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Josef Hickersberger
Personal information
Full name Josef Hickersberger
Date of birth 27 April 1948 (1948-04-27) (age 61)
Place of birth    Amstetten, Austria
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 9+12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Al-Wahda FC (Abu Dhabi)
Youth career
1960–1966 ASK Amstetten
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Austria Wien
Kickers Offenbach
Fortuna Düsseldorf
SSW Innsbruck
Rapid Wien
career totals
112 (28)
118 (28)
059 0(5)
035 0(6)
048 0(4)
372 (71)   
National team
1968–1978 Austria 039 0(5)
Teams managed
Fortuna Düsseldorf
Austria Wien
Al Ahli
Arab Contractors
Al Wasl FC
Al-Ittihad (QAT)
Rapid Wien
Al-Wahda FC (Abu Dhabi)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Josef Hickersberger (born 27 April 1948 in Amstetten, Austria) is a former professional football player and former coach of the Austria national football team and Austrian club side Rapid Vienna and currently Head Coach of Al-Wahda FC (Abu Dhabi).


Playing career


Club career

Hickersberger's started his playing career with Austria Wien, where he was brought in by Ernst Ocwirk in 1966. After six successful seasons he was sold for 2,1 million Shillings to German League side Kickers Offenbach. He later moved on to Fortuna Düsseldorf, then returned to Austria to join SSW Innsbruck and finished his professional career with Rapid Vienna. He continued playing for amateur sides Badener AC, UFC Pama, SV Forchtenstein and WSV Traisen where he took up his first coaching posts.

International career

He made his debut for Austria in May 1968 against Romania and was a participant at the 1978 FIFA World Cup. He earned 39 caps, scoring 5 goals. His last international match was at the World Cup in 1978 against West Germany, a game dubbed The miracle of Córdoba which the Austrians won 3-2.

Managerial career

Since retiring as a player, Hickersberger has worked as a football coach. He was the coach of the Austrian national team at the Football World Cup 1990 in Italy. However, after the infamous and embarrassing 1-0 defeat against the Faroe Islands, he decided to quit and after that coached Fortuna Düsseldorf (1990-1992) and Austria Wien (1993/94).

Hickersberger then worked for a few years in the Arabian region, where he trained several teams, among them the Bahrain national football team, and Al Wasl FC- Dubai, one of the most popular clubs in the UAE.

In 2002 Hickersberger came back to Austria, and brought back success to Rapid. With him as coach, Rapid won the Austrian Championship of 2004/2005, nine years after the last triumph, and accordingly qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stage where Rapid faced the teams of Bayern München, Juventus and Club Brugge.

He coached the Austrian national team during the UEFA Euro 2008 played in Austria and Switzerland, obtaining only 1 point out of 9. Austria lost 1-0 against Croatia and Germany, and rescued a late draw, a 1-1 against Poland with a goal of Ivica Vastić on minute 93. Austria stayed in the 3rd position in the Group B, staying out of the competition in their own country. During the match, Hickersberger and Joachim Löw were sent off in the match between Austria and Germany after claiming some errors made by Manuel Enrique Mejuto González. On June 23, 2008 he quit the Austrian national team post.[1]

On 10 December signs a contract by Al-Wahda FC (Abu Dhabi) as Head Coach between 30 June 2009[1]. After finishing 4th, therefore earning a play-off berth in the Asian Champions League, and leading the team to the Etisalat Cup Final in his first year at the club he signed a 1-year extension.[2] He also brought along two of his former National Team Assistant Coaches, including Klaus Lindenberger.

His son Thomas Hickersberger played for the Austria national football team in 2002.


As a player

As a manager

External links



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