Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I especially welcome those footballers who have come here to Hungary from outside the country, as well as those who have come both from within our borders and from Greater Hungary. We are happy to see you – particularly those of you who have come from afar, such as our Brazilian friends. This year nothing is as it normally is – it is a very complicated year. This year is more complicated than ever. This year is more complicated than any other year that has gone before. Everyone has had a more difficult time, and we will see the consequences on the pitch, with teams here coming from completely different environments. There are some countries where life is now as free as it is here in Hungary, and there are places where restrictions are still in place. But however complicated life is, and whatever difficulties it may bring, one thing never changes: all of us here love this sport. We may not be in top form, preparations may not have been perfect, but one thing is certain: those who are here are all in love with this game. Even if our legs are not what they should be, our heart is definitely in order, and this is why we are here right now. We will lay a wreath at the statue of Ferenc Puskás. While naturally everyone knows him for the countless goals he scored, I will tell the young people here that it is worth knowing that over here he is celebrated as the champion of restarting. He was a man who taught us to never give up, and that if we have faith in God and in our own abilities, then we can conquer any hardship. For those who have come here from abroad and might not know it, he had to flee Hungary after the 1956 Revolution. He was overweight, getting old, and everyone spoke about him in the past tense. But then he decided that he would not give up, and he went through his second golden age at Real Madrid. The lesson is clear: no matter how difficult the circumstances are, our ability to conquer hardships depends solely on ourselves. This is my wish for the players of the teams who have come here. The lives of professional athletes are extremely difficult, involving many sacrifices and much suffering, and you cannot be sure that it will all pay off. You may have an injury, an accident, a bad patch, a bad coach who just writes you off. All that matters is that you believe in yourself; and if you believe in yourself, you will win and you will succeed. When it comes to this, Ferenc Puskás was the model and the professor. He truly deserves the love not only of those who knew him in person, but also of those who only know him from film and TV. It is in this spirit that I now open this tournament. What I first of all wish for you, coaches and players, is that you have a good time. This is a rather good country, and you can have a good time here if you want to. You should feel that we are very happy to see you here. We are proud that you have come here, representing great clubs, teams that are worthy of the great man this tournament is named after. I wish you all every success, both now and in the future.