished without an attack leader was not a smart idea. However, a new aspect of the Budapest match that would catalyze zöld-fehér would be the return of Gyula Polgár, who would leave Dr. Sárosi free to command, once again, the offensive system of Ferencváros.
On 25/07/1937, Sunday, a real battle was promised on Hungarian soil.
TO NEVER FORGET.
Single matches, without any context behind them, create their own battles as the minutes pass, as a stronger play is performed, or an artistic effect is released by a great craftsman, a great patron is seen as a reflection of the art of the ball. With context, in turn, be it derby; be it a cup final, for instance, it already attracts the public's view that doesn't even watch the most beautiful sport with constancy.
This scenario was different. This was a spectacular battle, one of the most spectacular fought on Hungarian soil; where Ferencváros had to — and managed to — seek an almost irreversible result against a team that was in its splendor. Sárosi vs. Sindelar; Hungary vs Austria; Ferencváros F.C. vs. F.K. Austria!
Greatness can never be doubted, even when a player no longer demonstrates the same football consistently as before. When the lines of that second match against F.K. Austria are written, the name Dr. György Sárosi should be highlighted, as his performance was worthy of his best moments with the Ferencváros shirt. Lord of the forward line? No! Lord of Ferencváros, his orders are obeyed by the entire group. He was complete. He fought defensively and used his body to fight for the ball – a very rare feature of Sárosi's style of play. Offensively, he was the master of other times. He had an arsenal full of ideas, putting his comrades with inventive moves in clear goal situations and scoring the goals himself. Ferencváros was at the peak of its power, in which Sárosi performed one of the greatest performances of his playing career.
Post-match, on his exceptional performance, Dr Sárosi commented:
— The best match of my life. It feels great to bring such sincerity and joy to so many people. I think we did Hungarian football a great service with this result.
After the anthological performance by Fradi, the enthusiastic fans flooded the pitch. The police could not contain them. The supporters carried Dr. Sárosi and Toldi on their shoulders into the dressing room.
There were still two more games to be played. This was the second time that Gyurka reached the Mitropa Cup finals. This time, the runner-up of the Prima Divisione, the newcomer Lazio would be the opponent of Ferencváros. Lazio had made a simpler campaign than Ferencváros. Although having faced the undefeated champion of Nemzeti Bajnokság I., Hungária F.C., Lazio had an easy quarter-final against Grasshopper and did not play in the semi-finals of the tournament. However, as much as it was a team considered weaker than Ferencváros, Silvio Piola's team was not to be underestimated.
Ferencváros had reached their third Mitropa Cup final – and this time it would be against Italian runners-up, Lazio, of Silvio Piola. Once again, the Hungarians would face an Italian team in the tournament. Predecessors to Lazio, teams like Juventus, Bologna and Roma had already faced Fradi. In a scenario against an Italian team and in the middle of the final phase of the tournament, the public was widely expected to have a very disputed final with a high emotional temperature between the teams.
As expected, the first match had a high tension, with several arguments and with Dr. Sárosi arguing with the Lazio trainer. The first match was an exceptional result for the Budapest team, largely due to the exceptional performance of Dr. Sárosi. Once again, the brilliant Hungarian centre-forward was the backbone of his team, the sine qua non factor for the final result. The Hungarian star had confirmed his exceptional form in the final stages of the tournament.
He was not as great as against F.K. Austria. The explanation, however, for this is simple: three footballers were constantly marking him and did not let him have much space. Nevertheless, Gyurka was still able to create serious situations and even scored a perfectly timed goal in addition to his two penalty goals, which he also masterfully put into the net. His great effort, with which he sometimes captivated his comrades, according to general opinion, deserved special praise.
— GYURKA, GYURKA!
With an excellent advantage of two goals on aggregate, Fradi went to play the last game of the tournament in Rome, with an exceptional audience and authorities who would eventually attend the match.
When a player of of the caliber of Dr. Sárosi is at the epitome of his football knowledge, it's almost impossible to stop him. Gyurka performed an iconic match on Italian soil , thus demonstrating all his class and being almost unanimously categorized as, among the 22 footballers on the field, the best player of the match. He had shown every shade of his colourful talent. He was fast and strong, he played smart up high and always reinvented himself brilliantly especially in front of goals. Therefore, he deserved more than praise and recognition for his game, because in this match Sárosi was also tough and really proved to be, once again, the team's great leader. Under his guidance, this match was impossible to lose.
Achille Starace, the secretary general of the fascist party, who appeared as Mussolini's representative, hands over the cup to Sárosi. The Hungarian star started crying for the team's conquer, but starts singing right away so that tears stop falling from his eyes. Regarding the win, Dr. Emanuel Michael Schwarz, the president of F.K. Austria, commented after the end of the match:
— I'm happy that my friend Sárosi can receive the trophy. He was the real father of victory.
Fradi finally won their second tournament.
There were two Sárosi's in this tournament: the one before the first match against F.K. Austria, at Praterstadion, and the one who completely changed the level of his performances already in that same match against Sindelar's team; achieving the master footballer he once was and the supporters knew.
The tournament, in fact, started very far from being in tune for Dr. Sárosi, as he was far from his usual splendid football form, mainly in the physical aspect. doctor Sárosi moved almost without energy, without spirit — he seemed to be sick, in a way. Apparently, his condition was weaker than that of his comrades. It took time for the Hungarian star to return to his high condition.
It was in the first match against First Vienna that Sárosi reached the worst level in the competition; being considered the worst player on the pitch and completely nullified by Rainer and Hofmann, yet he was adding goals to Fradi's score. However, it was only in the second match against First Vienna, as a centre-half, that Dr. Sárosi started to show the public that he was improving.
However, as already mentioned above, it was in the first match against F.K. Austria that Dr. Sárosi, indeed, had returned to his high level. Even though Ferencváros suffered an alarming 4:1 defeat, Sárosi's performance set him – and vastly – apart from his teammates; being appointed as one of the best of the match.
In the last four matches of the tournament, Dr. Sárosi has really reached a spectacular level that few footballers have reached. The match against F.K. Austria, in Budapest, mainly the second half, was a spetacular one for the Hungarian. He lead his team in a way that the destiny would not deny their comeback.
With two hat-tricks scored, Dr. Sárosi was the main key, once again, for Ferencváros. With an outstanding performance on Italian soil, an performance which could be reflected in his first-class last goal, Gyurka confirmed the second Mitteleuropa Pokal for Ferencváros. At the end of the XI. edition of Mitropa Cup, Dr. Sárosi scored a total of 12 goals in 9 matches played.
The strength of the visiting team was in the half-back line. It's no wonder, since Dr. Sárosi, the hero of Hungarian football, and Lázár
, the most technically gifted half-back of the continent, played here. Dr. Sárosi's talents made him more of an attacking half-back. This time, his main task was to keep Sindelar cold. It must be said that he succeeded in this task in most cases. Of course, he could not always do this and it is to Sindelar's credit that he was able to create so many sure goalscoring situations on the few occasions he had. And although Dr. Sárosi made the best passes forward, there was no one to continue the action. The Hungarian forward line was very timid.
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