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Austria qualified for seven FIFA World Cups

The Austrian national football team is the football team that represents Austria in international competition and is controlled by the Austrian Football Association. Austria qualified for seven FIFA World Cups, most recently in 1998. The country played in the UEFA Champions league , European Championship for the first time in 2008, when the event was hosted jointly with Switzerland, and last qualified in 2016.

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Under the leadership of striker Anton Polster Austria qualified for the 1990 World Cup, but retired in the first round, although it defeated the USA 2-1. Much worse was the impressive 1-0 defeat to the Faroe Islands, a team of amateurs in qualifying for the 1992 European Championship, which was considered the worst embarrassment in an Austrian team sport ever and one of the biggest inconveniences in the history of football. The game was played in the Swedish town of Landskrona, as there were no lawns in the Faroe Islands. It was a sign of the future. In Austria, there were a few misspelled qualifying campaigns, although entertaining football was played in the closing stages of the UEFA Euro 1996 qualifying campaign.

At the 1998 World Cup Austria was next to Italy football, Cameroon and Chile in Group B. Her appearance was short but eventful, as they have managed the strange feat of scoring in each of their games only in stoppage time. Cameroon's goal was canceled by Pierre Njanka's late goal from Anton Polster. In their second game, Ivica Vastić scored the last-gasp equalizer to lift Marcelo Salas's controversial start. Austria was not so lucky in its decisive final at the Stade de France. Italy scored twice after the break: a header from Christian Vieri and a tap-in from Roberto Baggio. The time penalty of Andreas Herzog kept the unusual Tormuster Austria upright, but was not enough to bring Austria behind the Italians and the Chileans to third place in the group.

After 1998 Austria began to shrink. They could not qualify for the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2000 and were embarrassed (similar to the defeat in the Faroes) when they lost 9-0 to Spain in 1999 and 5-0 to Israel. In 2006, Josef Hickersberger became coach of the Austria national team, which included some respectable results such as a 1-0 win over Switzerland in 2006.

Austria has automatically qualified for the Euro 2008 as a co-host. Most commentators considered them outsiders and whipping boys for Germany football, Croatia and Poland football in the group stage. Many of their home fans were in agreement and 10,000 Austrians signed a petition calling for Austria's exit from the tournament in order to avoid the embarrassment of the nation. However, Austria did better than expected. They drew 1-1 with Poland and lost 1-0 to Croatia and Germany.

Shortly after the departure of Austria from the tournament Hickersberger resigned as national coach. Karel Brückner, who resigned as head coach of the Czech Republic after leaving the country in 2008, was soon appointed as his successor. After only eight months Brückner was dismissed in March 2009 and the position was subsequently taken over by Didi Constantini.

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

FIFA World Cup 2014 (UEFA), Group C

In the next few years, the Austrian team experienced a great renaissance. A number of players from the 2007 U-20 squad, which finished fourth in the World Cup this year, developed and became full starters for the senior national team, including Sebastian Prödl, Markus Suttner, Martin Harnik, Veli Kavlak, Erwin Hoffer and Zlatko Junuzović and Rubin Okotie.

The team failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but finished third with a 5: 2: 3 record with 17 points and a goal difference of +10 in their qualifying group. There were a number of noteworthy results, including home victories over the Republic of Ireland and Sweden, as well as a narrow home defeat by Germany and a 2-2 draw in Ireland in the rematch.

Even more successful was the qualification for the European Championship 2016. Again, the Austrians fought and moved with the Swedes 1-1; before you beat the same opponent in a 4-1 victory directly on Swedish soil. Austria also defeated Russia twice at home and away 1-0. Austria also recorded a pair of quality victories over Moldova (2-1 in Chişinău) and Montenegro (1-0 in Vienna). Rubin Okotie scored the deciding goal in the last 20 minutes of the match after a previous Austrian goal had been controversially rejected a minute earlier. A week later, the team played a friendly against Brazil and lost 2-1. Austria ended the UEFA Euro 2016 campaign by leading the group unbeaten and inspiring Austrians for the start of a new golden generation.

Despite this successful performance in the UEFA Euro-qualifying, the UEFA Euro 2016 was a real nightmare for the Austrians. Austria was grouped in Group F with Hungary, Portugal and Iceland and classified as a favorite for progress. However, Austria opened their campaign with a shocking 0-2 defeat to their neighbors Hungary and even received a red card from Aleksandar Dragović. This was followed by an encouraging 0-0 draw with Portugal, where Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty. Nevertheless, Austria lost 1: 2 against debutant Iceland and was shockingly eliminated with only one point. This drastic performance has blown up the myth of a new golden generation for many Austrians.

Austria later joined Wales, Serbia, Ireland, Georgia and Moldova in the 2018 World Cup qualifier. However, the previous nightmare of the UEFA Euro had a major impact on the Austrian side, and Austria finished fourth in the group as they did not qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

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