Football: Hungary vs. Liechtenstein
On Friday I was fortunate enough to get tickets to see Hungary play a friendly match again Liechtenstein at the Puskás Ferenc Stadion. Now I admit it, I like football, and so I couldn't pass up the chance to see Hungary play, even though it was only a friendly. My Mum and her husband were visiting, but I couldn't not experience watching Hungary play in Hungary, so I dragged them along too—actually, I didn't have to do too much dragging, since they enjoy football too.
So we took the metro from Astoria up to the stadium and, not know exactly where the stadium was, we decided to follow the large crowds of people—I guessed that they were going there too, and luckily it turned out that they were. One of the reassuring commonalities between football matches in all countries is that there will always be hordes of fans drinking cans of beer on the way to the match, as well as industrious entrepreneurs selling beer in their makeshift shops, which consist of a fold-up chair and about 10 cases of supermarket beer.
After getting searched for knifes and other weapons we were eventually let into the stadium grounds, and quickly made our way to the stands. How should I describe the stadium ...? Well, in the words of my father-in-law "It's not Wembley". That's true. It wasn't a newly constructed, multi-million dollar stadium. On the contrary, while the pitch was obviously well cared for and maintained, the stadium itself looked as if no one had invested in it since it was opened in the early 1950s. But still, the stadium was at least half-full and so there was lots of chanting, which mainly consisted of some sort of shouting contest between the stands, where one would shout "Hungaria and the other reply "Magyarok", i.e. Hungary, Hungary. It all created what was actually a nice atmosphere.
Now, we have to remember that Hungary was playing Liectenstein, a country with about as many inhabitants as my hometown in England ... so less than 40,000. The players are therefore part-timers, who probably have day jobs as bank clerks, plumbers and insurance salesmen, so most of the match consisted of Hungary attacking. All in all it was an entertaining match—I won't give a detailed analysis of the entire match, suffice to say that Hungary spent most of the match attacking. So, perhaps it was to be expected that they won 5-0. But that was good, everyone was happy and singing, and they all left the ground in a good mood. I was pleased as well, not only because Hungary won, but also for the chance to see Hungary play, which incidentally is exactly 100% more times than I've seen the English national side play!