UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League is an annual club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations and contested by top-division European clubs. It is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world and the most prestigious club competition in European football, played by the national league champions of the strongest UEFA national associations. Introduced in 1955 as the European Champion Clubs' Cup, more known as the European Cup, it was a straight knockout tournament open only to the champion club of each national championship; the competition took on its current name in 1992, adding a round-robin group stage and allowing multiple entrants from certain countries. It has since been expanded, while most of Europe's national leagues can still only enter their champion, the strongest leagues now provide up to five teams. Clubs that finish next-in-line in their national league, having not qualified for the Champions League, are eligible for the second-tier UEFA Europa League competition.
In its present format, the Champions League begins in late June with four knockout qualifying rounds and a play-off round. The 6 surviving teams enter the group stage; the 32 teams are drawn into eight groups of four teams and play each other in a double round-robin system. The eight group winners and eight runners-up proceed to the knockout phase that culminates with the final match in May; the winner of the Champions League qualifies for the FIFA Club World Cup. The competition has been won by 22 clubs. Real Madrid is the most successful club in the tournament's history, having won it 13 times, including its first five seasons. Real Madrid are the reigning champions. Spanish clubs have the highest number of victories, followed by Italy. England has the largest number of winning teams, with five clubs having won the title; the first pan-European tournament was the Challenge Cup, a competition between clubs in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Mitropa Cup, a competition modelled after the Challenge Cup, was created in 1927, an idea of Austrian Hugo Meisl, played between Central European clubs.
In 1930, the Coupe des Nations, the first attempt to create a cup for national champion clubs of Europe, was played and organised by Swiss club Servette. Held in Geneva, it brought together ten champions from across the continent; the tournament was won by Újpest of Hungary. Latin European nations came together to form the Latin Cup in 1949. After receiving reports from his journalists over the successful Campeonato Sudamericano de Campeones of 1948, Gabriel Hanot, editor of L'Équipe, began proposing the creation of a continent-wide tournament. After Stan Cullis declared Wolverhampton Wanderers "Champions of the World" following a successful run of friendlies in the 1950s, in particular a 3–2 friendly victory against Budapest Honvéd, Hanot managed to convince UEFA to put into practice such a tournament, it was conceived in Paris in 1955 as the European Champion Clubs' Cup. The first edition of the European Cup took place during the 1955–56 season. Sixteen teams participated: Milan, AGF Aarhus, Djurgården, Gwardia Warszawa, Partizan, PSV Eindhoven, Rapid Wien, Real Madrid, Rot-Weiss Essen, Saarbrücken, Sporting CP, Stade de Reims, Vörös Lobogó.
The first European Cup match took place on 4 September 1955, ended in a 3–3 draw between Sporting CP and Partizan. The first goal in European Cup history was scored by João Baptista Martins of Sporting CP; the inaugural final took place at the Parc des Princes between Stade de Real Madrid. The Spanish squad came back from behind to win 4–3 thanks to goals from Alfredo Di Stéfano and Marquitos, as well as two goals from Héctor Rial. Real Madrid defended the trophy next season in their home stadium, the Santiago Bernabéu, against Fiorentina. After a scoreless first half, Real Madrid scored twice in six minutes to defeat the Italians. In 1958, Milan failed to capitalise after going ahead on the scoreline twice, only for Real Madrid to equalise; the final held in Heysel Stadium went to extra time where Francisco Gento scored the game-winning goal to allow Real Madrid to retain the title for the third consecutive season. In a rematch of the first final, Real Madrid faced Stade Reims at the Neckarstadion for the 1958–59 season final winning 2–0.
