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06/11/1933: Eskenazi talks to Edwin Herzog

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-04-09 18:32:27


Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
Hungarian Rhapsody
Jean Eskenazi | 06/11/1933

Vienna, Wunderteam, Austria, Sindelar. It would be useless to deny that little is seen in continental Europe at present except through Austrian football. Such an enviable reputation creates many jealousies, it also silences the merits of some who are often legitimate.
We were able to speak recently with Mr. Herzog, one of the biggest personalities of Magyar football who explained the current situation to us, without ambiguity, with a frankness which does him honor.
Herzog: I do not deny the present superiority of Austrian football. The Viennese clubs have this advantage of all having the same style and of having players who have a much less individualistic temperament than ours. But we must not lose sight of the fact that the best teachers of the Austrians were players like Schlosser, Orth, Kalmár, Konrád II., the master of Sindelar, Schaffer, who are all Hungarians.
» Moreover, Meisl, whenever he has the opportunity, does not fail to relate it.
— And now?
Herzog: Now we still have very great players like Sárosi and Kalmár who have nothing to envy to the Viennese stars, but I repeat to you, the Hungarian like the Frenchman is an individualist and if we cannot hold him by... means... financial, his qualities disintegrate very quickly and then the galley ensues. Poverty is not vice!
— In short, you are victims of the economic crisis?
Herzog: More than anyone. In Budapest, as in all of Hungary, if not misery, at least embarrassment reigns everywhere. We have to play a lot to be able to pay our players. We cannot offer them the comfort reserved for their Austrian colleagues.
» No sleeping cars, luxury hotels... travel is done in third class (because there is no more fourth class!), we stay in modest hotels. Thus often deprived of basic material conditions, sometimes forced to play four or five days a week, our players cannot be themselves, nor progress, nor improve, nor respond to the hopes placed in them. It's like the puny kid who has nothing to eat.
— You'd think you were reading a serial novel with a demagogic tendency!
Herzog: Don't think I'm exaggerating. It is, alas! the sad reality... The great teams of the moment.
— And despite everything, you have big teams?
Herzog: Yes, don't judge Hungarian football on the teams you see at the moment. They are small teams. Reserve your judgment for Ferencváros, Újpest, Budai and Kispest. These are the great formations of the moment. They have nothing to envy to their predecessors.
» Ferencváros has, in Sárosi the best player in the world, you hear me well. He is an incomparable player, to whom Ferencváros are indebted for being so brilliant.
— And Újpest?
Herzog: It's still a great team, words the revelation is Kispest, second in the Hungarian championship and going from strength to strength. I would like you to be able to see this team in France. They would surprise you with their mastery. Rise and fall of Hungária.
— In the list of the great Hungarian teams, you omitted Hungária. Is it on purpose?
Herzog: The poor Hungaria which possessed under the name of M. T. K. the most brilliant team having operated in Europe is currently last in the championship.
— How is it?
Herzog: Each apogee has its decadence. Each Austerlitz has its Waterloo. Hungária did not agree to be a left behind. A moral crisis has reached them, soon followed by a financial crisis and the unfortunate Hungária has just been beaten by Phoebus, the former promoter!
» What do you expect the history of Hungary is one of those odysseys that one sometimes encounters in life. Your great Corneille, whom I admire so much, wrote a verse on this subject which comes back to me: And mounted on the ridge, he yearns to descend. The calm after the storm.
— Do you have confidence in the recovery of Hungarian football?
Herzog: Why not? Our international season has been excellent this year. Draw in Vienna with Austria and playing from 10 beaten from 1 to 0 by an Italian team playing excessive defense and looking for only one thing: to limit the damage.
» Wait for the World Cup, we will talk about Hungary again in Rome!
» We have young players who come and show promise. Let events settle down and if our country one day regains its economic equilibrium, you will then witness the blossoming, a plethora of new talents.
— As in Vienna?
Mr. Herzog said nothing and smiled.
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