Austria national football team
The Austria national football team (German: Österreichische Fußballnationalmannschaft) is the association football team that represents Austria in international competition and is controlled by the Austrian Football Association (German: Österreichischer Fußballbund). Austria has qualified for seven FIFA World Cups, most recently in 1998. The country played in the UEFA European Championship for the first time in 2008, when it co-hosted the event with Switzerland, and most recently qualified in 2016.
|Association||Österreichischer Fußball-Bund (ÖFB)|
|Head coach||Franco Foda|
|Most caps||Andreas Herzog (103)|
|Top scorer||Anton Polster (44)|
|Current||29 (15 February 2018)|
|Highest||10 (March–June 2016)|
|Lowest||105 (July 2008)|
|Current||40 (18 February 2018)|
|Highest||1 (May 1934)|
|Lowest||75 (2 September 2011)|
| Austria 5–0 Hungary
(Vienna, Austria; October 12, 1902)
| Austria 9–0 Malta
(Salzburg, Austria; April 30, 1977)
| Austria 1–11 England
(Vienna, Austria; June 8, 1908)
|Appearances||7 (first in 1934)|
|Best result||Third place, 1954|
|Appearances||2 (first in 2008)|
|Best result||Group stage, 2008 and 2016|
The Austrian Football Association ("OFB") was founded on 18 March 1904 in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The team enjoyed success in the 1930s under coach Hugo Meisl, becoming a dominant side in Europe and earning the nickname "Wunderteam". The team's star was Matthias Sindelar. On 16 May 1931, they were the first continental European side to defeat Scotland. In the 1934 FIFA World Cup, Austria finished fourth after losing 1–0 to Italy in the semi-finals and 3–2 to Germany in the third place play-off. They were runners-up in the 1936 Olympics, again losing to Italy 2–1, despite having been beaten in the quarter-finals by Peru, following the Peruvians' withdrawal. However, according to an investigation, the surprise victory by Peru was deliberately annulled by Adolf Hitler to favour the Austrians.
The team then qualified for the 1938 World Cup finals, but Austria was annexed to Germany in the Anschluss on 12 March of that year. On 28 March, FIFA was notified that the OFB had been abolished, resulting in the nation's withdrawal from the World Cup. Instead, the German team would represent the former Austrian territory. Theoretically, a united team could have been an even stronger force than each of the separate ones, but German coach Sepp Herberger had little time and very few matches to prepare and merge the very different styles of play and attitude. The former Austrian professionals outplayed the rather athletic yet amateur players of the "Old Empire" in a "reunification" derby that was supposed to finish as a draw, yet in the waning minutes, the Austrians scored twice, with Matthias Sindelar also demonstratively missing the German goal, and subsequently declining to be capped for Germany. In a later rematch, the Germans took revenge, winning 9–1. In early April, Herberger inquired whether two separate teams could enter anyway, but "Reichssportführer" Hans von Tschammer und Osten made clear that he expected to see a 5:6 or 6:5 ratio of players from the two hitherto teams. As a result, five players from Austria Wien, Rapid Wien and Vienna Wien were part of the team that only managed a 1–1 draw in Round 1 against Switzerland, which required a rematch. With Rapid Wien's forward Pesser having been sent off, and not satisfied with two others, Herberger had to alter the line-up on six positions to fulfill the 6:5 quota again. The all-German team led the Swiss 2–0 after 15 minutes, but eventually lost 4–2 in Paris in front of a rather anti-German French and Swiss crowd, as few German supporters were able to travel to France due to German restrictions on foreign currency exchange.
After the WarEdit
After World War II, Austria was again separated from Germany. Austria's best result came in 1954 with a team starring midfielder Ernst Ocwirk. They lost in the semi-finals 6–1 to eventual champions Germany, but finished third after beating defending champions Uruguay 3–1. This remains their best result ever and, unfortunately, the last time for decades that Austria reached the end round of a major tournament. Over the years, a strong yet mainly lopsided rivalry with Germany developed.
At the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, the Austrian team was a disappointment. Defeats to the eventual champions Brazil, the emerging Soviet Union and a draw against a weakened England (who were rebuilding after the loss of several of their key players due to the Munich air disaster) prevented the team from reaching the next round. Still holding to the great popularity in the country, under new coach Decker they again made an international sensation in the era. In front of a record crowd of over 90,000 spectators, made possible by the expansion of Prater Stadium, the team could beat the Soviet Union 3–1 and Spain 3–0. However, due to lack of money, Austria decided not to participate at the 1962 World Cup in Chile, and the team fell apart. The abrupt end of Austria's success in the post-war period led to the clear 0–6 loss against Czechoslovakia in 1962, from which many players and also Karl Decker did not recover.
