Monday, January 20, 2020

What if Austria-Hungary went to 1954

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

Hungary 1954

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Argentina World Cup 1946
Hungary World Cup 1950
Sweden World Cup1950
Austria-Hungary World Cup 1954
Angels with Dirty Faces with Di Stefano in the WC 1958
Scotland World Cup 1970
United Kingdom World Cup 1970
England World Cup 1974
United Kingdom World Cup1982
Netherlands Euro 1984 with Cruyff, Van Basten, Gullit
Spain without Catalan players World Cup 2010
If Ronaldo and Messi played for Australia in 2006
Brazil 1982 with Careca,etc
Ireland/Northern Ireland Combined Team 1986 World Cup
Yugoslavia World Cup 2018
Once upon a time, Austria and Hungary belonged to the same country.  In 1950's, Hungary's football was at its peak. Between 1950 and 1956, Mighty Magyars recorded 42 victories, 7 draws and just one defeat before facing West Germany in the 1954 World Cup final.  Their team in that World Cup was considered among the greatest ever team that had never won the World Cup.  In 1954, Austria finished third right behind Hungary at the same World Cup Finals.  Imagine the two nations were still one nation in 1954.  

I am using the map of Austrian-Hungary Empire at the beginning of the First World War as the team selection's criteria.  Players from Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, parts of Italy, Romania, etc are considered.
The map of Austria-Hungary at the outbreak of the First World War

In 1954, both Austria and Hungary had better football reputation than West Germany.  In Germany, the 1954 World Cup Final is known as the Miracle of Bern (German: Wunder von Bern) because the victory was considered a "miracle".  They lost to the West Germans because of a combination bad luck, refereeing decisions, poor weather, an injury to Ferenc Puskas, etc.  Most football experts considered Hungary a better team than West Germany.  They would have beaten the Germans in a rematch without any reinforcement.  So it was easy to say that Austria-Hungary could have won the World Cup, but in actuality, Hungary was beaten by factors not related to the quality of players on their team.  Could this team overcome bad luck, poor weather, etc? Perhaps, this team would do better with László Kubala who could fill the role of a Puskas who just recovered from an injury.
Austria World Cup 1954

Team(only 22 players in 1954)
* I did not list the domestic club teams of individual players.  The political map of Europe would be different.  Budapest Honvéd FC might not exist in this alternative world.  László Kubala might not be playing for Barcelona FC in 1954.

GK: Gyula Grosics (Hungary)
Gyula Grosics was part of the legendary Golden Team of the 1950s. He was nicknamed "Black Panther".  He played in three World Cup Finals: 1954, 1958 and 1962.  He won the Olympic Gold medal in 1952.  He was the starting keeper when Hungary beat England in the historical match in 1952.  At the club level, he played for the legendary Honved FC, but transferred to FC Tatabánya after the 1956 Revolution.
Gyula Grosics
GK: Vladimir Beara  (Yugoslavia)
Vladimir Beara played on three World Cups; 1950, 1954 and 1958.  He was considered one of the greatest keepers from the Warsaw Pact.  With Hajduk Split , he won the Yugoslav league title in 1950, 1952 and 1955. In 1955, he moved to Belgrade's Red Star, where he won even more Yugoslav league titles, in 1956, 1957, 1959, 1960, and won the Yugoslav Cup in 1958 and 1959. He ended his career in German clubs Alemannia Aachen and Viktoria Köln.

GK: Walter Zeman (Austria)
Walter Zeman won 41 caps for Austria and went to the 1954 World Cup Finals, where Austria reached the semifinal before being defeated by the eventual champion West Germany.  Zeman began his youth career at local club SV Wienerberger, but he soon moved on to FC Vienna. In 1945 Zeman joined Rapid Vienna and also won his first cap for the Austria national football team. With Rapid Zeman won 8 Austrian league championships and one Austrian cup.

