Born June 10, 1927 in Budapest.
Country Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Spain.
Clubs: Ferencvaros 1946-48, 1948-49, Bratislava, Vasas 1949-50, Pro Patria, 1951-61, 1963-65 Barcelona, Espanyol 1966-67, Zurich 1967-68.
Czechoslovakia (1946-47): 6 games, 4 goals.
Hungary (1948): 3 games.
Spain (1953-61): 19 games, 10 goals.
Steeper than PELE
FIFA still at the dawn of its existence, the approved principles governing the right of a football player to represent one country or another. They hardly differ from those that are currently. But if an address by the player for teams of two different states (if one is not formed from another by political upheavals) categorically excluded, . then in the old days, the most enterprising, . if not insolent, . federations had managed to find loopholes, . to declare for the national team soccer, . had already awakened for another power,
. Particularly fond of those in the south of Europe - in Spain and Italy. Such cases were not isolated.
But history knows of one, unique in its kind of a man who managed to play for three national teams: Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Spain. Name that player Kubala. And the name varied depending on the country - Laszlo, Ladislav
This phenomenon occurred at the turn of the 40-50-ies, while Europe was still in a state of post-war chaos, and FIFA just not had the opportunity for all to follow. It was a time football "nomads", but Cuba outdid all his nomadic brethren to "shop". To move from country to country and even from continent to continent not represented for him the problem. No wonder that for him the nickname stuck Gypsy. In the end, when approached old age, Gypsies still had settled in Spain, it had grown by five grandchildren. Therefore, it was remembered as Ladislao.
Most recently, on the occasion of 100 anniversary of the Barcelona club conducted a survey among fans: who they consider the best player in the club for all ages. So who won the poll by none other than Cuba! It was really unexpected, since his last match for "Bars" He spent nearly 40 years ago, and most of the current fans of the blue-garnet it has never been seen in. Nevertheless, the fact remains: Cuba recognizes a major figure in the history of Barcelona than even Johan Cruyff. Not to mention Suarez, Stoichkove, Romario or Laudrup.
Kubala was the idol of 50-ies. Confrontation "Real" and "Barcelona" at the time was perceived as bombardirskaya duel Di Stefano and Kubalia. The rivalry on the field, incidentally, was accompanied by these great players deep mutual respect, friendship and the complete lack of jealousy or envy each other. Di Stefano, for example, once uttered the phrase, which was widely known: "I Kubalia equipment more abruptly than Pele!"
Cuba, of course, lost his main opponent on the achievements. But in some ways it still exceeded. He succeeded once (in sezone-51/52) to score in a championship match Spain 7 goals. Got hihonskomu Sporting, which Barcelona butchered 9:0. This achievement Kubalia is still a record for the Spanish league, which he has co-authored with Batoy, forward of the "Athletics" (Bilbao), who sent 21 years before him seven goals in the gate: "Barcelona".
FLEEING and truck
Parents have Kubalia were Slovaks, and one of the grandfathers - Pole
. Teenage years occurred in his World War II, so sweet in this period of life he had little. But there is no evil without good. Being forced to work hard physically (and managing to after work to play soccer), Laszlo hardened body and spirit, matured early and Grown. In 1944, almost the Soviet army liberated his hometown of Budapest, he came in "Ferencvaros". April 29, 1945, when he was only 17, Kubala played his first match for the club. He also took the youth national team of Hungary.
In the first full season of "Ferencvaros (45/46) Cuba scored 19 goals, but here in the spring of 1946, his father had died. Mother decided to move home in Bratislava. In this city the young man offered a lucrative contract in team with the same name. Nationality Kubalia parents opened the door to the Czechoslovak national team, for which he debuted on Oct. 27, 1946 match against Austria in Vienna (4:3). Total in 1946-47 years he spent in Czechoslovakia 6 official matches and scored 4 goals in them (plus 5 more informal games with 4 goals scored in them).
. In 1948, Cuba under the pressure of the Hungarian authorities returned to Budapest and appears in the local "Vasas"
. He received recognition as a master of performance penalty kicks. His call for the national team of Hungary, for which he holds three games. And then events began to develop on a detective scenario.
