This week we look at the most successful football club in Austria – SK Rapid Wien, otherwise known as Rapid Vienna.
The roots of SK Rapid Wien can be traced back long ago, to the late 19th century. In 1897 a group of young Viennese smelters, united by their love for football, formed the 1st Viennese Workers’ Football Club. After early struggles, the team name was changed to Sportklub Rapid Wien in 1899 – a name that remains to this day.
Struggles would soon turn to success, with SK Rapid Wien winning an impressive 32 Austrian Championships, more than any other club. Also noteworthy is SK Rapid Wien’s German Championship win in 1941 during Nazi rule, where they defeated Schalke 04 4–3 in the final.
One of the most famous traditions of the club across the years has been the Rapid-Viertelstunde (literally translating as the ‘Rapid quarter of an hour’). It involves a rhythmic and loud combination of clapping and chanting in the final 15 minutes of the game by fans to pick up the players in the closing moments. This could be in good times to show appreciation to the players, or in bad times to inspire them to keep pushing for a good result.
On the club badge, the green-and-white colours of the team are emphasised in the centre. The three stars above the badge each represent ten Austrian Championships won by SK Rapid Wien.