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Josef Smistik vs. Leopold Hofmann

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2021-09-23 23:02:54

Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
Isaque Argolo | 10/12/2021

Two of the highest class of centro-halves Austria has ever produced, but in completely different styles—effective nonetheless. The first, Smistik I., of SK Rapid, the brother of Franz Smistik, was a tall, strong and completely dynamic player. The second, representing the First Vienna school, Leopold Hofmann, had an elegant, technically refined, completely classic style.
During the entire period that Hofmann and Smistik played, there were several arguments about which of the two was better: a player with more athletic characteristics or the artist of the ball. Smistik, as Otto Nerz said, in fact, represented more his club — SK Rapid Wien — than the football presented by his national team. Nevertheless, it is good to remember that when Wunderteam was formed, Hugo Meisl chose eleven players who most represented the Vienna school, and chose Smistik. Frigyes Becske wrote:
— I will be exhibiting a sample collection of the best representatives of the Vienna school... — Meisl said angrily and announced the "sample collection" on Monday evening.
However, another interesting point is the fact that Hugo Meisl, in his fictional Continental XIs, always placed Hofmann ahead of Smistik. This happened both in 1927 and in 1932. Meisl, following his own lines, used to say, too, that depending on how his team played and who was on the field, he would choose centre-half. Characteristics.
The two were almost completely different players. Perhaps, the only feature they had was an almost similar aerial game. Hofmann was a better established player in youth and combined teams. From the beginning of his career, he was seen as a prodigy player of the Vienna school. Smistik, on the other hand, took longer to stand out, and in terms of years with the Austrian national team, he wasn't as long-lived as Smistik. The SK Rapid player, however, played more games than his First Vienna contemporary.
Starting with Hofmann, who possessed a unique style, thus distinguishing himself from other players. Hofmann was one of the most technical players in Europe, with a low passing game, precise and punctual, he played the positional game to its highest perfection. Hofmann was a player most aimed at building and transitioning the ball from defense to attack. In fact, he was not such a defensive player, but a true ball strategist. His game was slower, more thoughtful and patient.
Machu Hofmann Kaller
The great halves of First Vienna.
S.K. Rapid's centre-half was already quite different. Smistik was more defensive than Hofmann, but he managed, due to his dynamism, to be more offensive, too. He wasn't a construction player, no, but a player focused on a more direct and dynamic game. It was common for Smistik to sweat his shirt more than his other teammates. Even with his more comprehensive defensive side, Smistik was very attacking to score goals. Smistik was strong, very strong and a relentless player and determined to complete the action. He, moreover, possessed respectable technique, too, however, his game was much more athletic than technical.
I have Hofmann, due to his style, as my favorite in comparison. I do, however, admit that Smistik was a better footballer. Furthermore, I believe that the vast majority of football fans in Vinnense at the time claimed the same thing.