Communist regime Laszlo enrolls in the so-called "Red Legion", that is called up for military service. What he strongly disagrees. In March 1949, he dressed in Soviet uniforms, sat down at night in a truck packed with refugees, hiding under a tarpaulin his family - and secretly transported to Vienna.
. In Vienna, with him there and then come into contact representatives of the "Torino", the strongest at that time, the Italian club
. Meanwhile, as soon as the Hungarian Football Federation learns of the escape Kubalia, it raises the terrible scandal and disqualify him for life. FIFA confirms the disqualification.
Play in official matches for "Torino" Cuba can not. However, the club invited him in early May in Lisbon in a friendly match with Benfica. Kubala going to fly, but at the last minute change plans: dissuade him from flying his wife, who had just given birth to him in Vienna, the second son of Branko (the first was born in Bratislava). On the way back from Lisbon plane with Torino suffers plane crash that killed all. So the fate saves him from death.
Kubala goes to train in Milan, and then another club in Serie A "Pro Patria" ( "For the motherland") from the town of Busto Arsizio. Opportunity to play at the official level, he still has. "Pro Patria" concludes with the so-called pre-contract, hoping to remake it into a real, if FIFA will reconsider its decision. Representatives of the club knocked at doors of offices of the Hungarian federation, but their attempts to soften the officials do not succeed.
. Kubala also shown remarkable energy and will and creates a team of people like it, Refugees, illegal immigrants, mostly to Hungary and Yugoslavia, calling it "Ungari" ( "Hungary")
. The team travels to Europe on a bus, where Laszlo's own hand painted sign "Magic Bus". It looks like a traveling circus. But the circus and above all by its own creator really make a mad furor, especially in Spain, among the local football patrons. Wandering team manages to defeat the Spanish national team as it prepares for the World Cup in Brazil - 2:1. One of the two goals - on account Kubalia.
"Real" and "Barcelona" enter into competition for him. "Bars" is more assertive and interested. She manages to do something that was beyond the power of a more modest "Pro Patria": to persuade FIFA to mitigate punishment for Kubalia. As a result, the period of Ineligibility reduced to one year. Manager "Barcelona" Pepe Samitier offers Laszlo, who now becomes Ladislao, Spanish passport and pay smart "Pro Patria".
. Cuba first enters the field of "Barca" in April 1951, and manages to bring in the final season for his new club Spanish Cup
. In the finals of the tournament defeated Valencia.
"Outlasted" Helenio Herrera
Coming from a period of "turbulence", Kubala is fast becoming an idol of Catalonia. His game is not visible weaknesses: blond striker has an excellent knowledge and dribble, and strike and Paz. And besides endowed with physical strength: with 175 centimeters tall and 83 kilograms of weight, he looked like a model athlete. One time (before, as in Real Madrid opened Di Stefano) be seen as the best player of the world. In 1953, Cuba played for the national team in Europe against England (4:4) and scored her two goals.
First, Cuba has the position of central striker. Scored the decisive balls to fight for the championship. Then he went to the right flank and became an organizer of attacks. There was a period when he fell into disfavor. This happened when the coach of Barcelona became Helenio Herrera, hot-hard advocate of tactical schemes. Kubala was too old for that learns scheme Herrera, he was accustomed to play on a whim, not accounting for advance planning and fully surrendering the rhythm of the match.
Herrera wanted to get rid of the Roma, but the latter continues to protect national love. Management Barц¬a afraid to sell the idol of the public.
The spring of 1960 the conflict was resolved: Herrera was dismissed after losing Real Madrid in the Champions Cup semifinal. After six months in the new draw of this tournament two grandee agreed with each other again, and this time, "Barcelona" interrupted the same hegemony of Madrid. She has a draw on the field the opponent (2:2) and won at home (2:1). Kubala surpassed in these matches itself: it is completely controlled the game and looked almighty. The audience, shocked them, did not wait for the final whistle and gave him a standing ovation in the middle of the second half.
