Puskás helped Hungary to the Olympic gold medal in 1952.
Budapest | Real Madrid will play a testimonial match August 14 to help pay for Alzheimer's treatment for former Madrid and Hungary forward Ferenc Puskás. The "Puskás All Stars" will provide the opposition, and Alfredo di Stéfano and Francisco Gento—with whom Puskás formed a holy trinity at Real in the late 1950s and '60s—are scheduled to attend. Puskás has been ill at least since 2000 (Duncan Welch, "The World Wishes Puskás Well," Budapest Sun, 26 October 2000). Now 78, he has been living in the capital's Kútvölgyi Hospital. Typical for a player of his prowess and physique, he had many nicknames: "Galloping Major," "Cañoncito Pum" (Little Cannon Bang) and, in Hungarian, "Öcsi," for Little Brother. Following the Soviet suppression of 1956, Puskás played his football abroad and remained itinerant as a manager, coaching the Vancouver Royals of the North American Soccer League, Panathanaikos and AEK in Athens, and Colo Colo in Chile.
His career started at Budapest's Kispesti Athletikai Club, renamed Honvéd with its military affiliation in 1948. According to Honvéd FC's own figures, 92 of its players, including Puskás, have represented the national team. Yet in January of this year it launched a plea on its website announcing its imminent demise: "For several years now, the Hungarian government has been deliberately trying to ruin this club," read the press release, titled "Honved in Extreme Peril!"
The change of regime in Hungary is still not complete: the chaotic financial and economic environment keeps investors away, the majority of football clubs and stadiums are proprieted [sic] by local governments or, in the case of stadiums of the capital, are state property."
No further information on the club's plight has been forthcoming.
Update: On revelations that Real Madrid left town with the lion's share of the cash following the testimonial match for Puskás, multiple parties stepped into the breach with promises of relief. FIFA, Real Madrid, match organizers and a Hungarian casino owner—by purchasing Puskás memorabilia that had been tagged for public auction—stepped in to secure Puskás's long-term finances. Puskás's wife, Erzsebet, now may have sufficient funds to establish a Puskás medical foundation (Gareth A. Davies, "Puskas' Financial Future Secured," Daily Telegraph, 1 November 2005).