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Bús-Fekete: Best players of the 1924 Olympiad
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-10-24 18:32:19
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IN PARIS, THE ITALIAN DE PRA WAS THE BEST GOALKEEPER, THE URUGUAYAN NASAZZI THE BEST FULL-BACK, THE HUNGARIAN ORTH AND THE URUGUAYAN ANDRADE THE BEST WING HALF-BACKS
— László Bús-Fekete | 13/06/1924 —
Now we can do the player balance sheet for the Paris Olympics. Four hundred footballers from twenty-two nations were on the pitches of Colombes and Paris, four hundred Olympians who were voted the best by their own nations, and the Italian De Pra was definitely the best goalkeeper of the Olympics, judging by the form he showed. Zamora was only seen at work once, doing his few tasks well, but he did not produce a bravura save. The Swiss Pulver could be mentioned, but his luck is better than his skill. This is not to be despised in a national team goalkeeper.
De Pra dealt with the fiery attacks of the Spanish match with deadly certainty, at constant risk to his physical integrity. The two goals against the Swiss he could not save, but he saved balls in this game that everyone was shouting for a goal. Once he returned a sharp shot from two yards out from the goal line by turning and almost standing on his head to throw himself through the rushing strikers, and another ball, pulled from the corner over the six-meter area, was caught in the air at a height of one and a half yards and leapt out of reach over the heads of defenders and attackers on the sixteen-meter area. The other players were all behind him at the edge of the empty goal, and De Pra calmly passed the ball.
We saw a lot of good full-backs, especially at the left-back position. The Spanish Pasarin and the Egyptian Abdel Salem are class apart, powerful, energetic, sure tacklers, quick and tireless, but the renaissance of the full-back game was the Uruguayan right-back. The Uruguayan Nasazzi was definitely the best full-back of the tournament. He never throws the ball forward without a purpose, passes with pinpoint accuracy from fifty to sixty meters, and no forward in Paris could pass through him.
The weakest class was the legion of halves. It seems that not only in Pest, but all over the world, half-back players are in the greatest decadence. We have not seen an impeccable centre-half in Paris either in defence or attack. The Czech Káďa only lasts twenty minutes, but until then he is brilliant, the others are sometimes quick, sometimes very useful, but never flawless. Of the lot, though, I liked Mengoiti, the Swiss centre-half, the most. Mengofti is a player for F.C. Madrid and only returned to Zurich for the Olympics. He is a brilliant half-back in attack, but is only average in defence. It is typical of the Swiss that he played only once against the Czechs, otherwise they always substituted the much weaker Schmiedlin.
Finally, we have a Hungarian player in the top half of the wing-backs' camp. Hungary's Orth and Uruguay's Andrade are undoubtedly the two best wing halves of the Olympics, both are technically perfect, Andrade is faster and the Hungarian is more inventive. Offensively Orth is the more useful, defensively definitely Andrade, but both outperform all the centre-halves we've seen here.
There is a much wider choice of forwards. It's safe to say that the battle of Uruguay beats all the others. Among them, the two insiders, Cea and Scarone, are also special classics, the two best out-of-competition forwards of the Paris Olympics. Of the others, it was definitely the Swiss youngster, the inside left Abegglen, who scored the biggest success with his tireless play, combined with great technique and dangerous shooting and heading ability. Sweden's Kock kicked the best corners of the Olympics, while the speed was once again taken by a Uruguayan, Romano, who can run 100 metres in exactly 10.9 seconds.
If we want to set the maximum standard even in terms of crudeness, the Spanish Samitier should definitely take this less than glorious trophy. There is no doubt that Samitier was the most violent footballer of the tournament.
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