. During the decade, . that he held in Barcelona (1951-61), . Cuba 4 times won the championship of Spain, . 5 times - in the Cup, . 2 times - in the Cup of Fairs and 1 times - in the Latin Cup, . which was considered the main club tournament in Southern Europe before the establishment of the Cup of Champions,
. Element of incompleteness that golden decade of his life gave only defeat in the Champions Cup final-61 from Benfica. Is losing 2:3, forwards Barц¬a Kocsis, Tsibor and Cuba has been the gate Portuguese intense fire, but good luck from them completely turned. Closest to ensure that equal the score was just Kubala. In one scene, he struck so that the ball hit one of the bar, then on the other - and flew into the field.
The balance of his performances in "Barcelona" is as follows: 329 games, 243 goals. If not for a series of serious injuries, he probably would have played at the highest level for longer and "Bars", and for Spain, for which in the years 1953-61 spent 19 games and scored 10 goals. His last match at the teams he held April 2, 1961 in Madrid against France (2:0 in favor of the Spaniards).
In 1961, Cuba hang up his boots, but in 1962 it was by chance at the main command post of coach. There had, however, went wrong. Ladislao lost control of the team. Results were also not so hot, and after the defeat Red Star Belgrade in the Fairs Cup was fired.
In 1963, as the intermission, Cuba has not left the limits of Barcelona and the offer of Hispaniola to become player-manager of this club. He went on the field in this team 20 times, and once with the 17-year-old son Branko, but at the end of his stay there almost entirely focused on coaching.
OLYMPIC GOLD - curtain
In the spring of 1965 in his life, another event occurred that has become a legend
. Kubala went to England for a farewell match Stanley Matthews. He was not invited to the game - just went for the company with friends Puskц¦s and Di Stefano, who were to enter the field.
As usual, not everyone who was invited, arrived at the appointed time, and at the last moment he was asked to enter the field. He went - and in his nearly 38 years has played so that everybody was wondering: why did he, in fact, already tied up. In contrast, Di Stefano, who was replaced because of fatigue after the first half, Kubala and after the break stayed on the field. This was the only case when three "monster" (the third - Puskц¦s) acted as a team.
In sezone-66/67 Kubala led "Zurich" and once declared himself to play the Champions Cup with Celtic. In 1967, the U.S. was organized by the Professional Football League NPSL (a year later renamed the NASL), and Cuba was invited to coach one of its clubs - Toronto Felkonz ". But already in 1968, the league suffered a collapse, survived only 5 teams of 17. Among ceased to exist and was "Toronto Felkonz". Kubalia had to return to Europe, where in 1969 he asked to lead the team in Spain.
No success with it, he has not made. But - strange thing! - Guided it continuously for more than 11 years. Despite regular failures, it endured until 1980, because no one else, this post just did not claim. He then five months - and again without success - led Barcelona. Then in his service record was a number of clubs more modest categories: "Murcia", "Elche", "Malaga". He went to work in Saudi Arabia and Finland. But how gray (in terms of results) has been coaching path Kubalia, just as it turned bright end. In 1992 he led Spain's Olympic team to gold medal. After that, indeed, could with a clear conscience go into retirement.
The year before, in 1991, 64-year-old Kubala played for Spain in an international tournament in Moscow Veterans. Played - say, of course, conditional. He left only a few minutes to attend to the field, check. But this audience was enough.
To part with it very reluctantly and with great sadness. Because he really afforded them all the pleasure they who watched him play. He left this world at age 74, died because of an incurable disease. Ladislao Kubala. The name says it's too much football fan. I have already had occasion in these pages to follow his career, so do not dwell on this. We say only that rarely causes the death of an athlete of such high-profile. All Barcelona turned into a huge funeral procession, and the numerous Catalan inchada felt bereaved. "As you sow, so shall you reap". These words belong to the president Barц¬a Joцёo Gaspar, and this time he was not mistaken. Because, among other things, Cuba was also a remarkable person. Nearly 15,000 people visited the chapel, which is located on the "Camp Nou". Old men, young and children - they all came to pay tribute to the great player. The evening in the church "Santa Tecla" held funeral of the deceased. Remains Ladislao Kubalia buried in the cemetery "Les Corts", that next to the "Nou Camp" - the fact was his will. One member of the Government of Catalonia - Julia Garcia Valdekasas suggested that the stadium was named in honor of the player and would be called "Camp Nou Cuba.