László Kubala

László Kubala Stecz[1] (10 June 1927 – 17 May 2002), also referred to as Ladislav Kubala (in Slovak) or Ladislao Kubala (in Spanish), was a professional footballer, regarded as one of the best players in history; he is considered a symbol of Barcelona.[2] He played as a forward for, among other clubs, Ferencváros, Slovan Bratislava, Barcelona, and Espanyol. A Hungarian national by birth, he also held Czechoslovak and Spanish citizenship, and played for the national teams of all three countries.[3][4][5]

Kubala was noted for his quick and skilful dribbling, composed and powerful finishing, and accuracy from free kicks. During the 1950s, he was a leading member of the successful Barcelona team, scoring 280 goals in 345 appearances. During the club's 1999 centenary celebrations, a fan's poll declared Kubala the best player ever to play for the Spanish club. After retiring as a player, he had two spells as coach of Barcelona and also coached both Spain's senior national team and Olympic team.[6][7]

László Kubala
Kubala with FC Barcelona in 1953
Personal information
Full name László Kubala Stecz[1]
Date of birth 10 June 1927
Place of birth Budapest, Hungary
Date of death 17 May 2002 (aged 74)
Place of death Barcelona, Spain
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1939–1943 Ganz TE
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1944 Ganz TE 9 (2)
1945–1946 Ferencváros 49 (27)
1946–1948 Slovan Bratislava 33 (14)
1948–1949 Vasas 20 (10)
1949–1950 Pro Patria 16 (9)
1950 Hungária 6 (5)
1951–1961 Barcelona 219 (152)
1963–1965 RCD Espanyol 29 (7)
1966–1967 Zürich 12 (7)
1967 Toronto Falcons 19 (5)
Total 379 (217)
National team
1946–1947 Czechoslovakia 6 (4)
1948 Hungary 3 (0)
1953–1961 Spain 19 (11)
1953 Europe XI 1 (2)
1954–1963 Catalonia 4 (4)
1965 Europe XI 1 (1)
Teams managed
1961–1963 Barcelona
1963–1966 Espanyol
1966–1967 Zürich
1968 Toronto Falcons
1968–1969 Córdoba
1969–1980 Spain
1980 Barcelona
1982–1986 Al-Hilal
1986 Murcia
1987–1988 Málaga
1988–1989 Elche
1992 Spain Olympic
1995 Paraguay
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Early life and career

Childhood and youth

Kubala was born in Budapest, as were his parents, who came from mixed backgrounds. His mother, Anna Stecz, a factory worker, had Polish, Slovak and Hungarian roots, while his father, Pál Kubala Kurjas, a bricklayer, belonged to the Slovak minority of Hungary. Kubala described himself as a "cosmopolitan". He began his career as a junior player with Ganz TE, a factory team that played in the Hungarian third division. At the age of 11 he was playing in teams with other players who were three to five years older.[8] At the age of 18 he signed for Ferencvárosi TC where he was a teammate of Sándor Kocsis. In 1946 he moved to Czechoslovakia, allegedly to avoid military service, and joined ŠK Slovan Bratislava. In 1947 Kubala married Anna Viola Daučík, the daughter of the Czechoslovakian national coach, Ferdinand Daučík. In 1948 he returned to Hungary, again to allegedly avoid military service, and joined Vasas SC.


In January 1949, as Hungary became a socialist state, Kubala fled the country in the back of a truck. Initially he arrived in the United States zone of Allied-occupied Austria and then moved on to Italy, where he played briefly for Pro Patria. In May 1949 he also agreed to play for Torino in a testimonial against S.L. Benfica but pulled out after his son became ill. On the way back from Lisbon the plane carrying the Torino team crashed into the Superga hills, killing all 31 people on board.

Meanwhile, the Hungarian Football Federation accused him of breach of contract, leaving the country without permission and failure to do military service. FIFA backed them and imposed a one-year international ban. In January 1950 Kubala, with Ferdinand Daučík as coach, formed his own team, Hungaria, which was made up of fellow refugees fleeing Eastern Europe. In the summer of 1950 the team arrived in Spain to play a series of friendlies against a Madrid XI, a Spain XI and RCD Espanyol.

