Budapest, Hungary – Ferencvaros was one of the most revered sides in Europe before fading away from the scene for almost 25 years, but the Hungarian champions are now back into the big stage of the Champions League against the top sides in Europe.
Their return to Europe biggest competition was a rewarding draw against some of the continent’s elite teams: Barcelona, Juventus and Dynamo Kyiv. Their journey for a place in the Champions League has seen them encounter 5 fixtures, becoming the only team that started qualification in mid-August to book a place in the competition. Ferencvaros have come a long way after spending almost a decade rebuilding after suffering financial troubles and falling into the Hungarian second tier. Even though they’ve been placed in a tough group, the chance of seeing their homegrown players face global superstars such as Ronaldo and Messi is enthralling.
Who are Ferencvaros?
Ferencvaros are the most successful club in Hungary, having won 31 leagues in total. This is the first time since the 1995-96 season that they are back amongst Europe’s elite. They did so by overcoming Celtic, Djurgardens, Dinamo Zagreb, and Molde. Ferencvaros have come a long away having been relegated to the second tier in 2011. The club had to navigate back to the Hungarian top stage before taking the next stage in Europe.
While Ferencvaros are the biggest club in Hungary right now, the country was once one of the best in Europe. They won the Olympics in 1952 by beating England 6-3 at Wembley, and later 7-1 in Budapest. They were also on the verge of being crowned World Cup Champions, having led West Germany 2-0, before letting the lead slip and ended up losing 3-2. The country would witness the cancellation of its domestic league in 1956 due to the Hungarian Uprising. This led to the breakup of Honved, one of the greatest sides of Hungary.
Stars such as Ferenc Puskas would depart to Real Madrid, while Sandor Kocsis went to Barcelona, with each making a name for himself. The break-up of Honved resulted in Ferencvaros taking over the baton to become the greatest side in Hungary. One of the greatest players from Ferencvaros is Florian Albert, who won the Ballon d’Or in 1967 ahead of Bobby Charlton. If you fancy your chances with Ferencvaros according to bookmakers, then you can also bet at a number of popular and trustworthy online casinos.
What are the prospects of Ferencvaros in the Champions League?
There’s no escaping the gigantic task facing the Hungarian club as they prepare to take on Europe’s elite. There is no running away from the huge financial gap between the sides they will face. However, the club and country will be passionate about a return to the Champions League, with Debrecen being the last representative of Hungarian football during the 2009-10 season.
Ferencvaros will be playing their Champions League games at the Puskas Arena, which means they are allowed to accommodate 30% of the stadium’s capacity, translating to about 22,000 fans. Although more fans may want to attend, the progress being made by Ferencvaros means Hungarians now have a reason to believe, and it will only get better should the best team in the country go as far as possible in the prestigious competition.