RB: Branko Stanković (Yugoslavia)
Branko Stanković was best remembered for his career with Red Star Belgrade, where he won 4 league titles and established himself as one of the best defender in Yugoslavian football history.  He participated at two World Cups(1950 and 1954) and twice at Olympic Games. Stanković is one of the most elegant defense players of his time. Because of his playing style, he earned his nickname Ambassador. 

RB: Jenő Buzánszky (Hungary)
During the 1950s, Jenő Buzánszky was a member of the legendary Hungarian national team known as the Mighty Magyars that won the Olympic Gold Medal in 1952 and beat England in the same year.  For club football, he played for Dorogi FC.  He was the only member of the team not to play for either Honvéd or MTK Hungária FC. 

CM/SW: Ernst Happel  (Austria)
Ernst Happel was better known for coaching two European Cup winners and the Dutch national team in the 1978 World Cup Finals.  As a player, he played 14 years for Rapid Vienna, from 1943 till 1954 and 1956 till 1959, winning the Austrian Bundesliga 6 times. He was chosen in Rapid's Team of the Century in 1999.  He had 47 caps.  He played in both 1954 and 1958 WC Finals.
Ernst Happel 
CB: Gyula Lorant  (Hungary)
After the War, Gyula Lorant tried to escape to the West, but was captured by the Communists.  He was released from detention so that he could represent Hungary.  He held 37 caps from 1949 to 1955.  He was a member of the Mighty Magyars that won the Olympic Gold Medal in 1952, beat England twice in 1952 and went the World Cup Final in 1954.  He was one of Hungary's most famous defender. At the club level, he also joined the super team Honved during the early 1950's.

CB/RB: Josef Posipal (Germany)
Josef Posipal was born to an ethnic German family in 1927 in Lugoj, Romania. He lived much of his life in West Germany. During his club career he played for SV Linden 07, SV Arminia Hannover, and Hamburger SV. He was capped 32 times between 1951 and 1956.  He helped West Germany to win their first ever World Cup in 1954. He was one of the best defenders in the 1950's.

LW/LB/CB: Branko Zebec  (Yugoslavia)
Zebec was one of the greatest players ever from Yugoslavia. In his heyday the player from FK Partizan and Red Star Belgrade fascinated the world with his performances at the World Cups in 1954 and 1958. With Partizan he won 3 Yugoslav Cups (1952, 1954, 1957). With Red Star Belgrade he won the national championship in 1960. He led Yugoslavia to second-place at Euro 1960. 
Branko Zebec 
LB: Mihaly Lantos (Hungary)
Mihaly Lantos  is also a member of the Mighty Magyars.  He played for MTK Hungária FC and won three Hungarian titles, a Hungarian Cup and a Mitropa Cup. In 1955, as Vörös Lobogó SE, they also played in the first ever European Cup. Lantos, scoring three goals, including two penalties, helped the club reach the quarter-finals..  He was capped 52 times and scored 5 goals. 

CM: Ernst Ocwirk (Austria) 
Ernst Ocwirk is regarded as one of the greatest Austrian footballers of all time.  He was probably the best centrehalf of his generation.  Between 1945 and 1962, he played 62 times for Austria. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1954, where Austria finished 3rd. He spent the majority of his playing and coaching years between Austria Wien and Sampdoria in Italy. He was the second Austrian to play in Italy. He served as the captain of Sampdoria at one point.
Ernst Ocwirk 
CM/WF: Gerhard Hanappi (Austria)
Gerhard Hanappi is one of Austria's greatest players.  He had 93 caps between 1948 and 1962. He captained the national team from 1955 onward.  He was a participant at the 1954 World Cup Finals, where they reached 3rd place, and at the 1958 World Cup.  He started his career with SC Wacker Wien, but moved to its rival Rapid Wien in 1950.

CM: Karl Koller (Austria)
Karl Koller was one of the best Austrian midfielders of all time and was rated as one of the best 100 European footballers of the 20th century by the IFFHS.  He had 86 caps. He was a participant at the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland, where they reached 3rd place and 1958 World Cup. He earned 86 caps. He is a one club-player for First Vienna.

