Austria national football team

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Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Das Team
Unsere Burschen
Association Österreichischer Fußball-Bund (ÖFB)
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Franco Foda[1]
Captain Julian Baumgartlinger
Most caps Andreas Herzog (103)
Top scorer Anton Polster (44)
Home stadium Ernst-Happel-Stadion
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 29 Increase 10 (23 November 2017)
Highest 10 (March–June 2016)
Lowest 105 (July 2008)
Elo ranking
Current 42 (15 November 2017)
Highest 1 (May 1934)
Lowest 75 (2 September 2011)
First international
 Austria 5–0 Hungary 
(Vienna, Austria; October 12, 1902)
Biggest win
 Austria 9–0 Malta 
(Salzburg, Austria; April 30, 1977)
Biggest defeat
 Austria 1–11 England 
(Vienna, Austria; June 8, 1908)
World Cup
Appearances 7 (first in 1934)
Best result Third place, 1954
European Championship
Appearances 2 (first in 2008)
Best result Group stage, 2008 and 2016

The Austria national football team (German: Österreichische Fußballnationalmannschaft) is the association football team that represents Austria in international competition and is controlled by the Austrian Football Association (German: Österreichischer Fußballbund). Austria has qualified for seven FIFA World Cups, most recently in 1998. The country played in the UEFA European Championship for the first time in 2008, when it co-hosted the event with Switzerland, and most recently qualified in 2016.



The Austrian Football Association ("OFB") 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 the 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 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 OFB had been abolished, resulting in the nation's withdrawal from the World Cup.[3] 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 matches to prepare and merge the very different styles of play and attitude. The former Austrian professionals outplayed the rather athletic yet amateur players 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[edit]

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 the Munich air disaster) prevented the team from reaching the next round. Still holding to the great popularity in the country, under new coach Decker they 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 Prater Stadium, the team could beat the Soviet Union 3–1 and Spain 3–0. However, due to lack of money, Austria decided not to participate at the 1962 World Cup in Chile, and the team fell apart. The abrupt end of Austria's success in the post-war period led to the clear 0–6 loss against Czechoslovakia in 1962, from 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 England at home. Two goals in a 3–2 victory were achieved by Toni Fritsch, who was then nicknamed "Wembley Toni". However, in the same year, Austria failed for the first time to qualify for the World Cup in the 1966 edition, ending third against a still-strong Hungary and East Germany; they only earned a draw. In the summer of 1968, Leopold Šťastný, the successful Slovak coach of Wacker Innsbruck, took over the national team. Despite failing to qualify for the 1970 World Cup, the new coach emphasized developing new players rather than relying on the old guard. Supported by a large football euphoria, Austria came very close to qualifying for the 1974 World Cup in Germany. The qualifying round was tied for first place between Austria and Sweden, despite tiebreakers based on points and goal difference, therefore a playoff was needed for qualifying, held in Gelsenkirchen. In order to have enough time to prepare, the championship round was suspended and the stadium in Gelsenkirchen was prepared five days before the playoff. On snow-covered ground, Austria lost 1–2, but with numerous missed chances such as hitting the crossbar. The team also remained undefeated.[clarification needed]

1970s and 1980s[edit]

Anchored by Herbert Prohaska and striker Hans Krankl, and 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 matches that replaced the knockout quarter-finals. This Austria team, coached by Helmut Senekowitsch, is widely regarded as the best post-World War II Austrian football team ever.

In the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, they had lost two matches 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 World Cup in Spain, Austria and West Germany met again, in the last match of the group stage. Because the other two teams in the group had played their last match 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 80 minutes with few attempts to attack. The match became known as the "non-aggression pact of Gijón". Algeria had also won two matches, including a shocking surprise over West Germany in the opener, but among the three teams that had won two matches, 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 match, all future tournaments would see the last group matches 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 World Cup but were eliminated in the first round, despite defeating the United States 2–1. 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[by whom?] 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 World Cup, Austria were drawn in Group B alongside 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 match, it was Ivica Vastić who curled a last minute equalizer, cancelling out Marcelo Salas' disputed opener. Austria were not 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.

