Austria at EM 2021: a little longing, a little envy – sport

Reinhard Fendrich makes his best preparations for Saturday’s football match: “I have kane lire, kane leaves, so wos haut di net fire” The most gritty Ostrobopper sang once on “Strada del Sole,” a three-minute, 14-second song that describes all the feelings That determines the relationship between the Austrians and Italy – opponents in the last 16 of the European Championship. Fenderish sings about the Italian who drives an Alfa Romeo and comforts his wife. Conclusion: “I want to go to Florence, to Rome and to Pisa, but now I have a gnua from Gfriesa at last.” In good non-Austrian terms: There are enough people you don’t like.

But the song also talks about love. Of the longing and infatuation as well as the occasional envy of the Austrians for the Italians. And that always comes into play when a skateboarding nation that also wants to be a real soccer nation meets a real soccer nation.

Due mainly to the German perspective, and perhaps also to some extent to the German ego and of course the language, Austria is seen as a Germany-oriented country. Germany: a big neighbor to the north, a powerful country, an economic model, of course. And who wouldn’t want to be like the great Germans who always played football like machines?

The Austrian fan is much closer to the Italian than to the German

Yes, Austria may have grabbed some things from its northern neighbor, but in fact it wants to be different from Germany. Austria prefers to look south, to Italy, when it comes to topics like music, holidays – and yes, football too. Fendrich’s songs were not played in North Rhine-Westphalia, but were played on the Strada del Sole, which once connected the motorway from Milan to Calabria. Falco sang a track in Italian in “Junge Römer”, and later the new Ostropop band Wanda did the same. the love She made her mission statement: “If someone asks where you are going – say: ‘to Bologna’”

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In football, the orientation towards the south is reflected in the reception of victory and defeat. The Austrian admirer is much closer to the Italian than to the German, it is about extremes, about the steep rise and fall of an entire nation in case of success or failure. If the national team loses, it is in Austria “ois oasch”, everything is at its best. On the other hand, if she wins, it doesn’t matter if the win is due to a brilliant tactical idea or the opponent’s own goal.

In EM, no one is asking if a 2-0 draw against Holland would not be enough reason to end any euphoria, because Austria clearly has no chance against good opponents. Just as the Italians after their strong group stage believe that the European Cup is already on their way to Rome, the Austrians say: North Macedonia defeated, Ukraine defeated, Round of 16 – Ueda! What happened before the tournament is forgotten in the present. That German national team president Franco Foda be seen in the headlines as ‘the coach of yesterday’? It was yesterday.

In the latest relevant duel so far, Toni Polster and Andy Herzog have not found holes in Italy’s defense

Even Herbert Prohaska was ecstatic. “Schneckerl”, the affectionately known Austrian player of the century, currently provides information on all media channels. In his main role as an expert at ORF, he has already said the most important things: there will be one team in each European championship that will surprise, and who knows how this championship can develop … “I am not saying that Austria will be the European champion”, as he specified in newspaper now Basic“But maybe we’ll hit the Italians.”

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Prohaska knows the relationship with its southern soccer neighbor more than anyone. He played 82 matches for Inter Milan and Roma, most of them with a very creative mustache. And in the last related duel between the two countries, he was the coach of ÖFB: at the 1998 World Cup, at the Stade de France in Paris, the Austrians were eliminated after 1:2 in the third group match, despite Tony Polster and Andy. Herzog in attack at that time there was no gap against Italy’s defense. And now the next attempt: Saturday, 9pm, Wembley, where unfortunately no fans from both countries are allowed to travel. So Italians are likely to be the majority, with around 300,000 living in the UK and able to buy tickets.

Musically, the Austrian prefers to get into the mood with Fendrich in the stadium: “I am from Austria,” fans always sing enthusiastically, followed by Radetzkymarsch, the disguised national anthem, because: Keeping up with ‘Fratelli d’Italia’ – one gets a little jealous there too.

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