CM: Jozsef Bozsik (Hungary)
Jozsef Bozsik was considered the second best Hungarian player of all-time after his childhood friend Ferenc Puskus.  He was one of the greatest central midfielders in world football history.  He was also a member of the Mighty Magyars of the 1950's.  At the club level, he played for Honved.  After the Revolution of 1956, he returned to Hungary and continued to play for both Hungary and Honved.  He picked up 101 caps for Hungary between 1947 and 1962.
Jozsef Bozsik 
CM: Zlatko Čajkovski (Yugoslavia)
He was considered one of the best Yugoslavian players ever.  He played for FK Partizan before moving to play for Koln in Germany. Internationally, he played between 1942 and 1943 twice for the Independent State of Croatia, and between 1946 and 1955 he played 55 times for the Yugoslav national team scoring seven goals. Participating at the Olympic Games 1948 and 1952 he won the silver medal on both occasions.  He also participated in the FIFA World Cups of 1950 and 1954. 

LW/FW: Istvan Nyers (Hungary)
Istvan Nyers was of the same age as the members of the Mighty Magyars, but he was not a member of them.  He was capped twice by Hungary between 1945 and 1946. Born in France of Hungarian immigrants, he moved back to Hungary and played for various clubs in Eastern Europe.  He joined Inter Milan in 1948, where he won two Serie A titles and finished as the top scorer of the league.

FW: Laszlo Kubala (Czechoslovakia/Hungary)
Born in Hungary of a multi-cultural background, Laszlo Kubala  was known as one of the greatest Barcelona players ever.  He still managed to win 4 Li Liga titles in the 1950's in an era dominated by Real Madrid.  In 1961, Barcelona eliminated Real Madrid from the European Cup, the first ever loss by Real Madrid at the tournament. He was capped by Hungry, Spain and Czechoslovakia. He was a guest player for Catalonia national football team.
Laszlo Kubala 
FW: Nandor Hidegkuti (Hungary)
Nandor Hidegkuti was a key member of the Might Magyars of the 1950's.  He was best remembered for the game vs England in 1953, where he scored a hat-trick.  Playing as a "False 9", the English defenders did not know how to defend him. A new position was born and the game was revolutionized. Unlike some of his teammates from the Mighty "Mgyars", he stayed in Hungary after 1956 and went to the 1958 World Cup Finals as an aging player.At the club level, he played for MTK Budapest.

LW: Zoltan Czibor (Hungary)
Zoltan Czibor was widely considered to be one of the greatest left winger in history.  He was also a member of the Mighty Magyars of the 1950's.  After 1956. he fled to the West. He joined Ladislao Kubala and Sándor Kocsis to play for FC Barcelona. Together with Ramallets, Evaristo and Luis Suárez, they formed the great Barcelona team of the 1950's. He later played for Espanyol, t FC Basel, FK Austria Wien and Primo Hamilton FC.
Zoltan Czibor 
LW/FW: Bernard Vukas (Yugoslavia)
In 2000, Bernard Vukas was voted by the Croatian Football Federation as the best Croatian player of all time.  He had 59 caps for Yugoslavia. He was also a part of the Yugoslavia team in the 1950 FIFA World Cup and 1954 FIFA World Cup.  With Yugoslavia he won 2 silver medals in the Olympic games: 1948 and 1952. His career was associated with Hajduk Split, but in 1957, he moved to Bologna in Italy, where he stayed for two years. He also played in Austria at the end of his career.

ST: Sandor Kocsis (Hungary)
Sandor Kocsis was a prolific goalscorer for the Mighty Magyars in the 1950's.   He scored 75 goals in 68 appearances for Hungary.  He scored 11 goals at the WC in 1954, the second highest for a single tournament.  He played for Honved at home before he went to play for Barcelona after the Soviet invasion in 1956.  With fellow Hungarian exiles Ladislao Kubala and Zoltan Czibor, Barcelona became a force in Europe.

