As we promised previously, we present you with some other interesting facts and infos about the old Hungarian football history, because you might feel some pressure now, knowing one part of the story about epic Hungarian games and the amount of goals after reading our previous blog article.
But as we said, we are just getting started here. Now we continue the story of the football history of Hungary, so you can come prepared once you make the decision to spend your holiday here and play bubble football in the capital of Hungary, Budapest.
Continued success, after the long winning period and one mistake
Though their four-year streak was finally broken, Hungary remained a respectable footballing nation for years. In 1958, they failed to advance past the group stage after a surprise draw with Wales. They did slightly better in 1962, as they defeated England and Bulgaria to make the quarter-finals, where they lost to Czechoslovakia in a 0-1 thriller. Even the best ones can have weaker times. Two years later, they qualified for the inaugural European Championship, finishing third, which was a great success for them at the time.
The 1966 World Cup was something of a swan song for the Hungarian national team. After losing to Eusebio’s Portugal, they recorded key victories against Brazil and Bulgaria to qualify for the quarter-finals, where they were defeated by the Soviet Union. They participated at three more World Cups in the following years, but never managed to get past the group stage, which was a very sad scenario for the whole team. They also qualified for the 1972 Euro, where they again managed to grab third place. Although never made it to the top 2, the results were extraordinary at the time.
The long decline - The dark age of Hungarian Football
Following the 1986 World Cup, Hungary entered a dark age, which is very difficult to leave, especially with a history like this in mind. The fall of the Communist regime in 1989 caused financial issues for most Hungarian clubs, which in turn harmed the national team. Just like nowadays, money is still playing a major role in the preparation, training and without the help of sponsors and supporters, the players were not able to prepare as they could have with enough funds. Soon enough, they found themselves relegated to the margins of European football, reaching their lowest FIFA ranking in 1996 (87th). From 1990 to 2014, they failed to qualify for any major international tournaments. That is a very long period without having to reach any tournament.
This streak was finally broken in 2016, with Hungary qualifying for the Euro 2016. A victory against Austria and two draws against Portugal and Iceland were enough to claim first place in their group, which saw them pitted against Belgium in the round of 16. Despite keeping it a close game for most of the duration, they eventually succumbed to Belgium’s attackers and were defeated 0-4. Even though the Euro 2016 was not the biggest success in the latest period either, everyone was very proud of the team and very happy for the results.
We would like to see Hungary again together with the best teams in the world and we hope it will come sooner than later.
Until then, we can wait around the field of Bubble Football Budapest and do our best to practice the game as amateurs till the pros do their job and prepare for their return.