Small format stories
Team and contacts
08 December1956
Enzo Pasi
Music by Marco Magri

On 8 December 1956 at the San Siro Stadium in Milan, a friendly football match of high symbolic value is scheduled. Milan hosts 'la grande Honvéd', the Hungarian team from Budapest that has been wandering around Europe for a few weeks. The players, already abroad for a cup match, in fact refused to return home after Soviet tanks invaded Hungary to crush the revolution. At that time, Honvéd was probably the strongest football team in the world, with the likes of Ferenc Puskás, Gyula Grosics, Nándor Hidegkuti, Zoltán Czibor, Sándor Kocsis and Jozsef Bozsik playing. Moreover, it is the army team and cannot not be called back. The moment is very delicate and full of uncertainty, a few players managed to get their families to come to Vienna before the match, but soon FIFA, urged by the Soviets, will disqualify the fleeing players and ban them from using the Honvéd name, causing a veritable diaspora of an unreachable football school. To hear the protagonists in statements at the time, the game is played more for the spectacle than for the result. For 8 December there is therefore great expectation and an atmosphere of empathy, but not everyone feels the same way. From Alfonsine, in the Romagna region, a Balilla party loaded with militant communists has set off to convince the Honvéd players to desist and return to Hungary so as not to betray the cause of socialism. On the expedition is young Enzo Pasi who films on 8mm film first the departure from Alfonsine, then in Milan the meeting with the players at the Hotel San Carlo and finally the match at the stadium. Pasi and his comrades will not be too convincing with their idols, certainly the visit on a balilla on which the words 'La carovana picciarda' stand out, named after one of them, a certain Pizzardi, the most intransigent of them all, seems almost a farce. After some time, some of the champions would indeed return to their homeland, but Puskás, after being disqualified for a couple of years and having gained twenty kilos, would rise again at Real Madrid, his star would shine again and he would take his revenge on history. Meanwhile, at the San Siro, Honvéd beat AC Milan 2-1 and Pasi took home an 8mm film impressed with a piece of 20th century history, poised between farce and tragedy.