Nemzeti Bajnokság II, currently known as Mercantil Bank League for sponsorship reasons, is the second division of Hungarian football. At the end of the 2004/05 season, the tournament format was changed by a division with 14 teams in two divisions: Keleti (East) and Nyugati (West) with 16 teams each. In 2013, the format was changed and there is again a league with 16 teams and then 20 teams from 2015. The champion and the runner up in the first league, while the two lowest teams in NB II in NB III descend.
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On 2 March 2017, the Hungarian Football Federation announced that the number of teams in the Nemzeti Bajnokság II will not be reduced to 12.
National Team: In the 90s, Hungary could not qualify for international tournaments, except for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. The eighties were considered the bitterest years of Hungarian football, but the nineties proved to be the worst. In 1996 Hungary reached the lowest FIFA World Ranking List at 87. The overthrow of the Hungarian communist regime caused financial problems for many Hungarian clubs. Formerly successful clubs such as Ferencváros and Újpest faced financial crisis and bankruptcy. This had a profound effect on the Hungarian national team, as previously the largest clubs from Budapest (Ferencváros, Újpest, Honvéd and MTK) produced the players for the national team. Another important reason for the decline is the Bosman judgment. Since the Hungarian clubs had lost the state financial aid in the early nineties, they could not keep up with the richer Western European clubs. The crisis in Hungarian club football has affected the performance of the national team.
The Hungarian legend Ferenc Puskás was appointed head coach of the national team in 1993 to regain his previous achievements. He led the team only for four games as the former star of Honvéd and Real Madrid had no effect. The only notable success in the 1990s was the qualification of Hungary for the 1996 Summer Olympics. Antal Dunai's team played their first group game against Nigeria and lost 1-0 in Orlando. Hungary played Brazil 3-1 in the second group match. The only Hungarian goal scored Csaba Madar. The last group game was played against Japan, a 3-2 defeat. The Hungarian goals were scored by Csaba Madar and Tamás Sándor. Although the young team's Olympic qualifiers were a big surprise and people thought that Hungary would have a better future in football history, the team never achieved a similar success later.
In the 1990s, Hungary was the country closest to qualifying for the 1998 World Cup but eliminated in the play-offs of FR Yugoslavia.
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