West German side Eintracht Frankfurt became the first non-Latin team to reach the European Cup final. The 1959–60 season finale still holds the record for the most goals scored, with Real Madrid beating Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3 in Hampden Park, courtesy of four goals by Ferenc Puskás and a hat-trick by Alfredo Di Stéfano; this was a record that still stands today. Real Madrid's reign ended in the 1960–61 season when bitter rivals Barcelona dethroned them in the first round. Barcelona themselves, would be defeated in the final by Portuguese side Benfica 3–2 at Wankdorf Stadium. Reinforced by Eusébio, Benfica defeated Real Madrid 5–3 at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam and kept the title for a second, consecutive season. Benfica wanted to repeat Real Madrid's successful run of the 1950s after reaching the showpiece event of the 1962–63 European Cup, but a brace from Brazilian-Italian José Altafini at the Wembley Stadi
Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, the 14th largest city in the European Union and the historical capital of Bohemia. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of 2.6 million. The city has a temperate climate, with chilly winters. Prague has been a political and economic centre of central Europe complete with a rich history. Founded during the Romanesque and flourishing by the Gothic and Baroque eras, Prague was the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the main residence of several Holy Roman Emperors, most notably of Charles IV, it was an important city to its Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city played major roles in the Bohemian and Protestant Reformation, the Thirty Years' War and in 20th-century history as the capital of Czechoslovakia, during both World Wars and the post-war Communist era. Prague is home to a number of well-known cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of 20th-century Europe.
Main attractions include Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square with the Prague astronomical clock, the Jewish Quarter, Petřín hill and Vyšehrad. Since 1992, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites; the city has more than ten major museums, along with numerous theatres, galleries and other historical exhibits. An extensive modern public transportation system connects the city, it is home to a wide range of public and private schools, including Charles University in Prague, the oldest university in Central Europe. Prague is classified as an "Alpha −" global city according to GaWC studies and ranked sixth in the Tripadvisor world list of best destinations in 2016, its rich history makes it a popular tourist destination and as of 2017, the city receives more than 8.5 million international visitors annually. Prague is the fourth most visited European city after London and Rome. During the thousand years of its existence, the city grew from a settlement stretching from Prague Castle in the north to the fort of Vyšehrad in the south, becoming the capital of a modern European country, the Czech Republic, a member state of the European Union.
The region was settled as early as the Paleolithic age. A Jewish chronicler David Solomon Ganz, citing Cyriacus Spangenberg, claimed that the city was founded as Boihaem in c. 1306 BC by an ancient king, Boyya. Around the fifth and fourth century BC, a Celts tribe appeared in the area establishing settlements including an oppidum in Závist, a present-day suburb of Prague, naming the region of Bohemia, which means "home of the Boii people". In the last century BC, the Celts were driven away by Germanic tribes, leading some to place the seat of the Marcomanni king, Maroboduus, in southern Prague in the suburb now called Závist. Around the area where present-day Prague stands, the 2nd century map drawn by Ptolemaios mentioned a Germanic city called Casurgis. In the late 5th century AD, during the great Migration Period following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the Germanic tribes living in Bohemia moved westwards and in the 6th century, the Slavic tribes settled the Central Bohemian Region.
In the following three centuries, the Czech tribes built several fortified settlements in the area, most notably in the Šárka valley and Levý Hradec. The construction of what came to be known as Prague Castle began near the end of the 9th century, growing a fortified settlement that existed on the site since the year 800; the first masonry under Prague Castle dates from the year 885 at the latest. The other prominent Prague fort, the Přemyslid fort Vyšehrad, was founded in the 10th century, some 70 years than Prague Castle. Prague Castle is dominated by the cathedral, which began construction in 1344, but wasn't completed until the 20th century; the legendary origins of Prague attribute its foundation to the 8th century Czech duchess and prophetess Libuše and her husband, Přemysl, founder of the Přemyslid dynasty. Legend says that Libuše came out on a rocky cliff high above the Vltava and prophesied: "I see a great city whose glory will touch the stars." She ordered a town called Praha to be built on the site.
