Tributes pour in for Ferenc Puskas: ‘A wonderful player and person’

The death of Ferenc Puskás in Budapest today has been felt throughout the footballing world. rounds up the tributes to one of the game’s greatest practitioners.
We’d never seen the like of the Hungary side before. I was fortunate enough to witness the game in England when they won 6-3. My first impression of Puskás was he was a roly-poly sort of figure – but a wonderful left foot and a finisher. We went across to Hungary and lost 7-1. It remained with me for a long time. Puskás had a wonderful game. He is in the list of greats, a wonderful player and a wonderful person who really enjoyed his soccer.
Sir Tom Finney, former England player
Today I have lost a friend. Puskás was one of the best players of all time, but life comes to an end, and when you least expect it, it’s over. There was only a few months’ difference between us in age, he was born on 27 April [1926] and I was born on 26 July.
Alfredo Di Stéfano, former Real Madrid CF team-mate and club honorary president
There is not one Hungarian who would be left untouched by the death of Ferenc Puskás. The best-known Hungarian of the 20th century has departed. Ferenc Puskás has left us, but ‘Puskás Öcsi’ the legend will always stay.
Ferenc Gyurcsány, Hungarian prime minister
This is one of the saddest days for Real Madrid and I can say it’s the saddest since my arrival at the club. He defined an era in a mythical forward line. He has left lots of friends behind because he was loved by everyone, admired as a professional and as a person. I remember his goals dearly, he was top scorer four times. The supporters in general and especially those of my age feel a great loss for one of our childhood idols.
Ramón Calderón, Real Madrid president
In my office at home, I have one football. That football was given to me and signed by Ferenc Puskás. I also have a gold medal to celebrate his 75th birthday. Puskás was my boyhood hero when I was growing up in Scotland. I read his autobiography, and in 1960, as a young Queen’s Park FC player, I was given permission to be on the Hampden Park pitch for the Real Madrid training session on the day before the European Champion Clubs’ Cup final against Eintracht Frankfurt. I wanted to be up close to see Ferenc Puskás at training. He was a very gracious and very humble person, as many great footballers are. He was very human, and a very humorous person, as well as a marvellous player.
Andy Roxburgh, UEFA technical director

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