Hugo Meisl


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Herbert Chapman (1878—1934) football manager


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A Football coach, administrator, and referee, who coached the Austrian Wunderteam of the late 1920s and the early 1930s. Meisl was born in Maleschau, Bohemia, and moved to Vienna as a boy. He became the general secretary of the Austrian Football Association, and refereed international and Olympics (1912) matches. An internationalist, Meisl spoke several European languages and inaugurated the Mitropa Cup and a central European international cup. He communicated with other progressive European coaches and managers—Vittorio Pozzo in Italy, and Herbert Chapman in England. Another English coach who worked in Vienna, Jimmy Hogan, influenced Meisl's approach to playing the ball along the ground in a fluent passing style. Meisl was national coach from 1919, and his Austrian side dominated European competition though never winning either the Olympic title (1936) or the World Cup (Italy, 1934); and by 1938 Austria had been annexed by the Third Reich, and Meisl's wonder-team was, the year after his death, suddenly German.

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