From Senegalese Sadio Mane to the Norwegian Erling Haaland, Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg have presented many great players for European clubs over the past few years.
But the club is not only considered a vicious circle of talent, but rather that it has a clear and integrated project from the first moment, which can be considered a model for Arab clubs that want to succeed in the world of football.
The founding of Red Bull Salzburg carries a strange paradox. It may not be present in any other club in the world. The famous Austrian beverage company, Red Bull, and the club’s owner considers it without a history before its acquisition in 2005, but the Austrian Football Association confirms that it has a great history.
The story began in 1933 when the “SV Austria Salzburg” club was founded from the merger of two clubs, “FC Rapid” and “FC Hertha”, and the newborn club became the most prominent representative of the city of “Salzburg” in western Austria.
The club qualified for the first time to the Austrian League in 1953, and narrowly escaped relegation in its first season between the top ball in Austria, then swinging between the Premier League and the lowest grades until 1971, when it achieved second place in the league and qualified for the European Cup, but was eliminated from the first round.
In 1978, the club’s name changed to “Casino Salzburg”, but it did not achieve anything new in its career until the early 1990s, when its golden period began with a new name “Faustin Root Salzburg”, and during this period it was crowned in the league 3 times in 1994, 1995 and 1997, and played the Cup Final. European Union in 1994, but lost the title to Inter Milan.
Red Bull Request
After this awakening, the club returned to floundering and remained on the sidelines of Austrian football until 2005, when it was acquired by the “Red Bull” company and changed its name to “Red Bull Salzburg”, and the name of its stadium to “Red Bull Arena”.
Economically, the acquisition strengthened the club’s branding, and everything changed including the team’s colors, crest, players and entire staff.
The management of “Red Bull Salzburg” insists that it is a completely new club with no history, while the Austrian Federation continues to consider it the legal heir of Austria Salzburg, although the latter’s fans rejected the takeover and re-established a club with the same name in 2005 and is currently playing in the lower divisions.
An exceptional success
Since Red Bull’s acquisition of the club in 2005, it has managed to win 11 Austrian League championships out of the last 15, as well as 7 domestic cups.
The team qualified for the semi-finals of the European League in 2018, where it was eliminated by Marseille, France, and then performed a great performance in the group league in the European Champions League last season, and failed to qualify for a group that included Liverpool, England, and Italian Napoli.
Many questioned how a team descended from an un-ranked European league achieved all these local and European successes despite its continuous export of talent to the continent’s top leaders?
In his match against Liverpool, which ended with his 3-4 defeat last season, Salzburg presented a great performance that combines reverse pressure and direct ball, which is characteristic of the German style, as well as short passes and exchange centers.
The team’s distinctive style of play dates back to the period between 2012 and 2014, which is the period of German coach Roger Schmidt’s tenure as coach of the team, who said: “Red Bull plays football to achieve the impossible, and to present exceptional football.”
“The development of Salzburg has become impressive, and the team’s fast and powerful play is discussed in training and educational videos around the world,” said an investigation by the German newspaper Die Welt in 2014.
And she continued: “The team is characterized by high and reverse pressure, with intensity, consistency and speed. The team management is constantly working to reduce the average age of players and is constantly looking for new football strategies and tactics with the support of a research center that includes statisticians and experts in the game.”
The team’s training at all ages is based on an academic study that concluded that a large number of goals in football are scored 10 seconds after the ball is recovered from the opponent.
Therefore, the coaches of the different teams in the club place a “stopwatch” on the training ground, which counts aloud from the start of losing the ball, and if it is not recovered after 5 seconds of losing it, the team is fully punished.
After the ball is recovered, the hour counts 10 seconds, and the team must score during this period from direct passes towards the opponent’s goal.
“Red Bull Salzburg plays modern football, which is clearly faster and more aggressive than any other football in Europe,” said analyst Alexander Zekler.
It should be noted that the club opened its new academy in July 2014, consisting of 7 stadiums and accommodation hotels for up to 140 people, equipped with a medical center, a physiotherapy center, and gyms, and is the largest and most equipped in the continent.
The club answers: How do you achieve success?
A youth academy, a unified way of playing for all club teams from buds to the first team, smart spending of resources, a team of scouts at the highest level, and a strong research center that constantly tracks players and searches for the latest playing tactics, these are the foundations of the Salzburg Response project in football since 2005, According to Christian Kesherer, the club’s media and communication official, in exclusive statements to Al Ain Sports.
“Paul Salzburg’s response, like any other football club, focuses mainly on sporting success, and we have done that very well in recent years, both domestically and in Europe,” says Kescherer.
He continued: “We have also developed a lot of talents that have transferred to the best European clubs, such as Erling Haaland, Sadio Mane, Naby Keita, Takumi Minamino, Marcel Sabitzer, Konrad Laimer and Deut Obicano.”
He added, “All these transfers brought a lot of revenues to the club’s treasury and had a positive impact on the development of our project, although we spend our resources in an account and invest in young talent only.”
He continued: “Our goals at the beginning of each season are to win all the local titles and to present strong levels at the European level.”
He continued: “We know very well where we started in 2005, and how the club was at the time. We also know the size of the technical and financial gap between the Austrian League and the major European championships, but we have great ambition and good planning.”
And he added, “We previously played the European League semi-finals, and we can start this tournament and achieve its title in the near future.”
He continued: “We have a team of scouts at the highest level that tracks talent everywhere, and a center for monitoring and analyzing player statistics, which made us bring a lot of talent from all over the world to our club at an early age.”
“The successes that have been achieved in terms of talent development and the transfer of our players to big teams have in turn been a great motivation for many other young players who would otherwise not have come to Salzburg.”
In an interview with Al Ain Sports, Thomas Schneider, a 30-year-old fan of the club, said: “The club is proceeding according to a strong scientific and investment plan, and we have achieved strong financial and sports successes in 15 years.”
He added, “I look at the way we play, the speed of our players, and their insane pressure on the opponent. This is the identity of the team that is rooted in the conscience of the players, beginning in the youth stages.”
He concluded: “The whole world saw our performance against Liverpool, and the physical, mental and skillful strength of our players, and I confirm that Salzburg is coming with strength for European football, and the coming years are our years.”