21st century[edit]

2000s – Decline[edit]

Austria national football team before the match against Sweden, June 2013

After 1998, Austria began to decline. They failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup and 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 Austria national team, which included some respectable results such as a 1–0 victory against Switzerland in 2006.

Austria qualified automatically for Euro 2008 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 Austria withdraw from the tournament to spare the nation's embarrassment.[4] However, Austria performed better than expected. They managed a 1–1 draw with Poland and lost 1–0 to both favoured Croatia and Germany.

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.

2010s – Revival[edit]

In the qualifying campaign for Euro 2012, the Austrians played against Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Turkey and Germany.

2014 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA), Group C

Over the next few years, the Austrian team has seen a major renaissance. A number of players from the 2007 U-20 team that finished fourth in the World Cup that year ended up developing and becoming full starters for the senior squad, including Sebastian Prödl, Markus Suttner, Martin Harnik, Veli Kavlak, Erwin Hoffer, Zlatko Junuzović and Rubin Okotie.

The team failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but finished in third place with a 5–2–3 record with 17 points and a +10 goal difference in their qualifying group. There were a number of notable 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 in the rematch.

The 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 Chișinău) and Montenegro (1–0 in Vienna). Rubin Okotie scored the deciding goal in the closing 20 minutes of the match after a previous Austrian goal a minute before was controversially disallowed. A week later, the team played a friendly away game against favored Brazil, losing 2–1.


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.

Records at major tournaments[edit]

World Cup record[edit]


Current squad[edit]

The following players have been called up for the friendly match against Uruguay on 14 November 2017.
Caps and goals as of 14 November 2017 after match against Uruguay.[5]

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Heinz Lindner (1990-07-17) 17 July 1990 (age 27) 16 0 Switzerland Grasshopper
12 1GK Pavao Pervan (1987-11-13) 13 November 1987 (age 30) 0 0 Austria LASK
23 1GK Jörg Siebenhandl (1990-01-18) 18 January 1990 (age 27) 0 0 Austria Sturm Graz

3 2DF Aleksandar Dragović (1991-03-06) 6 March 1991 (age 26) 61 1 England Leicester City
5 2DF Kevin Wimmer (1992-11-15) 15 November 1992 (age 25) 8 0 England Stoke City
4 2DF Kevin Danso (1998-09-19) 19 September 1998 (age 19) 5 0 Germany FC Augsburg
13 2DF Moritz Bauer (1992-01-25) 25 January 1992 (age 25) 4 0 Russia Rubin Kazan
2 2DF Andreas Ulmer (1985-10-30) 30 October 1985 (age 32) 4 0 Austria Red Bull Salzburg
15 2DF Stefan Lainer (1992-08-27) 27 August 1992 (age 25) 3 0 Austria Red Bull Salzburg
6 2DF Dominik Wydra (1994-03-21) 21 March 1994 (age 23) 0 0 Germany Erzgebirge Aue

7 3MF Marko Arnautović (1989-04-19) 19 April 1989 (age 28) 67 16 England West Ham United
14 3MF Julian Baumgartlinger (captain) (1988-01-02) 2 January 1988 (age 29) 59 1 Germany Bayer Leverkusen
18 3MF Alessandro Schöpf (1994-02-07) 7 February 1994 (age 23) 13 2 Germany Schalke 04alar
22 3MF Valentino Lazaro (1996-03-24) 24 March 1996 (age 21) 11 0 Germany Hertha BSC
10 3MF Louis Schaub (1994-12-29) 29 December 1994 (age 22) 6 4 Austria Rapid Wien
20 3MF Florian Grillitsch (1995-08-07) 7 August 1995 (age 22) 6 0 Germany 1899 Hoffenheim
17 3MF Florian Kainz (1992-10-24) 24 October 1992 (age 25) 6 0 Germany Werder Bremen
16 3MF Philipp Schobesberger (1993-12-10) 10 December 1993 (age 24) 1 0 Austria Rapid Wien
8 3MF Stefan Schwab (1990-09-27) 27 September 1990 (age 27) 1 0 Austria Rapid Wien
24 3MF Stefan Hierländer (1991-02-03) 3 February 1991 (age 26) 0 0 Austria Sturm Graz

