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Four Pichichis for Pancho

01 Jul. 2019.

In the latest of our occasional series - with the help of the Hungarian FourFourTwo magazine - we look at the sporting treasures housed at the Puskás Institute. This time, we talk about the Spanish top goalscorer award won by Ferenc Puskás, the famous Pichici trophy.

In Spanish football, the Pichichi is the trophy presented by the Spanish Marca sports newspaper each season to the most prolific goalscorer. The award is named after Athletic Bilbao's renowned former striker, the late Rafael Moreno Pichichi. The name of the trophy (which, in Puskás' time, was awarded jointly by Marca and Arriba) became so popular that the term 'Pichichi' has become part of Spanish football language. Now, here, we're talking about Puskás' Pichichi Cups, because all four of his are kept in the Puskás Institute in Felcsút, specifically in the VIP reception hall of the Pancho Arena.

It is of course true that Puskás was Spanish football's top goalscorer on four occasions (he achieved the same feat in Hungary, so he was his league's most prolific forward in a total of eight seasons) and in comparison, Messi has five and Cristiano Ronaldo has three Pichichies. Di Stéfano and Hugo Sánchez both hold four Pichichi trophies but Raúl, Forlán or the Brazilian Ronaldo 'only' have two each. (this is really only in brackets but if we look at how many strikers could score more than twenty goals in a single season, then we know from Róbert Puzsér's excellent publication that in other countries, Klinsmann and Best scored more than 20 league goals once, Drogba, Rooney, Ibrahimovic twice each, Shevchenko three times, Eto'o four times, Henry five times and Eusébio and Pelé ten times. Ferenc Puskás was not even an out-and-out striker, but more of a modern number 10, managed sixteen times to score more than 20 league goals in a single season.

At one point, the four Pichichi trophies were removed from the legendary trunks of Puskás' belongings in Spain, one of them had its handles and pedestal broken, but all of them were carefully repaired and can now be admired today in the Pancho Arena. In a few old photos, we can see Puskás being given a trophy whose shape is legendary and still to-this-day unchanged, but whose size is much larger, and on which Marca's inscriptions are more defined and red. Anyway, during the 1990s, the four trophies with the red "Marca" were handed over again to Puskás, and these later copies were then put up for auction at Bonhams in 2005 with more of the Puskás collection, Hungarian businessman György Bodnár eventually becoming the highest bidder.

 (article originally published in the July 2014 issue of FourFourTwo magazine)

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