Sándor Kocsis Péter is the most lethal international striker of all time. In 68 matches for Hungary between 1948 and 1956, Kocsis racked up 75 goals, meaning not even the great Gerd Müller could boast as great a goals to game ratio. Müller scored 68 goals in 62 appearances for West Germany. Kocsis also had a number of firsts in the game, becoming the first man to score two hat-tricks in one World Cup outing. In 1954, Kocsis would score 11 goals for Hungary at the World Cup with France’s Just Fontaine, the only man to ever do better. Kocsis’ international goalscoring record is even more impressive when you consider he relegated teammate Ferenc Puskás to third on the all-time list of most lethal strikers. Puskás ended his international career with 84 goals from 85 matches. Kocsis would end his career having scored an international hat-trick on seven occasions. For club Kocsis was no slouch either, ending a career spanning 434 games with 341 goals, a more-than-competent achievement. The striker, who died at just 49 after falling from the fourth floor of a hospital in Barcelona, could lay claim to being the greatest striker of all time. At the time of his death he was being treated for Lukemia and stomach cancer, leaving speculation that his death was a suicide, rife.   

Playing Career

Full name: Sándor Kocsis Péter

Date of birth: 21 September 1929

Place of birth: Budapest, Hungary

Date of Death: 22 July 1979 (aged 49)

Place of Death: Barcelona, Spain

Playing position: Striker

Club Career

          Years                    Team                             Apps   (Gls)

  • 1945–1946          Köbanyai TC                         5         (0)
  • 1946–1950          Ferencváros                       59         (40)
  • 1950                   ÉDOSZ                              30         (30)
  • 1950–1957          Honvéd                            145         (153)
  • 1957–1958          Young Fellows Zürich          11         (7)
  • 1958–1965          Barcelona                        184         (111)
  • 1961                   Valencia (guest)         
  • Total                                                        434       (341)

Club Honours

  • Ferencváros TC - Hungarian Champions: 1949
  • Honvéd FC - Hungarian Champions (3): 1952, 1954, 1955
  • Barcelona - Spanish Champions (2): 1958–59, 1959–60; Copa del Generalísimo (2): 1958–59, 1962–63; Inter-Cities Fairs Cup: 1958–60

International Career

  • 1948-1956 Hungary 68 (75)

International Honours

  • Olympic Champions: 1952
  • Central European Champions: 1953
  • FIFA World Cup Runner up: 1954

Individual Honours

  • Hungarian Football Federation Player of the Year: 1954
  • FIFA World Cup Golden Boot: 1954
  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1954
  • World Soccer: The 100 Greatest Footballers of All Time
  • Ballon d'Or: 8th place 1956

'Next Generation' is a series focusing on the young players tipped to establish themselves as the elite in the 2020s.

Every parent thinks they know what's best for their child and that proved to be a key component of Dominik Szoboszlai's development into the talented 19-year-old Hungarian midfielder who is expected to go on big things.

Zsolt Szoboszlai, himself a footballer once, was his son's coach at Videoton until he was dismissed for refusing to bump a child up to a more advanced group, as their parent requested.

But by then, Zsolt had already acquired a strong grounding in youth coaching and development, honing specific philosophies along the way that emphasised ball work.

He and the fathers of two other young players formed their own club in the same town, Fehervar, calling their team Foenix-Gold FC, and 13 years on they are thriving.

According to Foenix-Gold, their ideals lie in humility, hard work and passion, and on their website they openly criticise the Hungarian Football Federation for the "quality of the training", which "hinders the rise of Hungarian football".

But such an attitude can seemingly be backed up by Foenix-Gold's results, as shown by the younger Szoboszlai.

Scotland have been drawn against Israel in the Euro 2020 play-off semi-finals.

Aiming to reach their first major finals in 22 years, Steve Clarke's side will face Israel in a one-legged tie at Hampden Park on March 26.

The winner of that match will go on to face either Norway or Serbia in the Path C final five days later.

Scotland beat Israel 3-2 at Hampden Park last November en route to topping their Nations League group and Clarke is after a repeat result in four months' time.

"The draw is what it is," he told Sky Sports News. "I never get too carried away about who you are going to play. 

"It would been nice to repeat the home win, but the match will come with its own level of pressure, which we will have to embrace.

"Being at home is very important for us. I'm sure Hampden will be full, with the Tartan Army on the march. It's a great stadium when it's full, so if we start fast we can get them all behind us."

Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland are on course to meet in the Path B final, having been drawn away to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovakia respectively in the semis.

In Path A, Romania travel to Iceland and Bulgaria host Hungary, while Belarus are at Georgia and North Macedonia face Kosovo in Path D.

The four play-off winners will join the 20 teams that have already qualified for the finals, which will take place in 12 different cities next year.