The region became the seat of the dukes, kings of Bohemia. Under Holy Roman Emperor Otto II the area became a bishopric in 973; until Prague was elevated to archbishopric in 1344, it was under the jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Mainz. Prague was an important seat for trading where merchants from all of Europe settled, including many Jews, as recalled in 965 by the Hispano-Jewish merchant and traveller Ibrahim ibn Ya'qub; the Old New Synagogue of 1270 still stands in the city. Prague was once home to an important slave market. At the site of the ford in the Vltava river, King Vladislaus I had the first bridge built in 1170, the Judith Bridge, named in honour of his wife Judith of Thuringia; this bridge was destroyed by a flood in 1342, but some of the original foundation stones of that bridge remain in the river. It was named the Charles Bridge. In 1257, under King Ottokar II, Malá Strana was founded in Prague on the site of an older village in what would become the Hradčany area; this was the district of the German people, who had the right to administer the law autonomously, pursuant to Magdeburg rights.
The new district was on the bank opposite of the Staré Město, which had borough status and was bordered by a line of walls and fortifications. Prague flourished dur
The Wiener Sport-Club, sometimes abbreviated as WSC, was established in 1883 in Vienna, Austria and is one of the country's oldest athletics clubs. Their traditional home is in the Dornbach quarter of the city. At various times throughout its history the club has had departments for fencing, wrestling, handball and field, field hockey, squash and water polo; the football team enjoyed success in Austria National Championship in 1922, 1958 and 1959. Their 1958 season included an impressive 7-0 victory over Juventus in European Champions Cup. Two bankruptcies in the 1990s led the team to slip into the lower leagues. In 2001 the football section split off as Wiener Sportklub due to financial troubles and was re-integrated back into WSC in 2017; the first squad plays in the Austrian Regional League East. The club's home ground Wiener Sport-Club Stadium dates back to 1904 and is considered as Austria's oldest used football field. Player and coach Erich Hof is known as the club's legend. Austrian Champions: 1921–22, 1957–58, 1958–59 Austrian Cup Winner: 1922-23 Austrian Football First League Winner: 1976-77 Austrian Regional League East Winner: 2001-02 Manager: Norbert Schweitzer Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules.
Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Eric Barber Erich Hof Lorin Avadanei Finn Laudrup Julius Emanche Horst Blankenburg Lothar Ulsaß Erich Hof Antoni Brzeżańczyk Slobodan Batricevic Goalkeeper Coach: Mirko Radulovic Wiener Sport-Club online Wiener Sport-Club football section Soccerway profile
AC Sparta Prague
Athletic Club Sparta Praha known as Sparta Prague, is a Czech football club based in Prague. It is the most successful club in the Czech Republic and one of the most successful in central Europe, winning the central European Cup three times as well as having reached the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1992 and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1973. Sparta have been successful on the international stage, winning the Small Club World Cup, the predecessor to the FIFA Club World Cup, in 1969. Sparta have won 36 domestic league titles, the Czech Cup 27 times a record, the Czech Supercup twice. Sparta was long the main source for the Czech Republic national football team, however this has ceased to be the case, as the best Czech players exclusively play in foreign leagues. Sparta play at Prague's Generali Arena known as Letná Stadium. At the close of 1893, a small group of young people based around three brothers – Václav and Rudolf Rudl – had the idea of setting up a sports club. On 16 November, the founders' meeting approved the club's articles of association and one month on 17 December, the first annual general meeting took place.
Soon after that, the Athletic Club Sparta came up with its tricolour, in which blue symbolises Europe, red is the symbol of the royal city, though the reason for the yellow is not known any more. At the beginning of the club's football history, the players used to wear black jerseys with a big "S" on the front, they played for two years in black-and-white striped jerseys, which they returned to, wearing them as a reserve strip, for two years in 1996. In 1906, club president Dr. Petřík was in England where he saw the famous Woolwich Arsenal play with their red jerseys and decided to bring one set to Prague. At that time, he did not realise. Together with the red jerseys, Sparta players wear black socks. Shortly after World War I, a team was put together that triggered off the famous period of the 1920s and'30s referred to as "Iron Sparta". A football league in Czechoslovakia was established in the mid-twenties and the club collected title after title. To this day, the fans still recall the names of the players of that period with admiration: Peyer, Perner, Káďa, Kolenatý, Červený.
