Schaffer, Alfred 'Spezi'
Schaffer, a Hungarian, was one of the greatest players in Europe in the 1900s and 1910s. He played for 21 clubs during his prestigious career and won league championships in three countries. Schaffer also had a successful international career and scored 17 goals in only 15 appearances for the Hungarian National team.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. Feb. 13, 1893 - d. Aug. 30, 1945
One of the best scorers in the history of the game, Schaffer, a forward, began his soccer career in Hungary and played with many of the country's top club teams, including Typographia, FTC (Ferencvaros in Budapest), Budapest, and Fovarosi.
In 1915, Schaffer moved to MTK Budapest, the defending champion in both the Hungarian League and the Hungary Cup. Filled with Jewish stars, MTK was considered the country's top club and Schaffer became the top goal scorer during his tenure there. He helped the club win the Hungarian League championship for three consecutive years (1917-1919) while leading the league in scoring in 1915, 1918, and 1919. During his tenure with MTK, Schaffer scored 89 goals in 154 league games.
Schaffer also played for the Hungarian National team during his stay with MTK Budapest. Between his international debut in November 1915, when he registered a hat trick against Austria, and the end of his career in 1919, Schaffer played in 15 games and scored 17 goals.
For the remainder of his career, Schaffer played in Germany for FC Nurnberg, Wacker Munich, Hamberg, and Bayern Munich. He also played for Sparta in Prague, for FC Vienna and Amateur Vienna in Austria, for New York in the United States, and for FC Basel in Switzerland. During this time, he helped Nurnberg capture the German League title in 1921 and contributed to Amateur Vienna's 1924 victory in the Austrian League.
After his playing career ended, Schaffer became a coach (he served as a player-coach for the many teams later in his career). In 1938, he coached Hungary in the World Cup and led them to a second-place finish; they lost 4-2 to Italy in the final. Schaffer also led Rapid Bucuresti in the Romanian League in 1939-40 and brought Roma its first Serie A title in 1941-42. Schaffer died during World War II.
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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)