The Most Famous


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This page contains a list of the greatest Austrian Soccer Players. The pantheon dataset contains 21,273 Soccer Players, 165 of which were born in Austria. This makes Austria the birth place of the 21st most number of Soccer Players behind Czechia, and Poland.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Austrian Soccer Players of all time. This list of famous Austrian Soccer Players is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Austrian Soccer Players.

Photo of Josef Bican

1. Josef Bican (1913 - 2001)

With an HPI of 70.96, Josef Bican is the most famous Austrian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 41 different languages on wikipedia.

Josef "Pepi" Bican (25 September 1913 – 12 December 2001) was an Austrian-Czech professional footballer who played as a striker. He is widely regarded as the greatest goalscorer in the history of the sport. He is considered by RSSSF as the second-most prolific goalscorer in history after Erwin Helmchen, with over 950 goals scored in 624 official matches. He scored 526 goals in 270 games for Slavia Prague across his 11-year playing career at the club. Bican began his professional career at Rapid Vienna in 1931. After four years at Rapid, he moved to local rivals Admira Vienna. Bican won four league titles during his time in Austria, moved to Slavia Prague in 1937, where he stayed until 1948, and became the club's all-time top goalscorer. He later played for FC Vitkovice, FC Hradec Králové, and Dynamo Praha, retiring in 1955 as the all-time top goalscorer in the Czechoslovak First League with 447 goals. According to UEFA, the governing body for European football, he is the leading all-time goalscorer in European top-flight leagues with 518 goals (447 in Czechoslovakia and 71 in Austria), narrowly ahead of Hungarian Ferenc Puskás. Bican was a member of the Austrian Wunderteam of the 1930s and represented the nation at the 1934 FIFA World Cup, where they reached the semi-finals. He later switched allegiance to the Czechoslovakia national football team, but a clerical error related to his transfer of national team precluded him from playing in the 1938 FIFA World Cup. Bican was a tall and powerful player, with the technical ability to play with both feet, and had considerable pace. During his athletic prime, he was reportedly capable of running 100 metres in 10.8 seconds, which was not far off the leading sprinters of his time. After his retirement from playing, Bican became a manager, and coached various teams from the 1950s until the 1970s. In 1998, Bican was given a "Medal of Honour" by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) for being among the world's most successful top division goalscorers of all time. In 2000, the IFFHS awarded Bican the "Golden Ball" in recognition of his status as the greatest goalscorer of the 20th century. The award was based on how many times a player had been top scorer in his domestic league, a feat which Bican achieved 12 times.

Photo of Hans Krankl

2. Hans Krankl (b. 1953)

With an HPI of 58.89, Hans Krankl is the 2nd most famous Austrian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 45 different languages.

Johann "Hans" Krankl (German: [hans ˈkʁaŋkl̩]; born 14 February 1953) is an Austrian former professional footballer. A prolific striker, he is regarded by many as one of Austria's greatest players.

Photo of Karl Rappan

3. Karl Rappan (1905 - 1996)

With an HPI of 57.38, Karl Rappan is the 3rd most famous Austrian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 21 different languages.

Karl Rappan (26 September 1905 – 2 January 1996) was an Austrian footballer and coach. He played and managed mostly in Switzerland, where he won multiple titles. He had four tenures as coach of the Switzerland national team, which he managed in three World Cups, and is the all-time leader in matches won as coach of the Swiss team. He introduced a major football strategy known as the "bolt", which gave origin to the catenaccio system. He also helped create the UEFA Intertoto Cup.

Photo of Brian Laudrup

4. Brian Laudrup (b. 1969)

With an HPI of 56.41, Brian Laudrup is the 4th most famous Austrian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 44 different languages.

Brian Laudrup (Danish pronunciation: [ˈpʁiːæn ˈlɑwˀtʁɔp], born 22 February 1969) is a Danish former professional footballer who played as a winger, forward or as a midfielder, and was regarded as one of the most talented players of his generation. He currently works as a football commentator, pundit and analyst on Kanal 5 and 6'eren. Laudrup manages a football academy for marginalised youth. During his playing career which eventually stalled due to injury, Laudrup represented a number of European clubs. He started with Danish club Brøndby, winning two Danish championships in the late 1980s. He then played for German and Italian clubs, winning the 1993–94 Serie A as well as the 1994 UEFA Champions League title with Milan. He was a vital part of the Rangers team which dominated the Scottish Premier Division in the 1990s, winning three championships, among others. He won the 1998 UEFA Super Cup in his brief stint with English club Chelsea, and had a brief spell with Copenhagen in Denmark, before ending his career with Ajax in 2000. Laudrup also played 82 matches and scored 21 goals for the Denmark national team, and was a vital part of the Danish teams which won UEFA Euro 1992 and the 1995 Confederations Cup. Laudrup won the Danish Football Player of the Year award a record four times. He was named by FIFA as the fifth-best player in the world in 1992 and was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers at the FIFA 100 ceremony in March 2004, alongside his older brother Michael Laudrup.

