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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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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An Interview With Botond Birtalan

Since I’ve been watching Vasas I’ve been astonished by the club’s openness and support. I got to go on a stadium tour, have been welcomed by the supporters clubs and last week I was able to interview Vasas’s free-scoring attacking midfielder Botond Birtalan at the club’s home in District XIII.

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…with a whimper (Vasas FC vs. Zalaegerszegi)

It’s a beautiful day in Ujpest for the final game of the 2018/19 campaign, and it’s also time to say a not-so-fond farewell to the Szusza Ferenc – the ground that Vasas have been borrowing this year – as the team prepares to move back to Angyalföld and the newly-rebuilt Illovszky Rudolf Stadium.

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A Tour of the New Vasas Stadium (Illovszky Rudolf Stadium)

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The nearly-completed Illovszky Rudolf Stadion – future home of Vasas FC.

Due to an improbable series of events, I ended up being interviewed on Hungarian national media for creating an Instagram account about statues (@statuesofbudapest – should you be curious). The topic of the interview turned to football and I mentioned how I’d come to support Vasas since arriving in Budapest (namely – I like underdogs and the shared ironworking history of Vasas and Middlesbrough).

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A Game Too Far (Jubilo Iwata vs. Tokyo Verdy – J1 Playoff Final)

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Jubilo’s Koki Ogawa breaks Tokyo Verdy hearts in the J1 League Promotion/Relegation Playoff.

Before coming over to Hungary I lived in Tokyo and followed Verdy who – like Vasas FC – are another former championship-winning side fallen on hard times. Tokyo Verdy (formerly Yomiuri Verdy and Verdy Kawasaki) won Japan’s top flight 7 times in the 80s and 90s, boasting players such as legendary goal-snaffler Kazu Miura and Brazilian-born Japan international Ruy Ramos.

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