From Uvil Zajmi
Memorie.al/ The conversation with Sulejman Maliqat, the famous former goalkeeper of “Partizan” and the National team of the 50s-60s, are very special. Having just turned 92 (August 2), he retains an amazing freshness of age. He understands when he is talking on the cell phone, but more so when you are near him. Like a Hollywood actor, one of those famous ones, when you see him, he communicates, very aesthetic, same Maliqati as before. A brilliant memory, correctness, smiling, enjoys life with the good things and the misfortunes it has brought. “I want to live actively in the years that God has forgiven me and is giving me”, he says. Since the match with Hungary where we lost 12 – 0, several decades have passed and from that generation, from that constellation, many of the protagonists have unfortunately passed away. Today, after 70 years, Sul Maliqati returns to that confrontation with details from the trip, the escape of Vathi and Kavaja, and then the match. “I replaced Vogli in the second half. I was a young man; I came from Kavaja and directly against Pushkash. That tournament started not well, right from the gathering”, he recalls.
Mr. Maliqati, what do you remember from that tournament?
Before the departure, in the gathering, another team was considered to go, but due to “spots” in the biography, Pal Mirashi, Vasfi Biçaku and Teliti did not come. There was interference; players who were party members were taken.
You were in the Bosphorus, how did Bule Vathi and Bahri Kavaja escape?
We left with a Soviet ship that had brought grain. Near the Bosphorus, we were standing on board, when suddenly Bulja and Bahri jumped into the water. We saw them, they waved to us: “jump, come”, but none of us dared.
Let’s go to the match in Budapest, what happened there?
Before that, we lost 3-0 to Czechoslovakia in Prague. In Budapest, we did two practice sessions. I remember a wooden stadium, not big, and in the first 20 minutes we played well, the fact showed that we did not concede a goal. The fans booed the Hungarians.
You replaced Qemal Vogli, why?
I was activated in the second half because Qemali was injured. I conceded four goals, two of them from Pushkash. On one occasion I jumped at his feet, grabbed the ball.
You were very young, with no experience, right?
I was 23 years old, a young man; I came from Kavaje and directly towards the great Hungary, to Budapest and Pushkas. I entered with fear. You were afraid to see them and not to play against them.
Have you also been criticized by the “Popular Sport” newspaper?
Yes, I was criticized, because I did not show them an international caliber goalkeeper, as was written in the newspaper. Like Qemali and I, we faced an extraordinary team.
How could you handle Pushkash?
The newspaper didn’t even spare Loro Boric…! Coach Jakova was criticized for putting Loro back in defense at the end of the game, so that we wouldn’t concede any more goals. States and was in shape, a role he had also practiced in Italy. I remember that among us, Boriçi was the best. The Hungarians used to say: “We have Borici, we can beat the world”.
Poor appearance, how do you judge it after all these years?
We were tired, exhausted. On long train journeys, we stayed in third class, the last category of carriages. Then the shock that continued in us after the escape of Bule Vathi and Bahri Kavaja. Let’s not forget it was Hungary, and conceding 5-6 goals from them was not a shame.
Mr. Maliqati, you and Sabri Peqini are the remaining “heroes” from Hungary of 70 years ago?
All my friends have passed away; the last one was Miço Papadhopulli from Partizan.
The deepest defeat of the Albanian National Team in its entire history
It was and remains the deepest loss of the National Team in its history. Hungary-Albania 12-0, September 1950, 70 years ago. Even after that meeting there is a curiosity: never again a confrontation with Hungary, neither friendly nor official for more than half a century, until October 2008, Hungary-Albania 2-0 (Group I – World Cup Eliminators – 2010) .
Even with clubs, only in the Champions League, 2004-2005, first round, “Tirana” – “Ferencvarosh” 2-3 / 1-0 in Budapest, never before. Going back to the middle of the last century, what was that match that result, that deep loss with “Under time”? Who were the players, how did the press convey the defeat, the heavy criticism of coach Jakova, Vogli, Jarec, Gjinali, without even sparing Boric.
CHRONO-DEEP LOSSES OF THE ALBANIAN NATIONALITY
There are some of these, which belong to the last century. The first is the one with Hungary, a friendly that records the deepest defeat in the history of the National Team: September 24, 1950, Budapest, Hungary-Albania 12-0. Another defeat is the one against Spain in Seville on December 19, 1990 (Eliminaries of the European Championship, Spain-Albania 9-0.
A decade ago, Dortmund November 18, 1981, EKB, Federal Republic of Germany – Albania 8-0; then April 8, 1967, Dortmund, EKE, German RF – Albania 6-0 and friendly October 5, 1950, Romania-Albania 6-0; we come in 1980, November 15, Vienna, EKB, Austria-Albania 5-0; 1987, Seville, EKE, November 18, Spain-Albania 5-0, and “Wembley”, London EKB, April 26, 1989, England Albania 5-0.
