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The professional footballers association of Austria (VdF) recently visited the training camp of its national team, to invite all players to participate in the election for the 2013 FIFA FIFPro World XI.


Austria just missed out on qualifying for the European play-offs for a 2014 FIFA World Cup ticket. After suffering a late – and undeserved – away defeat to Sweden, they had to settle for third place in their qualifying group behind Germany and Sweden.


It has been a long time since Austria was present at the World Cup: France, 1998. Next to that, Austria has only once qualified for the final tournament of the European championships. They did that in 2008 when the Austrians co-hosted the tournament with Switzerland...


But Austrian football fans are hopeful that their long wait will come to an end in the near future with a crop of young and talented players coming through the ranks and making a name for themselves in international football. 


More and more Austrian footballers are under contract at some of the better clubs abroad. Marko Arnautovic (24, Stoke City) and Andreas Weimann (22, Aston Villa) ply their trade in the English Premier League, Alexandr Dragovic (22) has joined top Ukrainian team Dinamo Kiev, and in Germany there is a large number of Austrian players such as Emanuel Pogatetz (30, Nuremberg), Christian Fuchs (27, Schalke), Sebastian Prödl (26, Werder Bremen), Zlatko Junuzovic (26, Werder Bremen), Julian Baumgartlinger (25, Mainz) and Martin Harnik (26, VfB Stuttgart).


Of course, there is David Alaba. The 21-year-old left wingback is the country’s most famous player, now he has emerged as a world class footballer at Champions League winners Bayern Munich. It would be a shocking surprise if he is not included on the 55-player shortlist (he would be the first Austrian player to make the shortlist), as he should be one of the favourites to break into this year’s World XI.


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For the latest updates about the vote for the 2012 FIFA FIFPro World XI, check the FIFPro website, the FIFPro Twitter account (#ffw11), FIFPro Flickr, or FIFPro Facebook.


We especially recommend you to visit FIFPro Facebook regularly, as we will be publishing various competitions with unique prizes.