After the end of Decker era, the team was unable for a long time to connect to the old successes; these were limited mostly only to surprise victories in individual games. Due to the great popularity of the Austrian team, on 20 October 1965, Austria succeeded as the third team of the continent to defeat England at home. Two goals in a 3–2 victory were achieved by Toni Fritsch, who was then nicknamed "Wembley Toni". However, in the same year, Austria failed for the first time to qualify for the World Cup in the 1966 edition, ending third against a still-strong Hungary and East Germany; they only earned a draw. In the summer of 1968, Leopold Šťastný, the successful Slovak coach of Wacker Innsbruck, took over the national team. Despite failing to qualify for the 1970 World Cup, the new coach emphasized developing new players rather than relying on the old guard. Supported by a large football euphoria, Austria came very close to qualifying for the 1974 World Cup in Germany. The qualifying round was tied for first place between Austria and Sweden, despite tiebreakers based on points and goal difference, therefore a playoff was needed for qualifying, held in Gelsenkirchen. In order to have enough time to prepare, the championship round was suspended and the stadium in Gelsenkirchen was prepared five days before the playoff. On snow-covered ground, Austria lost 1–2, but with numerous missed chances such as hitting the crossbar. The team also remained undefeated.[clarification needed]
1970s and 1980sEdit
Anchored by Herbert Prohaska and striker Hans Krankl, and backed up by Bruno Pezzey, Austria reached the World Cup in 1978 and 1982 and both times reached the second round, held in team group matches that replaced the knockout quarter-finals. This Austria team, coached by Helmut Senekowitsch, is widely regarded as the best post-World War II Austrian football team ever.
In the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, they had lost two matches and would almost surely finish last in their second round group of four teams, but they put in a special effort for their last game in Córdoba against West Germany, which had still chances of qualifying for the final. The Austrians also denied the defending world champion a trip to the third place match, beating them 3–2 by two goals of Hans Krankl, plus an own goal. The celebrating report of the radio commentator Edi Finger ("I werd narrisch!") became famous in Austria, where it is considered the "Miracle of Cordoba", while the Germans regard the game and the Austrian behaviour as a disgrace.
During the 1982 World Cup in Spain, Austria and West Germany met again, in the last match of the group stage. Because the other two teams in the group had played their last match the previous day, both teams knew that a West German win by one goal would see both through, while all other results would eliminate one team or the other. After ten minutes of furious attack, Horst Hrubesch scored for West Germany and the two teams mainly kicked the ball around for 80 minutes with few attempts to attack. The match became known as the "non-aggression pact of Gijón". Algeria had also won two matches, including a shocking surprise over West Germany in the opener, but among the three teams that had won two matches, was eliminated based on goal difference, having conceded two late goals in their 3–2 win over Chile. The Algerian supporters were furious, and even the Austrian and West German fans showed themselves to be extremely unhappy with the nature of their progression. As a result of this match, all future tournaments would see the last group matches played simultaneously. Austria and Northern Ireland were eliminated by losing to France in the second round group stage of three teams.
Led by striker Anton Polster, Austria qualified for the 1990 World Cup but were eliminated in the first round, despite defeating the United States 2–1. Much worse was the stunning 1–0 loss against the Faroe Islands, a team made of amateurs, in the qualifying campaign for the 1992 European Championship, considered[by whom?] the worst embarrassment in any Austrian team sport ever, and one of the biggest upsets in footballing history. The game was played in Landskrona, Sweden, because there were no grass fields on the Faroe Islands. It was a sign for things to come. Austria suffered another couple of years of botched qualifying campaigns, despite playing some entertaining football in the closing stages of UEFA Euro 1996 qualification.
In the 1998 World Cup, Austria were drawn in Group B alongside Italy, Cameroon and Chile. Their appearance was brief but eventful, as they managed the curious feat of only scoring in stoppage time in each of their matches. Against Cameroon, Pierre Njanka's goal was cancelled out by Anton Polster's late strike. In their second match, it was Ivica Vastić who curled a last minute equalizer, cancelling out Marcelo Salas' disputed opener. Austria were not so fortunate in their crucial, final match at the Stade de France. Italy scored twice after half-time: a header from Christian Vieri and a tap-in from Roberto Baggio. Andreas Herzog's stoppage time penalty kept up Austria's unusual scoring pattern, but was not enough to prevent Austria finishing third in the group, behind the Italians and Chileans.
