all just theater – from Raimund to Happel

Football and theater have something common. It is a show and both live from the audience.  The Sucess of Football and the theaterplayers depends on the performance.  Vienna has a great tradition on theater and soccerplayers.  Ferdinand Raimund was one of the actors who layed the foundation for a long and great history of viennese actors, writers directors and regisseur.  He was a multitalent and a genius. The Raimund theater is named after him.


Raimund was born 1. June 1790  in the Mariahilferstraße 45 in todays 6. district. His first contact was in his youth while he made his apprentice as confectioner in the bakery Jung which became later the famous  bakery Demel,  he sold sweets in viennas teathers. There Raimund fell in love with the acting and he spent a lot of time there. From 1808 he started his career as actor in a travelling theater. 1814 he debut  in the Theater in the Josefstadt. His artistic breakthrough he had on 28. March 1815 in the play „Musikanten am Hohen Markt“ In January 1816 he played and leed the Regie. Raimund was a true perfectionist and sometimes it came to fisticuffs between him and his colleagues.

Theater-in-der-Josefstadt Theater an der Josefstadt heute

On the 11.  October 1817 he  had his first performance in the Leopoldstädter Theater.  He played  in the play  „Herrn von Weißvogels Witwerstand“ written by Josef  Alois Gleich his future father in law.

Theaterleopoldstadt Leopoldstädter Theater

1820 Raimund married Luise Gleich.  Raimund was forced  to merry her because she were pregnant from  him.  To the first wedding termin in 1919 he didn`t appear and caused a scandal through this.

1824 he became the artsdirector there. 1828 he became the generalmanager. It was a dificult work for him because the owner Rudolf Steinkeller did`nt give him free hand to choose the staff by him self.  1830 he quit frustrated his job and acted in different theaters like the Theater an der Wien, in Munich and Berlin.

In  his worketime Raimund acted, wrote and directed. His works and plays are marked through the poetic beauty and the melancholie and became classics.

Bettelstudent Raimund als Bettelstudent

After his divorce he got togther with his youthlove Antonie Wagner the daugther of a cofeshop (he met her 1819 the first time) and stood many days in his house in Gutenstein an der Piesting.  Ferdinand Raimund shared the fate of other famous artists. He became manic depressive. And this illness caused also his dead in 1836.

Vienna brought out many great actors, writers and direktors like  Hans Moser, Paula Wessely,  Peter Weck, Otto Schenk and many others…

The other great theater we can find in the sportsworld. It is football.  It is off course a great show and drama. The FIFA gave them also a krimi aspect.

From the current point of view we can note that the austrian nationaltem qualified for the Euro 2016 in France. For the austrian football a great thing. Today we Austria has many talented and mature players like the great star David Alaba which went out from Vienna to become a international star.  But Alaba stands not alone there are players like Marco Arnautovic and Marc Janco which also went out from Vienna to became Stars.

Austria and Vienna has a great tradition and history of famous footballplayers and trainers. Unforgettable for example is Ernst Happel. Austrias largest Stadion is named after him. Happel was the most famous austrian coach.  He counts to the most successful trainers in the history.  He won 9 national championships, 6 national cups, 1 worldcup, 2 x Cup of the national champions (forerunner of the chamions league).  Happel was not a nice guy. He was infamous for his kind to win authority and respect from his players from the first day on. He liked players with character and hard worker on the field, he liked teamplayer. Players which had not this attitude had a hard life. Maybe this tuff attitude was one of the aspects which made him that successful, he passed it to the players. But he was more than just the tuff guy it was also his understanding of the game and his tactic understanding which made him to this trainer-giant.

Ernst-Happel-Gedenkstaedte Happel Memorial on the Ernst Happel Stadion

As  player he was a typ that he had not tolerate as trainer.  He was a like Marco Arnautovic a view years ago a sloopy genius, a player with a great intelligence all time to heave for some hokum on and aside the field. So he made nightly trips while he stood at the nationalteam. Or he shot in a preparatory game at the stand of from 15 : 0 for the nationalteam willful an spectacular owngoal after the goal he said to his friend the goalkeeper Walter Zeemann „What you are the the tiger from Budapest, the panther  from Glasgow, no you are the asshole from Hütteldorf“ Both laughed after that .  After that the trainer  Happel would have kicked out the  player Happel forever.

Today Vienna brought out players like David Alaba. He is a smart guy  a successful and  great player which earns sympahty  for his down to earth character.  Marco Arnautovic is a typ  which impresses whth his self eestem, he made the transformation from a kind of a chellenging player  to a exhibit profi which is a great achivement.  Or Marc Janko which always came back after difficult times much stronger than before.

With the successful qualification for the Euro in France the national players step out of the shadow which warped the heros of the past like Krankl, Prohaska, Herzog  and Polster.  I belive they are able to play a great part in the thater football and  leave their  footprints in austrians football history.