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Under the leadership of Ralf Rangnick, the Viennese gained sovereignty again

Under the leadership of Ralf Rangnick, the Viennese gained sovereignty again

The older classes in particular will still be able to remember well when the Austrian national teams had their captains composed primarily of players from the (former) major Viennese clubs Austria Wien and Rapid. If you look at the participation of German Football Association teams in European Championship finals this millennium, you will find that this has changed radically. In the 2008 European Championship, for example, Styria fielded eleven players in Josef Heckersberger's 23-man squad.

Marcel Koller also relied on the real power of Styria after eight years in France. With six players, the green mark made up the majority of the team. There was something new in 2021. Franco Foda was the first team boss at the European Championship finals in Austria to call up players from all nine federal states. There was also someone born in Germany, Louis Schwab. There was another first: Vienna and Salzburg topped the standings with five champions each, relegating Styria to third place. Michael Gregoritsch and Co. shared this with Lower Austria at that time.

This year things seem a lot tidier. Under German coach Ralf Rangnick, of all people, Vienna are on the rise again. This is despite the absence of David Alaba, the prominent leader and actor, due to injury. Followed by the Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil range. Striking: Only players from five federal states – fewer than ever in a European Championship – are in the 26-man squad. Vorarlberg, Tyrol, Carinthia and Burgenland were left completely empty-handed.

It's also interesting to look at the number of legionnaires: while there were only ten in 2008, that number has risen rapidly in 2016 (22) and 2021 (24). The increasing number of Austrian guest workers in professional football had an immediate impact. However, under Rangnick, the trend is declining. The 65-year-old relies on seven players in the Austrian league. 19 players signed to Denmark, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and England (League Two) joined his squad.

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