2000s – DeclineEdit
After 1998, Austria began to decline. They failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2000, and suffered extreme embarrassment (similar to the Faroe Islands loss) when they lost 9–0 to Spain and 5–0 to Israel in 1999. In 2006, Josef Hickersberger became coach of the Austria national team, which included some respectable results such as a 1–0 victory against Switzerland in 2006.
Austria qualified automatically for Euro 2008 as co-hosts. Their first major tournament in a decade, most commentators regarded them as outsiders and whipping-boys for Germany, Croatia and Poland in the group stage. Many of their home supporters were in agreement and 10,000 Austrians signed a petition demanding Austria withdraw from the tournament to spare the nation's embarrassment. However, Austria performed better than expected. They managed a 1–1 draw with Poland and lost 1–0 to both favoured Croatia and Germany.
Shortly after Austria's first-round exit from the tournament, Hickersberger resigned as the national team coach. Karel Brückner, who had resigned as head coach of the Czech Republic after that country's first round exit from Euro 2008, was soon named as his replacement. After only eight months, Brückner was released in March 2009 and the position was subsequently taken by Didi Constantini.
2010s – RevivalEdit
Over the next few years, the Austrian team has seen a major renaissance. A number of players from the 2007 U-20 team that finished fourth in the World Cup that year ended up developing and becoming full starters for the senior squad, including Sebastian Prödl, Markus Suttner, Martin Harnik, Veli Kavlak, Erwin Hoffer, Zlatko Junuzović and Rubin Okotie.
The team failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but finished in third place with a 5–2–3 record with 17 points and a +10 goal difference in their qualifying group. There were a number of notable results, such as home victories over the Republic of Ireland and Sweden, as well as a narrow home defeat to Germany and a 2–2 draw in Ireland in the rematch.
The Euro 2016 qualifying campaign has been even more successful. Again, the Austrians battled and drew with the Swedes 1–1. Austria also recorded a pair of quality victories over Moldova (2–1 in Chișinău) and Montenegro (1–0 in Vienna). Rubin Okotie scored the deciding goal in the closing 20 minutes of the match after a previous Austrian goal a minute before was controversially disallowed. A week later, the team played a friendly away game against favored Brazil, losing 2–1.
The match-up between Austria and Hungary is the second most-played international in football; only Argentina and Uruguay have met each other in more matches.
Records at major tournamentsEdit
World Cup recordEdit
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup Qualification record|
|1930||Did not enter||Declined Participation|
|1966||Did not qualify||4||0||1||3||1||6|
|1986||Did not qualify||6||3||1||2||9||8|
|1994||Did not qualify||10||3||2||5||15||16|
|2002||Did not qualify||10||4||3||3||10||14|
|2022||To be determined|
European Championship recordEdit
|UEFA European Championship record|
|1960 to 2004||Did not qualify|
|2012||Did not qualify|
|2020||To be determined|
The following players have also been called up to the Austria squad in the last 12 months and are still eligible for selection.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Daniel Bachmann||9 July 1994||0||0||Watford||v. Moldova, 9 October 2017|
|GK||Markus Kuster||22 February 1994||0||0||SV Mattersburg||v. Georgia, 5 September 2017|
|GK||Andreas Lukse||8 November 1987||1||0||SCR Altach||v. Moldova, 24 March 2017|
|DF||Florian Klein||17 November 1986||45||0||Austria Wien||v. Moldova, 9 October 2017|
|DF||Maximilian Wöber||4 February 1998||2||0||Ajax||v. Moldova, 9 October 2017|
|DF||Philipp Lienhart||11 July 1996||1||0||SC Freiburg||v. Moldova, 9 October 2017|
|DF||Sebastian Prödl||21 June 1987||64||4||Watford||v. Wales, 2 September 2017 INJ|
|DF||Stefan Stangl||24 October 1991||1||0||Austria Wien||v. Republic of Ireland, 11 June 2017|
|DF||Markus Suttner RET||16 April 1987||20||0||Brighton & Hove Albion||v. Finland, 28 March 2017|
|DF||Michael Madl||21 March 1988||0||0||Fulham||v. Finland, 28 March 2017|
|MF||Stefan Ilsanker||18 May 1989||26||0||RB Leipzig||v. Moldova, 9 October 2017|
|MF||Christoph Knasmüllner||30 April 1992||0||0||Admira Wacker Mödling||v. Moldova, 9 October 2017|
|MF||Hannes Wolf||16 April 1999||0||0||Red Bull Salzburg||v. Moldova, 9 October 2017|
|MF||Martin Harnik RET||10 June 1987||68||15||Hannover 96||v. Georgia, 5 September 2017|
|MF||David Alaba||24 June 1992||59||11||Bayern Munich||v. Georgia, 5 September 2017|
|MF||Konrad Laimer||27 May 1997||0||0||RB Leipzig||v. Georgia, 5 September 2017|
|MF||Maximilian Sax||22 November 1992||0||0||Admira Wacker Mödling||v. Georgia, 5 September 2017|
|MF||Zlatko Junuzović RET||26 September 1987||55||7||Werder Bremen||v. Republic of Ireland, 11 June 2017|
|FW||Marc Janko (Vice-captain)||25 June 1983||66||28||Lugano||v. Moldova, 9 October 2017|
|FW||Michael Gregoritsch||18 April 1994||5||0||FC Augsburg||v. Moldova, 9 October 2017|
INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
RET Retired from international football
SUS Suspended in official matches.
