Archive for October, 2009

Die grüne Viertelstunde

Rapid Vienna is known for its famous “Rapid Viertelstunde”. Almost since the club’s beginnings, the supporters of the “Greens” have announced the last fifteen minutes of the game by rhythmic clapping at home or away no matter what the score. And to date it’s a trademark of Rapid to have often managed to turn around a seemingly hopeless situation by not giving up and, with the support from the stands, fighting their way to a win just before the final whistle.

Die Mannschaft von Rapid Wien machte mit drei Toren in der letzten Viertelstunde beim 3:1 in Kärnten Trainer Peter Pacult am Mittwoch ein – nicht mehr erwartetes – Geburtstagsgeschenk (bis zur 81. Minute hatte Austria Kärnten 1:0 geführt).  NachVerlustpunkten ist Rapid nun schon Tabellenführer in der österreichischen Bundesliga und weist auch das beste Torverhältnis auf (+18).

Rapid Viertelstunde – höchst aktuell
Eine aktuelle Statistik der Zeitung ÖSTERREICH zeigt, dass die “Rapid-Viertelstunde” heuer fröhliche Urständ’ feiert. Nicht nur in Kärnten fielen Tore in den letzten 15 Spielminuten, insgesamt 13 von 29 Saisontoren erzielte Rapid in der immer pünktlich in Minute 75 eingeklatschten Viertelstunde.

Rapid-Viertelstunde
Tore in der “Rapid-Viertelstunde”, in der die Fans schon seit den Frühzeiten des vor 110 Jahren gegründeten Vereins die Spieler mit rhytmischem Klatschen noch einmal auffordern, ihr Bestes zu geben – bestes Zeichen für die “never say die-attitude” der kampfkräftigen Grün-Weißen aus Hütteldorf!

Seit 1919 – oder noch länger
Die Geburtsstunde der in aller Welt bekannten “Rapid-Viertelstunde” wird meist mit 1919 angegeben. In der Rapid-Chronik von Roland Holzinger heißt es:
“Das Jahr 1919 hatte für die Hütteldorfer historischen Charakter, denn damals wurde die Rapid-Viertelstunde geboren! Man wiß nicht mehr, bei welchem Spiel es war, aber eines Tages hallte das tatkmäßige Klatschen eine Viertelstunde vor Spielende von den Rängen und tausende Hände feuerten ihre Spieler an, für einen effektvollen Abschluss zu sorgen. Der Rapidgeist hatte eine großartige Anerkennung gefunden!”
Die offizielle Website des österreichischen Rekordmeisters vermerkt aber, dass der Begriff “Rapid-Viertelstunde” tatsächlich sogar noch einige Jahre älter sein dürfte, denn bereits in der ersten Meisterschaftssaison 1911/12 gab es einige Spiele, die erst im Finish entschieden wurden und auch in den Zeitungen war in den Folgejahren immer wieder schon von einer “berühmten Viertelstunde” der Grün-Weißen die Rede. So erzielte Rapid-Stürmer Gustav Blaha im Meisterschaftsschlager gegen den hohen Favoriten WAF am 29. Oktober 1911 in der 75. Minute den 2:1-Siegestreffer. Auch im Rückspiel gegen den WAF, am 16. Juni 1912 auf der Pfarrwiese, fiel das Rapid-Tor zum Ausgleich von 1:1 erst zehn Minuten vor Schluss durch Leopold Grundwald. Ebenso beim letzten Meisterschaftsspiel der Saison zwischen Rapid und Cricket am 30. Juni 1912: Bis zur 84. Minute stand es 1:1, ehe Heinrich Krczal und Josef Schediwy noch auf 3:1 stellten und damit den ersten Meistertitel für Rapid fixierten.

Von 1:5 auf 5:7 – Der Uridil macht’s möglich
Ein besonders leuchtendes Beispiel der “Rapid-Viertelstunde” finden wir im Jahr 1921: In einem Wiener Derby gegen den Wiener AC am 10.4.1921 lag Rapid schon mit 1:5 im heimischen Stadion hinten, zur 75. Minute immer noch mit 3:5. Doch dann folgte eine legendäre Rapid-Viertelstunde und am Ende hieß es 7:5 für Rapid Wien – Torschütze aller sieben Treffer in diesem Spiel auf der Pfarrwiese: Pepi Uridil, der Rapid-Star der Zwanzigerjahre, über den es sogar einen eigenen Schlager gab – den sogenannten Foot-ball-walk “Heut spielt der Uridil”:

“Heut spielt der Uridil, Uridil, Uridil!
Man kann sagen, was man will,
so wundervoll trifft keiner mehr ins Goal!
Jawohl!”

Eine Theorie, die ich zur Rapid-Viertelstunde einmal gehört habe, besagt, dass man fünfzehn Minuten vor Spielende auch jene Zuschauer, die sich keine Eintrittskarte leisten konnten, ins Stadion gelassen hat – und das sind wohl besonders in den Jahren der Wirtschaftskrise in der Zwischenkriegszeit nicht wenige gewesen. Und so hätte der “Arbeiter Sportklub” Rapid in der letzten Viertelstunde auf einen noch stärkeren Anhang zählen können.

