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Krankl, Polster and Prohaska: ÖFB legends see Rangnick’s team at least in the round of 16

Krankl, Polster and Prohaska: ÖFB legends see Rangnick’s team at least in the round of 16
Krankl, Polster and Prohaska: ÖFB legends see Rangnick’s team at least in the round of 16

Austria’s national football team will attract a lot of attention in the coming weeks.
From the archive: Herbert Prohaska (l.) and Hans Krankl
Toni Upholstery

Hans Krankl, Toni Polster and Herbert Prohaska may never have played in a European Championship, but they have played in around 250 international football matches for Austria. The three ÖFB greats believe that the current generation of team kickers can achieve great things at the European Championship in Germany. Reaching the round of 16 is “the minimum goal,” said Polster. “We have to be there – that’s a must,” said Krankl. However, Prohaska and Polster warned against being too optimistic.

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In Group D, Austria will face France, Poland and finally the Netherlands. Given the potential that the national team has under coach Ralf Rangnick, “you can trust them to do anything,” stressed the ex-striker and former team manager Krankl. “The group is difficult, but even the best third-placed teams will advance.” Prohaska echoed the same sentiment and said: “What should definitely not happen is that you set third place as your goal, because that would be too defensive.”

One advantage is that the ÖFB selection will play against France in the opening match on Monday (9 p.m./live ServusTV and ARD). “Then they won’t be in tournament mode yet. We also have no reason to underestimate anyone, mentally that could be much better. It’s not like the EURO in France in 2016, where everyone said we have to beat Hungary and Iceland, and then we got the only point against the supposedly strongest group opponent Portugal,” Prohaska recapitulated. “We don’t even have to beat Poland, but of course we can.”

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“This is not a traditional Wies’n”

Polster said he hoped the team would reach the round of 16. “But basically you need a win and a draw. You’ll need four points, otherwise you’ll be dependent on everyone else again,” explained the ÖFB record goalscorer, who has scored 44 goals in his career for the national team. “When you talk about the tournament favorites, you obviously have to include France,” said Polster. “And despite all the optimism, you shouldn’t forget that Holland is way ahead of us in the world rankings. This isn’t a run-of-the-mill game.”

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In the knockout phase, you also need a bit of luck. “Expectations have to be high because you have to believe in something. And because the team has great quality and if they play to their full potential, anything is possible,” said Krankl. “You just have to keep things in perspective,” said Prohaska. He thinks it’s exaggerated to talk about the quarter-finals right from the start. “That’s not realistic. But it’s not impossible! You can see the status that Austria has achieved under Rangnick.”

From the archive: Herbert Prohaska (l.) and Hans Krankl
Image: (APA/HERBERT NEUBAUER)

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From the archive: Herbert Prohaska (l.) and Hans Krankl
Image: (APA/HERBERT NEUBAUER)

Source: Nachrichten

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