|Wunderteam of Austria|
Please also see my All-Time Team Index.
Austria's football is largely associated with the great Wunderteam of the 1930's. With Matthias Sindelar as the center of the team, the Wunderteam played an entertaining style of football that emphasized on short passes. They went on a 14 game winning streak and had routed many of their stronger opponents. However, they just fell short on major tournaments. As the favorite of the World Cup Finals of 1934, they lost to the host and eventual winner Italy in the semifinal. Two years later, they only managed a silver medal at the Olympics. By the 1938 World Cup Finals, their coach Hugo Meisl was dead. Austria was annexed by Germany in 1938 and Austria lost its status as an independent national team. Some of the Austrians joined the German team at the cup, in which Germany had the worst showing in their World Cup history. Matthias Sindelar was found dead in 1939.
After the War, Austria never lived up to the Wunderteam. Their best performance in a major tournament came in 1954 when they finished third. However, it was the 1978 World Cup Finals that the Austrians probably would be proud of. In the second round, they beat West Germany for the first time in 47 years. The game is remembered in Austria as "the Miracle of Cordoba" or in Germany as "the Disgrace of Cordoba".
GK: Rudolph Hiden
He was regarded one of the greatest keeper in the pre-War war. He was the keeper for the Wunderteam in the 1930's that charmed the football fans in Europe. He played for Wiener AC and later, moved to Racing Club Paris in 1933. He played 20 times for Austria and 1 time for France.
GK: Friedrich Koncillia
He played in the 1978 and 1982 WC Finals. He was capped 84 times. He spent his most successful club years with FC Wacker Innsbruck and Austria Wien. He enjoyed his longest and most successful spell at FC Wacker Innsbruck, staying there for eight years.
GK: Walter Zeman
He won 41 caps for Austria and went to the 1954 WC Finals, where Austria reached the semifinal. He won 8 Austrian Bundesliga titles with Rapid Vienna.
RB: Robert Sara
He set the highest appearance record with 571 matches in Austria's Bundesliga. He spent most of his career with Austria Wien. For national team, he captained Austria at the WC Finals in 1978, where Austria beat West Germany in the match known as "the Miracle of Cordoba", Austria's first win against the Germans in 47 years.
CM/SW: Ernst Happel
He was better known for coaching two European Cup winners and the Dutch national team in 1978. As a player, he played 14 years for Rapid Vienna, from 1943 till 1954 and 1956 till 1959, winning the Austrian Bundesliga 6 times. He was chosen in Rapid's Team of the Century in 1999. He played in 1954 and 1958 WC Finals.
CB/SW: Bruno Pezzey
He is regarded as one of Austria's greatest defenders of all time. He was a participant at the 1978 World Cup and 1982 World Cup. For club football, he was best known for his stints with FC Wacker Innsbruck and Eintracht Frankfurt. He won the 1979-1980 UEFA Cup withh Frankfurt.
CB: Josef Blum
Blum was one of the best defenders in the world during the 1930's. He was a member of the Wunderteam. He played for Nussdorfer and First Vienna FC. He was capped 51 times.
CB: Karl Stotz
He was captured as a soldier in the Battle of Stalingrad and spent 4 years as a POW in the Soviet Union. On his return to his homeland, Stotz played three years for FC Wien before joining Austria Wien in 1951. In his 12 years with the Vienna giants he won 4 league titles and 2 domestic cups. He earned 42 caps between 1950 and 1962. He was a participant at the 1954 World Cup and 1958 World Cup.
LB: Karl Sesta
He was one of the best fullbacks of his generation. He started his national team career in 1932 and went to the WC Finals in 1934, where Austria reached the semifinal. After the annexation of Austria into the German Reich in 1941 and 1942 he played three internationals for the German selection. After the War, he earned two more caps for Austria.
LW/LB: Walter Nausch
He was the captain of the Wunderteam. He was a very versatile player who played in almost all positions on the pitch, but was mainly a left wing half. He was capped 39 times, but he did not go to the WC Finals in 1934. He played mostly with Austria Wien.
CM: Ernst Ocwirk
He is regarded as one of the greatest Austrian footballers of all time. He was probabkly the best centrehalf of his generation. He went to the WC Finals in 1954, where Austria finished 3rd. He spent the majority of his playing and coaching years between Austria Wien and Sampdoria in Italy.
