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Iuliu Bodola, remarkable personality from football in Romania and Hungary.


During the period between the two world wars, Oradea, together with Arad, Bucharest, Cluj, Resita and Timisoara, was on of the cities with the most advanced football in Romania. After the teams from Oradea had obtained remarkable results during the 20's, even in the final stages of the Romanian championship and had promoted a series of valuable players in the national team (Francisc Ronnay, Stefan Strock, Iosif Bartha, Nicolae Honigsberg, Adalbert Strock, Geza Nagy-Csomag, Ladislau Csilag and Ferecz Szekely), football in Oradea went through a decaying period (Angelescu, Cristea, 2009).

At the beginning of the 30's, as measures to strengthen football in Oradea, the promotion of young players from Oradea occurred, but also, some valuable players were transferred from teams from the country. Amongst the players transferred to Oradea during that period was Iuliu Bodola.

Essay content

Within the cycle of paper works concerning valuable football players from Oradea during the two world wars, the authors have established as their purpose to present Iuliu Bodola's activity, one of the most representative football players who performed during that period. The work presents interest for those who study the history of football in Oradea, especially regarding the players from the interwar period.

The paper elaboration has been based on scientific documentation achieved by studying the specialty literature regarding the history of football in Romania, by the research of paper works regarding the evolution of football in Bihor county, by consulting articles from the local media, iconographic materials and documents from personal archives. The documentation has also been accomplished by discussions with collectors and people who have information about the evolution of football in Oradea during the studied period.

Player in the Romanian Championship

Iuliu Bodola was born on the 26th of February, 1912 in Brasov (Ionescu, Tudoran, 1984). He learned to play football together with the children in his neighbourhood. His special qualities for football had been noticeable since he was a little child. In 1925 h was included in the children's team of Coltea Brasov Football Club where he started to train in an organized manner.

In the Romanian championship he played for Brasovia Brasov (1928-1930), Athletic Club Oradea (1930-1937), Venus Bucharest (1937-1940) and Ferarul Cluj (1945).

Between 1928 and 1930, he was part of the Brasovia team where he played with Varhegy, Vedel, Rupp, Szilagy, Eros, Toth, Trisch II, Nachary, Salangy, Geller, Agoston, Erdo, Cotty, Berkessy, Ciakme, Naghi, Kelemen, Goldstein, Boloni I, Niculescu, Kovacs, Vogl, Naghi II (Ionescu, 2002).

In the white-green T-shirt of the Athletic Club Oradea, having Czinczer, David, Miko, Stettner, Sternberg, Kadar, Stemberg, Weichelt, Glanczmann, Mosko, Kovacs I, Ronnay, Kocsis, Chendrean, Bartha, Chiroiu, Krausz, Juhasz, Szarkadi, Siko, Halatay, Borgea, Kovacs II, Szaniszlo I, Orza, Spielmann, Pop, Varzan as team mates, he played in eighty-nine matches and scored fifty-two goals. Thus, he had contributed greatly to the results obtained by the team in the national championship: 2nd place in the 1932-1933 edition, 3rd place in the 1933-1934 edition, 2nd place in the 1934-1935 edition, 4th place in the 1935-1936 edition (figure 1) and 6th place in the 1936-1937 edition (Angelescu, Cristea, 2009).

He was part of the Athletic Club Oradea team which participated in 1932 to the tournament in France and Switzerland. Out of the 12 matches, The Athletic Club Oradea won six (Racing Paris 2-1, Montreuil 5-3, Olimpique Lille 5-2, Tours 10-1, OGC Nice 7-1, Espagnole Bordeaux 4-1), two were finished in a draw (FC Zurich 1-1, FC Lugano 2-2) and lost four matches (Rennes 0-1, Olimpique Marseille 1-2, Montpellier 2-3, Geni Representative 2-3), obtaining a goal average of 41-21. Iuliu Bodola was amongst the remarkable players of the team (Heller, 1981).

He was amongst the best players in the tournament from France and North Africa (Algeria, Morocco, Libya), in 1933. Out of the 25 matches, The Athletic Club Oradea won 21 and finished four in a draw, obtaining a goal average of 100-23 (Torok, 1937).

In the 1932-1933 edition of Romania's League, he was a member of the selected team of the Northern League, winning the competition final: Northern League--Western League 3-2 (2-2; 2-2; 1-1).

In 1937, answering to Janossy Bela's insistences, he transferred to Venus Bucharest. The transfer fee was 700 000 lei out of which the club took 450 000 and Bodola 250 000. His monthly salary was of 15 000 lei (Arena Sporturilor, 1937).

