Sebestyen, Bela : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Sebestyen, Bela

Sebestyen was considered one of the greatest wingers in Hungary's early soccer history. He appeared in 24 international games for the National team between 1906-1912. According to Andrew Handler in From the Ghetto to the Games, Bela possessed "lightning speed, imaginative dribbling, and accurate passing...[he] terrorized the defense of opponents." Sebestyen was also known for being an exceedingly unselfish player. During his international career, Bela scored only two goals because he preferred to allow his talented teammates to enjoy the glory of scoring.

Birth and Death Dates:

Career Highlights:
One of the best wingers in Hungary in the 1900s and 1910s, Sebestyen played for the club team MTK Budapest. He played with the first team, but only won a single Hungarian League championship (1908). During this time, he also appeared with the Hungarian National team 24 times. In 1912, Bela was a starter on Hungary's Olympic team. They lost their first game to England (7-0), but then defeated Germany (3-1) and Austria (3-0) in the consolation round to finish in fifth place.

Budapest, Hungary

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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)