Soccer City: Vienna – where intellectuals played

AUSTRIAN football has been dominated by Red Bull Salzburg in recent years, but the city of Mozart has a long way to go before it can match the record of Vienna, in terms of trophies won and influence on the game. Salzburg’s corporate football may represent the zeitgeist in being backed by the beverage company Red Bull, but despite having significant financial advantages from this … Continue reading Soccer City: Vienna – where intellectuals played

The romance of Mitteleuropa

    THE BUDGET airline revolution has made Continental Europe very accessible for tourists and football fans alike. A return trip for barely more than £100 has made it possible for the curious spectator to extend his or her horizon beyond the 92 and non-league. As a result, we have seen the arrival of the football tourist, map-wielding obsessives who go in search of foaming … Continue reading The romance of Mitteleuropa

Often overlooked – the Jewish influence on world football

THESE are troubled and uncertain times for Britain’s Jewish population. With accusations of anti-semitism aimed at the country’s biggest political party, the mere mention of which sends a shiver down the spine of anyone with knowledge of the Holocaust, there is an underlying fear that history could be repeating itself. From that dreadful period, the tale of a hugely influential football figure has emerged, written … Continue reading Often overlooked – the Jewish influence on world football

Soccer City: Salzburg

THINK OF Salzburg and you immediately conjure-up images of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Romanesque and Baroque architecture and, of course, the Sound of Music. It’s not a city that you would normally associate with football passion, Austria is not a one of the seething hotbeds of the modern game, although it has played its part in shaping modern football. But if you were to determine the … Continue reading Soccer City: Salzburg

Mittel: YB Bern poised to end Basel run

YOUNG BOYS Bern look as though they’re about to end the monopoly that Basel have had on football in Switzerland for almost a decade. The two teams drew 2-2 at the Stade de Suisse over Easter as Young Boys maintained a 16-point lead over reigning champions Basel. Young Boys led twice in a game considered to be decisive in determining the destination of the title, … Continue reading Mittel: YB Bern poised to end Basel run

Europe’s giants of all sizes, Part 1

AS we head towards the inevitable European super league, the rest of the continent’s clubs must be wondering what lies in store for those that find themselves excluded from the great gravy train that will emerge from a future shake-up of football. It would be easy for onlookers to only see a landscape that is dominated by Barca, Bayern, Real and PSG, but across Europe, … Continue reading Europe’s giants of all sizes, Part 1

I can hear the Graz grow

UNTIL last weekend, Sturm Graz had a 100% record in the Austrian Bundesliga, but a 2-1 defeat at LASK Linz ended the Styrian club’s impeccable start to the season. Austrian football has been dominated by RB Salzburg for the past 11 years, eight titles in that timeframe. Salzburg’s Red Bull backing makes them unpopular with many people and creates a very uneven playing field. Everyone … Continue reading I can hear the Graz grow

A central European odyssey: The life of Josef Bican

IN 1928, the Olympic men’s 100 metre sprint was won by Canada’s Percy Williams. He ran the race in 10.8 seconds. Over in Vienna, a young footballer could run 100 metres in the same time, but he was wearing heavy boots and a football kit. That player was one Josef Bican, known as “Pepi” to his friends. We should all be aware of Bican as … Continue reading A central European odyssey: The life of Josef Bican

In Zillertal we summered…along with Europe’s football teams

GAME OF THE PEOPLE headed to the Austrian Tirol for its summer training camp (Manni’s hotel in Mayrhofen) with the intention of having a complete holiday from football before the 2017-18 season got underway. Within an hour of arriving at our hotel, a procession of green track-suited young men walked into the hotel reception, eager for food. “How did you get on?”, someone shouted to … Continue reading In Zillertal we summered…along with Europe’s football teams

Picture Post: Rapid Vienna – before redevelopment

REGULAR Game of the People readers will know we have a liking for central and eastern Europe and there’s no more evocative name than Rapid Vienna. We visited the famous Gerhard Hannapi stadium just before it was demolished in 2014. Rapid Vienna were founded in 1899 and they’ve won the Austrian title 32 times, the last occasion being in 2008. Almost since the club’s beginnings, … Continue reading Picture Post: Rapid Vienna – before redevelopment

Great Reputations: Austria’s Wunderteam – the godfathers of football’s soul

APART FROM  a spell in the late 1970s when Hans Krankl was one of Europe’s most prolific strikers, Austrian football has spent many years in the shadows, despite being joint hosts of Euro 2008. It was during the football-fest of 2008 that an interesting exhibition in Vienna paid tribute to the history of the Austrian game, and in particular, a time when its national team … Continue reading Great Reputations: Austria’s Wunderteam – the godfathers of football’s soul

GOTP country special: Austria

THERE’S NOTHING Game of the People enjoys more than a foray into central Europe. And Austria, once one of the cradles of the game, is a particular favourite location for editorial staff at GOTP Towers. We’ve produced various articles on Austrian football. Here is our first GOTP Special – Austria Austria’s Wunderteam – the godfathers of football’s soul Apart from a spell in the late … Continue reading GOTP country special: Austria