Football Legends – HANS KRANKL “Tor Tor Tor Tor Tor Tor, I werd’ narrisch”* and the Miracle of Cordoba

Posted: March 1, 2014 in Heroes, sport

*Translation “Goal, goal, goal, goal, goal, goal, I am going bonkers”


So another bad night, lying in bed wide awake my mind racing, I suddenly out of the blue started thinking about those days of yore when football was good to watch and the players were proper heroes.  Deciding there and then to start a new if only occasional series for my blog surprisingly the first name to spring to mind was not a Palace player (that will come later never fear) but a player that wasn’t even English and who never played in English football.

So cast your mind back to 1978.  This was the time when I started getting into football. A World Cup Top Trumps set and an introduction to Subbuteo by my next door neighbour sealed my interest so when the World Cup began I was well and truly hooked.  The high-tech tele-trak action replays were a vision to behold but there was one big problem. England hadn’t qualified and there was of course no way I’d be supporting the Sweaty’s.  So who to support? Peru, Iran or Holland being in Scotland’s group? No it came down to unfancied Austria.  I had one of those newspaper cut-out and fill in charts and the Captain of this team had such an interesting sounding name it stuck in my mind.  I remembered him as well as I had from a few months before been bought a World Cup book that had a photo of a very unlikely looking footballer from the time. i.e instead of a curly perm and Souness style thick moustache he had a very square looking short back and sides and at times a narrow Dick Dastardly/Terry Thomas and occasionally Charlie Chaplin/Sparks number!


ARTISTIC IMPRESSION – 10.0. Krankl narrowly misses scoring against the East Germans in a 1978 World Cup qualifier. He was subsequently sent off and missed the return match.

He was photographed in action in a World up qualifier attempting a header against East Germany and  doing a mad sort of star jump in mid-flight.  Now the player in question is of course Hans Krankl. Subconsciously I think I also picked Austria as a way to wind up the next door neighbour who despite being English was a rabid German-o-phile and wouldn’t have a bad word said against Germany (West). He just waxed lyrical over and over about how brilliant everything in Germany (West) was. Being older than me by a few years he would always seem to have an answer to prove his statements about why everything German was the best (we’re talking sport and tanks and war stuff here folks).

Krankl had scored 7 goals in 5 games in the qualifying campaign although 6 came in one match a 9-0 demolition of minnows Malta but still there was a pedigree that some countries by not respecting would rue. The World Cup began and shock horror little Austria first beat Spain 2-1 (Krankl scoring), then turned over Sweden 1-0 (Krankl pen) and thus having qualified for the 2nd stage just lost out to a desperate terrified Brasil 1-0 but finished top of their group.  Going into the 2nd stage group they were drawn with Italy, Holland and West Germany.  A 5-1 thumping at the hands of Johan Cruyffs superstars was an ominous start. Then defeat to Italy in the form of a solitary Paulo Rossi goal left them with no chance to progress to the semi’s despite a game to play against neighbours and world champions WEST GERMANY. So a stroll for the Germans or so everyone thought……… if you want to hear the commentators mad moment try the link, if it doesn’t work pop over to you tube and search for “Hans Krankl forever”.

This game was forever known as the Miracle of Cordoba or the Disgrace of Cordoba (if you were German chortle chortle).  My next door neighbour actually cried as his all-conquering Germany got the shock of their lives, crashed 3-2 and were dumped out of the World cup. I had my first football hero! For those of us who don’t speak German or the Austrian dialect the score went like this

19 mins Rummenigge scores –  Austria 0 – West Germany 1

59 mins Vogts own goal  – Austria 1 – West Germany 1

66 mins KRANKL scores – Austria 2 – West Germany- 1

72 mins Holsenbein scores – Austria 2 – West Germany – 2

87 mins KRANKL scores – Austria 3 – West Germany – 2

Krankl moved to Barcelona from Rapid Vienna so clearly a world class talent. This game was that good it sealed my love of football, and I even bought an Austria Subbuteo team and painted a Chaplin tache on the no.9!

  1. Tara Blackwell says:

    Can’t watch the clip my loverlee! xxxx

  2. Peter says:

    Great game! That audio commentary is the austrian equivalent to the german 1954 world cup broadcast by Herbert Zimmermann.

    By the way, in 1982 there was another Germany-Austria match called the ‘Disgrace of Gijon’ – this time for both teams…

  3. simonsmrt says:

    I remember that 1982 match. I was still supporting Krankl and Austria as my second team knowing full well that England would at some point crumble under pressure. It was worse than dire. However I don’t blame either side, Austria had qualified for the next stage and Germany did enough to get through. Hard lines on Algeria but if they had won all their group matches they wouldnt have been in that predicament

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