A delighted Ryan Giggs hailed one of the best days of his life after Wales secured a place at Euro 2020 with a 2-0 win over Hungary.

Aaron Ramsey was the hero in Cardiff, scoring a goal in each half as Wales clinched the second qualifying spot behind Croatia in Group E – earning a shot at matching their Euro 2016 exploits following a semi-final run.

An uneven start to his first campaign in charge meant Giggs' men needed to win both of their closing matches to progress.

Victory in Azerbaijan over the weekend before success before their fervent home support saw them come good when it mattered.

"It's doesn't get any better," Wales manager Giggs told Sky Sports. "It's amazing. From where we were in the summer with those two defeats [away to Croatia and Hungary], credit to the lads the way they've come back.

"They've show grit, determination and quality. It's one of the best days of my life."

Ramsey's injury problems meant the Juventus star was making his first start of qualification on Tuesday.

"He's just showed that quality, that class," Giggs said. "The finishes… we missed him, but better late than never, I suppose."

Having never managed to represent Wales at a major tournament as a player, Manchester United great Giggs will revel in leading his country on such a grand stage.

"To be honest I haven't really thought about that," he added, referencing those playing disappointments.

"It's one of the greatest days of my life. There was a lot of hard work put in. Not only am I blessed with a good set of players but also the best staff I could ask for.

"The atmosphere every time we play in Cardiff… the fans are part of it. I was watching it in 2016 – you could tell the fans loved it then and they'll love this even more."

Gareth Bale risked incurring the wrath of Real Madrid with his celebration of Wales' Euro 2020 qualification.

Wales – semi-finalists at Euro 2016 – booked their ticket to next year's European Championship with a 2-0 win over Hungary on Tuesday.

Aaron Ramsey's double in Cardiff ensured Wales leapfrogged Hungary and clinched the second automatic qualifying spot in Group E.

Bale and his team-mates celebratedly wildly post-game, with the former Tottenham talisman particularly catching the eye.

Tipped to leave Madrid and criticised for his priorities amid his love for golf, Wales fans have adopted the chant, "Wales, golf, Madrid", which has been heard during the international break.

And on Tuesday, Bale was seen celebrating in front of a Wales flag with the words: "WALES. GOLF. MADRID... IN THAT ORDER".

Gareth Bale ribbed Aaron Ramsey over his fitness record after the Juventus man fired Wales to the Euro 2020 finals with a brace in the 2-0 win over Hungary.

Needing victory to progress as automatic qualifiers from Group E at Hungary's expense, Ramsey marked his first start of an injury-ruined campaign with a headed opener from Bale's 15th-minute cross.

The former Arsenal favourite was on the mark again early in the second half as Wales made it back-to-back European Championship qualifications.

"It’s about time he contributed, isn't it?" Bale told Sky Sports.

"Obviously he's a world-class player, you like to have him back. He showed again what a great player he is, scoring the goals that helped us through."

Wales were the surprise package of Euro 2016, with Ramsey and Bale to the fore as they reached the semi-finals.

Now both senior members in an increasingly youthful squad under Ryan Giggs, Ramsey was desperate to secure another outing on the biggest stage.

"We had the best time of our lives in France," he told Sky Sports. "We missed out on the [2018] World Cup, so it was a big effort.

"I missed a lot of this campaign but it's all worthwhile. Chipping in with a couple of goals is amazing.

"It means everything. We inspired a nation last time out. We wanted to do it again.

"There are some players here who haven’t experienced this. We wanted to give them a taste of it as well. We've got a great squad, a lot of great players coming through."

Speaking alongside Bale, Ramsey added: "There's still some life left in our legs yet. We're enjoying it. We'll enjoy tonight now as well."

Aaron Ramsey was Wales' hero as Ryan Giggs' side secured qualification for Euro 2020 with a 2-0 home win over Hungary.

One of the stand-out performers in his country's surprise run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, Ramsey was making his first start of the current campaign following persisted fitness problems.

But the Juventus midfielder re-announced himself in style at a fervent Cardiff City Stadium, scoring a goal in each half as Wales deservedly claimed the win they needed to leapfrog Hungary and take the second automatic qualifying spot in Group E.

Gareth Bale, Daniel James and the goalscorer buzzed effectively behind imposing targetman Kieffer Moore throughout, although Giggs was also indebted to some first-half heroics from goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.

Wales began confidently and, when Adam Lang made the mistake of showing Bale on to his left foot on the right flank, the Real Madrid star whipped in an inviting cross for Ramsey to gleefully nod home.

Another wonderful Bale delivery – this time right-footed – saw Moore head narrowly wide in the 29th minute.

Hennessy produced a remarkable double-save to thwart Dominik Szoboszlai and Roland Sallai at close quarters in the 34th minute and it would prove a pivotal moment.

