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The Austria national football team is the association football team that represents the country of Austriamarker in international competition and is controlled by the Austrian Football Association (German: Österreichischer Fußball Bund).

Austria has qualified for seven World Cups, most recently in 1998. The country played in the European Championship for the first time in 2008 when it co-hosted the event with Switzerland.

History

Pre-war

The Austrian Football Association was founded on 18 March 1904 in the Empire of Austria-Hungary. The team enjoyed success in the 1930s under coach Hugo Meisl becoming a dominant side in Europe and earning the nickname "Wunderteam". On 16 May 1931, they were the first European side to defeat Scotland.

In the 1934 FIFA World Cup, they finished 4th after losing 0-1 to Italy in the semifinals, and 3-2 to Germany for Third place. They were runners-up in the Football at the Summer Olympics 1936, again losing to Italy, 2-1. (They had actually lost in the quarterfinals to Peru, but were re-instated after Peru withdrew after a re-match was ordered.)

Austriamarker had qualified for the 1938 finals, but due to the Anschluss on 12 March of that year, Austria was annexed to Germany. Already on 28 March, FIFA was notified that the Austrian FA had been abolished, meaning also withdrawal from the World Cup, with the German team representing also Austria. 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 games to prepare and merge the very different styles of play and attitude. The former Austrian professionals outplayed the rather athletic yet amateur player 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 mixture of players from the two hitherto teams.

As a result, five players from Rapid Wien, Vienna Wienmarker and Austria 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 2:4 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. This elimination in Round 1 remains Germany's worst World Cup result, with Nazi policy likely denying both teams a better result.

After World War II, Austria was again separated from Germany. Austria's best result came in 1954, when they lost the semifinal 1 – 6 to eventual champion Germany, but finished third after beating defending champion 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.

1970s and 1980s

Anchored by legendary striker Hans Krankl and backed up by co-star Bruno Pezzey, Austria reached the World Cup in 1978 and 1982 and both times reached the Second Round, held in team group games that replaced the knock-out Quarter Finals. This Austria team is widely regarded as the best post-WWII Austrian football team ever.

In the 1978 FIFA World Cup in Argentina, they had lost two games 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 Córdobamarker against West Germany, and eliminated the defending world champion, beating them 3-2 by goals of Krankl. The celebrating report of the radio commentator Edi Finger ("I werd narrisch!") became famous in Austria, while the Germans regard the game as a disgrace (:de:Schmach von Córdoba).

During the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain, Austria and West Germany met again, in the last game of Round 1. Because the other two teams in the group had played their last game the previous day, both teams knew that a West German win by one goal would see both through, a larger win would eliminate Austria and an Austrian win would eliminate West Germany. After ten minutes of furious attack, Horst Hrubesch scored for West Germany, and the two teams proceeded to simply kick the ball around for eighty minutes with no attempt to attack. The game became known as the non-aggression pact of Gijon. Algeria had also won two games, including a shocking surprise over Germany in the opener, but was eliminated by the 0-1 result based on goal difference. The Algerian supporters were understandably 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 game, all future tournaments would see the last group games played simultaneously.

Austria was eliminated by losing to France in the Second round group stage of three teams.

1990s

Led by striker Toni Polster, Austria qualified for the 1990 World Cup, but were eliminated in the first round.

Much worse was the stunning 0:1 loss against the Faroe Islands in the qualifying campaign for the European Championship 1992, considered 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 Islands.It was a sign for things to come: Austria suffered another couple of years of botched qualifying campaigns.

In the World Cup 1998, Austria were drawn in Group B along with 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 superb goal was cancelled out by Toni Polster's late strike. In their second game, it was Ivica Vastic who curled a last minute equalizer, cancelling out Marcelo Salas's disputed opener. Austria weren't so fortunate in their crucial, final match at the Stade de Francemarker. 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.

21st Century

In recent years, Austria's form has declined. They failed to qualify for the next World Cup and European Championships, 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 Austrian national team, with a notable win against Switzerland in late 2006 bringing to an end a series of bad results.

Austria qualified automatically for the European Championships of 2008 as co-hosts. Their first major tournament in a decade, most commentators regarded them as rank 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 that 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, gave the Croatians a hard time before losing 1-0 to a Luka Modrić penalty and defended valiantly against the Germans but Michael Ballack's free kick sealed the game in a 1-0 defeat.

Shortly after Austria's first-round exit from the tournament, Josef 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 Karel Brückner was released in March 2009 and the position was subsequently taken by Didi Constantini. Even though Austria did not manage to secure automatic qualification or a play-off spot for the World Cup 2010, they still managed a memorable 3-1 win over France during qualifying, which was also France's only defeat in qualifying.

Records at major tournaments

World Cup record

Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
1930 Did not enter - - - - - - -
1934 Fourth place 4 4 2 0 2 7 7
1938 Qualified - - - - - - -
1950 Withdrew - - - - - - -
1954 Third place 3 5 4 0 1 17 12
1958 Round 1 15 3 0 1 2 2 7
1962 Withdrew - - - - - - -
1966 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
1970 Did not Qualify - - - - - - -
1974 Did not Qualify - - - - - - -
1978 Second group stage 7 6 3 0 3 7 10
1982 Second group stage 8 5 2 1 2 5 4
1986 Did not Qualify - - - - - - -
1990 Round 1 18 3 1 0 2 2 3
1994 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
1998 Round 1 23 3 0 2 1 3 4
2002 Did not Qualify - - - - - - -
2006 Did not Qualify - - - - - - -
2010 Did not Qualify - - - - - - -
Total 7/18 29 12 4 13 43 47
*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.


