Gábor Csapó was 72 years old (Photo: MOB)

As we've reported, on Wednesday, November 9, Gábor Csapó was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Budapest, where he was treated for respiratory failure in intensive care and was kept under deep sedation on a ventilator. The federation said the Olympic champion died early Sunday morning.

The legend, also known by his nickname "Dudi," played for Újpest Dózsa between 1959 and 1972, and later strengthened SZEOL (1972-1973), Vasas (1973-1984) and CC Ortigia Siracusa (1986-1988). He coached Palermo (1988-1992), Vasas (1993-1994), UTE (2001-2003) and FTC (2003-2004) as well.

During his playing career, he won an Olympic gold medal (1976, Montreal) and a bronze medal (1980, Moscow), a World Championship gold medal (1973, Belgrade) and three silver medals (1975, Cali; 1978, West Berlin; 1982, Guayaquil), two European Championship gold medals (1974, Vienna; 1977, Jönköping) and one silver (1983, Rome). He is an Intercontinental Cup winner (1979), European Cup winner (1979, 1984), nine-time Hungarian champion (1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984), two-time Hungarian People's Republic Cup (MNK) winner (1981, 1983). Csapó had 272 Hungarian national team caps.

"We have lost another legend, who was not only an outstanding player in the teams he played for but who also shaped the sport with his personality, knowledge and charisma. He is one of the people who have given Hungarian water polo the weight it carries in Hungarian and in world sports, and that it is consistently among the best, that it is an inescapable factor," said MVLSZ President Norbert Madaras on the official website of the federation.

Gábor Csapó
 Born: September 20, 1950; Budapest     
Died: November 27, 2022; Budapest 
Sport: water polo
Caps: 272 (1970–1986, Hungary)
Clubs as a player: Újpesti Dózsa (1959–1972), SZEOL (1972–1973), Vasas (1973–1984), CC Ortigia Siracusa (Italy, 1986–1988). Clubs as a coach: Palermo (Italy, 1988–1992), Vasas (1993–1994), UTE (2001–2003), FTC (2003–2004)    
 Achievements as a player: Olympic champion (1976), Olympic third place (1980); World Champion (1973), 3-time World Championship runner-up (1975, 1978, 1982); 2-time European champion (1974, 1977), European Championship runner-up (1983); Intercontinental Cup winner (1979); 2-time European Cup winner (1979, 1984); Cup Winners' Cup winner (1985); 9-time Hungarian champion (1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984); 2-time MNK winner (1981, 1983). Achievements as a coach: Hungarian Cup winner (1992)

Former national team teammates talked to Nemzeti Sport about Gábor Csapó, nicknamed “Dudi.”.

György Kenéz, Montreal Olympic champion: "We played together for more than ten years at Vasas, and then we were foreign players in Italy at the same time, though we played for different teams. Thanks to him, I learned the Italian language of water polo in a week. I learned a lot about the game from him because he was much more than just a powerhouse; I didn’t play with many water polo players who were more refined than him. We also played water polo together for many years on the national team and we achieved a lot of success together. He was a cheerful, bohemian, generous man, I loved him in private life as well. I can only say good things about him, he will be missed."

György Gerendás, Montreal Olympic champion: "Not so long ago we had a team that was on the top of the podium in Montreal, and only eight of the eleven players are here now. It's scary in a way because the memory doesn't seem far away for me, and at the top of the podium, we felt like the world was ours and it will remain like so. But it looks like it’s not the case, it is very shocking that our number is getting less and less. I could tell you lots of stories about Dudi but I can’t now because I just feel too sad."

Fordította: Orosz Vanda/translated by: Vanda Orosz