Heinrich Mueller

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Heinrich "Wudi" Müller (born May 13, 1909April 5, 2000) was an Austrian football (soccer) player and coach. In the early 1930s he was an albeit minor part of Austria's all conquering Wunderteam. As coach he defined the post-World War II glory period of Austria Wien.

Playing career

Club career

The trained shoemaker played from 1921 to 1935 for Wiener AC in Vienna, Austria. With this club he won the 1931 Cup of Austria and made it all the way to the final of the Mitropa Cup, both matches of which were lost against local rivals First Vienna FC.

In 1935 the offensive midfielder moved to MTK Hungaria in Budapest where he won, alongside players like Gusztáv Sebes and Ferenc Sas the Hungarian championships of 1936 and 1937. In June 1940 Müller returned to Vienna and joined FK Austria Wien, initially as a player.

International career

In the early 1930s he was called five times to play for the Austrian national football team, for which he scored four goals.

This includes two nominations for the famed Wunderteam, where he played under the management team Hugo Meisl and Jimmy Hogan alongside the legendary Matthias Sindelar. In these matches, Austria defeated Italy 2-1 in March 1932 and Hungary 3-2 in October 1932

Managerial career

As coach his name is primarily associated with FK Austria. Over three terms, which span the 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s, he altogether was in charge there for about 12 years. To date he remains the longest serving coach of Austria.

Most successful was his first period which reached from 1945 to 1954. Besides the three championships in the years 1949, 1950 and 1953 he also led the club to success in the Austrian Cup finals of 1948 and 1949. In the first three years at the helm of Austria he also played for league matches for the club.

In 1951, Austria undertook a nowadays legendary trip to South America. There the team around players like Ernst Ocwirk, Ernst Stojaspal and Lukas "Harry" Aurednik defeated in the huge Maracanã Stadium of Rio de Janeiro the Club Nacional from Montevideo, Uruguay, which had six World Cup winners from the tournament in the previous year in their line-up, with 4-0

Beginning with April 1953 Austrian players aged 30 and beyond became exempt from the ban to play abroad. Especially after the World Cup of 1954, this led to a hefty blood-letting for Austrian football. The club Austria itself lost several of its aces, most of the moving to France, thus the remarkable Austria of that era becoming part of the past.

Also "Wudi" Müller chose to leave. Thus, in 1956 he could be found leading the Dutch national football team to a 3-2 win in Switzerland.

In the later 1950s and early 1960s he could be found at the helm of the Dutch first division side Willem II in Tilburg.

In 1963, Mueller took over AEK Athens in mid-season. The club had been coachless and, after a league-winning 1962-63 season, made a dismal start. Mueller made some radical changes moving Kostas Nestoridis from the striker position to a more withdrawn, playmaker role. He managed to put together a 9-game winning streak (32-1 goals) and raised AEK to 3rd place in the final league standings.

In December 1964, after his stint with AEK, he returned to Austria trying to fill the gap left behind when Edi Frühwirt left the club. With Robert Sara, who should remain with the club for 21 years, Thomas Parits, and Hans "Buffy" Ettmayer the club had a number of promising talents in their roster.

Nevertheless, the club ended up seventh in the league and Ernst Ocwirk was placed as "sporting director" alongside Müller and replaced him fully by the end of the year.

In the 1971/72 season "Wudi" Müller made another comeback on the coaching bench of Austria, but this remained a venture as hapless as his previous one.

External links

A portion of content for this article is credited to Wikipedia. Content under GNU Free Documentation License(GFDL)