Vago was considered Hungary’s best left halfback during the 1910s and 1920s. He appeared in 17 international games for the National team. According to Andrew Handler in From the Ghetto to the Games, Vago had, "flawless ball control, accurate passing, unerring instinct for being at the right place at the right time, and an astonishing range of defensive skills."
During his time with the Hungarian National team, the defensive-minded Vago was a perfect compliment for right halfback, Gyula Biro. When Biro plunged into the offensive zone, Vago seemed to instinctively know to fall back and provide cover against a potential counterattack. Handler called the duo, "a smooth and efficient midfield pair…one of the strongest components of the Hungarian National team."
Birth and Death Dates:
A great player for MTK Budapest in the 1910s, Vago was a member of Hungary’s Olympic team at the 1912 Stockholm Games. During the tournament, Hungary lost to Great Britain in the first round, 7-0, but then defeated Germany (3-1) and Austria (3-1) in the consolation round to finish in fifth place. Vago was Hungary’s captain in both consolation matches. During his international career, Vago appeared in 17 full games (Olympic games are not considered full international matches by FIFA), but did not score a goal. Nevertheless, he was considered one of the greatest players in Hungary’s early soccer history.
Vago was not merely a top international star. He also helped his club team, MTK Budapest, dominate the Hungarian League for a decade. They first captured the league championship in 1914, the same year they won the Hungary Cup to pull off the "double." Although the league did not play in 1915-1916 due to World War I, when competition resumed during the 1916-17 season, MTK finished first in the league. They went on to capture the next eight championships (1918-1925). Vago played with the club until 1923, the same year his team once again won the Hungary Cup.
Use links below to navigate through the soccer section of Jews In Sports.
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
From the Ghetto to the Games: Jewish Athletes in Hungary, by Andrew Handler (Boulder, Colorado: East European Monographs, 1985)