AustriaPosted on: 05 June 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves
From Arnold Schwarznegger to The Sound Of Music, welcome our hosts Austria.
Coach: Josef Hickersberger (60-years-old) is in his second spell in charge after resigning back in 1990 following an embarrassing defeat against the Faroe Islands.
Star: Andreas Ivanschitz (24), Panathinaikos (Gre) a midfield creator on a two-year-loan in Greece from Red Bull Salzburg skippers the side.
Hidden Gem: Martin Stranzl (27), Spartak Moscow central defender who forms part of Austria’s greatest asset – a rigid defence.
Away From The Game
Famous Exports: Arnold Schwarznegger (movie star), Wolfgang Mozart (composer), Pez Candy (sweets), The Sound Of Music (film).
National Food: Wiener Schnitzel - a bread-crumbed and fried veal escalope.
National Drink: Almdudler (Lemonade with herbs).
National Animal: Black Eagle.
How They Qualified: As joint-hosts.
Previous Best: Never qualified.
FIFA Ranking: 101st
Key Fact: Austria have qualified for seven World Cup’s but this will be their first taste of the European Championships. The Country’s fans are so worried about their national team’s performance they even set up a petition to withdraw from the Championships, in fear of being a national embarrassment.
Overview: Home advantage is unlikely to help the Austrians from playing for anything but pride. They lack a competitive edge, are in poor form and the country’s people expect their national side to be humiliated on home soil. A toothless attack means the misfiring hosts could face a double-tough time and a first round exit at their own party.
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