Recent and forthcoming fixturesEdit
|1||Serbia||10||6||3||1||20||10||+10||21||Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup|
|2||Republic of Ireland||10||5||4||1||12||6||+6||19||Advance to second round|
|24 March 2017 2018 WCQ||Austria||2–0||Moldova||Vienna, Austria|
Referee: István Vad (Hungary)
|28 March 2017 Friendly||Austria||1–1||Finland||Innsbruck, Austria|
Referee: Miroslav Zelinka (Czech Republic)
|11 June 2017 2018 WCQ||Republic of Ireland||1–1||Austria||Dublin, Ireland|
||Stadium: Aviva Stadium
Referee: David Fernández Borbalán (Spain)
|2 September 2017 2018 WCQ||Wales||1–0||Austria||Cardiff, Wales|
|Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
Referee: Ovidiu Hațegan (Romania)
|5 September 2017 2018 WCQ||Austria||1–1||Georgia||Vienna, Austria|
Referee: Orel Grinfeeld (Israel)
|6 October 2017 2018 WCQ||Austria||3–2||Serbia||Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna|
Referee: Pavel Královec (Czech Republic)
|9 October 2017 2018 WCQ||Moldova||0–1||Austria||Zimbru Stadium, Chișinău|
Referee: Bart Vertenten (Belgium)
|14 November 2017 Friendly||Austria||2–1||Uruguay||Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna|
||Referee: Tamás Bognár (Hungary)
|23 March 2018 Friendly||Austria||v||Slovenia||Klagenfurt, Austria|
|Stadium: Wörthersee Stadion
|27 March 2018 Friendly||Luxembourg||v||Austria||Luxembourg City, Luxembourg|
|20:30 UTC+2||Stadium: Stade Josh Barthel
|2 June 2018 Friendly||Austria||v||Germany||Klagenfurt, Austria|
|21:00 UTC+2||Stadium: Wörthersee Stadion
|11 September 2018 2018–19 UEFA Nations League||Bosnia and Herzegovina||v||Austria||Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Stadium: Bilino Polje Stadium
|12 October 2018 2018–19 UEFA Nations League||Austria||v||Northern Ireland||Vienna, Austria|
|15 November 2018 2018–19 UEFA Nations League||Austria||v||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Vienna, Austria|
Most capped playersEdit
Austria used to play in colours similar to those of the Germany national team: white jerseys, black shorts, black socks (the Germans wear white ones). In order to distinguish themselves, in 2004, head coach Hans Krankl switched to their former away shirts, which have the same colour scheme as Austria's flag, red-white-red. To further distinguish themselves from Germany, the Austrians had used an all-black away kit, but as of 2010, the white shirt and black shorts is used as the away kit. During the 1934 World Cup match against Germany, the Austrians borrowed a set of light blue tops belonging to Napoli for the match, as both teams had white shirts and black shorts.
Austria's current kit suppliers are Puma since 1978.
|Hugo Meisl||Austria-Hungary||22 December 1912||3 October 1914||6||3||1||2||11||9||50.00|
|Heinrich Retschury||Austria-Hungary||4 October 1914||1 August 1919||22||8||3||11||45||47||36.36|
|Hugo Meisl||Austria||1 August 1919||17 February 1937||127||68||29||30||326||206||53.54||4th place at the 1934 World Cup.
Silver medal at the 1936 Summer Olympics.
Winners of the 1932 Central European International Cup.
