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Level research: Central Europe 1926/27
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-09-21 11:29:17
Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
The scenario in Central Europe was one of changes and new methods of measuring strength — the Central European Cup, for example. The football played was practically another, distancing itself a little from the old teachings of the past. Czechoslovakia no longer had the same regularity, sovereignty and therefore the high level of players that flourished even before the First World War. Nevertheless, A.C. Sparta and S.K. Slavia were still the top two teams to beat. Austria no longer had its past great teams in S.K. Rapid and F.K. Austria, the former Wiener Amateur S.V. On the Budapest side, Hungary was heading towards a second high level of football presented, mainly by Ferencváros and Újpest, but their National Team still needed to be properly polished to achieve results at the international level.
The sunny days of the great Czech phase were coming to an end — and that was quite noticeable, looking at the perspective of their teams' performances in recent years. Both Hungary and Austria were leveraging their football. On the Czech side, the new players produced were not able to restore their former Czech glory. However, they were still the main nation to be beaten in Central Europe.
A.C. Sparta was the team that best demonstrated regularity and high level on the part of Czechoslovakia, as they played their international matches with dominance against their main opponents. Through the A.C. Sparta, Czechoslovakia had its main strength in clubs, the club which won all the top tier tournaments.
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A.C. Sparta Praha against Viennese clubs:
A.C. Sparta - S.K. Slovan — 5:2, 14/05/1927, Prague.
A.C. Sparta - Brigittenauer A.C. — 5:2, 18/05/1927, Prague.
A.C. Sparta - F.C. First Vienna — 3:1, 11/06/1927, Prague.
S.K. Rapid - A.C. Sparta — 0:1, 19/06/1927, Vienna.
A.C. Sparta - W.S.C Admira — 5:1, 14/08/1927, Prague.
W.S.C Admira - A.C. Sparta — 5:3, 21/08/1927, Vienna.
A.C. Sparta - S.K. Rapid — 6:2, 30/10/1927, Prague.
S.K. Rapid - A.C. Sparta — 2:1, 13/11/1927, Vienna.
However, as much as A.C. Sparta had achieved excellent results against Austrian teams, the club failed against Hungarian teams. In the 1927 edition of Húsvéti Torna, the A.C. Sparta ended up the competition in the last place, in addition to having acquired bad results, in a tournament which had Ferencváros, Újpest and Hungária. However, it is worth mentioning that it was a tournament played entirely on Hungarian soil.
S.K. Slavia, in turn, was a more irregular team. They couldn't have the same regularity and strength as A.C. Sparta. However, it was a team that managed to regulate itself shortly before the first match of the Central European Cup. The red and white team was not considered to advance to the stage, but to be eliminated by Újpest F.C.
Due to the new training methods, the team progressively improved its results and had everything to go to the final of the first edition against A.C. Sparta. However, didn't want or didn't know how to take advantage of the chances when they were much more dominant than S.K. Rapid. According to the vast majority of opinion on both S.K. Slavia & S.K. Rapid, largely on account of the underperformance of Vienna's most popular team, S.K. Slavia and A.C. Sparta would dispute the most remarkable finals in their history.
HUNGARY X AUSTRIA
The two territories were below the Czech teams and with a much fiercer dispute between them. On the part of Austria, its main representatives were Brigittenauer A.C., W.S.C Admira & S.K. Rapid, but with the three forces considered below the Hungarian powers, Ferencváros F.C., Hungária F.C. and Újpest F.C. From the battles fought between the Hungarian and Austrian teams, the Hungarians emerged victorious, both on Viennese soil and in Budapest.
Of all the six teams mentioned, Ferencváros F.C. was the team that stood out the most against the Viennese teams and was considered as the main Hungarian force by the authorities. If they had qualified for the Central European Cup, they could have staged an excellent tournament. Hungária F.C., in turn, improved as the tournament was played, reaching a point of almost eliminating A.C. Sparta, in Prague, and with an exceptional performance by Kálmán Konrád.
THE IMPACT OF MITROPA CUP
Due to the brand new Central European Cup, all over the region, debates were constantly made. People would question which nation played the highest level of football. In some way, the semi-finals of the first Mitteleuropa Pokal gave a little spark on these debates.
— Is Czech football superior to ours? – Hungarians questioned.
— Yes, their National Team matches would confirm; SK Slavia and AC Sparta being on semi-finals would as well – some would think.
Two of Europe’s strongest sides, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, battle for the dominance in Continental’s professional football. Moreover, it is true that many balanced more the the Czech side. S.K Slavia & A.C. Sparta were, at that time, considered the two best teams in Central Europe.
Unlike the conditions on the part of the clubs, the National Teams showed a result that is too different regarding Austria and Hungary. Czechoslovakia was still ahead of the other two National Teams, but the dispute is reversed in the second and third places. The Austrian team, in the last matches played in the last contemporary decades, had shown vast superiority against their main rival, Hungary – and it was no different in 1926/27. In the two matches that took place regarding the season, in addition to both being played in Vienna, Hungary won the first one — 19/09/1926 — and lost the second one — 10/04/1927 — by an abysmal result of 6:0. This last result was a counterpoint to a new development on the part of Hungarian football, but which already proved to be at a higher level than what was presented.
In fact, the results of Czechoslovakia pointed to it as the main force in Central Europe. Playing in Vienna, Prague or Budapest, the Czech team won all matches they played against Austria and Hungary, with a nice highlight against Hungary in the 4:1 in Prague.