A few years some no less famous names appeared, such as Hochman, Hajný, Šíma, Silný, Čtyřoký, Košťálek and in particular Oldřich Nejedlý, the top scorer at the 1934 FIFA World Cup. Shortly before this most famous era kicked off, Vlasta Burian, the man who became the king of Czech comedians, played in goal for the club; the milestones of the first golden period of the club's history are two Central European Cup titles, which in the'20 and the'30s enjoyed the same recognition as that of today's Champions League. Sparta's three titles are important milestones in the cup's history. After two triumphs in 1927 and 1935, the third came in 1964, at a time when the cup's importance was falling behind that of other European cups. In 1946, AC Sparta toured Great Britain opening with a 2–2 draw against Arsenal on 2 October. Golden periods alternated with years when Sparta fans only nostalgically remembered the "good old times". After substantial changes driven by the socialist regime, bringing frequent changes of the club's name rather than achievements to be proud of, the title in 1954 was the last one before a long period of misery.
Only the great era of the team around Andrej Kvašňák in the 1960s brought back memories of the club's golden years. There are still many people who recollect the era of Jiří Tichý and Václav Mašek; those were the days when Sparta hosted the biggest number of fans in its history, with the stadium at that time accommodating 40,000. All three of the above-mentioned heroes were part of the national team that finished second at the 1962 World Cup in Chile. Other important players in these "golden years" were Vladimír Táborský and Ivan Mráz. Up until 1975, Sparta was the only Czech club. In this year, due to a number of circumstances, the team dropped to division two; the club only spent one year in this division, with the crucial matches for the club's comeback to the elite being sold out. The club did not win another league title until the early 1980s. Built around Chovanec, Berger, Hašek, Skuhravý and Griga, the team regained its former status and won five league titles in a row between 1986 and 1991.
In 1983 -- 84, the team got as far as the UEFA Cup quarter-finals. In the early 1990s, this successful era was continued by the next generation of players, such as Siegl, Horňák, Němeček, Frýdek, Němec and Kouba. Sparta has achieved a number of international successes, including two Central European Cup titles in the period of "Iron Sparta". More recent high points include Sparta's performance in the first year of the UEFA Champions League, in 1991–92. Sparta defeated Rangers Marseille and reached the semi-final group. Playing Barcelona, Dynamo Kyiv and Benfica, Sparta finished second. Unlike today's system, only the group winner reached the final. Being second in the group, Sparta was unofficially fourth best team. Sparta participated in the group stage of Champions League between 1997 and 2006; the club enjoyed their best Champions League performances in the 1999–2000 and 2001–02 seasons, reaching the now-defunct second group stage on both occasions. In 1999–2000, it won its initial group under the management of Ivan Hašek, was third in the quarter-final group.
In that group, Sparta came
Yugoslavia was a country in Southeastern and Central Europe for most of the 20th century. It came into existence after World War I in 1918 under the name of the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes by the merger of the provisional State of Slovenes and Serbs with the Kingdom of Serbia, constituted the first union of the South Slavic people as a sovereign state, following centuries in which the region had been part of the Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary. Peter I of Serbia was its first sovereign; the kingdom gained international recognition on 13 July 1922 at the Conference of Ambassadors in Paris. The official name of the state was changed to Kingdom of Yugoslavia on 3 October 1929. Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis powers on 6 April 1941. In 1943, a Democratic Federal Yugoslavia was proclaimed by the Partisan resistance. In 1944 King Peter II living in exile, recognised it as the legitimate government; the monarchy was subsequently abolished in November 1945. Yugoslavia was renamed the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia in 1946, when a communist government was established.
