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Best teams: Mitropa Cup 1927-1940

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2023-12-08 11:55:16

Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
Mitteleuropa Pokal best club teams — Impressive goal-scoring sides — The invincible First Vienna of 1931 — Teams that had everything to win.

Many years before the creation of the Central European Cup, there were constant discussions about which territory was superior to its neighbor, especially regarding which team was the best on the continent. On certain occasions, these teams were elevated to the level of the best team in the world. Ideas were created to create a tournament and a formula to decide which would be the best team. With the creation of the Mitropa Cup, many teams, of the most diverse styles, levels of performance and among other aspects, marked their Associations in the cup.
During 1927 until 1940, two Hungarian teams, two Czech teams and three Austrian teams won the tournament. There were also other exceptional teams that, due to a cluster of occasions, did not win a certain edition of the tournament, but their football marked the season.
This will not be an easy task. After all, there was no team that was notoriously above the others, as, in fact, there was never a unanimous team. This topic, moreover, has never been widely discussed. THE INVINCIBLE SQUAD.
Of all the teams that won the tournament, coach Ferdinand Frithum's First Vienna was the only one that won, being unbeaten for a total of six matches. The team was made up of pillars in all sectors of the field. The famous full-back duo, Karl Rainer and Josef Blum, were quite solid. In Leopold Hofmann, the centre half-back, the team had a technically and tactically exceptional player, as well as a defensive and offensive balance in the actions of the half-back line. Commanding the offensive actions, scheming and dictating the rhythm of his line with punctual and precise passes and strategies worthy of an astute general, Friedrich Gschweidl was the main player in his team's goals.
This was a brilliant Austrian side, very well structured, solid, inventive and very artistic. This team, however, was untested against some of the top teams from the former Central European bloc. In the quarter-finals, they faced the fragile Bocskai F.C., who were fourth in Nemzeti Bajnokság I. With Hungary already in notorious decline compared to what it was at the end of the second half of the 1920s, this Hungarian team only competed in the tournament due to to the fact that Újpest and Ferencváros had abdicated their shares. In the next phase, they faced A.S. Roma, led by English coach Herbert Burgess, who had coached MTK in 1922. Roma finished the Prima Divisione in second place, just behind Juventus, but were not considered one of the main teams on the continent. The final of the tournament was played against Wiener A.C., the winning team of the Wiener Cup, a tournament in which they won undefeated.
As much as First Vienna won the tournament with great authority, I do not consider that the clashes in front of them were clashes truly of the highest level in the entire history of the competition. However, as I already mentioned, this team won with authority, a lot of solidity and became the only team to win the Mitteleuropa Pokal undefeated. In total, Gschweidl's team scored 18 goals and conceded 6 goals. A HARMONIOUS GOAL MACHINE.
In the second edition of the tournament — 1928 edition —, there was a squad that had formed a solid group, which played very offensive football. Ferencváros, trained by Isván Tóth, were a true juggernaut throughout the tournament. In the first two matches, it is true, against a much weaker opponent, a high number of goals was already expected. However, an aggregate of 13:1 in just two matches was impressive. In the second match, against Admira, the champion team of Wiener Liga I., there was a certain question as to whether Ferencváros would advance to the stage. After all, a few months earlier Fradi had lost 6:1 to Admira on Austrian soil, more precisely at the Pfarrwiese.
However, Ferencváros had won both semi-final matches against Admira. Therefore, ending the question of whether they had the caliber to win the tournament.
Regarding the victory of Ferencváros, Rudolf Mütz, then president of Admira, said:
— I can honestly say that the better team won. All my men fought hard, but nothing can be done if the opponent is better.
Ferencváros would face S.K. Rapid, who had reached their second Mitropa Cup final.
The first match of the two finals, at Üllői-út, was a complete devastation between the Ferencváros vanguard and S.K. Rapid's defensive system, with seven goals being scored. Both were excellent teams. Ferencváros, however, was on an inspired day, a day in which its sovereignty could beat any team in front of it. This dominance against such a strong opponent is, to this day, the biggest score in a Mitropa Cup final.
In the second match, S.K. Rapid started at a very high pace, but lost performance as time passed. At one point, S.K. Rapid had scored 5:2, thus causing euphoria on the part of the fanatical Viennese public. However, the match ended 5:3, with the last goal being scored by Ferenc Szedlacsik. The winning streak was ended, but the title was won. This was the first edition played by Ferencváros. The winning team of Nemzeti Bajnokság I. 1926/27 failed to qualify for the 1927 edition, as they performed poorly in the final quadrangular. However, they demonstrated all their power in this second edition of the tournament. DR. SÁROSI DID NOT LET THEM PASS.
A squad that demonstrated exceptional performance until the last stages of the tournament was F.K. Austria, a team led by Walter Nausch and Matthias Sindelar, in the 1937 edition. That team was undefeated until the match at Üllői-út, thus beating teams like Bologna, the champion of the Prima Divisione 1936/37, and Újpest, which was already in a growing phase, and coming off an impressive performance, especially Sindelar, against Ferencváros, at Praterstadion. Until the second match of the semi-final, the team won all matches, with emphasis on the second match against Bologna — and that match won with a sovereignty reflected in 5:1.
Up until halftime in the second match against Ferencváros, above all, everything indicated that the team would compete in the final — and probably win. The Austrian team, however, due to a drop in performance and a growing team from Ferencváros, especially from Dr. György Sárosi, was eliminated in a spectacular way, a match that is considered one of the most spectacular in the history of football.
Die Violetten suffered a tragic defeat against the Hungarians, a defeat that was marked by what could have happened. If F.K. Austria had eliminated Ferencváros, the chances of a consecutive title were very high.
This was a brilliant team, which had a very varied style, very offensive, artistic, inventive, versatile, a myriad of ideas to be implemented. Each rank of the field had great players. Under the command of Cartavelina Sindelar, the forward line obeyed and adapted to his style of play, especially the inside trio composed of Josef Stroh and Camillo Jerusalem. Even though many said that Nausch had not adapted to the forward line, his goals were necessary for the victory of his vanguard and team. CONCLUSION
In this article, only teams were mentioned that, in the author's opinion, were promoted to the highest level of the competition in just one edition. Along these lines, in addition, there are some other teams that achieved interesting characteristics, such as First Vienna's unbeaten performance in 1931. Other great teams — winners or not — could be mentioned, but due to the irregularity of their domains or an eventual weakening of the tournament — from 1938 onwards — were not mentioned.
There were also great teams that were considered among the main squads, or even the main one, but they disappointed in certain editions, as was the case with Ferencváros, in 1932, Hungária, in 1937, for instance. However, due to their quality, especially individual, power in each rank and number of extraklasse on the field, during the years of dispute, the team that, in my opinion, disappointed the most was Juventus. In fact, the bioconeri could have performed much better in the competition.
Kohut Turay Koszta
Szedlacsik Takács II.
Berkessy Bukovi A. Lyka
Hungler Takács I.
Due to the vast dominance that was inherent to it, I see the Ferencváros of 1928, a team led by Potya, as the most dominant, most sovereign team that ever appeared since the creation of the tournament until 1940.