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Continental Championship 1924: What could have been?
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2023-09-15 15:15:42
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After the First World War, and in recent years, clashes of higher characteristics were carried out with too much constancy. After all, beating other powers from other nations was a privilege for the squads. At the beginning of the 1920s, high-value matches between two great powers, according to the press itself, especially the local one, were attributed with the name Championship of the Continent. Especially in 1922, this feature had become all too regular whenever two major teams have been pitted against each other, it has been ascribed the character of a battle for the championship of the continent.
The German press, for instance, considered the match 1. FC Nürnberg-Sparta, in Nuremberg, as the match to decide the best team on the continent, the continental champion.
Several lines were molded to characterize such a tournament, as, in fact, it would attract a lot of public attention and a grand amount of return capital, in addition, of course, to a officialization that would serve as an aggrandizement of continental sport.
GÉZA LÁNYI: Much has already been written about the regularity of the continent's championships, and also about the form and place of play and the eligibility of the more popular teams to take part in such competitions. The obstacles that have been raised so far could be easily overcome with serious preparation.
At that time, there was still a lot of thought about the tournament being held in just one place, almost identically to the end-of-year tours that took place in Spain. In this case, the closest thing to that would be in Vienna, more precisely in Döbling.
In 1922, First Vienna FC took the initiative to bring this plan to fruition. The club's president made the first statement of such a serious intention in an association dinner. In two years' time, in 1924, FC Vienna would be celebrating its 30th anniversary, and he intended to use this special occasion to organise a major international tournament. The Österreichischer Fussballbund wanted to invite the champion teams of all the countries in question to these celebrations. The conditions would, theoretically speaking, be very well aligned for the tournament to take place. The then recent Hohe Warte stadium, designed by architect Eduard Schönecker, considered the finest of its kind on the continent, would be the ground for such an event.
However, such a tournament was never organized in the first half of 1920s, nor in 1922; nor in 1924, even though there were invitations for some teams to witness the 30th anniversary of Döbling's team. Nevertheless, taking into account the teams that were most considered the main ones on the continent, measuring strengths, due to their players, styles, and due to the opinion of contemporary experts about the true class of each team, an speculation about such a tournament would be, at least, quite interesting to carry out. Had this tournament been held, in my opinion, the winners would be S.K. Slavia
After a period of broad dominance by A.C. Sparta, things changed in 1924. Červenobílí regained leadership on Czech soil — and the same territory was still superior compared to Hungary and Austria. S.K. Slavia won the interrupted Středočeská župa 1924 — it is worth mentioning that the second place, S.K. Viktoria Žižkov, had just one point and one game less than S.K. Slavia. — and they did very well in matches against other great continental teams, especially on Viennese soil.
Kratochvíl Vaník K. Kužel
Hliňák Pleticha Plodr
This team's main weapon, unlike what was present in A.C. Sparta, was the forward line, led by the centre-forward Jan Vaník. The inside trio, above all, was typically the Scottish style of attack, with less speed and infiltration than the rival team, but with a much more combinative style of precise and punctual passes.
S.K. Slavia also had the youngsters Frantisek Plánička, Jindřich Šoltys and Josef Silný.
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