There is no better time to experience the Culture of Football than during the World Cup.

Leading into every World Cup, I am reminded of the Magic Magyars of 1954. The great Hungarian National Team that lost only one game from 1950 to 1956. That game was the final of the 1954 World Cup, where they were beaten 3-2 by the Germans in what turned out to be the German’s own defining footballing moment.

Hungary beat England in London, Italy in Rome and, in the qualifying rounds of the 1954 tournament, they beat the Germans 8-3.

The Hungarian team of that era played what is widely regarded as the forerunner to total football and the modern game. It was a style- it was said by the Hungarian propaganda machine- to have fused the virtues of post-war socialism with the aesthetic brilliance of sport. The great teams in history- Argentina in 1986, Ajax and Holland during the 1970s, Brazil’s class of 1970 cannot be mentioned without reference to great Hungarian side.

Leading that Hungarian side was FerencPuskas, a man universally regarded as the footballing equal of Maradona, Pele, DeStefano and Cryuff.

A self-imposed exile from the communist post-war Hungary, lead Puskas’ down a road traveled by few men in football. It took him, of all places, to Melbourne and (as he called it) “the Hellas club”.

My path crossed with Puskas as a youth player in country Victoria. My club, North Geelong, played a match in the youth league against South Melbourne. Puskas, as South senior coach, was at the game.

I recall a plump man, who ate too much, watching on with little bother from others. I go back to North Geelong now, 15 years on, and it saddens me that there is no evidence that one of the most important footballers of all time watched a game in country Geelong. No photos, no video, no signature. It was a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity missed because soccer in this country had no soul.

Football in this country cannot flourish without starting to developing a soul and embracing a Culture of Football. This Culture must be about developing our greats for the now and educating our coming players about the past. About the social power of football. The tales of John Moriarty and Johnny Warren and Marco Bresciano are all important sign-posts not only in the history of football- but the history of this nation.