of the great soccer authorities in the history of the sport,
Hugo Meisl led the Austrian Soccer Federation from 1912
to 1937, and was its General Secretary during the l920's
and l930's. Convinced that the concept of sports, particularly
the game of soccer, was a peaceful way to positively connect
nations, he founded the Mitropa Cup in 1927, the first
international club competition.
Meisl was manager and mentor of the Austrian National "Wunderteam",
which he organized in 1931 and led until his passing in 1937. The team earned
its name by defeating 14 consecutive top European teams, setting the standard
of excellence in world soccer during the era. The “Wunderteam’s” string
of victories was halted by a loss to England in 1932, and later, a semi-final
defeat against Italy at the 1934 World Championship.
A devotee of soccer from early childhood in Maleschau,
Bohemia (now Malesov, Czech Republic) Meisl’s family moved to Vienna in 1893. As a player, referee,
journalist and official, he has been honored by his adopted country, Austria,
as well as other European nations for his considerable achievements.