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7. Ernst Happel

The Player:
Ernst Happel for Rapid Wien

Position: Defender
Titles: 8

Ernst Happel started his professional career during the second World War with Rapid Wien in the Austrian ‘Ostmark’ at the tender age of 17. As a player, Happel was comfortable being fielded in any defensive capacity and stood out amongst his peers for his incredible versatility. In fact, he is recognized as the world’s first ‘Sweeper’. Happel formed the core of an impenetrable Rapid Wein defence and won six Austrian Football Bundesliga titles, one Austrian Cup, and the international ‘Zentropa’ Cup with the club. In 1999, he was included in Rapid Wien’s team of the century, such was his contribution.

At the international level, Happel earned 51 caps and played a major role in Austria’s 3rd place finish at the World Cup in Switzerland, 1954.

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