It acquired the territories of Istria and Zadar from Italy. Partisan leader Josip Broz Tito ruled the country as president until his death in 1980. In 1963, the country was renamed again, as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; the six constituent republics that made up the SFRY were the SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, SR Croatia, SR Macedonia, SR Montenegro, SR Serbia, SR Slovenia. Serbia contained two Socialist Autonomous Provinces and Kosovo, which after 1974 were equal to the other members of the federation. After an economic and political crisis in the 1980s and the rise of nationalism, Yugoslavia broke up along its republics' borders, at first into five countries, leading to the Yugoslav Wars. From 1993 to 2017, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia tried political and military leaders from the former Yugoslavia for war crimes and other crimes. After the breakup, the republics of Serbia and Montenegro formed a reduced federation, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which aspired to the status of sole legal successor to the SFRY, but those claims were opposed by the other former republics.
Serbia and Montenegro accepted the opinion of the Badinter Arbitration Committee about shared succession. In 2003 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was renamed to State Union of Montenegro; the union peacefully broke up when Serbia and Montenegro became independent states in 2006, while Kosovo proclaimed its independence from Serbia in 2008. The concept of Yugoslavia, as a single state for all South Slavic peoples, emerged in the late 17th century and gained prominence through the Illyrian Movement of the 19th century; the name was created by the combination of the Slavic words "jug" and "slaveni". Yugoslavia was the result of the Corfu Declaration, as a project of the Serbian Parliament in exile and the Serbian royal Karađorđević dynasty, who became the Yugoslav royal dynasty; the country was formed in 1918 after World War I as the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes by union of the State of Slovenes and Serbs and the Kingdom of Serbia. It was referred to at the time as the "Versailles state"; the government renamed the country leading to the first official use of Yugoslavia in 1929.
On 20 June 1928, Serb deputy Puniša Račić shot at five members of the opposition Croatian Peasant Party in the National Assembly resulting in the death of two deputies on the spot and that of leader Stjepan Radić a few weeks later. On 6 January 1929 King Alexander I suspended the constitution, banned national political parties, assumed executive power and renamed the country Yugoslavia, he hoped to mitigate nationalist passions. He imposed a new constitution and relinquished his dictatorship in 1931. However, Alexander's policies encountered opposition from other European powers stemming from developments in Italy and Germany, where Fascists and Nazis rose to power, the Soviet Union, where Joseph Stalin became absolute ruler. None of these three regimes favored the policy pursued by Alexander I. In fact and Germany wanted to revise the international treaties signed after World War I, the Soviets were determined to regain their positions in Europe and pursue a more active international policy.
Alexander attempted to create a centralised Yugoslavia. He decided to abolish Yugoslavia's historic regions, new internal boundaries were drawn for provinces or banovinas; the banovinas were named after rivers. Many politicians were kept under police surveillance; the effect of Alexander's dictatorship was to further alienate the non-Serbs from the idea of unity. During his reign the flags of Yugoslav nations were banned. Communist ideas were banned also; the king was assassinated in Marseille during an official visit to France in 1934 by Vlado Chernozemski, an experienced marksman from Ivan Mihailov's Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization with the cooperation of the Ustaše, a Croatian fascist revolutionary organisation. Alexander was succeeded by his eleven-year-old son Peter II and a regency council headed by his cousin, Prince Paul; the international political scene in the late 1930s was marked by growing intolerance between the principal figures, by the aggressive attitude of the totalitarian regimes and by the certainty that the order set up after World War I was losing its strongholds and its sponsors were
Transylvania is a historical region, located in central Romania. Bound on the east and south by its natural borders, the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended westward to the Apuseni Mountains; the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but parts of the historical regions of Crișana and Maramureș, the Romanian part of Banat. The region of Transylvania is known for the scenery of its Carpathian landscape and its rich history, it contains major cities such as Cluj-Napoca, Brașov, Sibiu, Târgu Mureș, Bistrița. The Western world associates Transylvania with vampires, because of the influence of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula and its many film adaptations. Historical names of Transylvania are: Latin: Ultrasilvania, Transsilvania Romanian: Ardeal, Transilvania Russian: Ардял, translit. Ardjal, Трансильвания Transil'vanija Hungarian: Erdély Ukrainian: Семигород, translit. Semyhorod, Залісся Zalissja, Трансильванія Transyl'vanija Serbian: Ердељ, translit. Erdelj, Трансилванија Transilvanija Croatian: Sedmogradska, Transilvanija Bulgarian: Седмоградско, translit.
