Austria head to Euro 2024 buoyed up by a five-match winning streak, with only one defeat in qualification, and heartened by coach Ralf Rangnick’s decision to turn down a job as Bayern Munich manager to stick with a national side he has transformed.

But Austrian hopes that the team’s high-pressing, attacking style could cause an upset in Germany, where it faces World Cup runner-up France, the Netherlands and Poland in Group D, have been dashed by a string of injuries to key players.

Midfielder Xaver Schlager will miss the tournament after damaging his left knee at the start of May. Days later, first-choice goalkeeper Alexander Schlager also picked up a knee problem.

Rangnick left Austria captain David Alaba out of the provisional Euro 2024 squad after the Real Madrid defender was unable to recover in time from a serious knee injury sustained last December. But he will accompany the team to Germany and support from the sidelines as a ‘non-playing captain’


Previous Euro performance: Three participations, best performance last 16 in 2021

Other: World Cup third place 1954

FIFA ranking: 25th

Nickname: Das Team (The Team), Burschen (The Boys)

Coach: Ralf Rangnick

Star players: David Alaba (injured and will miss tournament), Konrad Laimer, Marcel Sabitzer, Marko Arnautovic

Main clubs: Rapid Vienna, Austria Vienna, Red Bull Salzburg, Sturm Graz

How did it qualify: Group F runners-up behind Belgium

Pre-Euro friendlies:

Austria 2 Serbia 1

Switzerland v Austria (June 8)

Also missing is striker Sasa Kalajdzic, who suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear in February.

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Marcel Sabitzer is a key hope for the team, however, heading to the Euros after a stellar run with his club and an appearance in the Champions League final on June 1 against Real Madrid.

After Poland became the last team to qualify for Group D in March, Rangnick said, “We knew from the start we had a strong group. Nothing has changed.”

He has described France as the toughest opponents it could have drawn but noted that Austria drew 1-1 with it in the UEFA Nations League in June 2022, a month after he took charge.

Former Austria striker Marc Janko told Der Standard newspaper that while the injuries were a blow, Rangnick had options after preparing a broad base of young players.

“Rangnick is not the type to start lamenting, his mentality is ‘Let’s get on with it – now more than ever’. His not going to Bayern set a good foundation. It was a gesture of love by him. The team has grown together,” he said.

The German coach has won huge admiration in Austria for introducing a high-pressing, fast-running and entertaining game.

Last year ended on a high with a 2-0 victory over Germany in a friendly in Vienna. In March, midfielder Christoph Baumgartner scored the fastest recorded goal in international football, six seconds after kick-off in a friendly with Slovakia. Austria’s most recent outing was a 6-1 win over Turkey.

It plays friendlies against Serbia on June 4 and Switzerland four days later and will kick off its Euro campaign against France on June 17 in Duesseldorf.


Goalkeepers: Niklas Hedl (Rapid Vienna), Tobias Lawal (Linz), Heinz Lindner (Union Saint-Gilloise/BEL), Patrick Pentz (Brondby/DEN)

Defenders: Flavius Daniliuc (Red Bull Salzburg), Kevin Danso (Lens/FRA), Stefan Lainer (Borussia Moenchengladbach/GER), Philipp Lienhart (Freiburg/GER), Phillipp Mwene (Mainz/GER), Stefan Posch (Bologna/ITA), Leopold Querfeld (Rapid Vienna), Gernot Trauner (Feyenoord/NED), Maximilian Wober (Borussia Moenchengladbach/GER)

Midfielders: Thierno Ballo (Wolfsberg), Christoph Baumgartner (RB Leipzig/GER), Florian Grillitsch (Hoffenheim/GER), Marco Grull (Rapid Vienna), Florian Kainz (Cologne/GER), Konrad Laimer (Bayern Munich/GER), Alexander Prass (Sturm Graz), Marcel Sabitzer (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Romano Schmid (Werder Bremen/GER), Matthias Seidl (Rapid Vienna), Nicolas Seiwald (RB Leipzig/GER), Patrick Wimmer (Wolfsburg/GER)

Forwards: Marko Arnautovic (Inter Milan/ITA), Maximilian Entrup (Hartberg), Michael Gregoritsch (Freiburg/GER), Andreas Weimann (West Bromwich Albion/ENG)


Austria vs France – June 18, Tuesday – 12:30 AM

Austria vs Poland – June 21, Friday – 9:30 PM

Austria vs Netherlands – June 25, Tuesday – 9:30 PM


All of Austria’s matches at Euro 2024 will be telecasted on the Sony Sports Network. The matches will also be live-streamed on the SonyLIV app.

(With inputs from Reuters and AFP)