Runners-up of the 1930 and 1935 Central European International Cup.
|Heinrich Retschury||Austria||22 May 1937||24 October 1937||5||2||1||2||10||10||40.00||Qualified for the 1938 World Cup.|
|From 1938 to 1945, Austria was part of Nazi Germany.|
|Karl Zankl||Austria||19 August 1945||3 October 1945||2||0||0||2||2||7||0.00||Died while in the position of national coach.|
|Edi Bauer||Austria||3 October 1945||4 March 1948||11||4||0||7||26||28||36.36|
|Eduard Frühwirth||Austria||4 March 1948||1 September 1948||5||3||0||2||9||9||60.00|
|Walter Nausch||Austria||1 September 1948||15 November 1954||47||21||10||16||119||87||44.68||3rd place at the 1954 World Cup.|
|Hans Kaulich||Austria||15 November 1954||28 March 1955||1||0||0||1||2||3||0.00|
|Josef Molzer||Austria||29 March 1955||3 September 1955||3||1||1||1||6||8||33.33|
|Karl Geyer||Austria||3 September 1955||21 April 1956||5||2||0||3||8||14||40.00|
|21 April 1956||9 August 1958||18||7||6||5||37||27||38.89||Qualified for the 1958 World Cup.|
|9 August 1958||15 October 1958||2||0||0||2||4||6||0.00|
|Karl Decker||Austria||16 October 1958||28 February 1964||36||16||3||17||60||67||44.44|
|7 March 1964||11 October 1964||5||3||1||1||6||5||60.00|
|Eduard Frühwirth||Austria||20 November 1964||13 January 1967||15||4||3||8||12||23||26.67|
|13 January 1967||24 June 1968||10||3||2||5||18||19||30|
|Leopold Šťastný||Czechoslovakia||1 July 1968||30 September 1975||49||15||16||18||58||62||30.61|
||Yugoslavia||6 October 1975||19 November 1975||2||1||0||1||6||3||50.00|
|Helmut Senekowitsch||Austria||1 March 1976||30 June 1978||26||14||4||8||40||26||53.85||Qualified for the 1978 World Cup.|
|Karl Stotz||Austria||1 August 1978||14 December 1981||24||13||6||5||43||25||54.17||Qualified for the 1982 World Cup.|
|5 February 1982||2 July 1982||8||5||1||2||11||7||62.5|
|Erich Hof||Austria||7 September 1982||21 November 1984||15||6||3||6||22||20||40|
|Branko Elsner||Yugoslavia||15 January 1985||18 November 1987||18||5||5||8||20||28||27.78|
|Josef Hickersberger||Austria||1 January 1988||14 September 1990||29||10||7||12||36||39||34.48||Qualified for the 1990 World Cup.|
|Alfred Riedl||Austria||15 September 1990||10 October 1991||8||1||3||4||6||16||12.5|
||Austria||10 October 1991||13 November 1991||2||0||0||2||1||4||0.00|
|Ernst Happel||Austria||1 January 1992||14 November 1992||9||2||3||4||18||17||22.22||Died while in the position of national coach.|
|Dietmar Constantini||Austria||15 November 1992||18 November 1992||1||0||1||0||0||0||0.00|
|Herbert Prohaska||Austria||8 January 1993||29 March 1999||51||25||9||17||96||73||49.02||Qualified for the 1998 World Cup.|
|Otto Barić|| Austria
|13 April 1999||21 November 2001||22||7||6||9||31||35||31.82|
|Hans Krankl||Austria||21 January 2002||28 September 2005||31||10||10||11||47||46||32.26|
Willibald Ruttensteiner (caretaker)
|Austria||30 September 2005||31 December 2005||2||1||0||1||2||1||50.00|
|Josef Hickersberger||Austria||1 January 2006||23 June 2008||27||5||9||13||29||39||18.52|
|Karel Brückner||Czech Republic||25 July 2008||2 March 2009||7||1||2||4||9||15||14.29|
|Dietmar Constantini||Austria||4 March 2009||13 September 2011||23||7||3||13||29||42||30.43|
||Austria||13 September 2011||11 October 2011||2||1||1||0||4||1||50.00|
|Marcel Koller||Switzerland||1 November 2011||1 November 2017||54||25||13||16||81||58||46.3||Qualified for the UEFA Euro 2016|
|Franco Foda||Germany||November 2017||present||1||1||0||0||2||1||N/A|
- Austria appoint Franco Foda as new national team manager. Retrieved 2 November 2017. ESPN.
- After 1988, the tournament has been restricted to squads with no more than 3 players over the age of 23, and these matches are not regarded as part of the national team's record, nor are caps awarded.
- Nazis in der Abseitsfalle. einestages. Spiegel Online. Accessed 10 May 2010.
- Moore, Glenn (2007-08-16). "Austria must pull out of Euro 2008, say 10,000 fans petition". London: The Independent. Archived from the original on 17 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-16.
- "NATIONALTEAM _Das Team". ÖFB.
- "Der Grosskader des ÖFB Nationalteams" (in German). ÖFB. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- "NATIONALTEAM _Statistik". ÖFB.
- Win% is rounded to two decimal places