ST/FW: Ferenc Puskas (Hungary)
Ferenc Puskas was one of the greatest footballers in history.  He scored 84 goals in 85 international matches for Hungary, a team known as Mighty Magyars. He became Olympic champion in 1952 and led his nation to the final of the 1954 World Cup where he was named the tournament's best player.  He played with Honved at home and went to Real Madrid in 1958 after the Soviet invasion.  With Alfredo Di Stefano, Raymond Kapo, etc, Real Madrid became the greatest club team in history.
Ferenc Puskas

Players considered
László Budai (Hungary), Péter Palotás (Hungary), József Zakariás (Hungary), Bernard Vukas (Yugoslavia), Stjepan Bobek (Yugoslavia), Alfred Körner (Austria), Guido Gratton (Italy), Mykhaylo Mykhalyna (USSR),  Mihály Tóth (Hungary),  Josef Posipal (West Germany). Walter Zeman (Austria). 

Squad Explanation 
-- Okay.  I am running out of ideas to create super teams.  I admitted this was a far fetched idea.  Austria-Hungary had been gone for 40 years at the time of the 1954 World Cup Finals.  
-- The team was created in 2022.  After I examined my Hungary All-Time team in July, 2022, I created the imaginary Hungary World Cup team in 1950.  So in August, 2022, my mind was full of information around Hungarian football in the 1950's.  So I did a comprehensive review of the team.  I thought the research I did in 1954 was very substandard.  I probably did not taken the topic seriously, given that this team was the most bizarre team in my blog.
-- Why Austria-Hungary? As you might have known, Hungary 1954 was considered to be the greatest ever team that never won the World Cup.  They lost to West Germany in the Final match that was known as the "Miracle of Bern". Austria also finished third, but was one of the pre-tournament favorites.  Imagine this two teams combined. Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia were also in the World Cup Finals with Yugoslavia reaching the quarterfinal.
-- If nothing happened on 28 June 1914 in Sarajevo that started the First World War, the world would be a different place.  But even if nothing happened, Austria-Hungary Empire might not exist by 1954. Certainly, the map of the Empire in 1954 would not be the same as the one in 1914.  But I  still based the team on the territory held by Austria-Hungary at the beginning of the First World War.
-- Manager Jimmy Hogan was often credited of changing the way football was played in continental Europe, especially Austria and Hungary.  Hogan's style was that of short passing game with emphasis on controlling possession.  He later influenced Austria's Wunderteam of the 1930's.  Gusztáv Sebes, coach of Hungary of the 1950's also credited him for his influence.  
-- No FIFA All-Stars team was selected at the end of the tournament in 1954.  The year 1954 was not covered by Castrol Football's rating. I found two unofficial selections through Wikipedia, but I was skeptical of their legitimacy. I was sure that they did some homework, but did they ever look into every single matches of the tournament?  Nevertheless, the players on two polls included: Ferenc Puskas (Hungary), Sandor Kocsis (Hungary),  Zoltan Czibor (Hungary), Nandor Hidegkuti (Hungary), Jozsef Bozsik (Hungary), Ernst Ocwirk (Austria), Vladimir Beara (Yugoslavia) and Gyula Grosics (Hungary).  They were all big names at the time.
-- In the actual World Cup, West Germany defeated Yugoslavia in quarter-final, Austria in the semi-final and finally, Hungary in the Final.  Although Austria finished third, they were disappointed with the result, especially losing to West Germany in the semifinal.  Manager Walter Nausch resigned soon after.
-- In 1954, only 22 players were on the World Cup roster. This team consisted of 10 Hungarians, 5 Austrians, 5 Yugoslavians and a German.  The 22nd player was Laszlo Kubala who was of mixed backgrounds.
-- In 1953, England played against the Rest of the World selection.  England trailed three times against them in the match. Alf Ramsey scored a penalty in the 90th minute to salvage a 4-4 draw for England.  The result was considered astonishing as England never lost to a continental side at home and they nearly did.  Less than a month later, England was destroyed by Hungary in the Match of the Century.  Gerhard Hanappi, Zlatko Čajkovski, Jupp Posipal, Ernst Ocwirk, László Kubala, Bernard Vukas and Branko Zebec started in the game.  Goalkeeper Vladimir Beara came into the game at half-time for Walter Zeman of Austria.  
