Football at the 1952 Summer Olympics

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Football at the 1952 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1952 Summer Olympics Finnish stamp.jpg
Tournament details
Host countryFinland
DatesJuly 15 – August 2
Teams25 (from 5 (plus Great Britain) confederations)
Venue(s)6 (in 5 host cities)
Final positions
Champions Hungary
Runners-up Yugoslavia
Third place Sweden
Fourth place Germany
Tournament statistics
Matches played26
Goals scored135 (5.19 per match)

The Football tournament at the 1952 Summer Olympics was won by Hungary.[1]

The games signalled the arrival (to Western Europeans at least) of the Hungarian national football team – the "Magical Magyars". Ferenc Puskás later said of the 1952 competition: "It was during the Olympics that our football first started to flow with real power."[2] It was during the Games that Stanley Rous of English Football Association invited the Hungarians to play a friendly at Wembley the following year.


Helsinki Kotka
Olympic Stadium Kotkan urheilukeskus
Capacity: 70,470 Capacity: 11,400
Suomi-Portugali lämmittely.jpg Arto Tolsa -areena 1.jpg
Helsinki Lahti
Töölön Pallokenttä Lahden kisapuisto
Capacity: 18,050 Capacity: 8,067
Bollis.jpg Lahden kisapuisto 11.7.2012b.jpg
Tampere Turku
Ratina Stadion Kupittaan jalkapallostadion
Capacity: 20,700 Capacity: 14,224
Ratina stadion.JPG Veritas Stadion 23.7.2015.jpg


The tournament[edit]

Miss Universe 1952 Armi Kuusela awarding the Hungarian team

Preliminary round highlights[edit]

The preliminary round saw Hungary record a narrow victory against Romania, whilst there was an 8–0 victory for Italy against the United States, and a 5–1 victory for Brazil against The Netherlands. Great Britain succumbed to Luxembourg 5–3, whilst Egypt defeated Chile 5–4. Yugoslavia were drawn against the Indians and won 10–1.

First round highlights[edit]

The first round saw Scandinavian countries join the competition; the hosts Finland were beaten 3–4 by Austria, whilst Sweden defeated neighbours Norway 4–1. The game of the round was between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union; Yugoslavia had been 5–1 ahead with 30 minutes of the match to go, only for the Soviet captain Bobrov to score a hat-trick and inspire his team to an eventual 5–5 draw. A replay resulted in a 3–1 victory for Yugoslavia; the Soviet side had been expected by Moscow to win the 1952 Games, and their defeat by Yugoslavia was not mentioned in the Soviet press until after Stalin's death the following year.


Sweden defeated Austria to ensure a Scandinavian presence in the semifinals. Germany surprisingly beat Brazil 4–2 after extra time, whilst Yugoslavia won comfortably in a 5–3 defeat of Denmark. Hungary demolished Turkey 7–1 to complete the four semifinalists.


In the first semifinal, Hungary saw off Sweden with a comprehensive 6–0 victory, whilst Yugoslavia beat Germany 3–1 to set up a Hungary-Yugoslavia final.

Bronze Medal[edit]

There was some consolation for the Scandinavian countries as Sweden defeated Germany 2–0 in the third place play-off to secure the bronze medal.

Gold and Silver Medals[edit]

Two goals from Puskás and Zoltán Czibor saw Hungary beat Yugoslavia and take the gold medal.[3]


Preliminary round results[edit]

Poland 2–1 France
Trampisz Goal 31'
Krasówka Goal 49'
Report Leblond Goal 30'
Attendance: 3.752
Referee: Karel van der Meer (NED)

Hungary 2–1 Romania
Czibor Goal 21'
Kocsis Goal 73'
Report Suru Goal 86'
Attendance: 10.588
Referee: Nikolay Latyshev (URS)

Yugoslavia 10–1 India
Vukas Goal 2'62'
Mitić Goal 14'43'
Zebec Goal 17'23'60'87'
Ognjanov Goal 52'67'
Report Ahmed Khan Goal 89'
Attendance: 10.000
Referee: John Best (USA)

Denmark 2–1 Greece
P.E. Petersen Goal 36'37' Report Emmanouilides Goal 85'
Attendance: 4.372
Referee: Waldemar Karni (FIN)