During these games, Kubala was spotted by both Real Madrid and Josep Samitier, then chief scout at FC Barcelona. Kubala was offered a contract by Real but was persuaded by Samitier to sign for FC Barcelona. It has been suggested that Samitier used his connections within the government of Franco to help arrange the transfer. In the midst of the Cold War, Kubala's escape to the West was used as propaganda by Franco's government and was made into a successful film The Stars Search for Peace which saw Kubala and Samitier playing themselves.[9][10]

FC Barcelona

Kubala signed for FC Barcelona on 15 June 1950 and as part of the deal Ferdinand Daučík also became the FC Barcelona coach. However the ban imposed on Kubala was still in place and he did not make his La Liga debut until 1951. However, he was permitted to play friendlies and in two consecutive games against Frankfurter S.V., which FC Barcelona won 4–1 and 10–4, he scored six goals and set-up another five. He also played in the Copa del Generalísimo and helped the club win the trophy in 1951.

In his first La Liga season, 1951–52, Kubala scored 26 goals in 19 games. This included 7 goals in a 9–0 win over Sporting de Gijón, 5 against Celta de Vigo and hat-tricks against Sevilla and Racing de Santander. His 7 goals against Sporting de Gijón remain the record for most goals scored in a single match in La Liga. He also scored in the Copa final as FC Barcelona beat Valencia CF 4–2. This season proved to be one of the clubs most successful. Coach Daucik and Kubala, together with players like Emilio Aldecoa, Velasco, Joan Segarra and Ramallets, inspired the team to win five trophies including La Liga, the Copa del Generalisimo, the Latin Cup and the Copa Eva Duarte. Kubala missed much of the 1952–53 season after contracting tuberculosis, which threatened to end his playing career. However, he made a miraculous recovery and returned to help FC Barcelona retain both La Liga and the Copa del Generalísimo. He also scored again in the Copa final win, a 2–1 win over Athletic Bilbao. During his time with Barcelona he scored a total of 14 hat-tricks.

A statue of Kubala in the grounds of the Camp Nou

In 1958 Kubala persuaded two fellow Hungarian refugees, Sándor Kocsis and Zoltán Czibor to join him at FC Barcelona and together with a young Luis Suárez and Evaristo, they formed the nucleus of the team that won a La Liga/ Copa del Generalísimo double in 1959 and a La Liga /Fairs Cup double in 1960. However Kubala found himself out of favour with coach Helenio Herrera and lost his place in the team. As a result, he missed the 1960 European Cup semi-final against Real Madrid which FC Barcelona lost 6–2 on aggregate. The result saw Herrera lose his job and Kubala restored to the team. In the 1961 European Cup, FC Barcelona became the first club to beat Real Madrid in the competition. Inspired by Kubala they won 4–3 on aggregate and subsequently reached the final where they lost to Benfica 3–2. Kubala briefly retired as a player in 1961 and initially became a youth coach at FC Barcelona before becoming coach of the senior team for the 1962–63 season. However, after losing a Fairs Cup game to Red Star Belgrade he was dismissed.

International career

Kubala played for three international teams – Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Spain. While playing with ŠK Slovan Bratislava, he played 6 times and scored 4 goals for Czechoslovakia between 1946 and 1947. After returning to Budapest in 1948, he played 3 games for Hungary but failed to score. After adopting Spanish nationality he played 19 times and scored 11 goals for Spain between 1953 and 1961, being one of a small group to have played for the country having been born elsewhere. The highlight of his international career was a hat-trick for Spain against Turkey in 3–0 win in November 1957.[11][12] Despite playing for three countries, Kubala never played in the finals of a major international tournament. He was included in the Spain squad for the 1962 World Cup but, along with Alfredo Di Stéfano, he did not play due to injury.

