The famed football academy of Budapest’s historic club MTK is relocating to a site once occupied by Józsefváros train station. Six pitches and other top-class facilities will now be set near the main MTK stadium. Long linked with Liverpool – current Hungarian international goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi moved from the academy to Anfield in 2007 – the training complex first operated at Agárd by Lake Velence. The new one here in Budapest should open by November 2022.

The new training centre of the Sándor Károly Football Academy will be located where Józsefváros station was first built in 1867. Long empty, it will soon be a hive of activity as MTK’s coaches train Hungary’s best young footballing talent.

Named after former MTK star Sándor ‘Csikar’ Károly, whose statue stands outside the club’s main stadium, the academy will feature three grass pitches, three artificial ones, a grandstand, a press room, facilities for video analysis and a gym.

Moribund since 2005, Józsefváros was once one of the most important stations in Budapest before it was superseded by nearby Keleti in 1884. It later became a freight hub for Hungarian state railway MÁV.