9 4FW Marcel Sabitzer (1994-03-17) 17 March 1994 (age 23) 29 5 Germany RB Leipzig
19 4FW Guido Burgstaller (1989-04-29) 29 April 1989 (age 28) 14 1 Germany Schalke 04
21 4FW Deni Alar (1990-01-18) 18 January 1990 (age 27) 1 0 Austria Sturm Graz

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have also been called up to the Austria squad in the last 12 months and are still eligible for selection.[6]

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Daniel Bachmann (1994-07-09) 9 July 1994 (age 23) 0 0 England Watford v.  Moldova, 9 October 2017
GK Markus Kuster (1994-02-22) 22 February 1994 (age 23) 0 0 Austria SV Mattersburg v.  Georgia, 5 September 2017
GK Andreas Lukse (1987-11-08) 8 November 1987 (age 30) 1 0 Austria SCR Altach v.  Moldova, 24 March 2017

DF Florian Klein (1986-11-17) 17 November 1986 (age 31) 45 0 Austria Austria Wien v.  Moldova, 9 October 2017
DF Maximilian Wöber (1998-02-04) 4 February 1998 (age 19) 2 0 Netherlands Ajax v.  Moldova, 9 October 2017
DF Philipp Lienhart (1996-07-11) 11 July 1996 (age 21) 1 0 Germany SC Freiburg v.  Moldova, 9 October 2017
DF Sebastian Prödl (1987-06-21) 21 June 1987 (age 30) 64 4 England Watford v.  Wales, 2 September 2017 INJ
DF Stefan Stangl (1991-10-24) 24 October 1991 (age 26) 1 0 Austria Red Bull Salzburg v.  Republic of Ireland, 11 June 2017
DF Markus Suttner RET (1987-04-16) 16 April 1987 (age 30) 20 0 England Brighton & Hove Albion v.  Finland, 28 March 2017
DF Michael Madl (1988-03-21) 21 March 1988 (age 29) 0 0 England Fulham v.  Finland, 28 March 2017

MF Stefan Ilsanker (1989-05-18) 18 May 1989 (age 28) 26 0 Germany RB Leipzig v.  Moldova, 9 October 2017
MF Christoph Knasmüllner (1992-04-30) 30 April 1992 (age 25) 0 0 Austria Admira Wacker Mödling v.  Moldova, 9 October 2017
MF Hannes Wolf (1999-04-16) 16 April 1999 (age 18) 0 0 Austria Red Bull Salzburg v.  Moldova, 9 October 2017
MF Martin Harnik RET (1987-06-10) 10 June 1987 (age 30) 68 15 Germany Hannover 96 v.  Georgia, 5 September 2017
MF David Alaba (1992-06-24) 24 June 1992 (age 25) 59 11 Germany Bayern Munich v.  Georgia, 5 September 2017
MF Konrad Laimer (1997-05-27) 27 May 1997 (age 20) 0 0 Germany RB Leipzig v.  Georgia, 5 September 2017
MF Maximilian Sax (1992-11-22) 22 November 1992 (age 25) 0 0 Austria Admira Wacker Mödling v.  Georgia, 5 September 2017
MF Zlatko Junuzović RET (1987-09-26) 26 September 1987 (age 30) 55 7 Germany Werder Bremen v.  Republic of Ireland, 11 June 2017

FW Marc Janko (Vice-captain) (1983-06-25) 25 June 1983 (age 34) 66 28 Czech Republic Sparta Prague v.  Moldova, 9 October 2017
FW Michael Gregoritsch (1994-04-18) 18 April 1994 (age 23) 5 0 Germany FC Augsburg v.  Moldova, 9 October 2017

INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
RET Retired from international football
SUS Suspended in official matches.

Recent and forthcoming fixtures[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Serbia 10 6 3 1 20 10 +10 21 Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup
2  Republic of Ireland 10 5 4 1 12 6 +6 19 Advance to second round
3  Wales 10 4 5 1 13 6 +7 17
4  Austria 10 4 3 3 14 12 +2 15
5  Georgia 10 0 5 5 8 14 −6 5
6  Moldova 10 0 2 8 4 23 −19 2
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Player statistics[edit]

As of 9 October 2017[5][7]
Players in bold are still active in the national team.

