Rajko Purovic: The Hoax That Fooled Football

By Daniel Cochran

In these long empty days of self-isolation with nought but Belarusian football to look forward to, the mind inevitably drifts to the past. A post on Facebook a few days back reminded me of my friend Leon Ward’s crowning moment of bullshittery back in 2009. I caught up with him to discuss the saga of Rajko Purovic: the Middlesbrough transfer target that never was.

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Especially the Icy Bear… (Vasas vs. Nyíregyháza Spartacus)

Yesterday was a huge day for Vasas. Nine points off the promotion places but with the top two to play this month, it was vital that they kept up their glorious 4-game winning streak to keep pace with the leaders. First and second placed MTK and Budafoki both had tricky away games, while Vasas faced an eminently beatable Nyíregyháza. And what a day it proved.

Mike and I perfecting the anarok look.
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It’s Audi-town (Vasas vs. WKW ETO FC Győr)

A bout of sickness left me bedridden most of the weekend, so it’s was slightly groggy Englishman that headed over to the Illovszky Rudolf Stadion on Sunday to see Vasas-Győr. Győr is one of Hungary’s bigger cities and is known for its Audi-centric economy (there’s a big factory there). They’re also one of the teams nipping at Vasas’ heels for 3rd spot.

On the bus Mike and I end up talking to a 13 year old Chinese boy, who’s on the way to the game but has no idea which stop he needs to get off at. He seems to be jumping on and off the bus at random (narrowly missing the closing doors, no doubt to the ire of the ever-jolly BKK bus driver), but after hearing us discussing Vasas in English he approaches us and proceeds to demonstrate an encyclopedic knowledge of the NBii league.

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Mad Scientist Beerfest and The Rubber Meets the Road (Vasas vs. Duna Aszfalt)

Photo by Fay Hanrahan

While I aspire to be cultured gent, give me a beer festival and football and I’m happy as the proverbial swine in its own feculence. So this weekend we headed over to deepest darkest Kőbánya (that’s Budapest’s notorious District X) to visit the Mad Scientist Brewery Party.

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Massive Hunks of Meat (Vasas vs. Békéscsaba 1912 Előre )

The great Anthony Bourdain at Pléhcsárda

Pléhcsárda has been on my bucket list ever since I saw Anthony Bourdain trying manfully to finish one of their hubcap-sized schnitzels on his wonderful Parts Unknown travelogue. The place – which is little more than a shipping container full of meat – has become semi-legendary in Budapest, not just for Bourdain, but also as the “Tin Gundel”.

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King Kazu: Evergreen Striker Signs New Contract at 52

Photo from BBC Sport

Older than most forward lines combined, Japanese footballing great Kazu Miura has signed a new contract with Yokohama FC at the autumnal age of 52. Already the oldest professional player in the world, Miura will continue at the newly-promoted team in what will be only their second season ever in the J1 League.

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The Football Tourist’s Guide to Budapest

Planning a visit to Budapest this year? Fancy heading to a match in Hungary’s capital? Sure, it might not be Old Trafford on a Saturday afternoon or a Champions League encounter at the Bernabéu, but Hungarian football has its own unique charms. Here’s the lowdown on how and where to see the beautiful game. Whether you want a fiery top-flight derby or a unique grassroots experiece, this article has got you covered.

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Crosspost from Statues of Budapest

As some of you know, I also run Statues of Budapest, an Instagram account detailing the history of the city through it’s sculpture. This weekend a covered the new statue of Rudolf Illovszky, Vasas’s most successful manager. Hope you enjoy.

Old Faithful (Vasas FC vs. Haladás)

I’m feeling a little bit of a traitor to grassroots football today, because I much prefer the comforts of the new Rudolf Illovszky Stadium on a week-to-week basis than the crumbling wind tunnels of Budafok or Soroksár (or even bigger stadia like Újpest for that matter). The new ground is becoming home for Vasas, but to cement that feeling you need the gritty, blood and guts comebacks that linger in the memory. Vasas hadn’t really had one of those until now.

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Back on Track (Vác vs. Vasas FC)

Soroksár SC’s Mihály Szamosi Sporttelep: One of the more homely grounds I’ve visited.

Due to my recent wedding, honeymoon and work schedule (Wednesday night games are always a bugger for an English teacher), it’s been a while since I’ve been to see the boys in piros-kék (that’s red and blue to all you non-Magyars).

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