20180509 Uniqa ÖFB Cup Finale - Klagenfurt-

10 Year Anniversary with the Austrian Soccer Federation

On March 25th 2011, a 2-2 draw against Belgium at Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna was my very first match I worked for the Austrian Soccer Federation. Since then, I have missed virtually no national team match on home soil, as well as not a single cup final.

50 international matches in red-white-red

During this time, I have accompanied exactly 50 international matches of the Austrian national team – as stadium host as well as music director – and celebrated together with so many fans and also suffered together. Special highlights for me were the international match at Ernst Happel Stadium against Sweden in 2013, the entire European Championship qualification for Euro 2016 and, of course, June 4, 2018, when I had the privilege to host the international match against Germany at Wörthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt. After the kick-off had been postponed three times due to bad weather, the whistle was blown at 7:40pm with 100 minutes delay and while losing at half time our team was able to turn it into a 2-1 home victory in front of a full house… a day that many red-white-red soccer hearts still remember to this very day.

match Innsbruck Tivoli vs Iceland 2013 - Ronny Leber

10 years of cup finals in Austria

In the 10 cup finals so far, all of which I have accompanied as a stadium host, everything has been there. What started with a match between SV Ried and Austria Lustenau in 2011 at Ernst Happel Stadion and in the meantime delivered final duels of Red Bull Salzburg against Wiener Austria, Sturm Graz and twice Rapid, came to a very peculiar highlight in 2020: a cup final with 198 stadium visitors (including players) during the first COVID lockdown.

UNIQA ÖFB Cup Finale Red Bull Salzburg vs. SK Rapid

To the next 10 years

Do you feel the same? Last year will be remembered by all football fans as the year of the ghost games without any spectators in the audience. At the same time I was able to learn that partnerships built on solid foundations continue to endure even in times of crisis. And so I look forward to further successful football years with the Austrian Soccer Federation, hopefully blessed with many more pleasing victories and further great tournament participations by our national team.

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