Franz Platko


Franz Platko

Franz Platko Kopiletz (born Budapest, Hungary, December 2 1898, died Santiago, Chile, September 2 1982), also known as Ferenc Platko or Francisco Platko, was a Hungarian footballer and manager. During the 1910s and 1920s he played as a goalkeeper for Vasas SC, WAC Vienna, MTK Hungária FC, FC Barcelona, Recreativo de Huelva and Hungary. He subsequently worked as a coach in Europe and South America, most notably with FC Barcelona, Colo-Colo, River Plate, Boca Juniors and Chile. Platko was an early FC Barcelona legend and was a team-mate of Paulino Alcántara, Josep Samitier and Sagibarbá. His bravery as a goalkeeper was immortalized by Rafael Alberti in the poem "Oda A Platko". After retiring as a player he returned to the club as a coach on two occasions (1934-35, 1955-56).

Hungary

Platko began his career as a goalkeeper in his hometown of Budapest with local club Vasas SC in 1917 . After a brief spell at WAC Vienna in 1920, he returned to Vasas for another season before joining MTK Hungária FC the following season. Between 1917 and 1923, Platko also played six games for Hungary. In 1922 MTK played two friendlies against FC Barcelona. Both games finished as 0-0 draws and FC Barcelona, impressed with Platko offered him a contract.

FC Barcelona

Platko replaced the legendary Ricardo Zamora, but soon established himself as a legend in his own right. He spent seven years at FC Barcelona between 1923 and 1930. During that time he won six Campionat de Catalunya titles, three Copa del Rey and the first ever La Liga title. The poem "Oda A Platko" came about following the Copa del Rey final in 1928. FC Barcelona took three games to beat Real Sociedad and during the first encounter on May 20th, Rafael Alberti was so impressed with the bravery of Platko that he later wrote the poem in his honour. Platko finished his playing career at Recreativo de Huelva and retired as a player in 1931. He soon began his career as a coach, working in France with FC Mulhouse (1932-33) and Racing Club de Roubaix (1933-34), before returning to FC Barcelona as a coach for the 1934/35 season. Despite guiding the club to another Championat de Catalunya, the following season he was replaced by Patrick O'Connell. After two decades away from the club Platko was reappointed coach of CF Barcelona for the 1955/56 season. During this season the club, inspired by Ladislao Kubala and Luis Suárez, won 10 consecutive La Liga games in a row. The record remained unbeaten until 2005. Despite this run CF Barcelona only managed to finish second in La Liga behind Atlético Bilbao and Platko was replaced the following season.

South America

During the two decades away from FC Barcelona established himself as a coach in South America. In 1939, during the first of three spells at Colo-Colo he guided the club to the . In 1940 he had a spell in charge of River Plate in Argentina before he returned to Chile and Colo-Colo in 1941, winning a second . In 1941 he took charge of Chile and continued as national team manager until 1945, coaching the team at both the South American Championship in both 1942 and 1945. During 1942 he also coached two other Chilean clubs, Club Magallanes and Santiago Wanderers. In 1949 he coached Boca Juniors and in 1953 he returned to Colo-Colo for a third time and won a third .

The Platko Brothers

Franz Platko also had two brothers, "Esteban Platko" and "Carlos Platko" who followed him to Spain and subsequently established themselves as coaches. Esteban coached, among others Real Valladolid (1928-31, 1934-40), Granada CF (1943-45) and RCD Mallorca while Carlos coached Real Valladolid (1941-43), Celta de Vigo (1944-46), Girona FC (1948-49) and Sporting de Gijón.

Honours

"Player"

FC Barcelona

*Spanish Champions: 1
**1928-29

*Copa del Rey: 3
**1924-25, 1925-26, 1927-28

*Catalan Champions: 6
**1923-24, 1924-25, 1925-26, 1926-27, 1927-28, 1929-30

"Manager"

FC Barcelona

*Catalan Champions: 1
**1934-35

Colo-Colo

*: 3
**1939, 1941, 1953

Oda Da Platko

Nobody forgets, Platko,
No, nobody, nobody, nobody,
blond bear of Hungary.
Nor the sea,
That in front of you jumped without being able defenderte.
Nor rain. Nor the wind, that were the one that the more rugía.
Nor the sea, nor the wind, Platko,
blond Platko of blood,
guardameta in the dust pararrayos.
Not nobody, nobody, nadie. blue and white T-shirts, on the air,
real t-shirts,
opposite, against you, flying and arrastrándote.
Platko, distant Platko,
blond tronchado Platko,
tiger burning in the grass with another one país.
You, key, Platko, you, broken key,
fallen golden key

*"This is only very rough translation of poem, needs improving"

External links

* [http://www.fcbarcelona.com/eng/historia/historia/platko.shtml Platko at www.fcbarcelona.com]
* [http://www.lfp.es/historico/primera/plantillas/historial.asp?jug=0176 La Liga players stats]
* [http://www.lfp.es/historico/primera/entrenadores/historial.asp?ent=027 La Liga manager stats. These stats may have confused Platko with one or both of his brothers]

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