Sándor Kocsis

Sándor Péter Kocsis ([ˈʃaːndor ˈpeːtɛr ˈkot͡ʃiʃ], SHAWN-dor KOTCH-ish; 21 September 1929 – 22 July 1979) was a Hungarian footballer who played for Ferencváros TC, Budapest Honvéd, Young Fellows Zürich, FC Barcelona and Hungary as a striker. During the 1950s, along with Ferenc Puskás, Zoltán Czibor, József Bozsik and Nándor Hidegkuti, he was a member of the Mighty Magyars. After the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, he moved to Spain where he became a member of the FC Barcelona team of the late 1950s.

Sándor Kocsis
Kocsis in August 1960
Personal information
Full name Sándor Kocsis Péter
Date of birth (1929-09-21)21 September 1929
Place of birth Budapest, Hungary
Date of death 22 July 1979(1979-07-22) (aged 49)
Place of death Barcelona, Spain
Position(s) Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1943–1944 Köbanyai TC 5 (0)
1945–1950 Ferencváros 54 (40)
1950 ÉDOSZ 30 (30)
1950–1956 Honvéd 160 (176)
1957–1958 Young Fellows Zürich 11 (7)
1958–1965 Barcelona 75 (42)
1961Valencia (guest)
Total 335 (295)
National team
1948–1956 Hungary 68 (75)
Teams managed
1970–1971 Hércules
?? Alicante
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Kocsis was a prolific goalscorer for both Budapest Honvéd and Hungary. While playing for Honvéd, he was the top goal scorer in any European league in both 1952 and 1954. He also scored 75 goals in 68 appearances for Hungary – a 1.10 goal/game average at the game's highest level. Kocsis was the top goal scorer in the 1954 World Cup with 11 goals, being the first player to score two hat tricks in a World Cup. His 2.2 goal/game average in the World Cup finals is second only to that of Ernst Wilimowski who scored four goals in his only World Cup match[1] and only Just Fontaine has scored more goals than Kocsis in a single World Cup. He is the most prolific goalscorer in national team matches in all levels in recorded history according to Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF) with 125 goals scored.[2] Kocsis was particularly known for scoring headers.

His 1.103 goals/game average is ranked No.1 for players past 43 caps in FIFA class-A competition, closely followed by Gerd Müller with 1.097 goals/game (68 scores in 62 games). They are the only two players in history above a +1.0 goals/game average encompassing over 43 internationals. Ferenc Puskás with .99 goals/game (84 goals in 85 matches) is currently ranked 3rd.

Sándor Kocsis registered seven hat tricks for Hungary.[3]

Career

Early years

Kocsis was born in Budapest. He began his career as a junior with Kőbányai TC, before joining Ferencváros TC in 1946. There, he won his first Hungarian League title in 1949. He was then conscripted into the army and joined the army club, Honvéd. His team mates at Honvéd included Ferenc Puskás, Zoltán Czibor and József Bozsik. During his time at the club he won three more Hungarian League titles in 1952, 1954 and 1955. He finished as top goalscorer in the league on three occasions in 1951, 1952 and 1954 scoring 30, 36 and 33 goals respectively.[4] On the latter two occasions he was also the top goalscorer in any European league.

During the 1952 season at Honvéd, Kocsis was the world's top goalscorer in world 1st division football with 36 goals. He repeated that feat in 1954 with 33 goals.

Kocsis made his debut for the senior Hungary team in 1948. Together with Ferenc Puskás, Zoltán Czibor, József Bozsik and Nándor Hidegkuti, he formed the offensive nucleus of the Golden Team that went unbeaten for 32 consecutive games. The Hungarian national team suffered no defeats in Class-A international matches between 4 June 1950 and 4 July 1954, in the 1954 FIFA World Cup Final.

Kocsis scored his first international hat trick in a game against Sweden on 20 November 1949, and he scored a further one on 22 June 1952 against Finland. Kocsis also scored six goals at the Olympics in Helsinki as Hungary became Olympic Champions in 1952. On 19 October 1952, he scored his third international hat trick in a game against Czechoslovakia.

In 1953, Hungary defeated England 6–3 at Wembley Stadium and then in 1954 by 7–1 in Budapest. During the latter game, Kocsis added a further two goals. In 1953 Hungary also won the Central European International Cup.

1954 World Cup

Sándor Kocsis (1953)

He finished the 1954 World Cup as top goalscorer, scoring 11 goals including two hat tricks, the first of the three players that achieved this. In the opening game he scored his first hat trick of the tournament against South Korea as Hungary cruised to a 9–0 win. In the next game against Germany, he went one further and scored four of the goals in an 8–3 win against the understrength team of coach Sepp Herberger.[5] In the quarter-finals Hungary played Brazil in a game referred to as the Battle of Berne: Kocsis scored twice in an encounter which saw Hungary win 4–2. Hungary then reached the final after they defeated reigning World champions Uruguay in the semi-finals. The game was 2–2 in extra time until Kocsis scored twice to seal another 4–2 win. In the final they met Germany once again. However, for the first time in the competition Kocsis failed to score and the Germans won 3–2.

