Sharp-eyed José, or Mister, as he is called at the Spanish club Real Madrid, spent almost thirty years searching for young talents for the “royal” club. The world of football owes stars like Emilio Butragueno, Daniel Carvajal or Alvaro Morata to his sharp eyes. Ambassador Barnabás Kovács, former Consul General in Barcelona and director Róbert Bencsik have made a documentary about his extraordinary career, which then won Award of Excellence of the Association of Hungarian Sports Journalists.
The Debrecen premiere was held at oDEon Egyetemi Színház [University Theatre] on Tuesday evening, where the film was presented to students and staff members of the university as well as to notable representatives of Hungarian sports, who could watch it in the company of the 88-year-old legend and the producer Barnabás Kovács.
The 47-minute film offers a recollection of childhood memories from Füzesabony, the 1956 events in Hungary, followed by the defection to Vienna and, of course, the main stages of the footballing career, including the time József Tóth-Zele spent at Rapid Wien, the French club Grenoble, Red Star FC in Paris and then Atlético Madrid. The scouting legend discusses the story of his 15 years of university studies in biology and political science, as well as an ankle injury that made him to end his active sports career at the age of 27.
The 29 or 30 years spent as a youth coach at Real Madrid are also recalled by his former players in the film, who consider Mister as one of Spain's most successful talent scouts, as Emilio Butragueno also refers to him in his interview. Naturally, his relationship with Ferenc Puskás and László Kubala could not be omitted from the list of acquaintances and friendships developed during the years in Spain.
The legendary talent scout also took the shooting crew to his favorite hangouts in Madrid but, of course, he is also eager to discuss domestic ties that are close to his heart, including nurturing the relationship between Hungary’s Puskás Akadémia [Puskás Academy] and Real Madrid as well as the sports center in Gesztely named in his honor.
The film showing was followed by a Q&A session with the audience and, from the informal conversation it developed into, it was also evident that a sequel would be prepared, in which the filmmakers could transfer the entire life story of 88-year-old József Tóth-Zele to the screen.
As a conclusion to the first-night film showing, both Mister and Ambassador Barnabás Kovács were recognized and greeted by Chancellor Zoltán Bács on behalf of the University of Debrecen.
Press Center - TH