Photo of Franz Binder

5. Franz Binder (1911 - 1989)

With an HPI of 56.09, Franz Binder is the 5th most famous Austrian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

Franz "Bimbo" Binder (1 December 1911 – 24 April 1989) was an Austrian football player and coach who played as a forward. Internationally he represented the Austria national football team and the Germany national football team during the Anschluss. He is the all time leading scorer of Rapid Vienna with 1006 goals in 757 games and regarded as one of the greatest Austrian players of all times. In his whole career he would score 1202 goals in 831 matches. With an average-score of 1.44 goals per match, he is among the most prolific scorers in football history. Binder is one of only a few players to score more than 1200 goals in his professional career alongside Lajos Tichy, Josef Bican, Gerd Müller, Ferenc Puskás, Ferenc Deák, Erwin Helmchen and Pelé.

Photo of Richard Kohn

6. Richard Kohn (1888 - 1963)

With an HPI of 55.09, Richard Kohn is the 6th most famous Austrian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Richard Kohn (27 February 1888 – 16 June 1963) was an Austrian football player and later coach of FC Bayern Munich, FC Barcelona and Feyenoord Rotterdam. He was Jewish, born in Vienna. His nickname was Dombi or Little Dombi, meaning little eminence. He was also known as John Little(s), Jack Domby, de Hongaarse wonderdokter (the Hungarian wonder doctor), and Ricardo Domby.

Photo of Friedrich Koncilia

7. Friedrich Koncilia (b. 1948)

With an HPI of 54.99, Friedrich Koncilia is the 7th most famous Austrian Soccer Player.  Her biography has been translated into 42 different languages.

Friedrich Koncilia (born 25 February 1948) is an Austrian former professional football who played as a goalkeeper.

Photo of Ernst Ocwirk

8. Ernst Ocwirk (1926 - 1980)

With an HPI of 54.61, Ernst Ocwirk is the 8th most famous Austrian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Ernst Ocwirk (7 March 1926 – 23 January 1980) was an Austrian football player and coach. A former midfielder, he is regarded as one of the greatest Austrian men's footballers of all time. He spent the majority of his playing and coaching years between Austria and Italy, being both player and manager for FK Austria Vienna and Serie A club Sampdoria. He also went on to become a member of the Austria national team, which he led to a third-place finish at the 1954 World Cup as its captain. Nicknamed Clockwork by the British for his midfield consistency, as well as the nickname being suggested by his surname, he is often cited as the last of the old-fashioned attacking centre-halves; he was known for his aesthetic and technical style of playing, his heading ability, excellent timing (both in offensive and defensive tasks) and his passing range; particularly his long passing ability. The fans loved him for his modest and fair personality. The international media of the era saw Ocwirk as "the best centerhalf in the world". He is considered one of the greatest central midfielders of all time.

Photo of Karl Koller

9. Karl Koller (1929 - 2009)

With an HPI of 54.14, Karl Koller is the 9th most famous Austrian Soccer Player.  Her biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Karl Koller (9 February 1929 – 24 January 2009) was an Austrian football player.

Photo of Anton Schall

10. Anton Schall (1907 - 1947)

With an HPI of 53.86, Anton Schall is the 10th most famous Austrian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Anton Schall (22 June 1907 – 5 August 1947) was an Austrian football forward who played for the celebrated Austrian national side of the early 1930s that became known as the Wunderteam. He also played for Admira Vienna, and later managed FC Basel. Normally a versatile left footed forward or winger, Schall is considered one of the greatest Austrian men's footballers. A pacy, skillful forward, Schall possessed fine finishing and great attacking intelligence. Later in his career Schall played as a defender. His success with the national team included making Runner-up at the 1927-30 Central European International Cup, Winner at the 1931-32 Central European International Cup being top scorer for Austria & reaching the semifinals at the 1934 FIFA World Cup. After his playing career, Schall, who suffered from a rare heart condition, moved to Switzerland and took over Basel as club trainer in the 1946–47 season. Schall led Basel to win the Swiss Cup, 3–0 in the final against Lausanne Sports. However, he died shortly afterwards aged 40 during a workout on the football field. Team captain Ernst Hufschmid then took Basel over as coach.


Pantheon has 208 people classified as Austrian soccer players born between 1888 and 2005. Of these 208, 142 (68.27%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Austrian soccer players include Hans Krankl, Brian Laudrup, and Friedrich Koncilia. The most famous deceased Austrian soccer players include Josef Bican, Karl Rappan, and Franz Binder. As of April 2024, 45 new Austrian soccer players have been added to Pantheon including Alfred Teinitzer, Kurt Schmied, and Adalbert Püllöck.

Living Austrian Soccer Players

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Deceased Austrian Soccer Players

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Newly Added Austrian Soccer Players (2024)

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Overlapping Lives

Which Soccer Players were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Soccer Players since 1700.