European Championship record

Year Result GP W D* L GS GA
1960 Did not qualify - - - - - -
1964 Did not qualify - - - - - -
1968 Did not qualify - - - - - -
1972 Did not qualify - - - - - -
1976 Did not qualify - - - - - -
1980 Did not qualify - - - - - -
1984 Did not qualify - - - - - -
1988 Did not qualify - - - - - -
1992 Did not qualify - - - - - -
1996 Did not qualify - - - - - -
2000 Did not qualify - - - - - -
2004 Did not qualify - - - - - -
2008 Round 1 3 0 1 2 1 3
Total 1/13 3 0 1 2 1 3


Current squad

The following is the squad for the qualification matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup against Lithuania on 10 October and against France on 14 October 2009. Caps and goals as of 9 September 2009.







On call

Recent call-ups

Staff



2010 FIFA World Cup qualification

Manager history



Legacy

Due to the former empire of Austria-Hungarythat was dissolved in 1918, games among these teams used to serve as a background for a joke: "Who's playing?" - "Austria-Hungary" -"Against whom?". However, even before 1918 the Austrian and Hungarian parts of the empire had separate teams.

Austria used to play in similar colours to those of the German team; white jerseys, black shorts, black socks (the Germans wear white ones). In order to distinguish themselves, in 2004 coach Hans Krankl switched to their former away shirts, which have the same colour scheme as Austria's flag, red-white-red, but Germany's coach Klinsmann then also promoted the use of red. To further distinguish themselves from Germany, the Austrians now use an all-black away kit.

References

External links



Name Nationality From To P W D L GF GA Win% Notes
Hugo Meisl
22 December 1912
3 October 1914
6 3 1 2 11 9 50.00
Heinrich Retschury
4 October 1914
1 August 1919
22 8 3 11 45 47
Hugo Meisl
1 August 1919
17 February 1937
127 68 29 30 326 206
Created the Wunderteam.

4th place at the 1934 World Cup.

Winners of the 1932 Central European International Cup.

Runners-up of the 1930 and 1935 Central European International Cup.
Heinrich Retschury
22 May 1937
24 October 1937
5 2 1 2 10 10 40.00
Qualified for the 1938 World Cup.
From 1938 to 1945 there was no national team due to Anschluss.
Karl Zankl
19 August 1945
3 October 1945
2 0 0 2 2 7 0.00
Died while in the position of national coach.
Edi Bauer
3 October 1945
4 March 1948
11 4 0 7 26 28
Eduard Frühwirth
4 March 1948
1 September 1948
5 3 0 2 9 9 60.00
Walter Nausch
1 September 1948
15 November 1954
47 21 10 16 119 87
3rd place at the 1954 World Cup.
Hans Kaulich
15 November 1954
28 March 1955
1 0 0 1 2 3 0.00
Josef Molzer
29 March 1955
3 September 1955
3 1 1 1 6 8
Karl Geyer
3 September 1955
21 April 1956
5 2 0 3 8 14 40.00
Josef Argauer

Josef Molzer


21 April 1956
9 August 1958
18 7 6 5 37 27
Qualified for the 1958 World Cup.
Alfred Frey

Franz Putzendopler

Egon Selzer

Josef Molzer



9 August 1958
15 October 1958
2 0 0 2 4 6 0.00
Karl Decker
16 October 1958
28 February 1964
36 16 3 17 60 67
Josef Walter

Béla Guttmann

7 March 1964
11 October 1964
5 3 1 1 6 5 60.00
Eduard Frühwirth
20 November 1964
13 January 1967
15 4 3 8 12 23
Erwin Alge

Hans Pesser

13 January 1967
24 June 1968
10 3 2 5 18 19 30.00
Leopold Šťastný
1 July 1968
30 September 1975
49 15 16 18 58 62
Branko Elsner

(caretaker)
6 October 1975
19 November 1975
2 1 0 1 6 3 50.00
Helmut Senekowitsch
1 March 1976
30 June 1978
26 14 4 8 40 26
Qualified for the 1978 World Cup.
Karl Stotz
1 August 1978
14 December 1981
24 13 6 5 43 25
Qualified for the 1982 World Cup.
Georg Schmidt

Felix Latzke


5 February 1982
2 July 1982
8 5 1 2 11 7
Erich Hof
7 September 1982
21 November 1984
15 6 3 6 22 20
Branko Elsner
15 January 1985
18 November 1987
18 5 5 8 20 28
Josef Hickersberger
1 January 1988
14 September 1990
29 10 7 12 36 39
Qualified for the 1990 World Cup.
Alfred Riedl
15 September 1990
10 October 1991
8 1 3 4 6 16
Dietmar Constantini

(caretaker)
10 October 1991
13 November 1991
2 0 0 2 1 4 0.00
Ernst Happel
1 Januar 1992
14 November 1992
9 2 3 4 18 17
Dietmar Constantini (caretaker)
15 November 1992
18 November 1992
1 0 1 0 0 0
Herbert Prohaska
8 January 1993
29 March 1999
51 25 9 17 96 73
Qualified for the 1998 World Cup.
Otto Barić
13 April 1999
21 November 2001
22 7 6 9 31 35
Hans Krankl
21 January 2002
28 September 2005
31 10 10 11 47 46
Willibald Ruttensteiner

Andreas Herzog

Slavko Kovacic

(caretakers)




30–September–2005
December 2005
2 1 0 1 2 1 50.00
Josef Hickersberger
1 January 2006
23 June 2008
24 5 8 11 29 40
Karel Brückner
25 July 2008
2 March 2009
6 1 2 3 9 13
Dietmar Constantini
4 March 2009
Present
6 3 1 2 9 8

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