Instead of chasing the game, Wales were able to resume in composed fashion after the break and they soon had breathing space.

Moore – a handful in the air throughout for the Hungary defence - knocked down Ben Davies' 47th-minute set-piece and Ramsey, left negligently unmarked for a man of his finishing capabilities, made no mistake.

Giggs' eye-catching attacking midfield trio started to run through their repertoire, with Bale fizzing a free-kick narrowly over before James cut in to curl a shot just beyond the top-right corner.

An awful challenge from Istvan Kovacs on fellow substitute Ethan Ampadu highlighted Hungary's simmering frustration, while Peter Gulacsi saved with his boot to deny Ramsey the match ball 15 minutes from time.

What does it mean? Back-to-back Euros for Wales

Although UEFA's expansion to a 24-team tournament has leant a helping hand, Wales' achievement in reaching consecutive European Championships is a significant one for a country whose previous major tournament was the 1958 World Cup. Giggs has remained committed to letting promising youthful players flourish alongside his established stars, despite a rocky start in the group, and deserves his share of credit.

Rambo draws first and last blood

Wales got themselves in position without Ramsey but there is no doubt they go up a level with the former Arsenal man in their line-up. Fitness permitting, no nation will relish facing Bale, James and Ramsey in tandem come June.

Lang error costly for Hungary

That said, there are better ways to combat Bale than ushering him on to his lethal left foot to set up the opener. Hungary's night might still have been one of savour but for Lang's lapse.

What's next

Hungary get another bite at qualification in March's play-offs – the dream of turning out in the finals at Budapest's Puskas Arena still alive. Bale and his team-mates can dream of another unlikely tilt at European glory.

Gareth Bale believes the euphoric feeling of Wales' run to the semi-finals at Euro 2016 will spur Ryan Giggs' side on against Hungary.

Following a 2-0 victory over Azerbaijan on Saturday, Wales head into their final qualifying match knowing a win will be enough to secure a place at Euro 2020.

Bale scored three goals at the previous finals as Wales - with Chris Coleman in charge - reached the last four in France, going out to eventual champions Portugal.

The Real Madrid forward has claimed Wales can use the experiences gained from three years ago, plus their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, as inspiration heading into Tuesday's crucial clash in Cardiff.

"I think we can use both of [the experiences] to our advantage," Bale told a news conference.

"We have got the kind of euphoria of qualifying for our first Euros and doing so well at the competition that we really want to do that again.

"We've also got the negatives of knowing how it feels to miss out on qualifying for a tournament like we did with the World Cup.

"We can see how we don't want to feel after the game. We know prior to this game we can push and push not to feel like that again, because it's not a feeling you want in the dressing room after the game.

"The experience of qualifying for the Euros was massive and something I've never done before and to do it again might be a bit more impressive.

"It's going to stand in equal stead as last time, but we can't think about that just yet. We have another important match first and we have to focus on that as a team and a squad."

Giggs confirmed on Monday that Bale and Aaron Ramsey, who has been hampered by a thigh problem, are both ready to start against Hungary.

"I'm ready. I hadn't played in four weeks so it was important to get 60 minutes into my legs and get some match sharpness," Bale added.

"We spoke at the start of the week about trying to get 60 minutes and hopefully being a couple [of goals] up before I came off, so it worked out well, no problems, and I'm ready to go for Tuesday."

Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey are ready to start for Wales in Tuesday's crucial Euro 2020 qualifier against Hungary, manager Ryan Giggs has confirmed.

Real Madrid forward Bale made his first appearance in a month in the 2-0 win over Azerbaijan on Saturday, a result that kept alive Wales' hopes of qualifying automatically for next year's tournament.

Bale, who has been struggling with a calf injury, was replaced in the second half by Juventus midfielder Ramsey, who has been hampered by recent thigh trouble.

Giggs expects to be able to have both players in the starting line-up for the first time in their qualifying campaign when they face Hungary in Cardiff, a match in which the winners will secure a place at the Euro 2020 finals.

"We've got a few players who played 90 minutes for the first time against Azerbaijan, so it is important they get the recovery in over the next few days," Giggs said on Monday.

"The lads who got minutes needed minutes. It's a bit of a balancing act, the players I know who can't play 90 minutes - that will obviously influence the selection.

"Yeah, [Bale and Ramsey] are both ready to start. Gareth and Aaron, with Chris Mepham and Ethan Ampadu, all players who haven't had an awful lot of football, got the minutes they needed.

"We were able to get Gareth off and it was important to get Aaron on the pitch. Everyone in the squad is available to start."

Giggs has challenged his players to capitalise on the good fortunate of Croatia's win over Slovakia on Saturday.

The World Cup finalists came from a goal down to win 3-1 and book their own place at Euro 2020, while also ensuring Wales and Hungary have their fates in their own hands.

