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Game 58: Deàk Ferenc tèr, Budapest , Hungary

So me and Mickey had a walk into the centre of Budapest, where we found a square of shallow water where the locals and tourists were sat dangling their feet in the lovely cooling pool. Off came the socks and shoes and there we sat like two blokes off Last of the Summer Wine, people watching and laughing at the young poseurs all around and how we used to be just like them.

After an hour or so we tried to have a game by the water . Rory and Mickey from Holland were willing players but after a minute the ball bounced off my knee, flew over a balcony and landed below in someone’s dinner. Security were quick on the scene and the game was over almost before it started.

Mickey and I moved on to Deàk Ferenc tèr, a grassy area nearby with the huge Budapest eye circling around in the background. Plonking the jumpers down , we asked a few people on the benches nearby to join us .

Within 10 minutes , Hungarians Adrienn Horuàth (Doctor), Simon Szabó (Lawyer), Gergo Jòuàs (a young drifter) and Ferenc Vàrallyai (a homeless guy asking around for money in the park) joined us for a game .

Simon, Ferenc and myself took on the others. Mickey was playing well for the opposition, with his strong tacking and blocks. Adrienn looked a bit worried and tentative in the nets for Mickey’s team, but had a right go nonetheless . Completing their line-up was young Gergo. He was everywhere . Gergo absolutely loved the game and it was his appetite for the ball that ignited the games competitive edge . He played in skins and had “Carpe Diem” tattooed across his back . I asked him what this meant to him and he said Marijuana and music.

Simon for us struck first. For a chap who said he hadn’t played much football he had great skill and vision , picking a high ball out of the air with ease before slotting it in the corner. He went on to make it 3-0 to us before Gergo began the fight back , scoring two quick goals past the laughing Ferenc in our nets.

The game had a good ebb and flow to it and the tension was turned up a notch when Gergo made it 3-3. Simon poked us back in the lead but Mickey made it 4-4. Next goals the winner ! Simon collected the ball on the right and played a precise through ball.. I couldn’t miss. I’d actually scored my first winning goal of the whole trip , at the 58th attempt .

Brilliant game , played in a great spirit with a real diverse bunch of folk . Gianni, an Italian bloke watching on , filmed the game for us . Mickey and I said our goodbyes and went off exploring, but not before Ferenc has tapped us up for a few bob.

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