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REAL MADRID: FROM PUSKÁS TO BALE
23 Jun. 2019.
In the latest of our occasional series – with the help of the Hungarian edition of FourFourTwo magazine – we take a look at the sports memorabilia kept at the Puskás Institute. Here, we will revive the first historic triumph of Real Madrid in the Intercontinental Cup, a trophy which the Merengue have won four times, naturally once with Ferenc Puskás in the team, and in whose estate the 1960 trophy also appears.
The competition begun in 1960, and although ostensibly a World Club Cup, it was named the Intercontinental Cup because it was contested between the winners of the European Champion’s Cup and its South American equivalent, the Copa Libertadores, over two legs. From 1980 until 2004 it was played for in a single match held in Japan and under the guise of the Toyota Cup. The competition was then merged into the FIFA World Club Cup in 2005.
Real Madrid won the Intercontinental Cup in 1960, and then again in 1998 and 2002 to see them joint-top of the winners list along with Milan, Boca Juniors, and Uruguayan sides Peñarol and Nacional with three victories.
But let’s go back to that first success in 1960. This was the first edition of the competition and Europe was represented by Real Madrid, who had just won their fifth European Champion’s Club Cup in a row by overwhelming Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3 at Hampden Park, Alfredo Di Stéfano scoring three and Ferenc Puskás a record to this day of four.
Real’s opponents were Peñarol, the first leg being a 0-0 draw in the Estádio Centenario, Montevideo on 3 July. The return leg was played in front of 100,000 at the Estádio Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid two months later. Real were rampant, racing into a 3-0 lead within eight minutes, Puskás opening the scoring in the 2nd minute, Di Stéfano making it two a minute later, and Puskás again on the score sheet another five minutes after that. The Madrid side eventually triumphed 5-1 to win the cup, each player also receiving a miniature copy of the trophy, and the one with Puskás’ name engraved on it sits proudly in a cabinet in the foyer at the Pancho Aréna in Felcsút, accompanied by a ticket from the match and a silver trophy awarded to Puskás by the Castillian Football Association in memory of the victory.
All of Real’s opponents over their five-year domination of Europe’s premier club competition were invited to the match, Sándor Berzi Sr. representing Vasas – Real’s semi-final opponents in 1957/68 – at the Estádio Bernabéu. Former Aranycsapat head coach Gusztáv Sebes, one of the initiators of the European Champion’s Club Cup, received a personalised leather wallet as a present from Real, which is also in Puskás Institute’s collection.
Puskás would return to Uruguay as head coach of Panathinaikos, 1971 European Cup Winner’s Ajax declining to enter the competition, Panathinaikos taking their place and drawing 1-1 with Nacional in Athens before losing 2-1 in Montevideo, again in the Estádio Centenario.
Text by Gusztáv Mravik and György Szöllősi, photo courtesy of the Puskás Institute.
First published in the February 2015 edition of FourFourTwo.