He performed there for three seasons, played in 61 matches and scored 7 goals. During that period Venus Bucharest, having as players David, Iordachescu, Albu, Sfera, Negrescu, Ionescu-Crum, Barbulescu, Beffa, Demetrovici, Juhasz, Eisenbeisser, Gain, Lupas, Bodola, Ene, Carciog, Humis, Iordache, Orza, Ploesteanu and Valcov, became Romania's champion in the 1938-1939 and 1939-1940 editions, it won Romania's Cup in 1940 (Angelescu, Cristea, 2009).

As a player of Venus Bucharest team during the 13th of October 1937 and 18th of June 1939, he participated in 5 games played within Central European Cup.

After the 2nd world war, for a short period of time, he played for a team from Cluj, Ferarul, where he played only in three matches and scored three times.

After analyzing the period while Bodola played in the Romanian championship, we notice that he performed in 153 matches and scored 102 goals, being one of the remarkable players from that period.

Component representative football team of Romania

His qualities, his value proven in competitions led to his selection in Romania's representative team at an early age, at 19. He made his debut in the national team on the 10th of May, 1931, in the Romania-Bulgaria match played at Bucharest within the Balkan Cup.

During the 10th of May 1931 and the 20th of October 1939, Iuliu Bodola played 48 matches in the national team--two matches at the final tournaments of the world championship in Italy, 1934 (figure 3) and France, 1938 (Chirila, 1983); one match within the 1934 world championship preliminaries, 60 matches in the Balkan Cup, 6 matches in Central European Cup (figure 2), one match in King Charles the 2nd's Cup, 5 matches in Eduard Benes Cup and 17 friendly matches.

With the 30 goals scored, Iuliu Bodola had been for over 5 decades the goal getter of the national team. Now he is on the 3rd place among the national team's goal getters after Hagi (35 goals) and Mutu (35 goals).

As acknowledgement of his value and prestige among his team mates, he wore four times Romania's captain's band (May 7th, 1939, Romania-Yugoslavia match, May 18th, 1939, Romania-Latvia, May 24th, 1939, Romania-England and June 11th, 1939, Romania-Italy).

For his contribution in winning the 1933 edition of the Balkan Cup on the 12th of June 1933, through High Royal Decree, he was awarded the Cultural Merit for Sport Medal, 2nd class (Alexe, 2002).

Player in Romania's championship and Hungary's representative team

Iuliu Bodola was amongst the 49 players of teams from Bucharest, Craiova, Ploiesti, Petrosani, Resita and other towns who, in autumn 1940, folowwing the Decree from Vienna, passed the border in order to try to make arrangements with teams from Hungary and Northern Ardeal. Together with Nicolae Kovacs from Football Club Ploiesti, Augustin Juhasz, Rudolf Demetrovici from Venus Bucharest, Francisc Spilmann, from UDR Resita, he signed with the Athletic Club Oradea (Nagyvaradi Athletikai Club), team where he performed between 1940 and 1944. (3) In the 1940-1941 edition, the Athletic Club Oradea team, together with other five teams (Staruinta Oradea, Athletic Club Cluj, Bastya Cluj, Sportiv Club Satu Mare and Sportiv Club Baia Mare), took part in the Northern Ardeal Championship. In the summer of 1941, after the championship reorganization, the Athletic Club Oradea, together with the Athletic Club Cluj, Lampant Football Club, Szegedi Vasutas Sportive Association, MAVAG Budapest and the Athletic Club Ujvidek, was promoted in the first division of Hungary's championship (3).

During 1941 and 1944, the team from Oradea, playing in the first division of Hungary's national championship, achieved remarkable performances: 6th place in the 1941-1942 edition (5), 2nd place in the 1942-1943 edition and 1st place in the 1943-1944 edition (Demjen, 1989). With this result, the Athletic Club Oradea, formed of Adolf Vecsei-Weber (30 matches), Toth, Ferenc (Francisc) Meszaros (30 matches), Andor Onodi (29 matches), Iosif Petschowsky (22 matches), Nicolae Simatoc (12 matches), Gusztav Juhasz (26 matches), Rudolf Demetrovics (29 matches), Ioan Stiebinger (20 matches), Gyula Lorant (25 matches), Francisc Spielmann-Sarvari (30 matches), Gyula (Iuliu) Bodola (30 matches), Matyas Toth III (30 matches), Janos (Ioan) Kovacs II (12 matches), Antal (Anton) Fernbach-Ferenczi (3 matches), Gheorghe Moniac (2 matches), became the first countryside team which won the title of Hungary's champion (1).

In 1942, Iuliu Bodola was chosen the best player in Hungary's championship.

After a short period of time when he played for Ferarul Cluj, he continued his activity as a player in Hungary. Staring with the 1946 championship, until 1950, he played for Magyar Torna Klub Budapest. In the 83 mathes that he played, he scored 35 goals.

In the 176 matches played in Hungary's championship, Iuliu Bodola scored 80 goals, being one of the best scorers.

