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Mario Brun: Sárosi, the doctor of Fiume
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-05-12 13:06:14
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THE DOCTOR OF FIUME
Mario Brun | 18/01/1938
BEFORE the war, Fiume, a peaceful port on the Adriatic, was Hungary's only access to the sea, which may have allowed this country to have a merchant navy and even a war navy.
Since then, Hungary has lost Fiume and the sea and its navy. But it retained an admiral, the regent Horthy, and an outstanding footballer: György Sárosi, born in Fiume in 1912.
It is probably because his father was called Stefancici and because Fiume is currently an Italian city that transalpine footballers have so often claimed, in recent years, that Sárosi was one of them. They did everything, moreover, to attract him to Italy and we still remember the sensational transfer figure that a club like Ambrosiana offered to acquire the services of the prestigious Hungarian footballer. There is no doubt that if he had accepted this offer, Sárosi would have been incontinent, like the repatriates of South America, naturalized Italian and would have found his place in the Squadra Azzurra.
But Sárosi is Hungarian at heart. He has declared it over and over again and he remained in Budapest where his parents came to settle shortly before the declaration of hostilities. It was there that he did all his studies and we know that they were very brilliant since, after having passed his doctorate in law, "Gyurka", as he is called, was to embrace the career of a civil servant of State.
FROM BUDA TO PEST
His career as a footballer, he began very young, of course, in the minimal team of M.A.F.C., sports club of the Hungarian Polytechnic School, whose headquarters and ground are in old Buda, on the right bank of the Danube. It was in this old citadel of the Magyar civilization, which we can recall, in passing, that in the Middle Ages it resisted all the attacks of the Turks for one hundred and fifty years, that Sárosi perfected his handling of the ball. He did not stay long in Buda and soon, at the age of fourteen, taking one of the seven suspension bridges which connect Buda to Pest, he joined the junior team of the F.T.C. (Ferencvárosi Torna Club), amateur subsidiary of the famous Ferencváros.
During the three years that he operated at the F.T.C., the young Sárosi so quickly asserted such value that, at the age of seventeen, he was selected for the Hungarian amateur team. Shortly after, he made his debut in the national team against Romania and it was on this occasion that Sárosi definitively imposed himself, having been one of the main architects of the Hungarian victory which amounted to 4-0.
A BACCALAUREATE AND A LICENSE
Immediately, the Ferencváros attempted to engage him. But Papa Sárosi didn't want to know anything at first. Above all, he wanted his son to pass his baccalaureate and think of a situation. And, for him, he was thinking of a completely different career than that of a professional footballer. It was no use explaining to him that one did not prevent the other, Mr. Sárosi resisted fiercely. That is why Gyurka had to continue to play for a few more months in the junior team of the F.T.C.
But when he had passed his baccalaureate, he succeeded without difficulty in convincing his father and he signed his first professional contract for Ferencváros on the eve of the tour that this club was to undertake in South America. Papa Sárosi did not have to complain about the operation since his son, at the signing, gave him 10.000 pengőes!
And Sárosi went away with the Ferencváros to spend a great vacation beyond the South Atlantic... He was very proud of the rest, he, the youngest of the 1st team, he, the rising star, to do this magnificent trip in the company of celebrities of the moment: Berkessy, Kohut, well known in France, Turay, Takacs II. and Táncos.
It was a very thankless task that fell to him since at Ferencváros, as soon as he joined, Sárosi had to take over from the famous Bukovi, who was in recent years, as we know, the centre-half of Sète, after having been the Hungary's biggest post-war pivot. But Sárosi was a top class player. Not only did he know how to replace Bukovi perfectly, but he soon overcame him and became the best centre-half on the continent.
In 1935, radical change in the sporting career of Sárosi. Revolution in Hungarian football. Quarrels and controversies of coaches.
Sárosi, the famous centre-half, is promoted to centre-forward!
How did it go?
Turay, the centre-forward of Ferencváros, left his club to move to Hungária and Ferencváros could not find a worthy replacement. On the other hand, they had just discovered a new centre-half in the person of Moré (who currently plays for Olympique Lillois). This is when a great debate begins. Sárosi, who is known to be gifted and can occupy all the places, should he play centre-forward or keep a place that Moré, on occasion, could very well hold?
Pataky, the famous international who fulfills the functions of technical adviser to Ferencváros, is of the opinion that we try the experiment:
Ferencváros is a team that has always been very brilliant in attack. Sárosi is very capable of becoming a good forward; he must be made the leader of the Ferencváros offensive.
Not everyone agreed with Pataky.
Some objected that from a high-class centre-half we were going to make an average centre-forward. In short, the Sárosi case quickly became a national problem and Hungarian sports circles found themselves divided into two camps. It was just if we did not fight between Sárosistes,depending on whether one was for or against his mutation.
