When the FIFA /Coca-Cola Globe Ranking was introduced for October as well as Austria were situated one of the world elite, there have been a few quizzical appears. Placed inside the very best ten for the first time in the table’s twenty five year existence, the actual Alpine nation’s increase had caught numerous by surprise.
Having qualified with regard to UEFA EURO 2016 by having an exceptional 28 factors from ten video games, Austria will get to France among the continent’s in-form groups. Yet they is going to do so while still flying underneath the radar – a well known fact centre-back Sebastian Prodl finds just a little tough to obtain his head close to. “I think we have proved a lot in the last few years, ” he or she told FIFA.com.
“If you check out Austrian football in the minute, not only the actual national team but also the kind of the players within Germany and over the other big Western leagues, I think we’ve been underestimated. ”
Austria’s rise to the upper echelons associated with world football views them ranked greater than traditional powerhouses Italy and also the Netherlands for the very first time, with Prodl from the opinion that this particular reflects their dominating run in achieving the European Tournament. After an starting 1-1 draw along with Sweden, they strung collectively nine successive wins to advance in style.
“The only team have been better than all of us were England, ” Prodl shown. “We’re very happy with our record within qualification. We were a bit unlucky at house [against Sweden], but we centered on what we desired to reach when it comes to getting to the actual EUROs and all of us kept believing constantly. ”
And using the dropped points from the Swedes their just blemish, the Austrians a lot more than made up for this in the come back match, securing qualification within stunning style having a superb 4-1 triumph. “It was the very best qualifying win for Austria within the last 20 years, inch Prodl said, recalling that special match in the Friends Arena.
“It was an ideal night for all of us in Stockholm. Every thing went well, everyone performed at 100 percent, we were really focused and experienced great tactics in the coach [Marcel Koller]. All of us truly deserved this. ”
It was the fitting setting to allow them to achieve their first qualification for that EURO – getting appeared at 08 as co-hosts – as 2 yrs earlier they experienced seen their expectations at reaching 2014 FIFA Globe Cup Brazil™ dashed on the identical pitch. A past due Zlatan Ibrahimovic objective snatched a 2-1 triumph for Sweden, which ultimately noticed them claim the play-off place in front of Austria, who might have needed just a place to prevail.
To place that defeat in order to bed was satisfying for that 28-year-old, but he eventually feels the harm was done earlier within the campaign. “Of course it had been a dream for all of us win so impressively on the ground that all of us lost on 2 yrs earlier. [That game] had been when our expectations ended, but I believe we lost the way in qualification earlier whenever we drew in Kazakhstan as well as Ireland. ”
Come july 1st, he and the actual country’s fans can get their chance in order to fly the Austrian flag proudly in a major tournament for the very first time since the DINAR was played inside their borders. Prodl showcased at that 08 showpiece, still fresh-faced because he began their senior international profession, following on from the fourth-placed finish as captain in the FIFA Ultimate Team Coins U-20 World Cup summer time before.
“I possess great, great reminiscences of 2008. Because it is at our home country it had been an amazing environment in Austria – with 2 or 3 months to proceed it had currently started. Unfortunately we could not get free from the group stages however it was a great experience personally as I started my career. We already had a great team, but that Western Championships probably came 2 or 3 years early. ”
This time round he’ll be among the team’s most older figures and feels they’ve chance of achieving new heights within their second appearance. “It’s a difficult group. We were happy about this, but I believe Portugal, Iceland and Hungary may have been happy about this too. Portugal with Cristiano [Ronaldo] would be the big favourites… [but] we possess the confidence to proceed there and get to another round. ”
The Watford defensive player will arrive included in a mini-wave associated with Austrians making their own mark in Britain, with Prodl as well as three of their countrymen found nestled within the Premier League’s top – a first for that nation. The table happens to be topped by nationwide team captain Religious Fuchs, who has assisted lead Leicester City’s incredible season to date, while Marko Arnautovic is actually impressing at Stoke Town and Kevin Wimmer emerging like a promising prospect from Tottenham Hotspur.
The quartet have been in regular contact as well as Prodl admits he’s enjoying his very first season since their move from Werder Bremen. “Playing within the Premier League is definitely something I’ve wished for, ” he stated. “I like the atmosphere within the stadiums and the actual art of actively playing football here. It’s quite hard obviously but it’s really honest football, a pleasant football culture. ”
With Watford searching on course to survive on the return to the very best flight having defied pre-season anticipation, Prodl will without doubt hope he and also the rest of this particular impressive crop associated with Austrian talent can change domestic momentum right into a summer to keep in mind in France.feedlove77