Archive. Football. Statistic & History
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Column #75

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2023-02-16 00:09:48

Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
The shelf at "Dev. FSH. Isaque Argolo-Austerlitz" has been giving me some headaches lately, due to some doubts and questions about the players and their ranks. The most common one I get is about György Orth — of course, it wouldn't be any different. If on his own profile I comment that he was the best footballer there ever was, why did I put him on the second shelf?
To begin with, Orth was hands down, beyond comparison, the best player to ever walk onto a football pitch. It's that simple. There was no Pelé, Moreno, Di Stéfano, James, Messi, Maradona, etc that even equaled the level that György Orth reached. The distance is too impressive. Orth was something completely different from other players. He was a deity on the field. His level of genius was very different from the great players that came after him. That's it.
However, as unique as György Orth was, he unfortunately lacked longevity in his career. And longevity is a main criteria for me. Impressively, when Orth practically ended his career on 08/09/1925, he still hadn't reached his true potential. That is, the guy would be even more spectacular, even more extraordinary than he had been in the second half of the 1910s and the first half of the 1920s. Orth was different, something far above the main players that came later.
Many talk about the genius of later players like Pelé, Maradona and Messi, for example — who are, in fact, genius players — but they were not György Orth. They lacked the Hungarian's genius and repertoire of outstanding tricks.
I will leave here a text written on 12/09/1924 under the pseudonym "K-ly" which tries to explain Orth in words:
György Orth donned the national team jersey for the twenty-sixth time on Sunday. I feel that it is unnecessary to praise Orth, since even on the day of his first anniversary, his knowledge shines in the dazzling light that captivated the crowds in the stands when he first appeared on the big field, and his game speaks for him more than any praiseworthy criticism. If we do try to greet him with a festive bouquet from the words of the audience's love and appreciation of the critics on this occasion, it is not so much for the player as it is for György Orth, his dear good friend, the upright man, with the valuable qualities - blessed man. Even those who can only admire his noble art of play from afar, but do not know him personally, must feel that the one who controls not only the ball, but also the game with so much reason and intelligence, with such superior knowledge, is more than a god-given football player. Beyond the wonderful technical ability of the legs, it is impossible not to see the shining signs of dedication rising to the point of art, which combine György Orth's football game into a noble value. He is not a football player, but a stubborn, defiant artist who dominates moods, whose soul sometimes strays far from everything that happens on the pitch. He daydreams about some lovely thought and wakes up from the overwhelming charm of sweet reverie to reality only when the audience, annoyed by his apparent inaction, urges him to action with strong "Orth — Orth" shouts. Perhaps it is not nice to disrupt the soft-spoken symphony of solemnity with a crescendo of sincerity, but György Orth's value has now passed into the public consciousness to such an extent that, even on such occasions, it cannot be hurtful if the sad feelings that fill everyone find an echo in these lines of true love and appreciation, who is watching his unparalleled career with fearful concern. György Orth still owes Hungarian sports; his knowledge and art have still not developed to the extent that we rightly expect from him; he has not yet realized all the hopes that he brought to life in the Hungarian football circles at the beginning of his career with his great enthusiasm.