The Rest of World had 6 players on this team
-- In May, 1953, Rapid Wien beat the newly crowned English champion Arsenal 6-1 that made headlines across Europe. I could not find the lineup that day.  However, Austria's team in the 1954 World cup featured 10 players from Rapid Wien.
-- Zlatko Čajkovski, Vladimir Beara and Branko Zebec was born in Croatia while Branko Stanković was born in Sarajevo.  Those regions belonged to Austria-Hungary Empire in 1914.  All four players from Yugoslavia were household names in the history of football.
-- Italy's football was at one of its darkest ages.  From 1950 to 1968, Italy never went beyond the group stage of the World Cup Finals.  They did win the 1968 European Championship, but that would be 14 years away from 1954.  Giampiero Boniperti who was their 1954 World Cup captain was their only player of note, but he was not born in an area that belonged to Austria-Hungary Empire at the beginning the War.  
-- Parts of Ukraine and Italy belonged to Austria-Hungary.  I would have selected anyone who was born in the regions that belonged to the empire at the outbreak of the First World War.  Football in Romania and Poland were still relatively unknown in 1954. I did not do any research on their players, but I selected Romania-born Jupp Posipal.
--The political map of Europe would be different.  The Hungarian government probably would not create the superteam Budapest Honvéd FC.  László Kubala might not be playing for Barcelona FC in 1954. So I did not list the club team of individual players.
-- No set number of goalkeepers was required for the World Cup in 1954.  
-- Three all-timers played in this World Cup Finals.  I took Vladimir Beara  (Yugoslavia) and Gyula Grosics (Hungary).  They were was voted into the Team of Tournament by the two teams I found on the internet respectively.  
-- Walter Zeman is on my Austria All-Time team.  In 1953, he represented the Rest of the World against England as their starting goalkeeper, which was then considered an honor.  He was the main goalkeeper for Austria throughout 1953 and 1954. However, he suffered a knee injury.  For Austria, he went to the World Cup Finals because he was their best keeper, but thie team had Beara and Grosics.  Kurt Schmied became the starting goalkeeper in World Cup Finals for Austria.  Schmied under the heat collapsed in the quarterfinal against host Switzerland.  The match was later known by as "Hitzeschlacht von Lausanne (The heat battle of Lausanne), due to the high temperature that it was played under.  Zeman took over the semifinal match against West Germany.  Austria was destroyed 6-1, and Zeman was blamed for the loss.
Viliam Schrojf was voted the best goalkeeper at the 1962 World Cup Finals.   He is on both of my Czechoslovakia and Slovakia all-time teams.  He did not play in 1954.  Czechoslovakia altered between Imrich Stacho and Theodor Reimann for their two matches.  Stacho was the backup goalkeeper on my Slovakia all-time team.
-- Beara was born in modern day Croatia.  He was of Serbian ethnicity.  He played for Hajduk Split before joining Red Stars Belgrade.  Croatia was a part of Austria-Hungary, but only a small part of Serbia belonged there.
-- Basically, I ran down the list of the most famous defenders in their positions at the 1954 World Cup Finals. I did not really study too much into their performance prior to the summer of 1954.  
-- Gyula Lorant actually had a poor tournament in 1954, but it would be irrelevant because this selection was about before the World Cup.  He wanted to retire after the World Cup because the defeat against West Germany.
Gyula Lorant 
-- Branko Zebec was almost liked a utility player.  He also played as a Center-half.  Branko Stanković played liked a modern attacking fullback.