Untrennbar mit Rapid verbunden
Wie auch immer, selbst wenn es natürlich nicht in jedem Spiel gelingt, dass der Sieg in dieser Phase herbeigeführt wird – und Rapid oft auch schon vor Minute 75 führt – die Tradition hat sich bis heute bewahrt.
Und das Einklatschen der letzten 15 Minuten ist nicht nur seit fast einem Jahrhundert ein fixer Bestandteil jedes Rapid-Spiels, die “Rapid-Viertelstunde” ist gerade auch heuer wieder untrennbar mit Rapid verbunden.
Also: Auf geht’s Rapid, kämpfen und siegen! Auch nächsten Donnerstag in der Europa League gegen Tel Aviv im Wiener Ernst Happel-Stadion!

October 30, 2009 at 9:08 am 1 comment

Rapid Vienna: Best Fans Ever!

europa league
Tonight Rapid Vienna is playing in Israel against Hapoel Tel Aviv. The workers’ club from the second largest town in Israel (Hapoel = workers) has a bright home record as this season they have not been beaten at home yet.
But having already defeated HSV 3-0 in Vienna and drawn 1-1 away against Celtic Rapid need not be afraid of the team that has beaten Celtic 2-1 but lost out against HSV 2-4 three weeks ago.
After the game in Tel Aviv Rapid will play the same opponent in Vienna and afterwards the green-whites are going to travel to Hamburg to meet German giants HSV on December 2nd, 2009.
The game against HSV which is still unbeaten in the German Bundesliga this season will see 7000 Rapid-fans follow their club to Hamburg. Sectors 13 ABC, 14 ABC and 15 ABC will be reserved for the fans from Austria.
The fans of Rapid Vienna are really the best througout Europe!

October 22, 2009 at 12:35 pm Leave a comment

A Guide To Rapid Vienna

rapid flag

From: The 12th Man – the Scottish football fanzine

It was back in 1968 when I, a life-long fan of Rapid Vienna and then a school boy, began to collect newspaper articles related to the “Green-Whites” from Huetteldorf, Vienna’s 14th district. The oldest article of my collection reports on the impression which a then newly signed player had after watching his first home game of Rapid: “That’s an atmosphere I’ve never experienced before,” an astonished Tom Soendergaard, a Danish international, told the reporter in June 1968.
In the year 1968 Rapid Vienna celebrated their 25th domestic league title which meant that they had not only set an Austrian record but became the club that had won most domestic league titles on the continent. However it took them 14 years to bag their 26th league title in 1982. Until today Rapid has won the Austrian league 32 times, most recently in 2008. Last season they finished runners-up behind Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg.
My view back to 1968 has shown that nothing has changed over the years: the atmosphere generated by the Rapid support in their home ground Gerhard Hanappi Stadium, unofficially called “St. Hanappi”, is still something extraordinary throughout Europe. “The atmosphere was terrific,” Aston Villa coach Martin O’Neill (whose team was defeated 1-0 in Vienna) had to concede, and an astonished Villa supporter said: “Jesus, their fans are something else”.

rapid wien happelRapid Vienna is the most popular football club in Austria. Almost 160 fan clubs support the “Greens” all over the country, the “Block West” in “St. Hanappi” is known as the best and loudest stand in the country and a large crowd usually follows Rapid to away matches. 1500 supported Rapid in Birmingham against Aston Villa, and I suppose there will be almost 2500 in Glasgow and 5000 in Hamburg. The “Ultras” (founded in 1988) and other fan clubs have developed a unique fan culture in Vienna and it is their ambition to show a new fan choreography in every game.
But there’s something else that has never changed over Rapid’s history: the “Rapid Viertelstunde”. Almost since the club’s beginnings, the supporters of the “Greens” have announced the last fifteen minutes of the game by rhythmic clapping at home or away no matter what the score. And to date it’s a trademark of Rapid to have often managed to turn around a seemingly hopeless situation by not giving up and, with the support from the stands, fighting their way to a win just before the final whistle.
Rapid Vienna was founded in 1898 as “First Workers’ Football Club of Vienna”, but changed its name to Sport Club Rapid Vienna just one year later, exactly 110 years from now. The anniversary was celebrated this summer with games against Schalke 04, the team which Rapid overcame in 1941 to win the German Championship (when Austria was annexed to the German Third Reich until 1945) and against Liverpool. The latter were beaten 1-0 in Vienna Ernst Happel Stadium, the same ground where two weeks ago a strong and convincingly playing Rapid won 3-0 against Hamburger SV in the Europa League.
The team’s original colours were red and blue, but soon after renaming the club its colours were changed to green and white in 1904. In 1911 Rapid Vienna moved to its legendary old ground “Pfarrwiese” (parish meadow) in Huetteldorf where I attended their last league game in April 1978 when Rapid’s then top scorer Hans Krankl scored five goals in a 6-0 win against Admira/Wacker. Krankl who afterwards played for FC Barcelona won the “Golden Shoe” ’78 as Europe’s leading goalscorer with 41 goals in league matches.
Nowadays the Green-Whites play in the Gerhard Hanappi Stadium in Huetteldorf which holds 17,500, but has already proved too small for top games forcing Rapid to play their Europa League matches in the Ernst Happel Stadium with a capacity of 50,000. But such is the enthusiasm surrounding Rapid in these days that there was no doubt that the Europa League was going to be sold out virtually within less than one week. It’s only a matter of time until the club’s all time attendance record which dates back to 1922/23 when an average 18,500 attended the home games as Rapid Vienna was a dominant side throughout the continent in the 1920s and ‘30s will be met.
Though Rapid Vienna is by far the most popular club in Austria other teams like Red Bull Salzburg are able to spend significantly more money as they are owned by billionaire Didi Mateschitz whereas Rapid claims that they are a membership association which doesn’t belong to anybody else. The lack of financial funds has been successfully compensated for the past years by supporting young and talented players. In the team which defeated Aston Villa in the Europa League play-off and Hamburger SV on Matchday 1 of the group stage at least four players were brought up through the Rapid youth system.

