The Most Famous


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This page contains a list of the greatest Austrian Soccer Players. The pantheon dataset contains 16,923 Soccer Players, 136 of which were born in Austria. This makes Austria the birth place of the 22nd most number of Soccer Players behind Poland and Switzerland.

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 75.82, Josef Bican is the most famous Austrian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 31 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 the second-most prolific goalscorer in official matches in recorded history according to Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF), with over 948 goals scored in 621 matches. FIFA recognises a lower total of 805 goals.According to RSSSF, Bican scored over 1812 total goals in over 1089 total matches, making him the second greatest goalscorer of all time, behind Lajos Tichy with at least 1912 total goals scored in at least 1301 total matches.Bican began his professional career at Rapid Vienna in 1931. After four years at Rapid, he moved to local rivals Admira Wien. Bican won four league titles during his time in Austria, then moved to Slavia Praha 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.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 Karl Rappan

2. Karl Rappan (1905 - 1996)

With an HPI of 65.50, Karl Rappan is the 2nd most famous Austrian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 20 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

3. Brian Laudrup (1969 - )

With an HPI of 65.28, Brian Laudrup is the 3rd most famous Austrian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 42 different languages.

Brian Laudrup (Danish pronunciation: [ˈpʁiːæn ˈlɑwˀtʁɔp], born 22 February 1969) is a Danish former footballer who played as a winger, forward or as a midfielder. Regarded as one the most talented players of his generation. He currently works as a football commentator, pundit and analyst on Kanal 5 and 6'eren. Along with former international goalkeeper Lars Høgh, 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 Theodor Wagner

4. Theodor Wagner (1927 - 2020)

With an HPI of 64.69, Theodor Wagner is the 4th most famous Austrian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 21 different languages.

Theodor "Turl" Wagner (6 August 1927 – 21 January 2020) was an Austrian footballer who played as a striker.

Photo of Franz Binder

5. Franz Binder (1911 - 1989)

With an HPI of 64.61, Franz Binder is the 5th most famous Austrian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Franz Binder (1 December 1911 – 24 April 1989) was an Austrian football player and coach who played as a forward.

Photo of Ernst Ocwirk

6. Ernst Ocwirk (1926 - 1980)

With an HPI of 63.62, Ernst Ocwirk is the 6th most famous Austrian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Ernst Ocwirk (7 March 1926 – 23 January 1980) was an Austrian football player and coach. He is regarded as one of the greatest Austrian 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 Friedrich Koncilia

7. Friedrich Koncilia (1948 - )

With an HPI of 63.56, Friedrich Koncilia is the 7th most famous Austrian Soccer Player.  Her biography has been translated into 41 different languages.

Friedrich Koncilia (born 25 February 1948) is a former Austrian football goalkeeper.

Photo of Alfred Körner

8. Alfred Körner (1926 - 2020)

With an HPI of 63.17, Alfred Körner is the 8th most famous Austrian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Alfred Körner (14 February 1926 – 23 January 2020) was an Austrian footballer.

Photo of Erich Probst

9. Erich Probst (1927 - 1988)

With an HPI of 63.02, Erich Probst is the 9th most famous Austrian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

Erich Probst (5 December 1927 – 16 March 1988) was an Austrian footballer who played as a striker.

Photo of Richard Kohn

10. Richard Kohn (1888 - 1963)

With an HPI of 62.53, Richard Kohn is the 10th most famous Austrian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 17 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.

Pantheon has 136 people classified as soccer players born between 1888 and 1999. Of these 136, 99 (72.79%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living soccer players include Brian Laudrup, Friedrich Koncilia, and Toni Polster. The most famous deceased soccer players include Josef Bican, Karl Rappan, and Theodor Wagner. As of October 2020, 48 new soccer players have been added to Pantheon including Alfred Körner, Rudolf Vytlačil, and Anton Schall.

Living Soccer Players

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Deceased Soccer Players

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Newly Added Soccer Players (2020)

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