This Day in History: 2022-10-21

Nr. 327


Between the wars, under Hugo Meisl, Austria’s ‘Wunderteam’ finished fourth at the 1934 World Cup and were silver medal winners at the 1936 Olympics, playing football with a rare flair and freedom. Two decades later Meisl’s sportswriter brother Willy published a book called The Soccer Revolution in which he celebrated that Austrian team and hailed a formation called ‘The Whirl’, an early forerunner of ‘Total Football’, where players constantly interchange all over the pitch. «We must free our soccer youth from the shackles of playing to order, along rails as it were,» he wrote. «We must give them ideas and encourage them to develop their own.»
The front cover of Willy Meisl’s book emphasises its appeal in all the countries across the world where football is followed with passion.