Year 1950: Final for the title “DINAMO” – “PARTIZANI” AND INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGES
May 1, 1950 at the “Qemal Stafa” Stadium, where Enver Hoxha also attends. After the traditional demonstration, the Albania-Poland 0-0 friendly takes place.
ALBANIA: Bonati, Spahiu (Vathi), B. Boriçi, Dibra, Shaqiri, Kavaja, Parpani, Gjinali, L. Boriçi, Biçaku, Mirashi.
Referee: G. Danko (Hungary)
ON JUNE 4 ANOTHER FRIENDLY, ALBANIA-BULGARIA 2-1.
Goals: L. Boriçi 21′, Biçaku 26’/ Spasov 76.
Albania: Bonati, Dibra, Llambi, Spahiu, Peqini, Vathi, Teliti, Kavaja, L. Boriçi, Biçaku, Karanxha (Lacja). Coach: L. Jakova Referee: Vicev (Czech Republic)
For the championship title:
“The most important and decisive match, “Partizani” – “Dinamo”, the two candidates leading the classification table”, – announces “Sporti Popullor”.
July 10, the final: “Dinamo” – “Partizani” 2-1, for the first time the blue champions.
FRIENDLY MEETINGS WITH HUNGARY: FROM THE FIRST 3-0…
There are three meetings with Hungary, all in the span of a few years and in the last century. First: August 20, 1947, in Budapest, Hungary-Albania 3-0:
Albania: Pozeli, Dibra, Spahiu, Fagu, LLambi, Shaqiri, Parapani, Biçaku, Boriçi, Teliti Mirashi. A match without history, played for the Balkan Championship. Then, two friendlies in a row in Tirana, between the representatives of the two capitals. April 11, 1948, in “Qemal Stafa”, Tirana representative – Budapest representative 1-2 (0-1).
TIRANA: Pozeli, Dibra, Hajdari (Fakja), Llambi, Fagu, Spahiu, Parapani, Boriçi, Spahiu, Kavaja, Mirashi. Coach: L. Jakova REFEREE: R. Kuka
“EXCELLENT GAME IN THE FIRST MATCH” WRITTEN “SPORTI POPULAR”
Chronicle: In the 17th minute, the representative team of Budapest scores its first goal with a strong shot by Bihari, which shakes the net passing just under the top post of the goal.
In the 28th minute, a strict shot by Kavaja hits Tohi’s crossbar, at a moment when he could not stop the ball from entering the net in any way. The ball returns to the field and in a tangle in front of the friendly goal, Lahorz finally clears the danger. In the 52′, Budapest goes down to Pozel’s goal and Hraski scores the second goal.
In the 58th minute, Biçak shakes the net with a fairly measured shot. From the friendly team, Hraski, Suhay, Lahorz and Toth stood out, from the Tirana team, especially Llambi, Parapani, Biçaku and Spahiu”. From the Hungarian team, 4 players are from Ujpest, four from MTK, Ferencvarosh 2 and Vashash 1 footballer.
The second, after two days, on April 13, at “Qemal Stafa”: P. Tirana – P. Budapest 3-1 (2-0). “Big win in the second match” is the headline of the newspaper: Albania: Pozelin, Dibra, Spahiu, Llambi, Fagu, Fakje, Parapani, Kavaja, L. Boric, Biçak and Mirashi.
Referee: R. Kuka
Chronicle: “7th minute, penalty, Fagu shoots and goal; 53′ Boriçi scores the second goal with a safe shot; 77′, Hrastki shoots from a long distance, the ball hits the crossbar and stops in the net. In the 87th minute, Boriçi, after a long series of passes with his teammates, discovers the third goal.
A minute later he hits the crossbar. The match ends with the sensational victory of our team, against the famous team of Budapest in the midst of an unbridled enthusiasm of the public”. To come to the great goalless draw in May 1950.
TO THE 0-0 DRAW IN TIRANA, WHERE ENVER HOXHA ALSO ASSISTED
In Tirana, for that meeting, the Hungarian team activated not the main footballers of the National Team. Among them, Pushkash, the main player who does not come. Sunday, May 23, 1950, the newspaper “Sporti” writes: “Balkan and Central European Championship: “Albania-Hungary 0-0. Assists General-Colonel Enver Hoxha, etc.
