Paddy Mulligan on the time he met the great Ferenc Puskas

Real Madrid and Hungary legend remains won of the all time greats

BY Raf Diallo 15:51 Monday 24 April 2017, 15:51 24 Apr 2017

Ferenc Puskas in November 1956. Fritz Fischer/DPA/PA Images

Rarely does El Clasico leave us without a major talking point and last night was no different as Lionel Messi magic won it 3-2 for Barcelona, leaving Real Madrid with a real fight on their hands to end their five year wait for the La Liga title.

When all is said and done at the end of their careers, Messi and Ronaldo have surely sealed their places in the pantheon of the greats.

For former Chelsea and Ireland full back Paddy Mulligan, the duo are in the mix with Pele, Diego Maradona, George Best and Johan Cruyff on the list for the greatest footballers the game has ever seen.

Another name Paddy would include is former Real Madrid, Honved and Hungary legend Ferenc Puskas, who he had the fortune to meet while with Chelsea in 1971 as he reminisced with

"I had the pleasure of meeting Puskas in '71 when we were playing Real Madrid in the Cup Winners Cup final in Athens and he came to the hotel," said Paddy.

As Paddy explained, Pathé News (below) in the cinema was the means by which he saw Puskas and other legends of the time:

"He was managing Panathainkos at the time and he came to the hotel to say hello to us and I went to Dave Sexton and sheepishly said, 'he's one of my heroes, can I say hello to him'. He said 'of course' and over came Puskas and I had a great chat with him because I remember him from '53 when he turned on a master display in Wembley to beat England 6-3. And then they beat England 7-1 in a friendly in May of '54. But what a Hungarian team that was, very unlucky not to win the World Cup."  

Paddy remembered him as a "lovely man" in person, a description he also reserved for the Gentle Giant that was Wales and Juventus' legendary centre forward and defender John Charles, who he also had the pleasure of meeting.

"John Charles was just incredible. He was remarkable. Centre half, centre forward... it didn't matter to him. I had the pleasure of meeting him and what a lovely man," said Paddy. 

You can listen to the full chat with Paddy Mulligan on the podcast player:


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