-- In 2020, I incorrectly selected Karl Stotz.  He did not play in the World Cup Finals.  I did not know much about that period of time in Austria.  So in 2022, I replaced him with Josef Posipal.  Posipal was an important defender on West Germany's national team in the 1954 World Cup, and he was one of the top defenders of his time. He played for the Rest of the World team against England in October, 1953.  He was born in Lugoj, Romania.  His father was a Danube Swabian, living in the Hungarian part of town, and his mother was Hungarian.  He understood Hungarian, and said to be an advisor to German coach Sepp Herberger before and during the 1954 World Cup Finals on the Mighty Magyars.  Ferenc Puskas said to have talked to Posipal during the first World Cup game between Germany and Hungary about defender Werner Liebrich who was guarding and later injured Puskas.  In the 1940's, he had Romanian citizenship before becoming a German citizen.  
-- Ladislav Novak (Czech Republic) later helped Czechoslovakia to finish second in the 1962 World Cup Finals. He was on both of my Czechoslovakia and Czech Republic All-Time team. I put him as honourable mention.  
-- Many of the midfielders could drop back to defense while the defenders could move up the field.
-- Jozsef Bozsik was probably the best midfielder in the 1950's.
-- Ernst Ocwirk moved from Austria to Sampdoria Genoa in May 1956 for a fee of 160,000 marks.  He was the second Austria to play in Serie A.  The other two Austrian midfielders were well-known at the time of the World Cup Finals.  Gerhard Hanappi would be Austrian Sportsman of the Year the year after the World Cup Finals.  Unliked Ocwick and Hanappi, Karl Koller did not play for Rapid.  He played for First Vienna, winning the league in the 1954-1955 season.
-- Zlatko Čajkovski was the best Yugoslav player at the World Cup in 1950. He was a member of the Olympic team that lost the Gold medal to Hungary in 1952.  Yugoslavia, however, beat the Soviet Union a political charged match.
Zlatko Čajkovski
-- Carpathian Ruthenia was a part of Austria-Hungary Empire before the First World War. By 1954, it was a part of USSR(Ukraine).  Mykhaylo Mykhalyna played club football in what was then Hungary before and during the war. He was ranked 3rd at the 1952 Ukrainian Football of the Year.  He actually made his debut with the Soviet national B team against Hungary in September, 1954.  He was born in Carpathian Ruthenia in 1924. Yozhef Betsa who won a Gold Medal for the USSR in 1956 was born in Mukachevo, which was a part of the area. In 1955, he earned his only cap for the Soviet Union.  He was an ethnic Magyar.  Both players won't make this team.
-- Guido Gratton of Italy's World Cup team was born in Friuli Venezia Giulia, which was a part of Austria-Hungary Empire at the beginning of the War.  He joined Fiorentina the season before the World Cup Finals. He was a member of my Fiorentina All-Time Team, but the Golden age of the club had not begun.  He was not a main player on Italy's team at the World Cup Finals.  Several other Italian players from the 1954 World Cup were born in Veneto.  The area was a part of Austria-Hungary, but it left the Empire after the Treaty of Vienna (1866).  So they were not eligible.  LB Sergio Cervato was born in Padua, Veneto. He would have been helpful to this team.  He was in his prime in 1954, but he also did not play in Switzerland. He is also a member of my Fiorentina all-Time team.
-- Giuseppe Grezar who died in the Superga Air Disaster in 1949 was born in Trieste, which was a part of Austria-Hungary.  If he was alive in 1954, he would be 35 years old.  Hungary-born Július Schubert was also killed in same disaster.  He only played for Torino less than a year (5 games) and was used as a backup for Mazzola.  I don't consider dead players for this team. Kubala was also due to fly that day, but he canceled the trip because his son fell ill.
-- Liked Kubala, István Nyers did not play in the World Cup Finals. He was a stateless exile from Hungary in 1954.  In the 1953-1954 season, István Nyers had a disagreement with Inter Milan's management.  He was often benched and managed only 8 goals that season, but he considered a big star player at the time.  He moved to AS Roma in the summer of 1954, where he did enjoy two more great seasons.  I took him over Mihály Tóth (Hungary) who was also a left wing/forward.