As well as playing for three international teams, Kubala also played for both a Europe XI and the Catalan XI. On 21 October 1953, England played a Europe XI at Wembley Stadium to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Football Association and Kubala scored twice in the 4–4 draw. He also played 4 games and scored 4 times for the Catalan XI. On 26 January 1955 in a game against Bologna at Les Corts, he was joined by guest player Alfredo Di Stéfano. The Catalan XI won 6–2 with two goals from Kubala and one from Di Stéfano. His last game for the Catalan XI was his own testimonial on 4 March 1993 at the Montjuïc Stadium against an International XI. He played the opening ten minutes of the game at age 65.

Coaching career

After leaving FC Barcelona, Kubala accepted a contract as a player/coach with RCD Espanyol and teamed up with Alfredo Di Stéfano. During his time at RCD Espanyol he gave a La Liga debut to his son, Branko. In 1966 he joined FC Zürich, again as player/coach, and made his last appearance in a European Cup game against the competitions eventual winners, Celtic. In 1967 Kubala went to Canada, where at Toronto Falcons he enjoyed something of family reunion with his father-in-law, Ferdinand Daučík, his brother-in-law, Yanko Daucik and his son Branko. He also appeared in 19 matches for Toronto, scoring 5 times.[13]

By the end of 1968 he had returned to La Liga, and after a brief spell at Córdoba CF, he became coach of Spain. Kubala ended the team's 11-year absence from the World Cup in when he guided the team to the 1978 World Cup, but he could not steer them through the first-round group stage. He also managed them at Euro 80, where they again went out in the first round.

In 1980, he returned to FC Barcelona as a manager for a second short spell before moving to Saudi Arabia where he managed Al-Hilal. He subsequently managed three other La Liga clubs, including CD Málaga whom he guided to the Segunda División title in 1988. His last coaching position was with Paraguay in 1995.[14][15]



CF Barcelona


CD Málaga



  1. ^ a b Gaarskjær, Jesper (2010). Barça: Historien om FC Barcelona. København: Gyldendal. p. 69. ISBN 978-87-02-08764-2.
  2. ^ https://sport.aktuality.sk/c/304622/ladislavovi-kubalovi-sa-v-barcelone-dostane-velkej-pocty/
  3. ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2016/12/02/barcelona-greatest-ever-xi/laszlo-kubala/
  4. ^ https://www.sportskeeda.com/football/laszlo-kubala-not-lionel-messi-barcelona-greatest-all-time
  5. ^ http://thesefootballtimes.co/2017/02/02/the-great-refugee-how-laszlo-kubala-became-a-barcelona-legend/
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ "Ladislav Kubala". Rsssf.com. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  9. ^ Morbo: The Story of Spanish Football (2003), Phil Ball
  10. ^ Barça: A People’s Passion (1998), Jimmy Burns
  11. ^ "Ladislao Kubala Stecz - Goals in International Matches". Rsssf.com. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  12. ^ [3]
  13. ^ "NASL". Nasljerseys.com. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  14. ^ [4]
  15. ^ [5]
1951 Copa del Generalísimo

The 1951 Copa del Generalísimo was the 49th staging of the Copa del Rey, the Spanish football cup competition.

The competition began on 29 April 1951 and concluded on 27 May 1951 with the final. FC Barcelona defeated Real Sociedad by 3–0 in the final.

1951 Copa del Generalísimo Final

The Copa del Generalísimo 1951 Final was the 49th final of the King's Cup. The final was played at Estadio Chamartín in Madrid, on 27 May 1951, being won by CF Barcelona, who beat Real Sociedad de Fútbol 3–0.

1953 Copa del Generalísimo Final

The Copa del Generalísimo 1953 Final was the 51st final of the King's Cup. The final was played at Estadio Chamartín in Madrid, on 21 June 1953, being won by CF Barcelona, who beat Atlético de Bilbao 2-1.

1953–54 La Liga

The 1953–54 La Liga was the 23rd season since its establishment. Real Madrid conquered their third title, 21 years after their last one.