He is one of Austria's greatest players. He was a participant at the 1954 World Cup , where they reached 3rd place, and at the 1958 World Cup. He captained the national team from 1955 onward. he started his career with SC Wacker Wien, but moved to its rival Rapid Wien in 1950.
CM: Karl Koller
He was one of the best Austrian midfielders of all time and was rated as one of the best 100 European footballers of the 20th century by the IFFHS. He was a participant at the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland, where they reached 3rd place and 1958 World Cup. He earned 86 caps.
CM: Josef Smistik
He was the captain of Wunderteam during the 1934 WC Finals, where Walter Nausch who was the regular captain did not attend. He played for Rapid Wien, ESV Stadlau, FAC and Kremser SC.
CM: Herbert Prohaska
He was one of the greatest players in the modern era. He was capped 83 times. He played in the WC Finals in 1978 and 1982. For his club career, he played mainly for Austria Wien, but also played for Inter Milan and Roma in Serie A. He was a deep-lying playmaker.
LW: Alfred Körner
He was a participant at the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland, where they reached 3rd place. He spent most of his career with Rapid Wienn, where he won 7 Bundesliga titles.
LW: Anton Schall
He was a participant at the 1934 World Cup in Italy, where they reached the semifinal. He played his club football with Admira Austria. He played on the left side.
RW: Karl Zischek
He was Austria's greatest right wingers. He was a member of the Wunderteam. He made his national team debut in 1929 against Scotland, a team that lost to a continental team. Austria beat them 2-0 with Zischek scoring both goals. He went to the WC Finals in 1934.
AM/FW: Matthias Sindelar
Nicknamed as "The Mozart of football" or "Der Papierene"(the Paper-man), he is the best player in Austrian football history. He was the star player on the Wunderteam. After Germany had annexed Austriai in 1941, he refused to play for Germany. He was found death in his apartment on January, 1939. His death was related to his opposite to the Anschluss, whether it was suicide or murder.
ST: Josef Bican
He was a member of the Austrian Wunderteam of the 1930s. He is one of the most prolific scorers in history. He was, in the leagues that he played, the top-scorer 12 times during his 27 years career and Europe's top scorer in five consecutive season. He played for Rapid Wien before moving to play in Czechoslovakia. He ended up playing for Czechoslovakia, but missed out on the WC Finals in 1939.
ST: Toni Polster
He is the all-leading scorer for Austria. He was capped 92 times between 1982 and 2000. He started his career with Austria Wien. He then played in Spain for Sevilla, Logroñés and Rayo Vallecano. In 1993, he moved to Germany to play for Köln and Borussia Mönchengladbach. Polster returned to Austria to play a final season at Austria Salzburg.
He was a prolific goalscorer who played for SK Rapid Wien. He won the national Austrian championship four times and was three times top goalscorer in Austrian league. In his whole career, he would score 1006 goals in 756 matches. He was capped 19 times by Austria and another 9 times for Germany under Anschluss.
ST: Hans Krankl
He spent most of his career with Rapid Wien. After winning the European Golden Boot award in 1978, he moved to Barcelona. He won the Cup Winners' Cup and finished as the La Liga top scorer in his first season. He was named Austrian Player of the Year a record five times. He went to the WC Finals in 1978 and 1982, beating West Germany in 1978 in a match known as "the Miracle of Cordoba".
Andreas Herzog, Anton Polster and Walter Schachner, David Alaba.
-- The Wunderteam is one of the greatest team in history. Thus, I included a lot of players from them.
-- Toni Polster who retired in 2000 is the youngest player on the squad. Austria has not have a good team since 1980's.
-- The generation from the late 1970's and early 1980's was not so bad. Hans Krankl, Friedrich Koncillia, Bruno Pezzey, Robert Sara and Herbert Prohaska made the team.
-- Andreas Herzog and Walter Schachner were considered, but not enough space for them.
-- David Alaba probably would make the team one day. At this moment, he is too young to be in consideration.
The Wundertem is associated with the greatest moment in Austria;s football history. This formation is similar to the one used by Hugo Meisl for the Wunderteam. Basically, this is the Wunderteam with reinforcement.
Formation II: 4-2-1-3This lineup has a more modern approach to the game. The midfield is protected by two holding midfielders. Sindelar is the center of attack. Bican was a fast player so I move him to a wing-forward position.