ALBANIA: Pozeli, Dibra, Spahiu, Llambi, Fagu, Vathi, Parapani, Kavaja, L. Boriçi, Biçaku, Mirashi. Coach: Adem Karapici
HUNGARY: Toth, Kovac II, Konya, Horvat, Kispeter, Zakariash, Iliovski, Kubala, Silagi, Kreshel, Pinter. Coach: Gunar Tibor
REFEREE: L. Lemešić (Yugoslavia)
Chronicle: Since 10 o’clock, countless masses of people were constantly directed from the stadium so that long before the match, nearly 40,000 spectators filled its stands. A large number of sports fans had come from different cities of our country to see this important match”.
A match which is associated with predictions, that according to Sport, out of 957 such, the true result was found only by two predictors: Lumtura Mahmuda and the physical culture instructor at the 7-year school, “Lidhja e Prizren”, Elez Maha. The prediction commission, after drawing lots for the winners, donated the collection of the “Sporti” newspaper bound with fabric to L. Mahmuda.
Ranking: Albania, Poland, Hungary 3 points in 2 games; Bulgaria 1 point in 1 match; Romania 0 points in 1 game, and Czechoslovakia 0 in 2 games. Yugoslavia has not played a match yet.
INVITATION FOR THE TRIANGULAR FRIENDLY TOUR AND BULE VATHIT AND BAHRI KAVAJA ESCAPE
It was a friendly tour, within the framework of the cooperation between the friendship countries of the eastern camp, of the people’s democracy with the participation of Hungary-Czechoslovakia and the third invited Albania. In “Sporti Popullor”, along with the congratulations “Good journey and victory”, we are informed that the National team consists of: Q. Vogli, S. Maliqati, M. Dibra, B. Boriçi, S. Llambi, Xh. Shaqari, S. Peqini, B. Kavaja, S. Vathi, R. Lacej, A. Parapani, Z. Gjinali, L. Boriçi, M. Karanxha, H. Bakalli, S. Jareci and R. Spahiu.
The team is accompanied by the football inspector at the Committee of Physical Culture and Sports of the Republic, Comrade Andon Mazreku, journalist Anastas Zisi, and Comrade Stavri Xhara is in charge. As can be seen, the group consists only of players from the block “Dinamo” – “Partizani”, protagonists in those years, two clubs without rivals. The coach is Ludovik Jakova. The boat trip has an unusual event. Crossing the Bosphorus, two “Dinamo” players, Bule Vathi and Bahri Kavaja, jump from the ship into the water and leave. A sensational escape for the time, which deeply shocked the team, but also the sports environment, not only Albanian.
Hungary – Albania 12-0 (5-0)!
Based on the calendar, this meeting was preceded by the challenge of Prague, September 17. Czechoslovakia-Albania, 3-0 (1-0).
GOALS: Zdarsky 4′, Cejp 73′, Hlavacek 88′
ALBANIA: Vogli, Dibra, B. Boriçi, Shaqiri, Llambi, Spahiu, Parapani, Z. Gjinali, L. Boriçi, Jareci, Bakalli.
Referee: Posa (Hungary) After a week in Budapest, “Sporti”, in the article with the title in capital letters “Hungary – Albania 12-0” writes: “On September 24, in the “Dolca” stadium of the Hungarian capital, in the presence of 40,000 spectators, the international football match between representatives of the Republic of Albania and the Republic of Hungary took place.
GOALS: Budai 33′ 52′ 60′ 65′, Kocis 42′, 53′, Pushkash 18′ 36′ 75′ 82′ Palotash 39′ 51′
R.P. HUNGARY: Bročič (Xholdar), Palldič, Berezhaj, Kovač I, Kovač II, Goxhai, Budaj Takič, Palotaj, Pushkash, Bulboc (Kocic). Coach: G. Sebas
RP ALBANIA: Vogli (Maliqati), Dibra, Laçej, B. Boriçi, Shaqiri, Spahiu, Llambi, Parapani, Gjinali, L. Boriçi, Jareci, Bakalli. Trainer: L. Jakova
As can be seen from the first match of May, in “Qemal Stafa”, Pozeli, B. Fagu, Biçaku and Mirashi who are not traveling and the fugitives B. Vathi and B. Kavaja are not playing for Albania. B. Boriçi, Gjinali return to the lineup. While the Hungarians have the “Top” formation of the moment. The newspaper continues: “Based on the broadcast in the Albanian language made by Budapest radio, it turns out that the international match Albania-Hungary took place as follows:
First half: The first 5 minutes, the game appears balanced with downs and against downs from both sides. In the 8th minute, Bakalli, who is alone with the goalkeeper, gets confused and goes outside. In the 18′, Bakalli from a distance of 24 meters shoots straight at the goal, but the ball changes direction and goes out. In the 25′, the Hungarians with a beautiful descent attack the goal of Vogli. Our defense repulsed this goal, but before two minutes had passed, the Hungarians scored the first goal. When the greetings of the public were not over yet, Pushkash scored three more goals one after the other.
