WAY back in the day, I had a cat called Ferenc, named after the legendary Hungarian footballer Ferenc Puskas.

His full name was Ferenc pusscat, which I thought was hilarious, but it drew a blank look from many folk not versed in football.

I have always had a strange fascination with Hungarian football, fuelled by grainy black and white images from behind the Iron Curtain of teams such as Honved and Ujpest Djoza.

The players all had great names too, such as Aberdeen legend Zoltan Varga, who played for just one season in the north east but is still talked about in hushed tones to this day.

There was also Istvan Kozma, who rocked up at Dunfermline before earning a big money move to Liverpool.

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But the greatest of them all was the fabled and diminutive Puskas, who won three European Cups at Real Madrid, including scoring four goals at Hampden in the famous 7-3 win against Eintracht Frankfurt in 1960.

Three years later he rocked up in Glasgow again and was led astray by Scotland’s own Jim Baxter after a game against Rangers at Ibrox, who took him to a house party in Drumchapel.

The only phrases in English Puskas allegedly knew were “whisky” and “jiggy jiggy” and Baxter later called for a plaque to be erected in the Drum, saying “Ferenc Puskas scored here”.

Sadly, it never came to pass but the eyes of all Scotland’s fans will again turn to Hungary and tomorrow night’s vital Euros match in Stuttgart.

Just three points will do it for the Scots but we have all read this script before...

While we Scots are sometimes accused of taking football too seriously, Hungarians take it to a whole new level, particularly its controversial Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

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He has bankrolled a football revolution to the tune of £2 billion, with even a facility in his home village.

But as the clubs get richer and facilities get better, the ultra nationalist PM’s political interference gets stronger.

During a friendly against Estonia in 2023 came the most shocking moment of all when the public address system in the national stadium, the Puskas Arena, in Budapest suddenly burst into life.

In a simple, but hugely controversial message, the stadium’s announcer chanted: “Down with Trianon, down with Trianon.”

The Trianon Treaty was an agreement that reduced Hungary’s size by two-thirds in 1920 after it was defeated at the end of the First World War.

Millions of ethnic Hungarians still stay within the pre-Trianon Greater Hungary and nationalist grudges remain to this day.

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It includes what is now Czechia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia and parts of Romania, Ukraine, Serbia and even Italy.

Four months before the loudspeaker stunt, Mr Orban had appeared wearing a scarf featuring an image of Greater Hungary.

Unsurprisingly, Ukraine summoned Hungary’s ambassador to explain the claim while Romania, which is still home to 1.2 million ethnic Hungarians, voiced “firm disapproval”.

All of the nations that were once part of Greater Hungary have also qualified for the Euros so imagine the pool of players it would have had to choose from.

We Scots should be thankful at least that we are not facing the whole of pre-1920 Greater Hungary tomorrow.