Football legend Puskás dies at 79
Friday, November 17, 2006, 15:26
Soccer legend Ferenc Puskás, captain of Hungary's legendary Golden Team of the early 1950s, died on Friday morning, his family announced.
Puskás had been treated in intensive care since mid-September in Budapest's Kútvölgyi hospital, where he had stayed for most of the past six years suffering from Alzheimer's disease. He had recently contracted pneumonia and his death was caused by respiratory failure.
The International Federation for Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) classed Puskás as the most successful first division player of all time, having scored 511 goals in 533 first division matches.
Puskás was the star of Hungary's legendary Golden Team, which included such other prominent players as Bozsik, Hidegkúti and Kocsis. The team was perhaps best known for its stunning 6-3 win against England at Wembley Stadium in November 1953, which made it the first non-British team to defeat the masters of soccer on their home turf. The return game, a 7-1 win in Budapest the next year, was the icing on the cake.
The burial of Puskás will be a day of national mourning, government spokeswoman Emese Danks announced on Friday. The national flag will be raised and then lowered to half-mast in front of Parliament and a military salute will be performed on the day of his funeral, Danks said.