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Swiss coach Marcel Koller guides Austria to Euro 2016

Turning skepticism into euphoria, Swiss coach Marcel Koller guides Austria to Euro 2016

Swiss coach Marcel Koller guides Austria to Euro 2016

VIENNA (AP) -- For all the sporting rivalry between the neighboring countries, it took a coach from Switzerland to help Austria qualify for a European Championship for the first time.

Widely greeted with skepticism when he was appointed four years ago, Marcel Koller has become the figurehead of Austria's resurrection, leading the team to its first major event since the 1998 World Cup.

The upswing under Koller has created a national buzz around the team, with stadiums selling out weeks in advance regardless of the opponent and fans carrying banners asking the Swiss coach to stay with Austria in years to come.

A day after wrapping up Euro 2016 qualifying with a 3-0 win over Liechtenstein, Koller says he is "happy, not for myself but for the Austrians, for the fans."


Updated : 2021-09-19 08:05 GMT+08:00