Újpesti vs. Ferencváros

Nemzeti Bajnokság (NB1 – Game Day 18)

30th January 2022 – 20:00 KO

Szusza Ferenc Stadion

They could easily call this clash the ‘Metro Line 3 derby’.

This reference comes from the M3 line of the Budapest Metro which has on one side to the north the Újpest-Központ metro station; which is closest to the Szusza Ferenc Stadium home of Ujpest. At the other end of the line is the Népliget metro station which is adjacent to the Groupama Arena the one time Florian Albert home of Ferencvaros.

Both clubs are named after the areas in the city in which they were founded.

Ferencváros play in the 9th Budapest district while Újpest – founded by Janos Goll as Ujpesti Torna Egylet – were formed in Ujpesti as a multi sport club with the motto Soundness, Strength, Harmony or Épség, Erő, Egyetértés‘ in Hungarian.

Ferencvárosi TC continue to be the most successful and famous club in Hungary but class differentiation as a shaper of fan allegiance has largely long gone. A new middle class has emerged in Hungary and the Budapest clubs of today attract supporters of all types and ages from all over Hungary.

Most very young kids from the educated classes in Budapest do develop an interest in football through Ferencvaros which makes them still the most popular club in terms of growth, academy structures and finances. The club’s appearances in UEFA group stage football on a regular basis is a winning factor for Fradi as far as gaining new fans are concerned.

Honved, once a huge club during the communist era, has been on the decline for many years but possibly still have a strong identity in the district of the city in which they were founded – Kipest.

Despite a new stadium crowds at Honved are though nothing like what there were in the 60’s and 70’s.

Honved’s heroes all hail from the past rather than the modern era.

The Derby

These two Budapest clubs are seperated by more than colours. A deep inner city football rivalry exists and one which has developed over decades. In contrast to the purple and white of Ujpesti the colors of Ferencvaros are green and white and the club has a motto of Morality, Strength, Consensus.

The colours of the two alone make this a distinctive derby – purple, white and green colours make for colourful plumes of smoke that make this a colourful derby full of noise and sensory passion.

Football in Budapest used to be a refreshing taste of how football used to be up until even 2014.

Honved, MTK and Vasas played in old school stadiums up until even a few years ago with only Ferencvaros and Ujpest modernising its home stadia. These crumbling stadiums were often gathering points for hooliganism and for some years the local mayor and municipal governments clamped down on supporter behaviour to such an extent that the Budapest derby day was ruined for many years.

But those days are long gone and many fans have learned a lesson thanks to heavy handed policing and banning orders for fans. Fan groups have organised themselves around the rules while at international level a new brand of domestic nationalism makes the home games of the national team a celebration of local ultra culture.

These days, domestic derby day in Budapest is back and the passion can reach red hot temperatures come derby day thanks to organised fan groups and this new sense of modern Hungarian identity.

Serious ultra culture exists at both Ferencvaros and Ujpest and it comes to a head on derby day.

For this tie the 1,500 Ferencvaros fans got nowhere near the home fans either before the game or at half time despite it being a largely open plan stadium. Instead the fans from Ferencvaros were brought in on mass by bus and forcibly kettled into the stadium long before kick off. Away ticketing was arranged via the club and who got a ticket was carefully managed via a membership scheme.

Come kick off the support followed a similar pattern to many derby matches in this part of Europe.

Ujpesti kicked things off with a large scale pyrotechnic display of purple and white smoke bombs with Ferencvaros in reply setting off its own pyrotechnic show some 20 minutes into the game.

Thereafter followed about 3 or 4 other displays of scarves, flags and firecrackers as both sets of fans attempted to out do each other off the field.

On the field Ferencvaros were by far more the dangerous side.

Under the former Russian coach Stanislav Cherchesov Ferencvaros have an experience midfield composed of Marko Marin and the astute Slovakian Robert Mak. The goal, when it came, was from the Bosnian Loncar and was long overdue for the vistors.

Overall a frenzied atmosphere and one hugely enjoyable for the visitor. Not a problem inside or outside the stadium and an occasion not to be missed in the calender of derby matches.

FT: 0-1

Ujpesti: Banai, Koutroumpis, Pauljevic, Antonov, Lirim Kastrati, Diaby, Mitrovic, Croizet, Csongvai, Yahaya, Kone.

Ferencvaros: Dibusz, Botka, Blazic, Kovacevic, Civic, Marin, Mak, Vecsei, Nguen, Zubkov (Loncar – Goal), Bassey.