|Confederation UEFA (Europe)|
Top scorer Anton Polster (44)
FIFA code AUT
Manager Marcel Koller
|Most caps Andreas Herzog (103)|
Home stadium Ernst-Happel-Stadion
Captain Julian Baumgartlinger
Head coach Marcel Koller
|Nickname(s) Das Team
Association Austrian Football Association
The Austria national football team (German: Österreichische Fußballnationalmannschaft) is the association football team that represents the country of Austria in international competition and is controlled by the Austrian Football Association (German: Österreichischer Fußballbund). 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 and most recently qualified in 2016.
- Austria national football team open training sessions 04th september 2014
- Pre war
- After the War
- 1970s and 1980s
- 2000s Decline
- 2010s Revival
- Current squad
- Recent call ups
- Recent and forthcoming fixtures
- Player statistics
- Kit history
- Manager history
Austria national football team open training sessions 04th september 2014
The Austrian Football Association 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 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 FIFA 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 Austrian FA 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 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 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 War
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 an air disaster) prevented the team to reach the next round. Still holding to the great popularity in the country, under new coach Decker 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 the Prater Stadium, the team could beat 3–1 to Soviet Union and Spain 3–0. Due to lack of money, however, Austria decided not to participate at the 1962 World Cup in Chile, and the team fell apart. Abrupt end of Austria’s success in the postwar period eventually formed the clear 0–6 loss against Czechoslovakia in 1962, of 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 the English national team at home. Two goals in a 3–2 victory achieved Toni Fritsch, who was nicknamed "Wembley Toni" then. In the same year, however, Austria failed to qualify for the first time to the World Cup in the 1966 edition, ending third against a still-strong Hungary and the GDR; they only got a draw. In the summer of 1968, Leopold Šťastný, the Slovak successful coach of the Wacker Innsbruck, took over the national football team. Despite failing to qualify for the 1970 World Cup, the new coach emphasized on developing new players, rather than relying in the old ground. Supported by a large football euphoria, Austria came very close to qualify to the 1974 World Cup in Germany. The qualifying round of the Austrian team decided on points and goal difference with the same with Sweden in the first place, so that a play between these two teams to qualify in Gelsenkirchen should be discharged. In order to have enough time to prepare, a championship round was exposed and covered the quarter in Germany five days before the playoff. On snow-covered ground, the team lost but with 1–2, besides, numerous missed chances, hit the bar, among other things, the gate lintel. The team also remained undefeated.
1970s and 1980s
Anchored by Herbert Prohaska and striker Hans Krankl, 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 games that replaced the knock-out quarter-finals. This Austria team, coached by Helmut Senekowitsch, 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 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 FIFA World Cup in Spain, Austria and West Germany met again, in the last game of the group stage. 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, 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 eighty minutes with few attempts to attack. The game became known as the non-aggression pact of Gijón. Algeria had also won two games, including a shocking surprise over Germany in the opener, but among the three teams that had won two games, 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 game, all future tournaments would see the last group games 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 FIFA World Cup, but were eliminated in the first round, despite defeating the United States by a 2–1 score. 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 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 FIFA World Cup, 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 goal was cancelled out by Anton Polster's late strike. In their second game, it was Ivica Vastić 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 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 – Decline
After 1998, Austria began to decline. They failed to qualify for 2002 FIFA World Cup and UEFA 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 Austrian national team, which included some respectable results such as a 1–0 victory against Switzerland in 2006.
Austria qualified automatically for the 2008 European Championships 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 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, 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. Even though Austria did not manage to secure automatic qualification or a play-off spot for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, under Brückner they still managed a memorable 3–1 win over France during qualifying, which was also France's only defeat in qualifying.
2010s – Revival
In the qualifying campaign for UEFA Euro 2012 the Austrians played against Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Turkey and Germany. Despite playing against the Germans, it wasn't perceived as one of the most difficult groups, since Turkey and Belgium, the main contenders for the play-off spot, both struggled in the previous World Cup qualifiers. Austria started fairly well, beating the group's two weakest teams, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, both wins being at home. It was followed with an exciting match in Belgium, which ended in a bizarre 4–4 score, what was seen as a good result for Das Team, as it meant that it had gone through all qualifiers in 2010 unbeaten. However, in March 2011, the Austrians' luck took a turn for the worse, as Belgium went to Vienna and recovered the points missed at home with a deserved 2–0 win, courtesy of an Axel Witsel double. The defeat in the head-to-head clash at home set the tone for remaining matches as Austria was again defeated four days later, this time in Turkey, another crucial match. In June, the Austrians faced a must-win against Germany. Austria played bravely, but was once again defeated, this time in injury time, Mario Gómez scoring the winning goal in a 2–1 defeat. In the return leg, the team was crushed by Germany in an impressive 6–2 score. At that point, the mathematic hopes for even a top-two finish effectively ended. Despite those four straight defeats, Austria finished the campaign unbeaten in the last three matches, drawing against Turkey (at home) and Kazakhstan (away), and recording a sounding 4–1 win in Azerbaijan (away).
Over the past 2 years, the Austrian team has seen a major renaissance. A number of players from the 2007 U-20 team that finished 4th in the World Cup that year have ended up developing and becoming full starters for the squad. These players include Sebastian Prödl, Markus Suttner, Martin Harnik, Veli Kavlak, Erwin Hoffer, Zlatko Junuzović and Rubin Okotie. The new generation of young and talented Austrian footballers has helped begin a new era in Austrian football after a previous decade in the abyss.
The team failed to qualify for the 2014 tournament in Brazil, but finished in 3rd place with a respectable 5–2–3 record with 17 points and a +10 goal difference; there were a number of quality 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, as well as losing a hard-fought 1–2 game in Sweden.
The UEFA 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 Chisinau) and Montenegro (1–0 in Vienna) before achieving one of the finest moments in Austrian football since the team last qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 1997 with a 1–0 victory over Russia in front of a packed crowd in Vienna. Okotie scored the deciding goal in the closing 20 minutes of the game after a previous Austrian goal a minute before was controversially disallowed. The Austrians played a friendly game against vaunted Brazil a few days later, but would battle the Samba Kings before falling to a late goal by Roberto Firmino in a 2–1 loss.
The Austrians good fortunes continued in 2015. Austria won comfortably against Liechtenstein 5–0, before facing a true test of their strength in Moscow in a key match against Russia. Despite the heavy pressure, the Austrians were able to come away with an impressive victory, courtesy of a goal by Marc Janko in the 33rd minute; the Austrians held on, edging closer to the Euros. In their next fixture against Moldova, despite the heavy pressure to win, the Austrians escaped with a narrow home victory over Moldova, securing at least a playoff spot for next year's competition. On 8 September 2015 a 4–1 win over Sweden secured Austria's place at UEFA Euro 2016.
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).
The following players have been called up for the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Republic of Ireland on 12 November 2016 and friendly match against Slovakia on 15 November 2016.
Caps and goals as of 15 November 2016 after match against Slovakia.
The following players have also been called up to the Austria squad in the last 12 months and are still eligible for selection.
INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
RET Retired from international football
SUS Suspended in official matches.
Recent and forthcoming fixturesAs of 12 November 2016
Player statisticsAs of 15 November 2016 Players in bold are still active in the national team.
Austria used to play in similar colours to those of the Germany national football 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. 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 FIFA World Cup match against Germany, the Austrians borrowed a set of light blue tops belonging to SC Napoli for the match, as both teams had white shirts and black shorts.
Austria's current kit suppliers are Puma since 1978.