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Trap's date with Puskas

GIOVANNI Trapattoni was in nostalgic mood yesterday as he recalled visiting Hungary as an 18-year-old with AC Milan, and playing a friendly against a Honved team that included the legendary Ferenc Puskas, WRITES DANIEL McDONNELL.

The match venue tonight is named after Puskas, the star of the Mighty Magyar side that looked set to rule the world before falling short in the 1954 World Cup final.

That great team disintegrated in the fallout from the bloody 1956 Revolution which led to harsher Russian rule and the emigration of the best group of players the country has ever seen.

Hungary are a third-rate power now, although there have been some encouraging signs in recent times.

They were unlucky to land a difficult qualifying group, where they finished third behind Holland and Sweden -- losing both games to the Dutch and scoring a home win over the Swedes.

Last weekend, they scored a friendly win away to Euro 2012 participants Czech Republic, so they're evidently not in holiday mode.

Winger Balazs Dzsudzsak is one to watch. He is the most expensive Hungarian footballer ever, after moving from moneybags Anzhi Makhachkala to Russian rivals Dynamo Moscow for €19m in January.

Bolton 'keeper Adam Bogdan will provide a familiar face (or red head) for Premier League fans.

Hungary (probable) 4-2-3-1: Bogdan (Bolton Wanderers); Vauczak (Sion),Meszaros (Debrecen), Korcsmar (Brann), Halmosi (Szombathelyi Halada); Varga (Debrecen), Pinter (Real Zaragoza); Gyurcso (Videoton), Koman(Monaco), Dzsudtsak (Dinamon Moscow); Szalai (Mainz).

Irish Independent