— Sárosi plays a passive game — asserted on the one hand.
We highlighted his fine technique, his remarkable ball control, his precision, his clairvoyance, his subtlety in feints, his exemplary correction, unprecedented perhaps in the annals of football, which forbade him harsh charges and somehow curbed his ardor. Indeed, Sárosi barely consented to dispute the ball with an opponent and, more than once, we had seen him apologize to a rival whom he had been able to jostle inadvertently. It was even said that one day he had asked forgiveness from one of them who had hurt him!
So how could this marvelous regulating machine be made into a powerful attacker, an aggressive leader?
But, all in all, Pataky and his supporters who claimed that áarosi was a born forward prevailed and their confidence should not be disappointed, because this brilliant footballer adapted immediately and with ridiculous ease to his new role. In a short time he became the best Hungarian goalscorer. Today, finally, after having had the reputation of being the best centre-half on the continent, he has that of being one of the most endangering attacking leaders.
Evidently, he is not a centre-forward like the others. He's not the tank, like Bakhuys, or even Piola. He is a subtle strategist who knows how to open the door of opposing goals, much more by his intelligence of the game than by his ardor and his power.
A GOAL MODEL
However, it is important to note that since taking up his new position, Sárosi has transformed and acquired an authority that he did not possess before. He owes his effectiveness to a whim that never forgives, and the remarkable precision of his shots.
Recently, during the Hungary-Czechoslovakia match, he alone scored no less than seven goals against the famous Czech goalkeeper Plánička. And, in the recent Mitropa Cup final, which opposed Ferencváros and Lazio, it was to him that the Hungarian club owed the goal that earned them victory. Here is the story of this goal, remarkable among all and small masterpiece of intelligence.
Towards the end of the second half, Kemény, the left winger of Ferencvaros, rushes along the touchline. Realizing that the central triplet is closely marked by the Italian defenders, instead of crossing, he moves the ball towards the other winger Táncos. The latter is also reluctant to cross, for the same reason. With a quick glance Sárosi judged the situation and understood the embarrassment of his teammates. He soon found the solution to the problem. Suddenly he goes straight for the goal. Seeing this, the Italian defenders instinctively set off in pursuit. Suddenly, the Hungarian inside left Toldi finds himself unmarked, all alone. Táncos slips the ball to him and Toldi scores the victorious goal under the dismayed eyes of the Lazio defenders, caught on the wrong foot and in the magnificent trap set for them by Sárosi.
SÁROSI, COMPLETE ATHLETE
In France, we know Sárosi well for having seen him play often, either with the Hungarian team, or with the selection of Budapest, or with his club. When we have seen him once, we cannot forget this brilliant footballer and this remarkable athlete.
He is a force of nature. He is built in the most harmonious way, tall, slender, supple, strong, remarkably proportioned. Everything in him points to the complete athlete. As well, he is one, since he practices with equal happiness tennis and fencing and, of course, swimming, a sport in which the Hungarians have carved out, as you know, a fine reputation.
Incidentally, everyone is athletic in the Sárosi family. His two brothers follow his example. Sárosi II. is the goalkeeper of the M.A.F.C. water polo team, while Sárosi III., who is only seventeen, after being selected last summer in the Hungarian amateur team (note that Sarosi was in the same selection at the same age) has also just been hired by Ferencváros, where he made an excellent debut as a centre-half. Will he have the same career as his older brother?
THE OFFERS FROM AMBROSIANA
When he signed his first contract, while still a student, he asked nothing for himself. The 10.000 pengőes he received, as we said above, he gave to his father who had given him permission to accept the offers of Ferencváros.
He was never to leave this last club since he entered it. Schoolboy, then student, finally doctor of law and lawyer, Sárosi has always kept the same attitude. His loyalty to the Ferencváros is remarkable. Yet the offers he received to go elsewhere were very tempting and sometimes exceptional. We know that Ambrosiana made him a bridge of gold: 400.000 lire, or more than half a million francs; but it was in vain that the Milan club sent its coach, the Hungarian Feldmann, to Budapest. Sárosi did not let himself be seduced and categorically refused to change colors and nationality.
Finally, did you know that the Football Club of Sochaux, itself a great collector of stars, instructed its general secretary, Mr. Grédy and Trello Abegglen, to go find Sárosi in Zurich on the occasion of the Switzerland-Hungary match, a two years, to try to attract the friendly Hungarian to Montbéliard? They went to Zurich, but came back empty-handed!
Sárosi is Hungarian. Hungarian he will remain and only his career can lead him one day to leave Ferencváros where he has been operating for eleven years.
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