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FIFA World Cup: 5 Best Teams To Have Never Won The Trophy

Aritro Sarkar
CONTRIBUTOR
Top 5 / Top 10
31.09K   //    Timeless

#4 Austria (1930s)

Soccer game Austria against Hungery (4:1). Zohrer ward off an attack. Austria, Vienna. Photograph around 1930.
Action in an Austria vs Hungary game, which Austria won 4-1.

The pre-war Austrian team was one of the best teams that ever graced the game. Under the leadership of coach Hugo Meisl, the "Wunderteam" would regularly destroy teams, like their 6-0 victory over Germany and their 8-2 hammering of Hungary.

Having won the Central European Championship in 1932, they entered the World Cup in 1934 as one of the favourites. Their attacking play won over the fans quickly with special praise reserved for prolific goalscorer Pepe Bican and more so for the prodigious talent of Matthais Sindelar.

Nicknamed 'The Paper Man' for his slight build, Sindelar would wreak havoc with his silky skills and deft movement, which orchestrated his team's run to the semi-finals in 1934. Their loss to Italy was overshadowed by claims of alleged bias that the referee had towards the latter.

The Wunderteam would continue to dazzle and picked up the silver medal in the 1936 Munich Olympics, again losing to Italy in the final. They qualified for the 1938 edition of the World Cup too and were being backed to finally be crowned World Champions when Nazi Germany went ahead with 'Anschluss' and annexed Austria.

The heroes of the great Austrian team refused to be capped by the nation that captured their fatherland in that year's World Cup, not helping the already tense atmosphere. The Wunderteam's fall from grace was completed under tragic circumstances when their star Sindelar was found lying dead in his apartment. While it was reported as an act of suicide, many still claim that he was murdered by the Gestapo for his outspoken views.

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