June 13, 2021

Austria, all about the team

The team, or a sober “The team”. Or the red-white-red, for “Les Rouges-Blancs-Rouges”. The Austrians do it in simplicity.

  • The calendar (French timeeasy)

June 13: Austria – North Macedonia, 6 p.m., Bucharest

June 17: Netherlands v Austria, 9 p.m., Amsterdam

June 21: Ukraine v Austria, 6 p.m., Bucharest

The first two of each group as well as the four best thirds qualify.

  • Lteam that should play

Alexander Schlager – David Alaba, Stefan Lainer, Aleksandar Dragovic, Martin Hinteregger – Christoph Baumgartner, Florian Grillitsch, Xaver Schlager – Marko Arnautovic, Michael Gregoritsch, Karim Onisiwo.

Austria, which runs behind the past glory of its Wunderteam of the 1930s, only participated in two Euros: in 2008, automatically qualified as host country, and in 2016. Two tournaments left from the group stage with, each time, two defeats and a draw .

  • The coach: Franco Foda

Austrian coach Franco Foda, in October 2020, during a League of Nations match against Romania.

Arrived at the head of the Austrian selection in 2017, after the resignation of Marcel Koller and the non-qualification for the 2018 World Cup, Franco Foda, 60, inherited a team in distress whose last success in a major final phase dates back to to nearly three decades (2-1 against the United States at the 1990 World Cup).

Famous for ” his reluctance to use young talents, favoring established players he knows well ”, According to Austrian football specialist Anna Konovalova, the former German defender of SK Sturm Graz nevertheless trusts a new conquering generation, like the giant of VfB Stuttgart Sasa Kalajdzic (2 meters, 23 years old), 5 selections and 3 goals in the jersey of The team.

David Alaba, in the fight with Kylian Mbappé, on April 7 during the quarter-final of the Champions League between Bayern Munich and PSG, in Munich.

Where to position David Alaba on a field? This is the luxurious puzzle facing his coaches. Left-back by training, the Austrian born of a Nigerian father and a Filipino mother, spotted by Bayern Munich at the age of 16, has sometimes evolved to the position of central defender, midfielder or, higher, on the left wing. “David Alaba is our God. He has already played in almost all positions ”, summed up former Bavarian coach Pep Guardiola, with whom Alaba played between 2013 and 2016.

Once again crowned in the European queen competition in 2020, the nine-time winner of the German championship is the figurehead of the Austrian selection, which he has not left since he was 17 years old. “This is the first time that a black person in Austria has received so much support”, explained in 2012 Simon Inou, a journalist from Cameroon based in Vienna.

Read also Euro 2016: David Alaba, the “real Viennese”
  • It s‘changed to the Euro

At Euro 2016, during the group match between Portugal and Austria (0-0), Cristiano Ronaldo had not saved himself: right, left, head, in the game and on penalty, the Madrilenian had tried everything this Saturday, June 18, but had come up against the opposing goalkeeper, Robert Almer, and his amounts. Of the 23 Portuguese shots, the Austrian goalkeeper had yielded only once but the goal of “CR7” was refused for offside. At 32, Almer had donned the hero costume and allowed Austria to win their only point in the competition.

Famous for his 600 goals with FK Austria Vienna, and for his ability to slip like a sheet of paper into the heart of opposing defenses, the paper one (“The paper man”), Matthias Sindelar, is also known to have been the center forward who challenged Hitler. In 1938, Austria was annexed by the Third Reich. Nazi Germany is organizing a friendly match against the Wunderteam, some of whose players have joined the ranks of the opposing team. TheConnection game results in a defeat of the occupier (2-0). Scorer, the “Mozart of football” dances in front of high Nazi dignitaries.

A few months later, he refused to put on the Germany jersey at the World Cup. This is too much insult, a price is put on his head. Sindelar died six months later at the age of 35 under murky circumstances. Since January 23, the Austrians celebrate their genius of the round ball.

Read also Sindelar, a Viennese legend

See conservative Austria represented by a drag queen rocked the world of Eurovision in 2014. Transvestite in a long golden dress and a false beard, Conchita Wurst – Thomas Neuwirth in civil status -, won that year Austria’s second success in the famous musical competition with Rise Like a Phoenix (“Like a reborn phoenix”), forty-eight years after that of Udo Jürgens (1934-2014).

Read the article Eurovision: Conchita Wurst’s victory seen from Austria

La wiener schnitzel, Breaded veal cutlet is the traditional Austrian dish. It is served with lingonberry jam and a salad of parsley potatoes. For dessert, the apple strudel and its rum-flavored currants serve as Proust madeleine. A glass if not two of the local white wine grape (grüner veltliner) will marry everything wonderfully.