The taxman’s return

svas020Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed over 600 works and learned to speak 15 languages, which is pretty good going for a chap who croaked at the age of 35. They clearly don’t do things by halves in the shadow of the Mönchsberg, where barely 90 minutes passes by without some prodigious episode or other, especially where Austria Salzburg are concerned.

That the unlikely issue of survival in the Landesliga should come down the last five minutes of their final fixture is entirely in synch with a momentous season bookended by periods of exile. Outcast by Red Bull and then jilted at the alter by the local police sports club; tackling globalisation, blizzards, and an almighty row over weiner schnitzel along the way, their dedicated followers could have been forgiven for giving Saturday’s game against Schwarzach a miss on health grounds.

svas023But when Gerald Berger, a 35-year old more accustomed to the routine humdrum of tax inspection following his retirement two years ago, pierced the tension with a late header, Austria Salzburg emerged from the bottom three for the first time this season, and 1500 violetten poured onto the pitch to celebrate with all the fervour you would expect from recent UEFA cup finalists and thrice Bundesliga champions.

Quite what the immediate future has in store for this radical, ragtag crew of soccer subversives is unclear, but they couldn’t care less. These guys are having the time of their lives.

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