rapid peter pacultRapid’s manager Peter Pacult who is going to celebrate his 50th birthday on October 28th played for Rapid Vienna as a striker from 1984 to 1986, but had to win the supporters over at the beginning of his spell (three years ago) as he had also played for Rapid’s local rival Austria Vienna. Having won the league in 2008 and progressed to the group stage of the Europa League now there is no doubt that Pacult is the most successful manager of Rapid since Otto Baric and Ernst Dokupil who both reached a European Cup Winner’s Final in 1985 and 1996 respectively. Unfortunately Rapid lost both of them to Everton (1-3 in Rotterdam) and Paris St. Germain (o-1 in Brussels).
Having not been able to progress from the group stage of the Champions League in 2005 now the pronounced goal is to succeed this time in the Europa League Group C against HSV, Celtic FC and Hapoel Tel Aviv.
Among the players that shall make this achievement possible are Austria’s international goalkeeper Helge Payer, international defender Ragnvald Soma from Norway who played with West Ham United in the Premier League some years ago, midfielders Markus Heikkinen, an international from Finland and former Aberdeen player, and young Yasin Pehlivan who play the important roles in Rapid’s defensive midfield. Pehlivan along with midfielder Veli Kavlak and wingers Christopher Drazan and Christopher Trimmel are some of the hot young prospects of the most popular Austrian club.
Speaking about Rapid’s midfield we have to mention the important Branko Boskovic from Macedonia Montenegro and above all the player the fans call “football god”, German skipper Steffen Hofmann, the heart of Rapid Vienna. Hofmann is one of the “assist kings” in Europe and a prolific scorer from free kicks!
Striker Nikica Jelavic from Croatia scored two goals against Aston Villa and grabbed the important second goal against HSV two weeks ago. He and new arrival Hamdi Salihi (the “Gerd Muller of Albania”) have made the supporters almost forget that the club have sold two strikers this summer who scored 50 league goals between them last season. Erwin “Jimmy” Hoffer has joined Napoli and Stefan Maierhofer left for Premier League club Wolves.
As to former players just let’s mention famous player and manager Ernst Happel, goalkeepers Walter Zeman and Michael Konsel, Gerhard Hanappi who later constructed Rapids “Gerhard Hanappi Stadion”, strikers Pepi Uridil, “Bimbo” Binder and Hans Krankl, and defender Peter Schoettel, who made 436 appearances for Rapid between 1986-2002.
Last but not least I think I have to meet my reader’s interest in the controversial episode in 1984 when Rapid Vienna and Celtic FC met in a European Cup Winner’s cup-tie. If George Orwell had imagined what was going to happen in Celtic Park and in Manchester’s Old Trafford in the aforementioned year he might have spared a chapter in his book “1984” where a “Ministery Of Truth” is re-writing historical records to match the Party’s official version of the past. Up to now there are two versions of what has happened in an ugly and viciously fought 2nd leg game between Celtic FC and Rapid Vienna which Celtic won 3-0 after 121 minutes (without extra-time!). An UEFA appeal committee ruled that the tie had to be replayed due to objects thrown from the terracing in Glasgow of which one had hit and injured a Rapid player. The UEFA verdict also said two bottles had been thrown onto the pitch but that the player had been hit and injured by another missile. Celtic fans and former players still claim that they were cheated. I think that we should bygones let be bygones and be glad that in our world – unlike in Orwells “1984” – there is not only “one truth”.
As many Rapid supporters have sympathies for foreign clubs wearing the same green and white colours we were a bit surprised about the hostility in some recent comments. I can understand the feelings of our Scottish fellow supporters but November 7th, 1984 and what happened afterwards now is a part of history. 25 years later every supporter of “Green and White” hopes for two unforgettable evenings of supporting, hoping, shouting and singing – showing the world where football and its fans are at its best. And why not have some pints of beer together on match days? By the way, half a pint is called “Kruegel” in Vienna.

Wolfgang Berger (in cooperation with Alfred and Simon Charamza)
rapidhammer.blogspot.com

October 1, 2009 at 6:19 am 5 comments


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