Naples Rome - Budapest 4-2: when the teams of Naples and Rome played against Hungary

by Federico Quagliuolo

The history of football is characterized by hundreds of unusual matches. Among these appears a "Naples Rome - Budapest " of 11 February 1934, played to celebrate the arrival of the 1934 World Cup, which saw Italy as the winner of his first title.

The name of the home team does not deceive: it was called "Naples Rome" because physically he was born fromunion of the roses of Naples, Lazio and Rome, who created an unusual team that challenged the team from Budapest, Ujpest. They were different times, of a pioneering football made of enthusiasm and beautiful stories of football legends, of defenders who they played with their hats and referees that showed up in jacket on the field.

Napoli Roma - Budapest 4-2: quando le squadre di Napoli e Roma giocarono contro l'Ungheria
Naples Rome - Budapest 4-2 a snapshot of the match

So much Naples in Rome

The National Division was born a few years ago the Naples in the early years had certainly not shone. Indeed, the prancing Horse had been made into the famous ciucciarello. Then they finally arrived two brilliant seasons with two third places (they will actually be the only good ones of Naples in the fascist era), with a respectable team and with the superstar Antonio Vojak, who has held the record for goals in Napoli for over 78 years.

The defense of the unusual "romanapoletano" team was the strong point of Mr. Garbutt's Napoli in the league: in goal "The jaguar" Giuseppe Cavanna, legendary blue goalkeeper (who later became world reserve champion in the national team), Enrico Colombari, at the time considered one of the best interdiction midfielders in the world, Luigi Castello, reliable defender, e Giovanni Vincenzi, protagonist of an own goal that spotted an excellent match. In attack there was instead a twenty year old Pietro Ferraris, which will become after the war a protagonist in the attack of the Great Turin and will save you from Superga tragedy due to a fortuitous transfer to Novara in the previous market session.

There Lazio boasted the two Brazilian cousins, Octavio and Leonisio Fantoni, respectively midfielder and attacker, while Roma deployed Constantine, attacker, Scopelli, midfielder who holds the record for being the first Italian player called up for the national team without ever having played in the first division, e "The professor" Fulvio Bernardini, a median with a degree in economics (a completely anomalous fact for the time, but even today it is rare to see graduated footballers).

Napoli Roma - Budapest 4-2: quando le squadre di Napoli e Roma giocarono contro l'Ungheria
Naples Rome training of 1934. Source: Laziowiki

Napoli Rome - Hungary: how did the game go?

What is certain is that the game was a lot of fun for the 20,000 spectators, Neapolitans and Romans, all gathered together in the National Stadium of the PNF (what, thirty years later, will be Flaminio Stadium): it was technical tests to break in the mechanisms of the team that would have won the world cup in the stadium that would host the the final of the competition (Naples instead was the scene of the 3rd place final).

Napoli Roma played in one very fascist black shirt, while the Hungarians were in white.
The opponent of the Italians was anything but scarce: the players of the Budapest team were in fact in large part the same as the Hungarian national team (who came out in the quarterfinals at the World Cup), and it was almost a clash between club teams and a national team, in which the opposing players started strong, but went under a goal at 22 'thanks to the Neapolitan Ferraris, good at deflecting Constantine's cross with a precise header.
He thought about it there bad luck to settle the score shortly after: on a tiraccio of Jekub, the Neapolitan Vincenzi threw the ball into the net with a awkward movement. 1-1 and postponed everything to the second half.
The recovery began with one cold shower for the Italian team, with the immediate advantage of the Hungarians and game asleep for a good 30 minutes, at least until penalty at 80 ' procured and scored by Scopelli, unstoppable for the entire match.
From there, also thanks to the tiredness of the players, greater openings were opened for the plays of the Italian players, who in five minutes were able to score two more goals: 82 'Fantoni II and then closed game with Bernardini at 85 '.

Final results: Naples Rome 4, Hungary 2.

Finale coppa del mondo italia ungheria
Final of the 1938 World Cup between Italy and Hungary: note the referee who takes the field in his jacket!

4-2: sign of destiny?

In the stands the fans of Rome and Naples each put on a show cheering for their favorites, but then hug everyone at every goal: a scenario that seems almost surreal imagining the modern distances and violence between supporters they once were twinned.
The two teams greeted each other with the promise of challenge each other again to the World Cup, which would begin shortly. It was not like this: Austria he threw out the Magyars in the quarterfinals and challenged Italy in their place.

However, the meeting between many athletes of that unusual match was simply postponed for four years: the 1938 World Cup final, won again by Italy, it was precisely with Hungary. And ironically it ended 4-2 again.

-Federico Quagliuolo

Gianni Nicolini, The history of Naples, Italian Publishing House Rome, 1967, _National_Stadio_of_P.NF-Representative_Rome-Representative_Budapest_4-2

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