-- The team needed a right winger.  Gusztáv Sebes placed Zoltán Czibor on the right wing while benching László Budai and starting Mihály Tóth in the World Cup final against West Germany.  I doubted his tactics was to use Czibor as an inverted winger, a position that should be revolutionary in 1954.  The big right wingers in Hungary at the time were László Budai and Károly Sándor. László Budai formed a world-famous partnership with  Sándor Kocsis at the club level as well as on the Golden Team.  Gusztáv Sebes wanted to carry in their partnership on the national team so Károly Sándor was behind László Budai.  He was not even included in the 1952 Olympic team, and a non-playing member on the 1954 World Cup team.  Nevertheless, he was recognized one of the greatest Hungarian footballers of that era. I did not select either of them. Simply, there were not enough space.
-- Seven months before the World Cup Finals, Nandor Hidegkuti as the "false 9" shocked the football world with his brilliant play against England in the "Match of the Century".  He was the reason why the English defenders had no answer to Hungary's attacks.  Ferenc Puskas was probably the best player in the world at the time, and Sandor Kocsis needed no introduction.
-- László Kubala did not play in the 1954 World Cup Finals because of the political situation at the time.  But in this alternative world without the same political events that affected the region, he might have probably stayed in Slovakia or Hungary.  In 1954, he was in his prime playing for Barcelona.  He scored 23 goals in the league, his second most productive year in Spain. His inclusion to team added a lot of excitement.
-- Bernard Vukas starred for the Rest of the World team against England in 1953. He assisted two of the goals in a 4-4 draw.  In 2020, I gave the forward spots to the Hungarians and Erich Probst.  Probst scored 6 goals in the actual 1954 World Cup Finals, but he was a relatively a forgotten player.  At the time of the World Cup selection, no one would know what he would do in the Finals.  So Bernard Vukas had a better reputation prior to the World Cup Finals.  I did ponder if the team needed Vukas since he was a left wing forward when I already had Zoltán Czibor and Istvan Nyers.  Ultimately, I went with the bigger name in football.
Bernard Vukas
-- Milos Milutinović was born in Serbia, which was not a part of Austria-Hungary empire.
-- István Nyers was the only member of the team who did not make my All-Time team of his country respectively (Austria HungaryCzechoslovakia and Former Yugoslavia).  
--  Stjepan Bobek was the top scorer that season in Yugoslavia, but he only played two games in Switzerland.  He would break Yugoslavia's international scoring record later that year.  However, I rated him lower than the players I selected.
-- Ferenc Deak was an active player in 1954.  He had fallen out of favorite with the Hungarian national team due to the politics at the time.  He had not played for them since 1949.  His statistics after the 1948-1949 season also dropped.  So he was not going to be on this team because of his fitness level.

The frontline is similar to the formation Hungary used in 1954.  Nandor Hidegkuti operates as the "false 9".  At Barcelona FC, László Kubala also played with Sándor Kocsis and Zoltán Czibor in a similar formation.  I believed Kubala on the right side.   Ernst Happel  on the right might be a question mark.


  1. The idea of an Austro-Hungarian team is an interesting if not fanciful idea. Having seen the players considered for selection I would not wish to exclude or challenge their inclusion. To my mind however there are at the very least two notable omissions from the chosen squad, both of whom were superlative defenders and very much contemporaries of the other squad members. The players in question are Ivan Horvat a towering centre half and a Croatian who represented the then Yogoslavia, while the other was Josef( Jupp)Posipal. Posipal represented West Germany in the 1954 World Cup but was very much a product of the defunct Austria-Hungary empire. He was born and bought up in Romania to a Hungarian mother and a Romanian father of German descent. His decision to play for Germany was purely as a result of circumstances relating to WW2 and its aftermath.He was considered good enough to be included in the FIFA X1 that played England at Wembley in 1953. In my opinion both players were at the very least the equal, if not superior in ability, to those comparable squad members already chosen.