1957 Ballon d'Or

The 1957 Ballon d'Or, given to the best football player in Europe as judged by a panel of sports journalists from UEFA member countries, was awarded to Alfredo Di Stéfano on 17 December 1957.

1957 Copa del Generalísimo Final

The Copa del Generalísimo 1957 Final was the 55th final of the King's Cup. The final was played at Montjuic in Barcelona, on 16 June 1957, being won by CF Barcelona, who beat RCD Español 1-0.

1961 European Cup Final

The 1961 European Cup Final was held at the Wankdorf Stadium, Bern on 31 May 1961, and saw Benfica play against Barcelona. This was the first final not to include Real Madrid, who had won the previous five finals. Benfica lifted the trophy for the first time, beating Barcelona 3–2.

Benfica midfielder Mario Coluna broke his nose in the eighth minute of the match; not wanting to risk further damage, when Domiciano Cavém put over a cross in the 55th minute, Coluna hung back outside the penalty area. The ball was cleared directly to him and he volleyed it home for Benfica's third goal of the match.

Antonio Benítez

Antonio Benítez Fernández (2 June 1951 – 19 February 2014) was a Spanish footballer who played as a left back.

Catalonia national football team

The Catalonia national football team (Catalan: Selecció de futbol de Catalunya Spanish: Selección de fútbol de Cataluña) is the official football team of the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia. It is organised by the Catalan Football Federation. The team has been referred to by various names including Selecció Catalana, Selecció de Barcelona and the Catalan XI.

Catalonia is not affiliated with either FIFA or UEFA and is therefore not allowed to participate in either the FIFA World Cup or the UEFA European Championship. Other than in certain cases where other nationalities are involved, Catalan players are full Spanish citizens who are eligible to play for Spain, and often do.

Since 1904, the team has played nearly 200 games against various national, regional and club teams. International friendly games have been played more regularly since 1997. Among the teams they have played are Nigeria, Brazil and Argentina.

FC Barcelona

Futbol Club Barcelona (Catalan pronunciation: [fubˈbɔl ˈklub bəɾsəˈlonə] (listen)), commonly referred to as Barcelona and colloquially known as Barça ([ˈbaɾsə]), is a Spanish professional football club based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

Founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, English and Catalan footballers led by Joan Gamper, the club has become a symbol of Catalan culture and Catalanism, hence the motto "Més que un club" ("More than a club"). Unlike many other football clubs, the supporters own and operate Barcelona. It is the fourth-most valuable sports team in the world, worth $4.06 billion, and the world's second-richest football club in terms of revenue, with an annual turnover of €690.4 million. The official Barcelona anthem is the "Cant del Barça", written by Jaume Picas and Josep Maria Espinàs.Domestically, Barcelona has won 25 La Liga, 30 Copa del Rey, 13 Supercopa de España, 3 Copa Eva Duarte, and 2 Copa de la Liga trophies, as well as being the record holder for the latter four competitions. In international club football, Barcelona has won 20 European and World titles: 5 UEFA Champions League titles, a record 4 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, a joint record 5 UEFA Super Cup, a record 3 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, and a joint record 3 FIFA Club World Cup. Barcelona was ranked first in the International Federation of Football History & Statistics Club World Ranking for 1997, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2015 and currently occupies the second position on the UEFA club rankings. The club has a long-standing rivalry with Real Madrid; matches between the two teams are referred to as El Clásico.

Barcelona is one of the most widely supported teams in the world, and the club has one of the largest social media following in the world among sports teams. Barcelona players have won a record number of Ballon d'Or awards (11), with recipients including Johan Cruyff, as well as a record number of FIFA World Player of the Year awards (7), with winners including Ronaldo, Romário, Ronaldinho, and Rivaldo. In 2010, three players who came through the club's youth academy (Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta, and Xavi) were chosen as the three best players in the world in the FIFA Ballon d'Or awards, an unprecedented feat for players from the same football school.