Sedmogradsko, Трансилвания Transilvanija Slovak: Sedmohradsko German: Siebenbürgen, Transsilvanien Transylvanian Saxon: Siweberjen Polish: Siedmiogród, Transylwania Turkish: Erdel, Transilvanya Romani: TransilvaniyaIn Romanian, the region is known as Ardeal or Transilvania. The earliest known reference to Transylvania appears in a Medieval Latin document in 1075 as ultra silvam, meaning "beyond the forest". Transylvania, with an alternative Latin prepositional prefix, means "on the other side of the woods". Hungarian historians claim that the Medieval Latin form Ultrasylvania Transsylvania, was a direct translation from the Hungarian form Erdő-elve; that was used as an alternative name in German überwald and Ukrainian Залісся. The German name Siebenbürgen means "seven castles", after the seven Transylvanian Saxons' cities in the region; this is the origin of the region's name in many other languages, such as the Croatian Sedmogradska, the Bulgarian Седмиградско, Polish Siedmiogród and the Ukrainian Семигород.
The Hungarian form Erdély was first mentioned in the 12th-century Gesta Hungarorum as Erdeuleu or Erdő-elve. The word Erdő means forest in Hungarian, the word Elve denotes a region in connection with this to the Hungarian name for Muntenia. Erdel, Erdelistan, the Turkish equivalents, or the Romanian Ardeal were borrowed from this form as well; the first known written occurrence of the Romanian name Ardeal appeared in a document in 1432 as Ardeliu. The Romanian Ardeal is derived from the Hungarian Erdély. Transylvania has been dominated by several different countries throughout its history, it was once the nucleus of the Kingdom of Dacia. In 106 AD the Roman Empire conquered the territory. After the Roman legions withdrew in 271 AD, it was overrun by a succession of various tribes, bringing it under the control of the Carpi, Huns, Gepids and Slavs. From 9th to 11th century Bulgarians ruled Transylvania, it is a subject of dispute whether elements of the mixed Daco–Roman population survived in Transylvania through the Post-classical Era or the first Vlachs/Romanians appeared in the area in the 13th century after a northward migration from the Balkan Peninsula.
There is an ongoing scholarly debate over the ethnicity of Transylvania's population before the Hungarian conquest. The Magyars conquered much of Central Europe at the end of the 9th century. According to Gesta Hungarorum, the Vlach voivode Gelou ruled Transylvania before the Hungarians arrived; the Kingdom of Hungary established partial control over Transylvania in 1003, when king Stephen I, according to legend, defeated the prince named Gyula. Some historians assert Transylvania was settled by Hungarians in several stages between the 10th and 13th centuries, while others claim that it was settled, since the earliest Hungarian artifacts found in the region are dated to the first half of the 10th century. Between 1003 and 1526, Transylvania was a voivodeship in the Kingdom of Hungary, led by a voivode appointed by the King of Hungary. After the Battle of Mohács in 1526, Transylvania became part of the Kingdom of János Szapolyai. In 1570, the kingdom transformed into the Principality of Transylvania, ruled by Calvinist Hungarian princes.
