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Dr. Fodor, 1923: The balance of the Spanish battlefield

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-07-14 13:17:04

Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
Dr. Henrik Fodor | 18/01/1923

— The balance of power between Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Germany, on the scale of Spain — MTK achieved the most lasting success in the battles — The FTC also deserves recognition as a pioneer.

Blessed Spain, which has the luxury of attracting troops from the northern countries of Europe like a magnet to a knife.
A small European championship of sorts took place in Spain over the double holidays, with MTK and Vasas from Hungary, FC Barcelona, Deportin Europa Barcelona, Espagnol Barcelona, Real FC Madrid, Racing FC Madrid, Madrid AC, Bilbao AC, Real Sociedad St. Sebastian from Spain, as well as Austrian champions Wiener SC, Wiener Amateure SV, Sparta Praha, Breda, former Dutch champions VFR Mannheim, Wacker Leipzig, Essener Turnbond. To get a correct picture of the events, we need to summarise the results of each match in a small table:
MTK Budapest: FC Barcelona — 0:0 FC Barcelona — 0:0 Real FC Madrid — 4:3 Bilbao AC — 2:1 Bilbao AC — 3:1 Real S. St. Sebastian — 3:1 Real S. St. Sebastian — 2:1 Wiener Amateure SV: Bilbao AC — 4:1 Bilbao AC — 5:4 FC Barcelona — 3:1 FC Barcelona — 0:4 Wiener SC: Deportin Europa — 4:0 Deportin Europa — 1:3 Madrid AC — 3:3 Real S. St. Sebastian — 1:3 Real S. St. Sebastian — 1:2 Breda: Real S. St. Sebastian — 3:1 Real S. St. Sebastian — 3:4 Racing Madrid — 3:1 Deportin Europa — 0:0 Deportin Europa — 0:7 Sparta Praha: Espagnol FC Barcelona — 1:0 Espagnol FC Barcelona — 4:0 Vasas Budapest: Real Madrid — 0:1 Real Madrid — 1:2 FC Sevilla — 2:3 FC Sevilla — 1:4
As you can see from this compilation — in which I have not included the results of the German teams as they are all meaningless — the old myth that visiting teams cannot leave Spanish soil undefeated has only been broken this year by MTK and Sparta.
It is true that Sparta have only played two matches so far, compared to MTK's seven, but they will not face any strong opponents in their remaining matches (they play two more against Sevilla FC) and will probably finish their Spanish tour unbeaten. In judging their results, however, it should be noted that Sparta have avoided facing top Spanish teams this time around and their two games against Espagnol have only produced relatively poor results because the second-tier Spanish side have been defended by the unrivalled Zamora.
Of all the teams, MTK's performance is undoubtedly the most valuable. The Hungarian champions have left behind a reputation in Spain that will be the stuff of legend for years to come. Even now, it is being hailed in the papers and on posters as one of the best teams in Europe, with a shooting ability that is downright formidable, a technique that is second to none and, if it has any faults, it is simply its slowness, which contrasts sharply with the speed of Spanish teams. Two drawn games against FC Barcelona is a feat on Spanish soil that once created respect for the Hungarian name, the victories since then have only increased the esteem for the Hungarian champions. Well, Wiener Amateure also started their Spanish matches with phenomenal success and conquered the Spanish footballing world with their brilliant play, but then came Barcelona — Waterloo.
On the first day, the Austrian champion candidate held his own. The match was tied at 1-1 when Barcelona's goalkeeper broke his leg in a daring save. The Amateurs then managed to win the match 3:1. The next day came bloody revenge. The Spanish champions claimed a 4:0 victory over the pride of Austrian football. With that, a significant part of the superiority of the Amateurs and through them of Austrian sport was lost and pundits can now argue over which of the two countries emerged the moral victor from the rivalry.
This is not the case with MTK.
Even the Spanish press admitted that MTK had to draw both games against Barcelona only because of incredible bad luck and that their superiority in terms of knowledge and technique was fully demonstrated. MTK's other victories only confirmed this statement.
The performance of the other visiting teams after the Amateurs is not even close to theirs. Wiener SC's outing is a definite fiasco of Austrian football, Breda's wayward results are completely undermined by their last disastrous defeat to Europa, the minimal goal difference of the physically weak Vasas was predictable in their defeat to the strong physical and relentlessly pressing Spaniards.
So, if we want to draw the final conclusion from the Christmas and New Year matches, it is undeniable that the moral and actual winner of all the matches was the Hungarian champions MTK and if these matches were played for a European Championship, this MTK would be the most legitimate contender for this proud title.
I would like to end my letter on this pleasant note, but at the same time, while we are still only a tiny atom fighting for the recognition of the great Hungarian sporting culture, I must remember the lasting and valuable impressions left by the FTC's presence here ten years ago. Even today, the sportsmen and women here remember with the greatest appreciation the unbeatable FTC game, and it is doubly good for us, the descendants, to have been able to revive this memory and to follow in their footsteps in adding new laurels to the reputation of Hungarian sport.