Matthias Sindelar, the Mozart of football and the best Austrian footballer of all time

Matthias Sindelar, the Mozart of football and the best Austrian footballer of all time
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Mattias Sindelar. few times 35 years go in life. That's how long he lived, surely the best Austrian footballer in history and a man with a legend behind full of unique moments. Born in 1903 en Jihlava (Today belonging to Czech Republic), three years he emigrated with his family to Vienna Jewish ethnicity, the capital of the great Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Matthias Sindelar, the Mozart of football and the best Austrian footballer of all time
Matthias Sindelar, the Mozart of football and the best Austrian footballer of all time

There he started playing football, and there came to prominence. And in the streets of Vienna city they would witness their quality. Among his friends, nobody controlled the ball as he, no he is haggling as he did Sindelar and no one had the ability to generate show like “Paper Man”, nickname he earned among his fellow sufferers.

evidently, is not so much talent going to waste in the streets, and in 1918, with only 15 years, Hertha Vienna was to be done with their services, prior to his move to FK Austria Wien step in 1924. It would be in the latter group, where Sindelar show all its charm with the ball at his feet. Huge in passing and ball control (Zidane or Maradona even have been able to match him in this regard), spectacular in the auction and outstanding dribbling (his speciality), Austria Vienna win the Austrian Cup three times and reach the glory of being called in 1926 by the Austrian national team, also called Wunderteam.

With the national team, came his rise to the category of myth. 43 internacionalidades with 27 goals that will lead to World Cup semifinalist Italy 34, where only the transalpine set and achieve stop Sindelar company thanks among other things to full arbitration proceedings controversial and subjectivity in favor of local. Also at the Berlin Games would achieve shine, clinching the silver medal.

Definitely, his greatest moments of glory in a career that also lived moments of ups and downs, especially following the coming to power of Hitler in Germany. Nazism did not agree with the ideas of Sindelar and this at no time was uncomfortable in the wake of the authoritarian regime. There were many incidents and skirmishes starring in the environment of the player.

If a Jewish friend suffered a closure of a store, he bought. If a family member of the same ethnic group will expropriate your home, he's topped up. A struggle which obviously also moved to football. The 12 March 1938, Germany annexed Austria, which it meant the fusion of two powers in a balompédicas, and the creation of an all-powerful team.

Austria played a farewell match against Germany 3 April 1938.
Austria played a farewell match against Germany 3 April 1938.

Five Austrian players became integrated with Germany, where yet, It was missing the larger: and they imagine that is Sindelar. The star of the moment never came. injury, fatigue, there was always an excuse not to participate in a selection of member not believed.

If instead, It would appear the 3 April 1938, when Germany was to organize a farewell meeting of the Austrian team that would

Matthias Sindelar, the Mozart of football and the best Austrian footballer of all time
Matthias Sindelar, the Mozart of football and the best Austrian footballer of all time

two teams face. A friendly celebration by the union of two separate countries held in the Vienna Prater, but it would be anything but a gathering of friends.

Rigged in advance by the Germans (“win a game is more important for people to capture an eastern city”, He went on to say Goebbels), before starting the meeting and raved thing when Sindelar refused to do the Nazi salute protocol to the Nazi authorities in the stadium with Hitler at the head.

Even more, when the first part, the Mozart of football would display a continuous game turns all colors to the German defense. Luxury still increased by the fact that on many occasions would be planted with only the goalkeeper and instead of throwing up would back door so as not to score.

tense atmosphere certainly, which he lives in the first half, and still have its hottest point in the second half, when Austria finally would score the only two goals of the match. Especially, with the first, Sindelar work, I'm not happy with mark, instead of making the Nazi salute as ceremonial celebration of both, begin a race to stand together in front of Hitler and perform a dance that stunned all present and certainly, will mark the destination.

Sindelar defied Hitler scoring a goal and dancing in his face.
Sindelar defied Hitler scoring a goal and dancing in his face.

After that encounter Matthias Sindelar, who had become a hero to the Austrians but a dangerous subversive element in the Nazi order, he was forced into hiding and living under a lot of pressure by the Gestapo, a few days later he ripped through a bar of his property as a threat.

The footballer did not appear, and even he said that Hitler offered a financial reward to whoever found, and was a fellow who betrayed him Wunderteam. The fact is that the 23 of January of 1939 Sindelar was found dead at home, He is lying on his bed with his new wife, Jewish young Italian Camilla Castagnola.

The causes have never been clarified. Official reports of the time say the death was due to a gas leak, thus induced suicide, descartable nothing given the unbearable situation had happened to live the Austrian, although it struck by the speed with which the Gestapo closed and closed the case. At least, one of the officers had the grace to ensure that it was an accident, thereby achieving that Sindelar received a deserved farewell, it must be remembered that then who had been murdered or had committed suicide could not hold a funeral.

But nevertheless, and during the time there were those who even pointed to a crime. Firefighters who came to his home said they had not noticed the smell of gas on arrival, and there were no signs of leakage on the stove. Even, In a recent BBC report, a friend of the footballer says that there were bribes to officials to not comment on the case and that nailed down as soon as possible.

epic farewell

Despite the rush of the Gestapo, they wanted a quick goodbye, almost clandestine, the day of his death Austria Vienna, his club, received more than 15.000 telegram of condolence, so many that mail from the city collapsed, and his funeral was attended by more than 40.000 people, they faced the threatening presence of Nazi troops, fearing a rebellion of those who had joined the farewell of his idol.

Since then, the 23 January each year is held a simple ceremony on his grave. It involves leaders of the Austrian Federation, Austria Wien, fans and ever fewer teammates times Wunderteam, honoring the best Austrian footballer of all time, as well it determined in IFFHS 2000.

But there is no doubt that his fame transcended far beyond the sport. Never a player face planted much political injustice; a goal never meant for a country both. The memory of Der Papierene will always live in Austria.”

Julio Muñoz

Julio Muñoz

Journalist, specialist in international football and retro. I write in Colgadosporelfutbol.com and you can follow me at @ juliomv1982

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