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VIDEOTON FC - JOURNEY INTO EUROPE - ROUND BY ROUND
First round: Videoton FC - Dukla Prague 1:0 0:0
Videoton had their finest hour back in the 1984-85 season, when under the management of Ferenc Kovacs, they reached the Uefa cup final that season. That run brought international attention to the team from the west of Hungary. The story began back on the 18th September 1984, when Czech side, Dukla Prague were beaten 1-O in Fehervar. The return leg in Prague ended goaless, which meant that Vidi progressed to the next round.
Second round: Videoton FC - Paris Saint-Germain 1:0 4:2
Hungary at the time had a very strong international team, with Vidi keeper Peter Disztl, who at the time was one of the best keeper in the world, in goal. Laszlo Disztl, who was the brother of Peter, was part of that strong defence, together with Csuhay, Borsanyi and Gabor Horvath. The next stop on their European adventure came in France, when Ferenc Kovacs side won 4-2 against Paris Saint Germain. A crowd of 30,000 saw two goals each for Szabo and Csongradi. The French side boasted Dominique Rocheteau, who scored his sides two goals. The return leg in Hungary, had to be played twice, with the first game being abandoned midway through, with Vidi leading 2-O. However, there were no mistakes as Videoton won the rearranged game 1-0 to go through 5-2 on aggregate. A single goal from Majer was enough to send the 25,000 fans home happy. Manager Ferenc Kovacs commented after the game, "I am very happy about the result. It is a very big thing to beat Paris Saint Germain three times."
Third round: Videoton FC - FK Partizan 5:0 0:2
Next stop on their journey through Europe came on the 25th November 1984, against the Yugoslavian side Partizan Belgrade. A crowd of 20,000 turned out on an Autumns day in Fehervar, to see their side thrash the visitors 5-0. Striker Szabo scored four times, with the other coming from Majer, to make the return leg a formality. Manager Ferenc Kovacs, was once again a delighted man after the final whistle. "I can only praise the sides performance in the highest manner. We were prepared physically and spiritually for this important game. Things turned out on the pitch exactly how the player wanted it to."
The return leg in Belgrade, took place on the 12th December 1984. The home side run out 2-O winners in front of 30,000. That meant an overall aggregate result of 5-2 to the Hungarians, and it was them that went through to the next round.
Quarter-final: Videoton FC - Manchester United 1:0 0:1 Penalty shootout: 5:4
Next up for Kovacs side were the mighty Manchester United. Videoton travelled to Old Trafford on the 6th March 1985, and a single goal from Frank Stapleton, gave the home team a 1-0 lead. The home crowd of 45,000 would not have been convinced that the 1st leg lead would be enough for the 2nd leg. And so it proved two weeks later on the 20th March, with a single goal from Wittmann, taking the tie into extra time and a penalty shoot out. Keeper Disztl proved the hero of the night, as Vidi won the shootout 5-4, to send the 25,000 into delight.
Semi-final: Videoton FC - Zeljeznicar Sarajevo 3:1 1:2
The world began to take notice of Videoton at this point. This victory had taken the red and blues to the semi-finals of the Uefa Cup, taking them to within two games of the final. In their way were yet another Yugoslavian side, Zeljeznicar Sarajevo. The first leg was played on the 10th April 1985, in front of 30,000 passionate Vidi fans. Goals from Burcsa, Disztl and Vadasz gave the home side a 3-1 first leg lead. The media were cautious warning that the two-goal advantage may not prove enough for the second leg. Sarajevo was the setting on the 24th April 1985, with Videoton just 90 minutes away from the UEFA cup final. The hosts were leading 2-0 with just two minutes left. They would have gone through at that point on away goals. However, Csuhay had other ideas as he scored one of the clubs most important goals in the 88th minute. That gave the Videoton an overall 4-3 aggregate win.
UEFA Cup Final: Videoton FC - Real Madrid 0:3 1:0
The Uefa cup final at the time was a two-legged affair. Real Madrid had lost 2-0 at Inter Milan in their semi final first leg game. They proved too strong for the Italians in the return leg in Madrid, with Real running out 3-0 winners, meaning an aggregate scoreline of 3-2. The World famous Real Madrid now stood in the way of Videoton winning the glamorous trophy. The Sostoi stadium was packed with 35,000 inside. Videoton lined up as follows: Disztl P. - Borsanyi, Disztl L., Csuhay, Horvath - Palkovics, Vegh, Wittman, Vadasz - Novath and Burcsa. Real Madrid had stars in their line up: Miguel Angel, Chendo, Sanchis, Stielike, Camacho - San Jose, Gallego, Michel - Butragueno, Santillana and Valdano. In the end it was Real who proved too strong for a brave Videoton side, with goals from Michel, Santillana and Valdano doing the damage.
Everyone had given up any hope of Videoton winning the cup, having lost two weeks earlier by a 3-0 scoreline in Fehervar. The return leg of the final took place on the 22nd May 1985 at the famous Bernabeu stadium, in front of 98,000. Vidi produced a great performance on the night to win with a famous 1-0 scoreline, after Wittman crossed from the right and Majer was on hand to shoot home from close range. Hungarian media had commented that Real had won the Uefa cup but Videoton had won at the Bernabeu stadium. The 3-1 overall aggregate gave the cup to the Spaniards, but no one will forget the amazing run that Videoton produced along the way. Videoton had become a name in European football during that year.
Manager Ferenc Kovacs built a solid team in the mid 80s. Peter Disztl at the time was one of the best keepers in the World. He was also the Hungarian keeper who went on to play in the 1986 finals in Mexico. In the defence was the busy centre back, Borsanyi. Talented Laszlo Disztl, the younger brother of Peter, was another member of the defence. He went on to have a good career in Belgium, while also representing Hungary at the Mexico World Cup finals. Csuhay was a very strong defender and the backbone of the side. Gabor Horvath was a left back, who was keen and today assists manager Gyorgy Mezey.
Vegh was the final part of the defence, playing on the right side, with his many attacking runs down the right side still fresh in the mind of many. Palkovics was the motor of the team and never stopped running. Wittman was a left sided midfielder, who also organised the side. Vadasz was another hard working midfielder in the talented Videoton side back then. They were lucky to have the talents of Szabo up front, who regularly found the back of the net. It was Szabo who was the hero of the night, scoring 4 times in the 5-0 home win over Partizan Belgrade. The final member of the side was the popular playmaker, Burcsa. who played just behind Szabo and was the provider of many of the goals.
Ferenc Kovacs, the manager of the 1985 Vidi team
No other Hungarian side since then has been able to match the achievements of Ferenc Kovacs side. Videoton, today, are building once again, on a solid foundation, with the aim of matching those great moments of the mid eighties.