At the presentation of the book published as part of the cooperation of the Puskás Academy and the University of Physical Education, the Prime Minister stressed that it is perhaps not a coincidence that the first golden age of Hungarian football came after the tragedy of Trianon, while the second one came after World War II, in the fifties, an era hallmarked in football by the Golden Team. In those days, on the green grass even the team of the occupying country could be defeated, and so football should be treated as part of culture and history, he added.
Mr Orbán said “Hungarian football is effectively a history of genius intuition and inspiration,” meaning art itself.
The Prime Minister took the view that “football is life itself,” it is a fair, open-helmet game which opponents play by fixed rules and the outcome is always decided on the pitch.
Mr Orbán highlighted that these days it is difficult to keep football academies together in a psychological sense because amidst their walls “the experience of old football players must be merged with modern showmanship” and if we fail to do that, then “football academies will find themselves off balance”. He observed that while football academies operating in Hungary share a great many similarities, they are widely different. He said this was a splendid thing, highlighting that academies should not be standardised as “you can either march military style, or you can play football”.
The Prime Minister also highlighted that in the past they made coordinated efforts to create a national system of football academies; today it is working and serves the entire Hungarian football community. “We can’t wait for the ideas in the book to become reality, and to finally see great footballers coming out of our academies,” he observed.
President of the Board of Trustees of the Felcsút Foundation for the Education of Young Footballers Lőrinc Mészáros recalled that they had started professional cooperation with the University of Physical Education in 2018, and the textbook was the result of this cooperation. The more than 400-page volume consisting of ten chapters could offer basic tenets for modern training methods not only in football, but also in other sports.
He indicated that the book had taken a year and a half to complete, and the authors had used the experiences and observations of 13 years.
Director of the Puskás Academy-co-author of the book Mihály Takács said they wished to create something of value; in this they succeeded as the book was accredited by an assessment committee of experts and declared a university textbook.
He said they attempted to render the methods used at the Felcsút academy and in football around the world accessible and to share them with the wider world and the sports community. They also sought to demonstrate how science and football tie in with one another in football in Europe and around the world.
Head of Puskás Academy’s scientific task force and co-author of the book István Csáki mentioned that, in addition to the University of Physical Education, experts of the Eger Eszterházy Károly University, the University of Debrecen and the Hungarian Football Federation were also involved in the compilation of the volume. Twenty-seven experts worked on the book; nineteen of them wrote chapters, two persons proofread the text and six persons assisted with the final editing.
He took the view that the bibliographies at the end of each chapter are a great asset of the book, referencing more than five hundred professional publications.
The book presentation was also attended by Honorary President of the Hungarian Olympic Committee Pál Schmitt, President of the Hungarian Football Federation Sándor Csányi and Rector of the University of Physical Education Lajos Mocsai.
In his address, the latter stressed that it is a mistake to separate sports from other fields of the arts as the culture of physical exercise is just as precious as any other branch of the arts.
He said, in addition to the support it provided with the publication of the book, the University of Physical Education is also attempting to help the Hungarian sports community with its own means. They created an integrated laboratory system where disciplines such as sports psychology, dietetics or exercise load science can be taught amidst cutting-edge circumstances. He observed that sport required education because without connecting body and soul together it was impossible to raise healthy athletes.