On 24 October 1954, he scored his sixth international hat trick and second against Czechoslovakia. He completed his seventh and last hat trick for Hungary on 5 November 1955 in a game against the same opponents, Sweden, that he had scored his first.

Honvéd World Tour

In 1956 Honvéd entered the European Cup and in the first round they were drawn against Athletic Bilbao. Honvéd lost the away leg 2–3, but before the home leg could be played, the Hungarian Revolution had erupted back in Budapest. The players decided against going back to Hungary and arranged for the return with Athletic to be played at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels. Despite drawing 3–3 they went out on 6–5 on aggregate.

Elimination left Honvéd in limbo. The players summoned their families from Budapest and, despite opposition from FIFA and the Hungarian football authorities, they organised a fundraising tour of Italy, Portugal, Spain and Brazil. After returning to Europe, the players parted ways. Some, including Bozsik, returned to Hungary while others, including Czibor, Kocsis and Puskás, found new clubs in Western Europe.

FC Barcelona and coaching career

Kocsis spent one season with Young Fellows Zürich before another Hungarian refugee, László Kubala, persuaded him and Zoltán Czibor to join him at FC Barcelona where he became a vital member of the team. He subsequently scored on his La Liga debut in a 4–1 win over Real Betis and as part of a team that also included Ramallets, Evaristo and Luis Suárez, Kocsis won a Copa del Generalísimo/La Liga double in 1959 and a La Liga/Fairs Cup double in 1960. FC Barcelona also reached the final of the European Cup in 1961 and this saw Czibor and Kocsis return to the Wankdorf Stadium in Bern, where in 1954, while playing for Hungary, they had lost the World Cup Final. Despite both of them scoring, they finished on the losing side once again. They also lost by the same 3–2 score again, this time to S.L. Benfica.

He scored twice in the 1959 Copa del Generalísimo final as FC Barcelona defeated Granada CF 4–1. In the 1960 European Cup he scored four of the goals in a 5–2 quarter-final win over Wolves. He also scored a hat trick against Real Sociedad in a La Liga game in 1961 and scored all three goals in the 1962 Fairs Cup final that they lost to Valencia CF 7–3 on aggregate. In 1961, he also played as a guest for Valencia CF and helped them win their own summer trophy, the Trofeo Naranja. He scored in both games as Valencia beat Botafogo and FC Barcelona. Kocsis also scored in the 1963 Copa del Generalísimo final held at the Camp Nou. FC Barcelona beat Real Zaragoza 3–1.

Later life and death

Kocsis retired as a player in 1966 and opened a restaurant in Barcelona called Tete D’ Or. He also worked as a coach with FC Barcelona and managed Hércules CF between 1972 and 1974. However his coaching career was cut short when he was diagnosed with leukemia and then stomach cancer. On 22 July 1979, aged 49, he fell to his death from the fourth floor of a hospital in Barcelona. It has been alleged that he committed suicide, though it may have been only an accident.[4][6]

Career statistics

Club

Source:[7]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals
Hungary League Hungarian Cup League Cup Europe Total
1946–47FerencvárosiHungarian National Championship I32------32
1947–48215------215
1948–493033------3033
1949–503030------3030
1950Budapest HonvédHungarian National Championship I15241524
1951263013----2733
19522636313----2949
19532524------2524
19542633513----3146
1955211713--462626
19562113----222315
Switzerland League Schweizer Cup League Cup Europe Total
1957–58Young Fellows JuventusSuper League117------117
Spain League Copa del Rey Supercopa de España Europe Total
1958–59BarcelonaLa Liga44611001015
1959–60930045138
1960–6110411962011
1961–62201720632820
1962–63927334199
1963–64191264432919
1964–6540003070
Total Hungary 2492471032--68265287
Switzerland 117117
Spain 7542221900292112682
Career total 3352963251--3529402376

International

Sources:[8][9]

Hungary national team
YearAppsGoals
194812
194965
195065
195136
19521216
195351
19541423
19551210
195697
Total6875

