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Nemeth liberated from Magical Magyars memories

Krisztian Nemeth claims Hungary will not be daunted by comparisons with the country’s great teams of the past as they prepare to face Portugal at Euro 2016.

The national team have spent more than 60 years struggling with the legacy of their ‘Golden Team’, dubbed ‘the Magical Magyars’ outside the country.

Ferenc Puskas, Sandor Kocsis, Nandor Hidegkuti and their team-mates, who won the men’s Olympic football competition in 1952, are the unattainable benchmark by which all their successors are harshly judged.

But Nemeth does not consider the memory of the team that thrashed England 6-3 away and 7-1 at home respectively, before surprisingly losing the 1954 World Cup final against West Germany, to be a hindrance to this generation.

“I don’t think it’s an extra burden, we are living in the present,” he said.

“We are looking at what we have to deal with together.”

Hungary, who are already into the last 16 following results elsewhere on Tuesday, also won Olympic gold in 1964 and retained their title in 1968, finishing third at the 1964 European Championship finals and fourth in 1972, during what was then a four-team competition.

“In the past yes, they were one of the best teams and we are proud of them,” Nemeth added.

“But it’s not useful for us to compare ourselves against them. We look at the future.

“We’ve not met our goal, but we’re on the right path.”

Hungary will look to seal top spot in Group F when they meet Portugal on Wednesday.

Tue 21 Jun, 2016
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