Andorra is ruled by co-princes. One of whom is the Spanish Bishop of Urgell and the other of whom is the President of France. These are very much honorary roles because which nationality however small would continue to permit themseleves to be ruled by the French (except the French themselves). Indeed so unique is the position that the President of France is the only publically elected monarch and what is more elected by the peoples of another non-sovereign nation. This arrangement seems to have worked pretty well remaining unchanged for over 700 years despite the brief attempt at an overthrow by the wonderfully named Russian noble Boris Skossyreff who unilaterally declared himself Boris I, King of the Andorrans and also declared was on the Bishop of Ugrell. (I’ll be honest, but declraing war on a bishop seems unnecessary). The Andorrans went along with it, but the Spanish were not too impressed with one of their religious figures being at war so went and arrested the new King who then either went on to serve the Nazis on the Eastern Front as a civilian or died in a prison camp in Vichy France.
I can only imagine that Boris would have been enthralled by the opportunity to see his kingdom face Hungary in a World Cup Qualifier on a cold November Sunday in Budapest. I came straight from the airport and was surprised to see very few other people on the 200E bus were heading to the game. Tourists.
Lost the photo bug
Hungary have won one, drawn one and lost one of their campaign so far that has struggled to catch fire. Having lost to Switzerland last time out, it looks increasingly likely that Hungary will need to win in either Zurich (or wherever the hell Switzerland play) or Lisbon and not drop any other points on the way. (This is a huge simplification I know).
Andorra is not famed for its football team (actually its number one sport is Roller Hockey). It has not picked up a point in a qualifying campaign for over eleven years since which time it has managed three draws in friendlies (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova for the record). They are not always whipping boys though and have been holding teams to one or two goals for the last year or so (aside from a Ronaldo inspired Portugal who put six past them). This is probably not great news for Hungary who probably don’t have the tools to tear teams apart with themselves preferring to be solid and compact.
A flag. Like Romania.
The frozen environs of Nepliget metro station were surprisingly buzzing for a fixture of this magnitude although the strewn bottles of Unicum might have explained the electricity in the air. Also there was a big moon. Astronomy might have explained that.
The game was not great. But I was not expecting anything less. The Andorrans are hilariously annoying. Time wasting from the first minute and aiming sly kicks left, right and centre. Hungary started slowly and fell for the bait and picked up a couple of needless yellow cards. It could have been worse. Eventually, they settle into the game and a goal from Zoltan Gera (yep, that one) after the Andorran goalkeeper tried to invent a new sport of flying arm jousting instead of just catching a cross followed by a neatly worked move for right back Adam Lang to score.
One (more) word on Dzsudzsak. It has become increasingly apparent the reason why he has never tested himself at a higher level than Russian, Turkey and UAE. I am not sure he is very good. He reminds a little of Lamela without the finesse. In other words, he verges on headless chicken. A headless chicken who somehow scored a great freekick against the next door ducks, but since has not been able to clear a wall. Maybe, it was him trying to get the crowd going after 30 minutes that riled me. 30 minutes when the almost full-house had been in good voice whilst the team struggled to string a pass together.
The atmosphere was indeed pretty good for what was a pretty much dead rubber. Gyurcso and Szalai (who cannot stop scoring for the national side) made it four and we made our way into the night. I may have lost a toe through frostbite. Come back toe.
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