International goals

Scores and results list Hungary's goal tally first.
#DateVenueOpponentScoreCompetition
16 June 1948Hungária, Budapest Romania9–01948 Balkan Cup
2
32 May 1949Hungária, Budapest Austria6–11948–53 Dr. Gerö Cup
419 June 1949Råsunda Stadium, Stockholm Sweden2–2Friendly
520 November 1949Hungária, Budapest Sweden5–0Friendly
6
7
830 April 1950Hungária, Budapest Czechoslovakia5–0Friendly
9
1015 May 1950Praterstadion, Vienna Austria3–5Friendly
1124 September 1950Hungária, Budapest Albania12–0Friendly
12
1327 May 1951Hungária, Budapest Poland6–0Friendly
14
1514 October 1951Městský stadion, Ostrava Czechoslovakia2–1Friendly
16
1718 November 1951Hungária, Budapest Finland8–0Friendly
18
1918 May 1952Hungária, Budapest East Germany5–0Friendly
2015 June 1952Stadion Wojska Polskiego, Warsaw Poland5–1Friendly
21
2222 June 1952Helsinki Olympic Stadium, Helsinki Finland6–1Friendly
23
24
2515 July 1952Kupittaa, Turku Romania2–11952 Summer Olympics
2621 July 1952Pallokenttä, Helsinki Italy3–01952 Summer Olympics
2724 July 1952Urheilukeskus, Kotka Turkey7–11952 Summer Olympics
28
2928 July 1952Helsinki Olympic Stadium, Helsinki Sweden6–01952 Summer Olympics
30
3120 September 1952Wankdorf Stadium, Bern  Switzerland4–21948–53 Dr. Gerö Cup
3219 October 1952Hungária, Budapest Czechoslovakia5–0Friendly
33
34
355 July 1953Råsunda Stadium, Stockholm Sweden4–2Friendly
3623 May 1954Népstadion, Budapest England7–1Hungary v England (1954)
37
3817 June 1954Hardturm Stadium, Zürich South Korea9–01954 FIFA World Cup
39
40
4120 June 1954St. Jakob Stadium, Basel West Germany8–31954 FIFA World Cup
42
43
44
4527 June 1954Wankdorf Stadium, Bern Brazil4–21954 FIFA World Cup Quarterfinal
46
4730 June 1954Stade Olympique de la Pontaise, Lausanne Uruguay4–21954 FIFA World Cup Semi Final
48
4919 September 1954Népstadion, Budapest Romania5–1Friendly
50
5126 September 1954Dynamo Stadium, Moscow Soviet Union1–1Friendly
5210 October 1954Népstadion, Budapest  Switzerland3–0Friendly
53
5424 October 1954Népstadion, Budapest Czechoslovakia4–1Friendly
55
56
5714 November 1954Népstadion, Budapest Austria4–1Friendly
588 December 1954Hampden Park, Glasgow Scotland4–2Friendly
598 May 1955Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo Norway5–0Friendly
6011 May 1955Råsunda Stadium, Stockholm Sweden7–3Friendly
61
62
6315 May 1955Idrætsparken, Copenhagen Denmark6–0Friendly
64
6529 May 1955Népstadion, Budapest Scotland3–1Friendly
6617 September 1955Stade Olympique de la Pontaise, Lausanne  Switzerland5–41954–1960 Dr. Gerö Cup
672 October 1955Great Strahov Stadium, Prague Czechoslovakia1–11954–1960 Dr. Gerö Cup
6816 October 1955Népstadion, Budapest Austria6–11954–1960 Dr. Gerö Cup
693 June 1956Stade du Heysel, Brussels Belgium4–5Friendly
70
719 June 1956Estádio Nacional, Lisbon Portugal2–2Friendly
7215 July 1956Népstadion, Budapest Poland4–1Friendly
73
7416 September 1956Stadion FK Crvena Zvezda, Belgrade Yugoslavia3–11954–1960 Dr. Gerö Cup
757 October 1956Parc des Princes, Paris France2–1Friendly

Honours

Olympic medal record
Representing  Hungary
Men's Football
1952 Helsinki Team competition

Club

Ferencváros TC
  • Hungarian Champions: 1949
Honvéd FC
  • Hungarian Champions (3): 1952, 1954, 1955
Barcelona
  • Spanish Champions (2): 1958–59, 1959–60
  • Copa del Generalísimo (2): 1958–59, 1962–63
  • Inter-Cities Fairs Cup: 1958–60

International

Hungary
  • Olympic Champions: 1952
  • Central European Champions: 1953
  • FIFA World Cup Runner up: 1954

Individual

Sources

  • Behind The Curtain — Travels in Eastern European Football: Jonathan Wilson (2006)[10]
  • The World Cup — The Complete History: Terry Crouch (2002)[11]
  • 50 Years of the European Cup and Champions League: Keir Radnedge (2005)[12]

See also

  • List of Eastern Bloc defectors

References

  1. "Statistics and Records - FIFA World Cup™ - Players". FIFA.com. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  2. "International matches/Selects". www.rsssf.com.
  3. "Sándor Kocsis". eu-football.info.
  4. "Wall of Fame: Sándor Kocsis". Infostrada Sports. Archived from the original on 1 February 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  5. "FIFA : The World Cup's hat-trick kings". Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  6. Balaram, Aditya (15 September 2012). "SA?ndor Kocsis ai??i?? The Man With The Golden Head (THT Heroes)". Thehardtackle.com.
  7. "Sandor KOCSIS(サンドール・コチシュ) @ LEVEL-K".
  8. Sándor Kocsis at National-Football-Teams.com
  9. "Sándor Kocsis - Goals in International Matches".
  10. Wilson, Jonathan. Behind the Curtain: Travels in Football in Eastern Europe. ASIN 0752869078.
  11. The World Cup: The Complete History. 1 March 2006. ISBN 1845131495.
  12. Radnedge, Keir. 50 Years of the European Cup and Champions League. ASIN 1844425290.
Records
Preceded by
Guillermo Stábile
8
FIFA World Cup Highest Goalscorer
30 June 1954 – 28 June 1958
Succeeded by
Just Fontaine
13
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