The Central European International Cup was an international football competition held by certain national teams from Central Europe between 1927 and 1960. There were competitions for professional and amateur teams. Participating nations were Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Switzerland and (in the final competition) Yugoslavia. Poland and Romania only competed in the amateur competition.
Played as a league on a home and away basis, it was contested six times and each single tournament usually took more than two years to complete. The last two tournaments lasted five years. It was discontinued in 1960, when the European Football Championship started. Winners of the competition included the Austrian Wunderteam of the early 1930s, the Italy team that also won two World Cups in the 1930s, the Golden Team of Hungary and the Czechoslovakia team that later finished as World Cup runners up in 1962.
Central European International Cup Wikipedia
The trophy of the early competitions was named Švehla Cup after Antonín Švehla, the prime minister of Czechoslovakia, who donated it. After the Second World War the new trophy was known as the Dr. Gerö Cup in honour of Josef Gerö, a director of the Austrian Football Association and former match referee.
The competition was conceived by the Austrian football pioneer Hugo Meisl, regarded by some as one of the fathers of European football. Meisl was also behind the launch of the Mitropa Cup, a knockout competition for club teams from the same countries which also began in 1927. He also managed Austria during the Wunderteam era of the 1930s and led them to victory in the 1931-32 competition.
The first tournament played between 1927 and 1930 had been won by an Italy team inspired by Giuseppe Meazza. Meazza and Italy also won the 1933-35 competition. This time the team was coached by Vittorio Pozzo and either side of winning this competition they also won two World Cups in 1934 and 1938. The fourth tournament which began in 1936 was eventually abandoned due to the Anschluss Crisis and because of the Second World War, while a fifth tournament was not held until 1948. This tournament marked the advent of the Golden Team of Hungary, coached by Gusztáv Sebes and featuring Ferenc Puskás, Zoltán Czibor, Sándor Kocsis, Nándor Hidegkuti, József Bozsik and Gyula Grosics. They claimed the trophy after a 3-0 win over Italy in Rome in 1953. Italy: 2