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Gusztáv Sebes

Personal information
Full nameGusztáv Sebes
Place of birthBudapest, Austria-Hungary

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Gusztáv Sebes (born Gusztáv Scharenpeck in Budapest, 22 January 1906; died in Budapest, 30 January 1986) was a Hungarian footballer and coach. With the title of Deputy Minister of Sport, he coached the Hungarian team known as the Mighty Magyars in the 1950s. Among the players in the team were Ferenc Puskás, Zoltán Czibor, Sándor Kocsis, József Bozsik, and Nándor Hidegkuti. Together with Béla Guttmann and Márton Bukovi, he formed a triumvirate of radical Hungarian coaches who pioneered the 4-2-4 formation.

Sebes advocated what he referred to as socialist football, an early version of Total Football, with every player pulling equal weight and able to play in all positions. Under Sebes, Hungary went unbeaten for 32 consecutive matches, a record that still stands today. During this run, Hungary became Olympic Champions in 1952 and Central European Champions in 1953. They also twice defeated England, 6-3 in 1953 and 7-1 in 1954, and finished as runners-up in the 1954 FIFA World Cup. Defeat in the final marked the beginning of the end for Sebes. Following this defeat, Hungary embarked on an 18-game unbeaten run that came to an end on 19 February 1956, when they lost 3-1 to Turkey. Despite the winning streak, Sebes was sacked after a 5-4 defeat against Belgium on 3 June 1956. He remained active in football throughout his life, working as an administrator and holding coaching positions at Újpesti Dózsa SC, Budapest Honvéd SE, and Diósgyőri VTK.

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