Austria Euro 2008 Squad

As ever, the advantage of qualifying automatically as tournament hosts is counteracted by the disadvantage of a limited campaign of preparation. This has affected Austria, who are staging the finals jointly with neighbours Switzerland. Coach Josef Hickersberger, faced with a series of friendlies, sensed there would be difficulties as he set about trying to reconstruct Austria’s fortunes, and the feeling was soon confirmed.

After losing his first three games, a 2-2 draw with Costa Rica was followed by a much-needed win, albeit only a 2-1 success against minnows Liechtenstein through a late Thomas Prager goal. A 2-1 victory over Switzerland was more of a morale-booster and Rene Aufhauser hit a hat-trick in a 4-1 success against Trinidad & Tobago in October 2006. Yet it was another year — and ten games — before Austria won again, beating Ivory Coast 3-2.

Austria face a mammoth task in trying to progress beyond the group stage as they face Germany, who beat them 3-0 in February, England’s conquerors Croatia, and Poland. The Poles defeated Austria twice in qualifying for the last World Cup. Like Austria, they are the only other nation competing in the European Championship finals for the first time.

There was some encouragement for Austria in a dramatic game against Holland in Vienna in March, when they raced into a 3-0 lead through Andreas Ivanschitz and a Sebastian Prodl double, only to collapse to a 4-3 defeat. The Austrians are lacking major tournament experience – they last appeared in the finals of a competition ten years ago at the World Cup in France. Their best performance in the European Championship was when they just missed out on the inaugural four-team final tournament of 1960.
Austria’s hopes rest largely on the shoulders of Andreas Ivanschitz. Hailed as Austria’s answer to David Beckham, the captain is the man who makes the midfield tick. He is widely regarded as the best player to emerge from his country since record cap-holder Andreas Herzog. Formerly with Rapid Vienna and SV Salzburg, and now in Greece at Panathinaikos.

Emanuel Pogatetz is also likely to play a key role. The Middlesbrough defender has grown in stature and maturity since his £1.8m move from Bayer Leverkusen in 2005. Earned the nickname “Mad Dog” from his Boro teammates due to his fearless approach, but has learned to harness that quality and was rewarded with the Riverside captaincy.

Flag of Austria Austria Euro 08 Squad

Head coach: Josef Hickersberger

No. Pos. Player DoB (Age) Caps Goals Club
1 GK Alex Manninger 4 June 1977 (31)     Flag of Italy Siena
2 MF Joachim Standfest 30 May 1980 (28)     Flag of Austria Austria Wien
3 DF Martin Stranzl 16 June 1980 (27)     Flag of Russia Spartak Moscow
4 DF Emanuel Pogatetz 16 January 1983 (25)     Flag of England Middlesbrough
5 MF Christian Fuchs 7 April 1986 (22)     Flag of Austria Mattersburg
6 MF René Aufhauser 21 June 1976 (31)     Flag of Austria Red Bull Salzburg
7 MF Ivica Vastić 29 September 1969 (38)     Flag of Austria LASK Linz
8 MF Christoph Leitgeb 14 April 1985 (23)     Flag of Austria Red Bull Salzburg
9 FW Roland Linz 9 August 1981 (26)     Flag of Portugal Sporting Braga
10 MF Andreas Ivanschitz 15 October 1983 (24)     Flag of Austria Red Bull Salzburg
11 MF Ãœmit Korkmaz 17 September 1985 (22)     Flag of Austria Rapid Wien
12 DF Ronald Gërçaliu 12 February 1986 (22)     Flag of Austria Red Bull Salzburg
13 DF Markus Katzer 11 December 1979 (28)     Flag of Austria Rapid Wien
14 DF György Garics 8 March 1984 (24)     Flag of Italy Napoli
15 DF Sebastian Prödl 21 June 1987 (20)     Flag of Austria Sturm Graz
16 DF Jürgen Patocka 30 July 1977 (30)     Flag of Austria Rapid Wien
17 DF Martin Hiden 11 March 1973 (35)     Flag of Austria Rapid Wien
18 FW Roman Kienast 29 March 1984 (24)     Flag of Norway HamKam
19 MF Jürgen Säumel 8 September 1984 (23)     Flag of Austria Sturm Graz
20 FW Martin Harnik 10 June 1987 (20)     Flag of Germany Werder Bremen
21 GK Jürgen Macho 24 August 1977 (30)     Flag of Greece AEK Athens
22 FW Erwin Hoffer 14 April 1987 (21)     Flag of Austria Rapid Wien
23 GK Ramazan Özcan 28 June 1984 (23)     Flag of Austria Red Bull Salzburg

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