Barcelona is one of three founding members of the Primera División that have never been relegated from the top division since its inception in 1929, along with Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid. In 2009, Barcelona became the first Spanish club to win the continental treble consisting of La Liga, Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Champions League, and also became the first Spanish football club to win six out of six competitions in a single year, by also winning the Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup. In 2011, the club became European champions again and won five trophies. This Barcelona team, which won 14 trophies in just 4 years under Pep Guardiola, is considered by some in the sport to be the greatest team of all time. By winning their fifth Champions League trophy on 6 June 2015, Barcelona became the first European club in history to achieve the continental treble twice. The highest paid sports team in the world, in November 2018 Barcelona became the first sports team with average first-team pay in excess of £10m ($13.8m) per year.


Kubala is a surname. People with the surname include:

Anton Kubala (born 1981), Slovak footballer

Branko Kubala (1949-2018), Spanish footballer

Filip Kubala (born 1999), Czech footballer

László Kubala (1927-2002), footballer and manager

Michal Kubala (born 1980), Slovak footballer

Milan Kubala, Czech Paralympic athlete

Přemysl Kubala (born 1973), Czech volleyball player

Ray Kubala (born 1942), American football player

List of Al-Hilal FC managers

Since its foundation, Al-Hilal has had 64 managers. The first was Hasan Sultan and the current (as of January 2019) is Zoran Mamić.

List of La Liga top scorers

La Liga's all-time top goalscorer is Lionel Messi, who also holds the record for most goals scored in a season with 50 goals in 2011-12. Athletic Bilbao's Telmo Zarra, who was the competition's all-time top scorer until 2014, was top scorer in six seasons between 1945 and 1953. Four other players—Lionel Messi, Real Madrid's Alfredo Di Stéfano, Quini of Sporting de Gijón and Barcelona, and Hugo Sánchez of Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid—each finished as top scorer in five seasons. Real time analysis.

List of Segunda División winning managers

This is a list of Segunda División winning football managers.

List of players with the most goals in an association football game

This is a list of players with the most goals in an association football game. The list only includes players who have scored the most multiple goals in first class or fully professional matches for country or club.

The current world record for an international is held by Archie Thompson, who scored 13 goals against American Samoa in Australia's 31–0 victory during the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification. In the same match, David Zdrilic scored 8 goals.

In the most prolific European football leagues, the Premier League and the Football League First Division before it, La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga, the top scorers per game have much lower tallies, seven in England and Spain and six in Italy and Germany. The last player in these leagues to score seven goals in a match was László Kubala in 1952 for FC Barcelona.

Poles in Spain

Polish-Spaniards or Poles in Spain are citizens and/or residents of Spain whose ethnic origins lie fully or partially in Poland.

Spain national football team records and statistics

The following details the Spain national football team records.

Toronto Falcons

This article is about the soccer team from the 1960s; for the professional hockey team from the 1920s, see Toronto Ravinas. For the soccer team that competed in the Canadian National Soccer League see Toronto Falcons.The Toronto Falcons were a soccer team based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They played only two years, 1967 in the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) and 1968 in the North American Soccer League (NASL). Their home field was Varsity Stadium.

During the 1967 season, while still in the NPSL, the Falcons drew an average of 3,792 people per game. Toronto's record for the 1967 season was a bearable 10-5-17. The following season, the NPSL merged with the United Soccer Association to form the NASL. Their intercity rival, Toronto City, of USL folded in the process after only one year.In the NASL, with the legendary László Kubala as their coach, the Falcons played well collecting a 13-6-13 record, but financial troubles caused the club (along with 11 others) to fold. Their average attendance for the 1968 season was 5,336 people per game. The NASL would return to Toronto in 1971 in the form of the Toronto Metros.

Zarra Trophy

The Zarra Trophy is a trophy awarded annually by the Spanish sports daily Marca to the Spanish domestic player with the highest goal total in La Liga. It is named after the former Athletic Bilbao striker Telmo Zarra.

It was awarded for the first time in 2006 to David Villa of Valencia.

Spain squads
László Kubala – Managerial positions

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