József Bozsik

28 Nov 1925
31 May 1978
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József Bozsik ( 28 November 1925 – 31 May 1978) was a Hungarian footballer. He spent his entire club career at his hometown club, Budapest Honvéd. Bozsik was a key member of the legendary Mighty Magyars as he represented Hungary in various international tournaments.

József Bozsik was born in Kispest, now a district of Budapest. Given the nickname “Cucu” by his grandmother, he grew up playing football on the local football grounds in Kispest with his best friend and neighbour Ferenc Puskás.

As an 11-year-old, he attracted the attention of Honvéd FC and the club signed him to the youth team. In 1943, he made his debut for the first team against Vasas SC.

He made his debut for Hungary at the age of 22 against Bulgaria on 17 August 1947 and went on to win 101 caps and score 11 goals between then and his final cap on 18 April 1962 against Uruguay.

Bozsik won the Olympic title with his country in 1952 in Helsinki and finished second with the Hungarian team in the 1954 FIFA World Cup.

He also took part in Hungary’s famous 6-3 win over England at Wembley and the team’s 7-1 win over England in Budapest.

In 1956-57, Bozsik returned from Honvéd’s winter tour to play in the 1958 FIFA World Cup. A year later, he won the Mitropa Cup with Honvéd.

In all, he played 447 top-level games for KAC (and its legal successor BHSE) and scored 33 goals.

In his prime, Bozsik was considered one of the best attacking half-backs in the world, possessing good technique, flair, tactical nous, passing accuracy and creativity, although he suffered from a lack of pace.

He was often used as a deep lying playmaker where his tackling ability was also helpful.

He is considered one of the greatest Hungarian footballers.

Throughout his career, Bozsik won many honours and was even made a Member of Parliament. After his retirement, he became a member of the board at his old club.

He also managed the team for 47 matches between January 1966 and September 1967, after which he returned to his position on the board.

In 1974, he was chosen to manage the Hungarian national team, but illness forced him to resign soon after he got the job.

József Bozsik died in Budapest, aged 52, due to heart failure. He was made a Freeman of Kispest posthumously.

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