During that time, the ethnic composition of Transylvania transformed from an estimated near equal number of the ethnic groups to a Romanian majority. Vasile Lupu estimates their number more than one-third of the population of Transylvania in a letter to the sultan around 1650. For most of this period, maintaining its internal autonomy, was under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire; the Habsburgs acquired the territory shortly after the Battle of Vienna in 1683. In 1687, the rulers of Transylvania recognized the suzerainty of the Habsburg emperor Leopold I, the region was attached to the Habsburg Empire; the Habsburgs acknowledged Principality of Transylvania as one of the Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen, but the territory of principality was administratively separa
Austrian Football Association
The Austrian Football Association is the governing body of football in Austria. It organises the football league, Austrian Bundesliga, the Austrian Cup and the Austrian national team, as well as its female equivalent, it is based in Vienna. Since 1905, it has been a FIFA member, since 1954, a UEFA member. Since 7 April 2002, Friedrich Stickler, the director of executive committee of the Austrian lottery, has been the President of the Austrian Football Association. Supporting him is its President, Kurt Ehrenberger, Frank Stronach, Dr. Gerhard Kapl, Dr. Leo Windtner. In 2004, it was announced there are 285,000 players in Austria playing for 2,309 teams in the federation, although many more players play informally or for non-recognised teams, thus the federation is the largest sporting organisation the country. Football is with the exception of skiing, the most popular sport in Austria. Football possesses a large value, has a rich history and tradition in Austria. In 1894, the First Vienna Football Club, the first football team in Austria, were founded in Vienna.
From this nucleus, the Austrian Football Association was established in 1904. One year after the establishment, Austria became a member of the international football federation FIFA and hosted the fifth FIFA congress in 1908; the milestones of the federation and past football history were the years 1930 to 1933, 1950 to 1954 and 1958 as well as 1978, 1982, 1990 and 1998 with the participation of Austria at the World Cup. Hugo Meisl was one of the best-known personalities in the early years of the Austrian Football Association, becoming General-Secretary and national team coach in 1927. At the 1936 Summer Olympics, his team won Silver after losing 2-1Italy, Austria's only international final. Meisl's team, nicknamed the Wunderteam, remained unbeaten from 12 April 1931 to 23 October 1932 in 14 successive matches; the highlights of this series were the 5-0 victories against Germany. The 1950s saw more achievements with their well-known football greats such as Ernst Ocwirk, Ernst Happel, Gerhard Hanappi and Walter Zeman.
The FIFA World Cup 1954 ranks among being most successful in Austrian Football Association history. Twenty years after being in 4th place in the FIFA World Cup 1934 held in Italy, Austria returned to the circle of the best teams again. Burgenland Football Association in 1923 Lower Austrian Football Association in 1911 Upper Austrian Football Association in 1919 Salzburg Football Association in 1921 Styria Football Association in 1923 Tirol Football Association in 1919 Vorarlberg Football Association in 1920 Vienna Football Association in 1923 Polish Football Association in the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria in 1911-1920 centered in Lemberg, transferred to the Polish Football Association centered in Warsaw as the Lwow District German Alpine Football Association in 1911 centered in Graz Austrian Union of Sports Workers and Soldiers Football Association of German Prague in the city of Prag in 1900 to 1904 and merged to the German Football Union Hungarian Football Federation in 1901 as a separate Hungarian association of the Austria-Hungary Bohemian Football Union in 1901 Austrian Football Union in 1904 1904 – 1906: Strehblow 1906 – 1907: Ignaz Abeles 1907 – 1914: Adolf Wallner 1914 – 1922: Ignaz Abeles 1922 – 1926: Karl Volkert 1926 – 1938: Richard Eberstaller 1945 – 1955: Josef Gerö 1955 – 1969: Hans Walch 1970 – 1976: Heinz Gerö 1976 – 1982: Karl Sekanina 1982 – 1984: Herbert Raggautz and Heinz Gerö 1984 – 2002: Josef "Beppo“ Mauhart 2002 – 2008: Friedrich Stickler 2008 – 2009: Kurt Ehrenberger 2009 – present: Leo Windtner Austrian Football Association Austria at FIFA site Austria at UEFA site