Mandl, a starting fullback, played on the Hungarian soccer team at the 1924 Olympics. During the single elimination tournament, Hungary defeated Poland in its opening game by a score of 5-0. In the next round, however, the Hungarians were upset by Egypt, 3-0.
Born Julius Mandel, Gyula Mandl was one of the most influential Jews in the history of soccer. According to Andrew Handler in From the Ghetto to the Games, Mandl had a slight, almost fragile, build, but he compensated for his lack of size with intelligence. He also had an uncanny ability to position himself and was called, "the virtuoso of positioning and the world champion of timing."
A fullback in Hungary's top soccer league in the 1920s, he helped lead his club, MTK Budapest, win six consecutive league championships (1920-1925). A reliable and durable defender who handled the ball like a midfielder, Mandl was at the peak of his career in 1925 (at the age of 25) when he suffered a horrible knee injury, which caused one of his legs to be shorter than the other. After five years, Mandl returned to the field and continued his career with MTK. He played for another ten years and retired at the age of 40. During his international career, between 1921-1934, Mandl appeared in 31 games for Hungary.
Following his playing career, Mandl became one of the most famous and well-respected coaches in soccer. In the 1950s, he coached the Hungarian National team in its glory days (he was an assistant at the 1954 World Cup when Hungary finished second). In 1956, he left to coach in Brazil (with FC America) and then moved to Israel to coach the national team. In four years (1959-1963), his Israeli teams became competitive with the best of Europe. In 1963, he returned to Hungary in the role of advisor and scout for the National Soccer Federation. He is a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. July 1899 - d. 1969
Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
From the Ghetto to the Games: Jewish Athletes in Hungary, by Andrew Handler (Boulder, Colorado: East European Monographs, 1985)