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Leopold Hofmann - Mitropa Cup 1931
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2023-05-12 21:49:45
Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
This article was made in honor of the dedication to the memory of Mr. Jakob Schlegel.
First Vienna were directed to play in the first round against Bocskai, who were fourth placed by Bajnokság I. 1930/31. Bocskai was a team outside the main scope of Hungarian football. Consequently, despite having achieved a good position in the league, there was not much expectation on the Hungarian side to qualify against First Vienna, who had won the Wiener Liga I. 1930/31. In the very first match, played in Hohe Warte, the result was not as consistent with the performances of the Vienna players — and the same was not different with Leopold Hofmann. The centre-half performed poorly, considered even as a mediocre performance by some experts.
In the second leg of the quarter-finals, already with an excellent advantage to play in Debrecen, First Vienna proved to be a superior team for almost every moment of the match. This time Hofmann worked as a very versatile centre-half, not only in defense but also in building-up the attacks from behind. With such leverage of performance by the Austrian team, several players stood out. For some, Josef Blum was the best player in the Viennese team; Josef Adelbrecht, for others; Hofmann, for others.
For the semi-final dispute, A.S. Roma was the opponent of the Vienna team. In the first game, Hofmann did not play enough, in terms of quality, to be clustered among the best players in the game. He, however, as usual, was mentioned as the best half-back. The result of the match ended 2:3 for First Vienna — an excellent result for the visiting team that would decide the second match on Austrian territory.
With an already excellent advantage for the second leg, in Hohe Warte, First Vienna gave no indication that anything out of the expected would happen. The first half, due to the excellent score of 3:0 in just 30 minutes of football, was excellent, mainly the iron skeleton of the team — Josef Blum, Karl Rainer, Hofmann himself and Friedrich Gschweidl. Hofmann, in turn, played brilliantly throughout the match, but it was in the first half that he reached his main point of performance.
With an excellent record in the competition, First Vienna went on to play in the finals against another Austrian team, Wiener A.C. These finals were a great opportunity to advertise the Austrian propaganda.
Under Italian referee Francesco Mattea, from Turin, the match was played in Zurich. Great expectation on the part of the Swiss public to see two great teams from Austria disputing a great clash in their territory. The Döblinger had their best players in Gchweidl and Hofmann, who worked in outstanding form. It is true that Heinrich Hitl did not perform well, but Hofmann's performance went beyond the weak game of the centre-forward opponent. Once again, the Austrian centre-half was mentioned as one of the best in the match; the best, according to many experts.
The second game was played at a level below Zurich, with not-so-efficient football, mistakes made by both sides. However, Hofmann, once again, was mentioned as First Vienna's top player. Every player, both the defensive system and the offensive system, were overshadowed by another great performance from Hofmann, whose manner of carrying on the middle area in general was of a grace which differs most favorably from the behavior of other centre-halves. It was said that in this match his tackling was so smooth and skillful that there was no fighting at all. Also, Hofmann was always buildinh the so excellently thought-out pass.
The fifth edition of the Mitropa Cup, in a resultist view, started very well for First Vienna, even though, in terms of playability, the Vienna team had been classified as mediocre in Hohe Warte — and the same happened with Hofmann, even adding a goal for his team, in a very favorable result. The elegant centre-half did not play well in the first game. However, the second match, in Debrecen, showed clear improvements from the whole team, consequently an improvement in Hofmann's performances.
Leo Hofmann's performances gradually improved until, in both finals against Wiener A.C., the centre-half was considered almost unanimously as the best player in both finals . In moments when his team needed it most, in moments of more decisive phases, Hofmann showed an efficient, precise, elegant and necessary football for every moment of the matches.
First Vienna played a very solid tournament — defensively speaking — and effective through specific pieces in the defensive system. The team's main weapon, as it was already very well known across the continent, was the defensive system — goalkeeper, full-backs and half-backs. Of their main system, Hofmann was the highlight. In conclusion, this was a brilliant season for Döblinger, as they had won the national championship and the Mitropa Cup.
W.A.C. played brilliantly at first. However, the decision was brought about by Hoffmann, who just played two halves, while his opponent Löwinger only played one half. There was excellent football. Vienna's victory is deserved.
It was a brilliant demonstration by the Viennese football school. Both teams played excellently and Vienna's win is well deserved.
Ing. Jakob Schlegel was the former president of the Swiss FA.
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