Our armor is not mobilized to repulse the continuous and organized attacks of the adversaries. In the 34′, Palotaj from a distance of 29 meters scores the fifth and last goal for the first game, which was characterized by a visible initiative of the Hungarian team, whose players using a laid-out game combined with a top tactic, with their attacks dominating the field and developing the game in our goal.
Second half: In the first few minutes, it seems that our team recovered a bit. The attack and the first line worked more properly and the semi-extremes exercise well the trio Gjinali – Boriçi – Jareci. This situation did not last long. In the 50′, Palotaj scored the sixth goal. Less than a minute later, Pushkash scored the seventh goal, followed by another scored by Kočič. Now our national is disorganized. In a dangerous reception, Vogli was injured and Maliqati took his place. Lorua, our best player, returns to the defense, while Slavia goes to the front line.
This posting of places did not have the result we expected. In the 60′, Budaj scores the 9th goal, a goal that came as a result of a tactical error by our team. In the 62′, Jareci gives a deep ball to Parapan, who with this forward heads towards the opponent’s goal. A few meters away from it it stops, but outside a few meters from the transversal pillar.
Two minutes later, Budaj scores the 10th goal. In the 69th minute, Parapani misses a sure chance to score by sending the ball not into the net but into the stratosphere. In the 77th minute, Pushkash scores his 11th goal. Our team has completely lost touch. In the 85th minute, Pushkash scores the 12th and at the same time the last goal for the Hungarian national team. The football team of the RP of Hungary reaped a sensational victory and proved the even greater development of Hungarian football in these years of popular power”, concludes the “Sporti” comment.
ALL UNDER ACCUSATION, FROM JAKOVA TO BORICI, FOR THE CATASTROPHIC LOSS
Post-match, the deep loss is accompanied by a harsh official reaction. The first, coach Ludovik Jakova, who leaves after this tournament. In a long critical article, without an author, in “Sporti” we read: “The heavy loss of our national team in Budapest is unjustifiable”.
“Our national team has not benefited properly from the very good treatment that our people’s power has continuously given and as a result it did not know how to respond to the Government’s decisions and the aspirations of the entire Albanian people. The optimistic statements of the football inspector A. Mazreku… we will win with Czechoslovakia and Romania and we will have a good result with Hungary… as well as the same statement of the team captain Loro Boriçi, were dismissed as inflated and unrealistic.
In addition to the mistakes, technical and tactical principles that our national team made in this match, it is worth highlighting the unacceptable weakness of all players: the lack of mobilization to honorably perform their duties and to represent our homeland and our people. Albanian patriotism should not have allowed such a shameful result.
In our national team, there are still elements who have gone down, who cannot represent the country, who do not care much for the 12 goals, who do not contribute much to the construction of our People’s Republic. Another error of principle was the withdrawal of the team captain, Loro Boriçi in defense and replacing him with Llambi. Such a mistake was proven in the match with R.P. of Bulgaria and has been heavily criticized.
But, our team and especially Loro Boriçi have not benefited enough from that fair criticism. In this case, the soundest criticism of the error regarding the posting of seats that was proven in the Budapest match is the result of this error itself. With the return of Boric to the defense, 4, 5 more goals were scored. So that didn’t save the situation. On the other hand, the return of Boriç to the defense completely destroyed the first line”.
MAZREKU: “I HAVE NEVER HEARD THOSE GOALS”!
This is how the well-known journalist, publicist, commentator, Skifter Kelliçi, remembers the conversation with Anton Mazreku, after what happened during the trip, then the match with Hungary. “The trip was made by sea, to the Romanian port of Constanta, because the air route Tirana – Belgrade was interrupted due to the breakdown of diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia in 1948. When the ship was passing through the Bosphorus Strait, a shocking surprise occurred.
Two of our footballers, Bule Vathi and Bahri Kavaja, who together with other footballers were on the deck, jumped into the sea and from there disappeared by swimming towards the shores of Istanbul. This serious event seems to have affected the mental state of the team, which was also reflected in the results with such deep losses: 0-3 against Czechoslovakia in Prague, 0-12 against the Hungary of Grošić, Pushkaš, Budai, Palotai in Budapest and 0-6 with Romania in Bucharest.
The above results were unjustifiable and did not reflect the level of our football. We could have lost, but not to this extent. When we were leaving Budapest, – remembered Anton Mazrek, – one of the managers of the sports editorial office of the Hungarian Radio gave me the tapes where my radio chronicle was recorded, which must have included the twelve goals conceded. But I have never heard those goals”. Memorie.al
(This article is published as a sign of homage and respect for Sulejman Maliqat, the famous former goalkeeper of “Partizan” and the Albanian national football team, who passed away today at the age of 94).