Soviet Union 2–1 (a.e.t.) Bulgaria
Bobrov Goal 100'
Trofimov Goal 104'
Report Kolev Goal 95'
Attendance: 10.637
Referee: Istvan Zsolt (HUN)

Italy 8–0 United States
Gimona Goal 3'51'75'
Pandolfini Goal 16'62'
Venturi Goal 27'
Fontanesi Goal 52'
Mariani Goal 87'
Attendance: 15.342
Referee: Arthur Ellis (GBR)

Brazil 5–1 Netherlands
Humberto Goal 25'
Larry Goal 33' (pen.)36'
Jansen Goal 81'
Vavá Goal 86'
Report Van Roessel Goal 15'
Attendance: 9.685
Referee: Giorgio Bernardi (ITA)

Luxembourg 5–3 (a.e.t.) Great Britain
Roller Goal 60'95'97'
Letsch Goal 91'
Gales Goal 102'
Report Robb Goal 12'
Slater Goal 101'
Lewis Goal 118'
Attendance: 3.656
Referee: Vincenzo Orlandini (ITA)

Egypt 5–4 Chile
Elfar Goal 27'
Mechaury Goal 43'
Eldizwi Goal 66'75'80'
Report Jara Goal 7'78'
Vial Goal 14'88'
Attendance: 5.354
Referee: John Nilsson (SWE)

First round results[edit]

Finland 3–4 Austria
Stolpe Goal 11'34'
Rytkönen Goal 36'
Report Gollnhuber Goal 8' (pen.)30'
Stumpf Goal 59'
Grohs Goal 79'
Attendance: 33.053
Referee: William Ling (GBR)

Brazil 2–1 Luxembourg
Larry Goal 42'
Humberto Goal 49'
Report Gales Goal 86'
Attendance: 6.776
Referee: Marijan Matancic (YUG)

Yugoslavia 5–5 (a.e.t.) Soviet Union
Mitić Goal 29'
Ognjanov Goal 33'
Zebec Goal 44'59'
Bobek Goal 46'
Report Bobrov Goal 53'77'87'
Trofimov Goal 75'
Petrov Goal 89'
Attendance: 17.000
Referee: Arthur Ellis (GBR)
Yugoslavia 3–1 Soviet Union
Mitić Goal 19'
Bobek Goal 29' (pen.)
Čajkovski Goal 54'
Report Bobrov Goal 6'
Attendance: 16.916
Referee: Arthur Ellis (GBR)

Germany 3–1 Egypt
Klug Goal 33'
Schröder Goal 38'61'
Report El-Dizwi Goal 64'
Attendance: 6.813
Referee: Giorgio Bernardi (ITA)

Denmark 2–0 Poland
Seebach Goal 17'
S. Nielsen Goal 69'
Attendance: 6.024
Referee: Folke Bålstad (NOR)

Sweden 4–1 Norway
Brodd Goal 23'35'
Rydell Goal 81'
Bengtsson Goal 89'
Report Sørensen Goal 83'
Attendance: 4.072
Referee: Johan Aksel Alho (FIN)

Hungary 3–0 Italy
Palotás Goal 11'20'
Kocsis Goal 83'
Attendance: 13.870
Referee: Karel van der Meer (NED)

Turkey 2–1 Netherlands Antilles
Tokaç Goal 9'
Bilge Goal 76' (pen.)
Report Briezen Goal 79'
Attendance: 3.696
Referee: Carl Jorgensen (DEN)

Quarterfinals results[edit]

Sweden 3–1 Austria
Sandberg Goal 80'
Brodd Goal 85'
Rydell Goal 87'
Report Grohs Goal 40'
Attendance: 12.564
Referee: Vincenzo Orlandini (ITA)

Germany 4–2 (a.e.t.) Brazil
Schröder Goal 75'96'
Klug Goal 89'
Zeitler Goal 120'
Report Larry Goal 12'
Zózimo Goal 74'
Attendance: 11.451
Referee: Arthur Ellis (GBR)

Hungary 7–1 Turkey
Palotás Goal 18'
Kocsis Goal 32'90'
Lantos Goal 48'
Puskás Goal 54'72'
Bozsik Goal 70'
Report Guder Goal 57'
Attendance: 4.743
Referee: Waldemar Karni (FIN)

