Josef Smistik

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Josef "Pepi" Smistik (born November 28, 1905 , † November 28, 1985 ) was an Austrian national soccer player . Alternating with the Vienna player Leopold Hofmann , he played as center half in the legendary wonder team . With his parent club Rapid , Pepi Smistik was also able to win the Mitropa Cup 1930 in the final in the third attempt and become Austrian champion three times .


Promotion at Rapid to Mitropacupieger

Pepi Smistik began his career at the then lower-class Viennese suburb club Stadlauer Sportvereinigung , where he played together with his brother Franz Smistik . It was he who caught the eye of Rapids in 1926 and was finally brought in as the successor to winger Karl Wondrak , who in turn ended his career. Pepi Smistik followed his brother to Hütteldorf , where he became a regular player as a middle runner after just a few weeks. This position had been held by Josef Brandstätter up to then , the crowd favorite had recently resigned. Pepi Smistik knew how to tie in seamlessly with Brandstätter's combat-oriented game, refined it with his technical skills and great game overview, which was particularly evident in his famous long passes.

In his first season, Pepi Smistik was able to win the ÖFB Cup and reach the final of the Mitropa Cup , the forerunner of the European Cup . However, the middle runner was clearly defeated with the Rapid-Elf of Sparta Prague in two games with a total of 7-3 hits. In the next season in 1928, the young player was in the final of the Mitropa Cup, but this time had to admit defeat to Hungarians by Ferencvárosi FC . Pepi Smistik was no longer used in the second leg after the weak first leg result of 1: 7 in Budapest. The first two championship wins, however, he achieved in 1929 and 1930. Then the green-whites managed to move into the Mitropacup finals again and, as in 1927, the final opponent was Sparta Prague. In the first leg, the Hütteldorfer won 2-0 in Prague. In Vienna they fought 2: 3, which was enough to win the final overall. Pepi Smistik played a large part in Rapid's triumph, with the interim 2-2 he headed Kirbes- Corner for the preliminary decision on the Hohe Warte .

Wonder team player and discoverer

Pepi Smistik made his debut in the Austrian national team in a 3-0 victory over Yugoslavia on May 6, 1928 , and at the time of the wonder team had long been considered a veteran. During this era, the middle runner played, among other things, in the 5-0 victory over the Scots , who had been unbeaten on mainland Europe to date. In addition, the newly crowned Rapid captain won a 6-0 win over Germany in Berlin in 1931 , at the revenge match in Vienna, which he won 5-0 with the team, as well as at the legendary game against England on the pitch. Towards the end of the era he was still used in the 6-1 win over Belgium and the 4-0 win over France . The 1: 2 defeat against Czechoslovakia is considered the end of the miracle team - Pepi Smistik scored at least the only Austrian goal.

Until the World Cup in 1934 , Pepi Smistik remained undefeated in all games with the national team. In Italy at the World Cup, however, the hosts had to admit defeat after a dubious referee performance in the semifinals. Pepi Smistik then only played a few games for the team until 1936. Just one year after leaving the national team, the Rapid captain also left his club, switched back to his youth club FC Stadlau and worked for the FAC and in Krems until 1945 at Kremser SC as a player-coach. At Stadlau he looked after the young striker Ernst Ocffekt , to whom he successfully passed on his skills as a center runner - in this position Ocffekt was later twice captain of the world selection.

Coaching and the time after football

After the Second World War, the runner switched to pure coaching and led, among other things, the Swiss club FC Schaffhausen (1952–1955) in the top league. Pepi Smistik also worked again in the Austrian A-League : he was head of the Vienna Austria in the 1958/59 season. His main job, however, was a driver for the liqueur company "Wolfrum". Towards the end of his life, the former wonder team player suffered from Parkinson's disease , and on his 80th birthday he died of a stroke in the Lainzer hospital . Smistik was buried in the Stadlau cemetery .