Evolutia fotbalului austriac!
Austrian soccer: Its development, its rise in the last few yearsAustria was once one of the best teams in the world – but that’s more than one hundred years ago. In the last decades, Austria struggled heavily to not deliver an increasingly bad performance in soccer. From successful players, who had their best time in the sixties and seventies, the Austrian team changed to a bunch of guys neither talented nor successful. In the nineties and even in the early 2000s, the Austrian soccer team was at it absolutely lowest point. The team didn’t score, they didn’t even left some respect for the Austrian soccer sport.Probably one of the worst experiences for the Austrian soccer team was the 0:1 loss against the Faroer Islands. A country, consisting of a few small islands and not more than a few thousand people beat Austria, a nine million people country – the Faroer soccer player didn’t even played full-time, they had normal jobs as well! The Austrian soccer team got better after the coach Josef Hickersberger left the team, managed to avoid such shameful losses, which received international attention.Instead of that Austria finally changed much, Austria changed in terms of soccer rather just little. Austrian players played better, faster and lasted longer during the match, but didn’t skyrocket for sure. Most of them weren’t on the next level, were internationally still a joke, even compared to players in middle-Europe, coming from countries who are as big as Austria is. In a nutshell, the old enthusiasm that people had about Austrian football wasn’t there anymore. And there was no reason for it either, because most Austrian soccer players didn’t even had a net worth over a few hundred thousand euros – while German players got several football player with a net worth over a few millions euros.Luckily, after a few coaches, a man with a serious plan and a vision came up. His name is Marcel Koller. Coming from Swiss, a country known for its great work ethic, people hoped for the best. They weren’t disappointed, because Koller changed many positions in the team, kicked people out and let others in, and in a nutshell, changed the whole game plan for the official Austrian soccer team.And things got better! Kollers plan worked, and first successes built up a little self-confidence among the soccer players in Austria. Hope is there again. Somebody got a vision in this sport and leads our team – the feeling of working towards a goal was there again! And after years of being pretty much on the ground of the success scale in football, Austria even made it to qualify itself for the EM. A great success, especially for a small country like Austria.We qualified ourselves and even managed to not lose in 10 games during the qualification. Our victory against a huge country like Russia was celebrated big. There were many other victories too, until we had our first match in the EM – against Hungary, a well-known country for most Austrians. While we had huge expectations, Austria didn’t even played nearly as well as most people expected. Hungary had a strong defense and always avoided pretty successfully letting someone in. After a while, the player performance of the Austrian team seemingly decreased and the Hungarian team realized that too. They scored a goal, and after a team, unfortunately a second one.The second match so far in the EM was against Portugal. With an international top player – Christiano Ronaldo – Portugal hoped for the best and expected a victory. Austria had a bad day, Portugal too. After countless attempts, Portugal didn’t manage to even score one correct goal. They’ve had a goal but it was not counted to due policy violations.Austria’s future in the sport is brighter than we thought it is. Koller brought up a new hope for the Austrian soccer team – a hope that is not going to die just because of a few losses. With quality players like Alaba, Arnautovic and Harnik, we certainly got the right capital for the next few years. But important is too, what’s going to happen in the long run. Is Austria going to build up and develop new successful and talented players, or is it going to hope for the best but not actually do anything about the youth of soccer? These questions will need to get answered, otherwise I see less hope for the Austrian soccer sport. Fortunately, the coach Marcel Koller is about to answer them, as it seems like.Right now, we can only hope for the best in Austrian soccer. Austria never had problems achieving huge goals, but football wasn’t our métier for the last few years for sure. Let’s see what the future brings! At the end of the day, we all will see what’s going to happen, how Alaba and Co. is going to develop. If we aren’t about to win goals, chances are we will struggle again. But fortunately it seems like that many important persons in the Austrian sport and the ÖFB-team (Austrian Football Federation) finally understood how important development for their own good is. I’m sure that the full potential of this sport in Austria isn’t full developed, therefore we can’t say that there is a reason to be unhappy. Austria is on its rise, working its way up more and more. Hopefully, a long and successful rise is standing in front of the Austrian soccer team.Author: Lukas – Austria