Saluting the king, Ladislao Kubala

Saluting the king, Ladislao Kubala

As Lionel Messi inches closer to become Barca’s all-time leading goalscorer, it’s a good time to revisit the mighty accomplishments of the man from Hungary who has held the record for over five decades and is one of the legends of FC Barcelona – Ladislao Kubala. In FIFA’s Classic Player series in which they publish fascinating profiles of the unforgotten shining stars of the game, we thoroughly recommend a reading of Kubala’s entry. Don’t miss the snippets in “Did You Know”.  Excerpts from the piece after the jump.

A drunken foreigner staggered on to a Barcelona-bound train. “We’re going to Madrid, right?” he mumbled to the companion whose shoulder he was using as a human walking frame. Following assurance, he slumped his body into an unoccupied seat and dozed off. Had fellow passengers known the 23-year-old believed he was headed to the capital to sign for Real Madrid, they would have laughed. Had the culés among them known that he was actually going to sign a contract with a professional football club, but that it was their beloved FC Barcelona, they would have cried.”

“That June 1950 train ride was merely the last leg on a bizarre journey from his native Budapest to Barcelona, one which involved him eluding military service, hiding under a tarpaulin on the back of a truck to get out of Hungary, masquerading as a Soviet solider to get into Italy, and starring in a film about his plight to escape communism and play the sport he loved.”

Read the complete article here.