During December 1st, 1940 and October 3rd, 1948, Iuliu Bodola played 13 times in Hungary's national team, scoring four goals. This way, he is one of the few players who performed in the national teams of two countries, Romania and Hungary (2).

King Charles II Arena, as it was called in the interwar period stadium that teams were battling games division of Crisana and CAO, incumbent Municipal Stadium in November 2008 bearing the name of Juliu Bodola.

Iuliu Bodola as coach. In 1948, after finishing his competitional activity as a player, he started a career as a coach. In his 23 years as a coach, he worked for nine teams, M T K Budapest, M A V Szolnok, Haladas Szombathely, V S K Pecs, Banyasz Komlo, S Gyula, V T K Diosgyor, B T C Salgotarjan and Banyasz Ormosbanya, which were performing at different competitional levels, from children and junior teams to first division teams (4).

Although he led teams into the first division in 115 matches, his performance and results as a coach were not even close to the level of Iuliu Bodola the player. Maybe his health condition was factor as well. In 1952, when he was the coach of Szombathely he was subjected to a difficult surgery for a cerebral tumor removal. In 1956, in the clinic in Pecs, he was operated on two vertebrae of the spine.


Between 1930 and 1948, Iuliu Bodola played 329 matches in Romania's and Hungary's championships, scoring 182 goals, being one of the representative players of that period.

He was amongst the players who performed both in Romania's and Hungary's national teams. By the number of selections, of scored goals and performance, he was one the representative football players both in Romania and in Hungary.

He was a coach for nine teams of different levels. Although he led teams into the first division in 115 matches, his performance and results as a coach were not even close to those as a player.


Arena Sporturilor, 1937, weekly magazine, appeard in Oradea.

Alexe, N., (Coord), 2002, Enciclopedia Educatiei Fizice si Sportului in Romania, Editura Aramis, Bucuresti.

Angelescu, M., Cristea, D. V., 2009 "Istoria fotbalului romanesc, volumul I, 1909-1944", Federatia Romana de Fotbal, Bucuresti, pp 48-51.

Chirila, I., 1983, "Si noi am fost pe Conte Verde", Editura Sport-Turism, Bucuresti, pp 40-86.

Demjen, L., 1989, "A Nagyvaradi AC a magyar nemzeti bajnoksagban 1941-1944. Az elso videki labdarugo bajnokcsapat tortenete", [CA Oradea in campionatul national al

.Last message received on 06.05.2012 Ungariei 1941-44. Istoria primei echipe de fotbal din provincie campioana], Budapest.

Heller, M., 1981, "Jews in Nagyvarad Sports Life", in: "The City of Yesturday; Memorial Book of Jews of Nagyvarad (Oradea, Romania), Grosswardein Society in Israel, Tel Aviv, pp 230-234.

Ionescu, M., Tudoran, M., 1984, "Fotbal de la A la Z Fotbalul romanesc de-a lungul anilor", Editura Sport-Turism, Bucuresti, pp 265-266.

Ionescu, M., V., 2002, "Cluburi de fotbal", in: Enciclopedia Educatiei Fizice si Sportului in Romania, Editura Aramis, Bucuresti, pp 305-360

Torok, T., 1937, "Nagyvarad varos sporttortenete", [Istoria sportului din orasul Oradea] in: "A Biharmegye, Nagyvarad kulturtortenete, Oregdiakjainak Emlelkonyve" [Istoria culturii judetului Bihor si Oradiei. Albumul elevilor batrani], Nagyvarad, pp 219-254.

Visited web-sites:

1) Az elso magyar videki bajnok, Nagyvaradi A. C. ( nagyvaradi-ac.html). Last message received on 06.06.2012

2) Bodola Gyula Last message received on 05.07.2012

3) "Clubul Atletic Oradea" Last message received on 06.06.2012

4) "Euro footbal" Last message received on 02.04.2012

5) "Magyar labdarugo bajnoksag, 1941-1942" %E2%80%931942-es _magyar _labdar % C3%BAg%C3%B3 bajnoks%C3%A1g_(els%C5%91_oszt%C3%A1ly


(1) University Of Oradea, Geography, Tourism And Sport Faculty, ROMANIA

E-mail address:

Table 1. Number of matches played by Iuliu Bodola
in Romania's representative team (2)

Final        Preliminaries   Balkan     Central
tournament        WC          Cup     European Cup

2                  1           16          6

Final          King       Eduard     Friendly
tournament   Charles's   Denes Cup   matches
WC              Cup

2                1           5          17
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Article Details
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Author:Dumitrescu, Gheorghe
Publication:Ovidius University Annals, Series Physical Education and Sport/Science, Movement and Health
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:4EXHU
Date:Jun 1, 2013
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