Most capped players[edit]

Andreas Herzog is the most capped player in the history of Austria with 103 caps.
# Player Period Caps Goals
1 Andreas Herzog 1988–2003 103 26
2 Anton Polster 1982–2000 95 44
3 Gerhard Hanappi 1948–1964 93 12
4 Karl Koller 1952–1965 86 5
5 Friedrich Koncilia 1970–1985 84 0
Bruno Pezzey 1975–1990 84 9
7 Herbert Prohaska 1974–1989 83 10
8 Christian Fuchs 2006–2016 78 1
9 Johann Krankl 1973–1985 69 34
Andreas Ivanschitz 2003–2014 69 12

Top goalscorers[edit]

Anton "Toni" Polster is the top scorer in the history of Austria with 44 goals.
# Player Period Goals Caps Average
1 Anton Polster 1982–2000 44 95 0.46
2 Johann Krankl 1973–1985 34 69 0.49
3 Johann Horvath 1924–1934 29 46 0.63
4 Erich Hof 1957–1968 28 37 0.76
5 Marc Janko 2006–present 66 0.42
6 Anton Schall 1927–1934 27 28 0.96
7 Matthias Sindelar 1926–1937 26 43 0.6
8 Andreas Herzog 1988–2003 26 103 0.25
9 Karl Zischek 1931–1945 24 40 0.6
10 Walter Schachner 1976–1994 23 64 0.36

Kit history[edit]

Austria used to play in colours similar to those of the Germany national team: white jerseys, black shorts, black socks (the Germans wear white ones). In order to distinguish themselves, in 2004, head 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 World Cup match against Germany, the Austrians borrowed a set of light blue tops belonging to Napoli for the match, as both teams had white shirts and black shorts.


Austria's current kit suppliers are Puma since 1978.

Manager history[edit]

As of 14 November 2017, after the match against Uruguay.[7]




Name Nationality From To P W D L GF GA Win%[8] Notes
Otto Barić  Austria
13 April 1999 21 November 2001 22 7 6 9 31 35 31.82
Hans Krankl  Austria 21 January 2002 28 September 2005 31 10 10 11 47 46 32.26
Willibald Ruttensteiner (caretaker)
 Austria 30 September 2005 31 December 2005 2 1 0 1 2 1 50.00
Josef Hickersberger  Austria 1 January 2006 23 June 2008 27 5 9 13 29 39 18.52
Karel Brückner  Czech Republic 25 July 2008 2 March 2009 7 1 2 4 9 15 14.29
Dietmar Constantini  Austria 4 March 2009 13 September 2011 23 7 3 13 29 42 30.43
Willibald Ruttensteiner
 Austria 13 September 2011 11 October 2011 2 1 1 0 4 1 50.00
Marcel Koller   Switzerland 1 November 2011 1 November 2017 54 25 13 16 81 58 46.3 Green tickY Qualified for the UEFA Euro 2016
Franco Foda[1]  Germany November 2011 present 1 1 0 0 2 1 N/A


  1. ^ a b Austria appoint Franco Foda as new national team manager. Retrieved 2 November 2017. ESPN.
  2. ^ After 1988, the tournament has been restricted to squads with no more than 3 players over the age of 23, and these matches are not regarded as part of the national team's record, nor are caps awarded.
  3. ^ Nazis in der Abseitsfalle. einestages. Spiegel Online. Accessed 10 May 2010.
  4. ^ Moore, Glenn (2007-08-16). "Austria must pull out of Euro 2008, say 10,000 fans petition". London: The Independent. Archived from the original on 17 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-16. 
  5. ^ a b "NATIONALTEAM _Das Team". ÖFB. 
  6. ^ "Der Grosskader des ÖFB Nationalteams" (in German). ÖFB. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "NATIONALTEAM _Statistik". ÖFB. 
  8. ^ a b c Win% is rounded to two decimal places

External links[edit]