Yugoslavia 5–3 Denmark
Čajkovski Goal 19'
Ognjanov Goal 35'
Vukas Goal 41'
Bobek Goal 78'
Zebec Goal 81'
Report Lundberg Goal 63'
Seebach Goal 85'
Hansen Goal 87'
Attendance: 11.456
Referee: Waldemar Karni (FIN)

Semifinals results[edit]

Hungary 6–0 Sweden
Puskás Goal 1'
Palotás Goal 16'
Lindh Goal 36' (o.g.)
Kocsis Goal 65'69'
Hidegkuti Goal 67'
Attendance: 30.471
Referee: William Ling (GBR)

Yugoslavia 3–1 Germany
Mitić Goal 3'24'
Čajkovski Goal 30'
Report Stollenwerk Goal 12'
Attendance: 25.821
Referee: Wolf Waldemar Karni (FIN)

Bronze Medal match result[edit]

Sweden 2–0 Germany
Rydell Goal 11'
Löfgren Goal 86'
Attendance: 28.470
Referee: Vincenzo Orlandini (ITA)

Gold Medal match result[edit]

Hungary 2–0 Yugoslavia
Puskás Goal 70'
Czibor Goal 88'
Attendance: 58.553
Referee: Arthur Ellis (GBR)


First Round Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
 Hungary 3
 Italy 0
 Hungary 7
 Turkey 1
 Turkey 2
 Netherlands Antilles 1
 Hungary 6
 Sweden 0
 Sweden 4
 Norway 1
 Sweden 3
 Austria 1
 Finland 3
 Austria 4
 Hungary 2
 Yugoslavia 0
 Denmark 2
 Poland 0
 Denmark 3
 Yugoslavia 5
 Yugoslavia 5 (3)
 Soviet Union 5 (1)
 Yugoslavia 3
 Germany 1
 Luxembourg 1
 Brazil 2
 Brazil 2
 Germany 4 (AET)
 Germany 3
 Egypt 1


Gold: Silver: Bronze:
Gyula Grosics
Jenő Dalnoki
Imre Kovács
László Budai
Ferenc Puskás
Zoltán Czibor
Lajos Csordás
Jenő Buzánszky
Gyula Lóránt
Mihály Lantos
József Bozsik
József Zakariás
Nándor Hidegkuti
Sándor Kocsis
Péter Palotás
Vladimir Beara
Branko Stanković
Tomislav Crnković
Zlatko Čajkovski
Ivan Horvat
Vujadin Boškov
Tihomir Ognjanov
Rajko Mitić
Bernard Vukas
Stjepan Bobek
Branko Zebec
Dušan Cvetković
Milorad Diskić
Ratko Čolić
Slavko Luštica
Zdravko Rajkov
Vladimir Čonč
Vladimir Firm
Karl Svensson
Lennart Samuelsson
Erik Nilsson
Holger Hansson
Bengt Gustavsson
Gösta Lindh
Sylve Bengtsson
Gösta Löfgren
Ingvar Rydell
Yngve Brodd
Gösta Sandberg
Olof Åhlund


7 goals
6 goals
5 goals
4 goals
3 goals
2 goals
1 goal
Own goal

Soviet Union vs Yugoslavia[edit]

The first meeting between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia is still the most famous one. On the political level, the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and the Yugoslav leader Josip Tito split in 1948, which resulted in Yugoslavia being excluded from the Communist Information Bureau. The origin of the conflict was Tito’s refusal to submit to Stalin’s interpretations and visions of politics and in process becoming a Soviet satellite state. Before the match, both Tito and Stalin sent telegrams to their national teams, which showed just how important it was for the two head of states. Yugoslavia led 5–1, but a Soviet comeback in the last 15 minutes resulted in a 5–5 draw. The match was replayed, Yugoslavia winning 3–1. The defeat to the archrivals hit Soviet football hard, and after just three games played in the season, CDKA Moscow, who had made up most of the USSR squad, was forced to withdraw from the league and later disbanded. Furthermore, Boris Arkadiev, who coached both USSR and CDKA, was stripped of his Merited Master of Sports of the USSR title.[4]


  1. ^ "Football at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Puskas on life and football". The Guardian. 19 November 2006. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  3. ^ Football at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games Archived March 14, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "USSR – Yugoslavia, the Story of Two Different Football Conceptions". Retrieved November 27, 2017.

External links[edit]