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September 1937: Árpádfy interviews Plánička
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-01-28 23:02:44
Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
"My 68th national team game was the most unfortunate!" — "I'm retiring after the English match" — "Orth is the best Hungarian forward... Sárosi could be even better... Kohut was the scariest shooter"
Jenő Árpádfy | 22/09/1937
There was no loud boy in Plánička, the goalkeeper of the Czechoslovakians. He is known for being a humble, soft-spoken, well-mannered young man, everyone knows Plánička, who is in his 34s. His clothes, which hangs in his body in slightly “poetic” folds, does not emboss the gorgeous muscularity of a panther-like goalkeeper. He was taken to hospital in Strasbourg after an unfortunate collision with Rök. The hospital doctor stared at Plánička and exclaimed in delight:
— We haven't seen such a flexible muscle, a sports body with such punctual precision!
This is Plánička “externally”. Behind his modesty, however, lies an unheard-of love of football and a rare sporting mindset. He plays with heart and soul for his team. Be it Slavia or the Czechoslovak national team. After the match on Sunday, the Hungarian strikers said that Plánička was in tears towards the end of the match, during the great goal count. He cried in despair and pain.
— Is it true that you cried? — We asked him over dinner.
Shrugging is the answer. He didn't say yes, but he didn't deny it. Modest boy, in vain.
Plánička: Let's not talk about this match! — He begged us — It was the most unfortunate of my 68 national team matches.
— Please tell me which team of Czechoslovakia had the strongest defense in yours 68 national team matches.
» He has already listed. The first Czechoslovak national team was the one in which he played against Poland in 1925 as a rookie national team goalkeeper. This was the protection and coverage line:
Plánička: Plánička — Perner, Steiner — Kolenatý, Káďa, Hajný. I have never had such protection for a Czech national team.
Then he adds:
Plánička: Maybe it won't be anymore. Today’s young people perceive the game of football differently. Today's spirit is different. The "old men" were also ready to give their lives when they entered the field.
— If we are already here, we will ask which was the best Czechoslovak forward line during the 12-year national team career.
Plánička: I will say: Podrazil, Svoboda, Silný, Puč, Jelinek. I don't think it's been any better since then. Surely only a few of the young people hit the scale. But I don't want to say names. After all, I will play with them two or three more times.
— Why only twice or three times?
Plánička: Because I'm retiring at the end of the fall season. I'm still waiting for the English match, maybe they'll pick me up there and then I'll finish my football career. My private life requires a lot of work, dedication and energy. I'm throwing myself at this time, not at Sárosi's feet.
He smiles a little. First time in the evening.
— Who was the best Hungarian striker — we ask — who you met in 12 years?
» He thinks. We write names for him, only randomly: Sárosi, Kohut, Markos, Cseh, Orth, Molnár, Braun. He grabs our hand and underlines three names: Sárosi, Orth and Kohut. Then he says:
Plánička: The best Hungarian forward was Orth, maybe... Sárosi is almost as big, but he could be even bigger. The scariest shooter, however, was Kohut. I will not forget the 2:1 Hungarian victory in Pest when Kohut scored a goal from the corner flag. I still don't understand how the ball went in. I didn't see, I couldn't defend.
Bouček, Sparta’s centre-half, sat next to us, he was in reserve on Sunday. He became aware of Kohut's name and interjected:
Bouček: Uncle Szedi (coach Szedlacsik, the former inside left of Ferencváros) told a lot about Kohut. He played next to him in Ferencváros.
Plánička ponders. Maybe the old, big battles came to mind. He barely eats from the food in front of him. When black coffee was offered, he protested vividly:
Plánička: I don't drink black coffee or alcohol. And I don't even smoke.
— Tell me what you owe this unheard of flexibility, even at this age? How do you train yourself?
Plánička: My muscles, at least the doctors said, are something special. I am constantly increasing my flexibility. Even today, I jump from 140cm. I usually train myself with hard work. Three times a week. Unfortunately, I would spend less and less time on the sport. I'm leaving now when I'm still worth something. I don’t want to hear the audience whistle like an aging actor. Maybe it's a good thing the game wasn't in Prague...
* * *
Author's comments: As much as the FAČR does not keep a record of the aforementioned match — Poland, 1925 — yes, it did take place. It is not a match considered official by the records, as it was only an amateur representation. Czechoslovakia won the match 2-1.
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