Sandor Kocsis is number 28 in 90min's Top 50 Greatest Footballers of All Time series


You've probably heard of Ferenc Puskas. 


You probably heard of Ferenc Puskas by people telling you he scored a ton of goals for Hungary back in the 1940s and 1950s.


And people have probably told you Ferenc Puskas was the leading light of the sensational Hungary team that were major players on the international scene during that aforementioned timeframe.


But Ferenc Puskas had plenty of help during his time as a star at global level, most notably from Budapest Honvéd and Barcelona legend Sandor Kocsis.

WORLD CUP-1954-HUNGARY-GERMANY

Now, given this writer wasn't born until 1996 - a full 17 years after Kocsis passed away - a whole load of research, primarily through YouTube, is required.


But the comments from some of those videos do shed a bit of light on what the striker was all about.


"The greatest header of a ball the game has ever had," one fan enthuses. "Best striker ever," another claims.


Ok, maybe that's not particularly insightful, but it does paint a picture of the effect Kocsis had during his time as one of the world's best footballers. And that effect usually translated to goals being scored.

Now, a superb track record in Hungary's top flight probably doesn't warrant too much respect from your average football fan nowadays, but back in the 1950s the league was the stomping ground for some of the best footballers in the world. 


Kocsis was a regular 20 goals or more per season striker for Honvéd, and just by looking at his abnormally chunky neck you can tell he was incredible in the air - he was nicknamed 'Golden Head' for his prowess with his noggin.


Kocsis is well known for his spell at Barcelona during the last seven years of his career as part of the Blaugrana team that won back-to-back league titles in 1958/59 and 1959/60, but undeniably his reputation was boosted by some outrageous performances in international fixtures - especially in 1954, a year in which he scored a ridiculous 23 goals in 14 games.


That Hungary team had become an international powerhouse during the early part of the 50s, winning Olympic gold in 1952 and triumphing in the Central European International Championship a year later.


1954 was a World Cup year, and one when Kocsis wrote his name into history by top scoring with 11 goals at the competition, scoring hat-tricks against South Korea and West Germany, the latter of whom he ended up netting four against.

What's weird is that Hungary smashed West Germany 8-3 during the group stage and took a 2-0 lead inside eight minutes in the final, only to be pegged back by Max Morlock and Helmut Rahn before the latter scored an 84th-minute winner in a game since dubbed 'The Miracle of Bern'.


Kocsis couldn't have done too much more. Hungary boasted other natural goalscorers like Puskas, Nandor Hidegkuti and Zoltan Czibor and hadn't lost a game since 1950, but a number of decisions went against the Mighty Magyars as they came up short in the most important game of their history.


Hungary haven't hit those heights since, with their best results being quarter final places in 1962 and 1966, while they have not reached the international showpiece since 1986 - despite Zoltan Gera's best efforts.


Kocsis would stay with Honvéd for a few more years before spending a season with Young Fellows Juventus in the Swiss Super League, then moving to Barcelona in 1958, joining fellow Hungarians Laszlo Kubala and Zoltan Czibor in signing for the Catalan giants.

League titles and domestic cups would follow, though so would more heartbreak in a decisive game, this time in the 1961 European Cup final. Again his side took the lead, Kocsis scoring the opener against Benfica, but the Portuguese side would stage a comeback to win 3-2, the same scoreline as that World Cup final defeat.


That game also took place in Bern. Hard lines, Sandor.


But while he may never have managed that to bask in that definitive glory that comes with a European Cup or World Cup triumph, Kocsis and his Hungarian teammates played a crucial part in the evolution of Total Football, helping lay the foundations to what we see in top leagues throughout the world today.


For more from Jude Summerfield, follow him on Twitter!


90min's 'Top 50 Greatest Footballers of All Time' can be found here


Number 50: Luka Modric

Number 49: John Charles

Number 48: Hugo Sanchez

Number 47: Jairzinho

Number 46: Omar Sivori

Number 45: Paolo Rossi

Number 44: Paul Breitner

Number 43: George Weah

Number 42: Kaka

Number 41: Lev Yashin

Number 40: Gunnar Nordahl

Number 39: Kevin Keegan

Number 38: Hristo Stoichkov

Number 37: Gianluigi Buffon

Number 36: Johan Neeskens

Number 35: Xavi Hernandez

Number 34: Luis Suarez

Number 33: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

Number 32: Andres Iniesta

Number 31: Rivelino

Number 30: Bobby Moore

Number 29: Socrates