Karoly Sandor: Goalscoring winger whose skills helped Hungary become one of the greatest teams in football history

Sandor retired as one of the most revered of all Hungarian footballers

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The Hungarian Karoly Sandor was a member of that rare and precious footballing breed, the winger who can be relied upon to score goals. He shone prolifically for both his country and his only club, MTK, from the late 1940s through to the mid-1960s, scoring 27 times while collecting 75 international caps and tallying 182 goals in 379 outings for his Budapest employer, who were formerly known as Voros Logobo.

For all that, Sandor did not share in the most renowned feats of the "Magnificent Magyars". While Ferenc Puskas, Nandor Hidegkuti and company were thrashing England 6-3 and 7-1 in 1953 and '54, he had been temporarily dropped and he was only a squad member for the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland, in which Hungary reached the final only to lose unexpectedly to West Germany.

There was, however, no shortage of highlights. Sandor rose to the rank of captain, played in the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden then helped to reach the quarter-finals four years later in Chile. At club level he starred in three domestic championship triumphs, in 1951, 1953 and 1958, and in winning the principal Hungarian knock-out cup in 1952.

He featured, too, as Voros reached the last eight of the European Cup in 1955-56, then as the veteran captain he scored twice as MTK drew 3-3 with Sporting Lisbon in the final of the European Cup-Winners' Cup at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels in 1964. They lost the replay, in Antwerp two days later, 1-0, but he retired that year as one of the most revered of all Hungarian footballers – and that's saying something.

IVAN PONTING

Karoly Sandor, footballer: born Szeged, Hungary 26 November 1928; played for MTK 1947-64, 75 caps for Hungary 1949-64; died 10 September 2014.

Comments