SK Rapid Vienna (Austria)


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German import STEFFEN HOFMANN of SK Rapid Vienna has twice been named Austria’s official Footballer of the Year — 2004 and 2009 — and has also twice been selected — 2006 and 2007 — by the fans in a poll sponsored by Kronen Zeitung, the country’s largest newspaper, as the outstanding player in Oesterreich, as well. (GEPA photo)
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SK RAPID WIEN is recognized as the record champion of football in Oesterreich and is credited with a total of 32 Austrian league championships in its long and storied history.

In perfect harmony with the Age of the Industrial Revolution, the club was initially founded as the “First Workers’ Club of Vienna” in 1898 with the official team colors being red and blue. Following the example set by Rapide Berlin in Germany, the Austrian capital club formally switched the name to Sportklub Rapid Wien a year later. The official colors, however, were not changed to the would-be famous combination of green and white until 1904.

Today, the SK Rapid Wien team is often known as the Huetteldorfer, a reference to the location in Vienna of the club’s home ground, the Gerhard Hanappi Stadion, or, more simply, as the Green-Whites.

Still, quite often, the club wear the original red and blue when a situation requires alternate colors.

In contrast with their two biggest contemporary rivals, Red Bull Salzburg and FK Austria Wien, the Green-Whites are not backed by wealthy owners / investors. Therefore, it is not surprising that the player movement for Rapid this off-season was rather modest.

The one notable departure is midfielder BRANKO BOSKOVIC. The Montenegro international, who previously spent two campaigns in the French capital with Paris St. Germain, has taken leave of the Austrian Hauptstadt to play on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in the American capital city with D.C. United of Major League Soccer. In addition to the league title in 2008, the 30-year-old Boskovic bagged 19 goals in 104 Bundesliga matches over three and a half seasons with Rapid Vienna.

The club’s captain and long-time import from Germany does return.

STEFFEN HOFMANN was a youth product of Bayern Munich who scored 21 goals in two seasons for the reserves in the third division but made exactly one appearance for the senior club in the German Bundesliga before first crossing the border into Austria in the summer of 2002.

The attacking midfielder has featured for Rapid Vienna the past nine years now, minus a half season for German second division side TSV 1860 Munich in the summer / fall of 2006. All together, Hofmann has totaled 68 goals in 233 Austrian Bundesliga matches for his career; the 29-year-old topped Rapid Vienna last term with 20 goals from 36 league appearances.

Rapid Viena also return their two most-productive forwards from a year ago in Croatia international NIKICA JELAVIC (18 goals / 33 games) and Albania international HAMDI SALIHI (15 goals / 23 games).

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SK RAPID VIENNA : Off-season transactions
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Players Arriving
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fw – Jan VENNEGOOR of HESSELINK — Holland int’l — fr Hull City (Eng)
fw – Adthe NUHIU ———————————- Austria — SV Ried
mf – Christoph SAURER ————————- Austria — LASK Linz
df – Mario SONNLEITNER ——————— Austria — SK Sturm Graz
df – Thomas HINUM —————————— Austria — fr SK Austria Kaernten
df – Tanju KAYHAN ——————————- Austria — fr SC Wiener Neustadt

Players Departing
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fw – Nikica JELAVIC ————- Croatia int’l — to Glasgow Rangers (Sct)
mf – Branko BOSKOVIC ——– Montenegro int’l — to D.C. United (USA)
mf – Muhammed ILDIZ ——— Austria — FC Wacker Innsbruck
df – Milan JOVANOVIC ——— Montenegro int’l — to PFC Spartak Nalchik (Rus)
df – Christian THONHOFER ————— Austria — SC Wiener Neustadt
df – Christoph SCHOESSWENDTER — Austria — FC Lustenau

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SK RAPID VIENNA squad
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35 – GK — Raimund HEDL
30 – GK — Helge PAYER ——————- (AUSTRIA – 20 caps)
21 – GK — Lukas KOENIGSHOFER

32 – DF — Juergen PATOCHKA ——— (AUSTRIA – 5 caps, 0 goals)
30 – DF — Markus KATZER ————— (AUSTRIA – 11 caps, 0 goals)
30 – DF — Ragnvald SOMA —————– (NORWAY – 5 caps, 0 goals)
26 – DF — Hannes EDER ——————— (AUSTRIA – 1 cap, 0 goals)
24 – DF — Andreas DOBER —————– (AUSTRIA – 3 caps, 0 goals)
23 – DF — Mario SONNLEITNER
22 – DF — Thomas HINUM
20 – DF — Tanjy KAYHAN

31 – MF — Markus HEIKKINEN ——— (FINLAND – 51 caps, 0 goals)
29 – MF — Steffen HOFMANN ———— (Germany)
27 – MF — Stefan KULOVITS ————– (AUSTRIA – 1 cap, 0 goals)
24 – MF — Christoph SAURER ———— (AUSTRIA – 1 cap, 0 goals)
21 – MF — Veli KAVLAK ——————— (AUSTRIA – 8 caps, 0 goals)
21 – MF — Yasin PEHLIVAN ————— (AUSTRIA – 2 caps, 0 goals)
19 – MF — Christopher DRAZAN ——— (AUSTRIA – 2 caps, 0 goals)

31 – FW — Jan VENNEGOOR of HESSELINK — (HOLLAND – 17 caps, 3 goals)
27 – FW — Mario KONRAD
26 – FW — Hamdi SALIHI ——————— (ALBANIA – 14 caps, 4 goals)
24 – FW — Rene GARTLER
23 – FW — Christopher TRIMMEL ——— (AUSTRIA – 3 caps, 0 goals)
20 – FW — Atdhe NUHIU

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ROSTER UPDATES

8/21/10 — Croatia international striker NIKICA JELAVIC sold to Scottish club Glasgow Rangers

8/30/10 — Montenegro international defender MILAN JOVANOVIC moves to Russian club PFC Spartak Nalchik on a free transer

8/30/10 — Rapid Vienna sign Holland international striker JAN VENNEGOOR of HESSELINK, who played last season with Hull City in the English Championship (second division)

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