"We had the high of winning the game but when Slovakia go ahead you are fearing the worst, but Croatia are fantastic at home," Giggs said.

"They showed their quality. We needed favours and we got those favours. Now it is time for us to capitalise.

"It's in our hands. It's a great, exciting challenge for us but we need to finish the job – it will be a very, very difficult game."

Ryan Giggs is hopeful of starting Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey in Wales' crucial Euro 2020 qualifier with Hungary after using both players in the win over Azerbaijan.

Bale made his first appearance in a month on Saturday as Wales eased to a 2-0 victory in Baku that ensures their bid to qualify automatically for next year's tournament will go down to the final game.

The Real Madrid forward has been carrying a calf injury and lasted an hour before being replaced by Juventus midfielder Ramsey, who has also struggled for playing time of late due to a thigh problem.

Giggs has yet to have both players on the pitch during qualifying but is optimistic of that changing against Hungary in Cardiff on Tuesday,

"We've still got to assess them," he said at his post-match news conference. "Getting Gareth off pretty early on and giving Aaron some minutes helped.

"Aaron showed his quality when he came on, but it's a quick turnaround. Gareth was blowing a little bit, which is understandable, but hopefully I'll have the option of starting both on Tuesday."

Wales are now unbeaten in four Group E games since back-to-back away losses in June and are within a point of second-place Hungary, while Slovakia are a point behind ahead of their game in hand against Croatia later on Saturday.

Victory for Wales against Hungary, coupled with Slovakia failing to take maximum points from their remaining two matches, would be enough for Giggs' men to secure automatic qualification for Euro 2020.

"We've had four good performances in a row, which we needed after the two difficult games in the summer," Giggs said. "We needed to be strong and we have been. 

"I was not happy with the number of corners we gave away, but they never really troubled us in open play and we could have scored a few more goals.

"Depending on the Croatia-Slovakia score, it sets us up nicely for Tuesday's game."

Kieffer Moore doubled his goals tally in a Wales shirt with a 10th-minute opener at Bakcell Arena, while Harry Wilson was also on target in the first half of a comfortable away victory.

It was Wales' first away win since October 2018 and Giggs added: "Some of our play was outstanding.

"Since the Azerbaijan game at home we've improved. We've played some difficult teams but overall the performances have improved. 

"We started to gain some sort of momentum, which isn't easy in international football. The lads came into camp really confident. It doesn't matter who's come in, they've all contributed. 

"It's not an easy place to come, so it's up there with one of our best performances."

Edinson Cavani and Brian Rodriguez were on target as Uruguay ran out 2-1 winners against a Hungary side celebrating the opening of the new Puskas Arena.

The 68,000-seat state-funded stadium hosted its first match in front of a packed-out crowd in Budapest.

Those in attendance were treated to a barnstorming opening to the friendly as all three goals arrived inside 25 minutes, with Cavani and Rodriguez putting the visitors in command.

Adam Szalai scored the first Hungary goal at the ground to halve the deficit but it was a lead they were unable to turn around.

Uruguay were ahead after 15 minutes when Matias Vina's excellent left-wing centre was turned in at the far post by Cavani.

Luis Suarez then teed up Rodriguez, who jinked inside on the left of the box and bent a sublime effort into the far corner.

Hungary reduced the arrears when Szalai coolly slotted home Roland Varga's cut-back with his left foot.

Substitute Maxi Gomez had the opportunity to restore the two-goal cushion when slipped in by Cavani in the 64th minute, only for Botond Barath to make a superb recovery block.

Cristhian Stuani almost bundled his way through in the closing stages, but Denes Dibusz stood up well to his close-range effort.

Swansea City defender Joe Rodon requires surgery on a fresh ankle injury and will miss Wales' crucial Euro 2020 qualifiers with Azerbaijan and Hungary in November.

The 22-year-old has started three of Wales' six qualifiers, including last month's double-header with Slovakia and Croatia.

Rodon injured his ankle this month but sustained a new tendon issue in Swansea's 3-0 defeat to Brentford on Tuesday, ruling him out of action for "a few months".

Swansea boss Steve Cooper confirmed the lay-off after Sunday's 1-0 victory over Cardiff City.

"Joe picked up a fresh injury on Tuesday. He's going to need an operation next week," Cooper said at his post-match news conference. 

"We were worried because of the knock on the ankle. But it's a new injury that's ruled him out for a few months. 

"He's got a tendon injury that rules him out of the Wales games too. He was close to tears. But he stood by the side of the team and didn't leave us for one minute."

Wales face Azerbaijan in Baku on November 16 and Hungary in Cardiff three days later.

Ryan Giggs' men are fourth in Group E ahead of their final two fixtures, four points adrift of second-place Hungary with a game in hand.

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