He is remembered as the man who defied the Nazis, who refused to succumb to their oppressive rule. He is remembered as a representative of the romantic, coffee house football that prevailed in Austria before the inexorable spread of fascism.October 2, 2018
On the 3rd of April 1938, Matthias Sindelar scored the goal that might have ended his life. A few weeks earlier, Germany had annexed Austria, the country of Sindelar’s birth. At the Prater Stadium in Vienna, the two countries played a friendly, billed as a “reunification derby”.
Austria were not meant to win. The game was supposed to finish in a cordial 0-0 draw, but Sindelar had other ideas. In the 70th minute, having already missed a number of chances, he fired a rebound into the net. Then he celebrated, dancing with a grin on his face, in front of a box of Nazi dignitaries. Nine months later, he was dead.