‘Dangerous lurkers’ - the threat Celtic face from Ferencvaros in Champions League qualifiers

Hungarian champions were unbeaten in all six away games in Europe last season

Ferencvaros players celebrate during the Champions League qualification first round win over Djurgarden in Budapest. Picture: MTI via AP
Ferencvaros players celebrate during the Champions League qualification first round win over Djurgarden in Budapest. Picture: MTI via AP

Celtic will face what could be termed a dangerous lurker in Ferencvaros after the Hungarians clinched a place in the Champions League second qualifying round in Glasgow next Wednesday courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Djurgardens IF, both goals coming from Tokmac Nguen.

The Budapest side are a club of renown once more, proving competitive in Europe. It may not be in the fashion of their 1960s and 1970s heyday during which they won the Fair Cities Cup in 1965, were runners-up in the competition three years later, and beaten in the 1975 Cup Winners’ Cup final. But their participation in the Europa League group stages last year was a notable forward step for Hungary’s most successful team.

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Despite only finishing third they lost just one of their six games in a tough section containing Espanyol, CSKA Moscow and Ludogorets Razgrad.

Of note for Celtic may be the fact that they were unbeaten in all six away games they played in cross-border competition last season.

Under Ukrainian manager Serhiy Rebrov, now in post for two years, Ferencvaros have landed back-to-back titles for the first time since the mid-1990s. They have achieved a degree of their old domination with three championships in five seasons and lost only three games in their latest league success.

Forwards Nguen and Franck Boli top scored with 12 goals apiece. Nguen, a naturalised Norwegian born in Kenya of South Sudanese refugee parents, claimed four in Europe while his Ivory Coast partner Boli had the best domestic returns with ten league goals.

Ferencvaros supply only three players to the Hungarian national team – goalkeeper Denes Dibusz, defender Gergo Lovrencsics and winger Roland Varga – but that has everything to do with the fact that among the 28 players they used there were no fewer than 13 nationalities.

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