Maximilian ("Max") Merkel
, 7 December 1918 – died Putzbrunn
(on the outskirts of Munich
, 28 November 2006) was an Austrian football
player and coach. The former Rapid
player featured twice in a national team. "The Great Zampano" - as he was also called after the title of an Italian movie about a magician - whose motto was "with cake and whip" was one of the top coaches in the early years of the Bundesliga
. He remains most closely associated to the halcyon days of TSV 1860 Munich
in the early 1960s. His brand of Viennese humour, often exceeding the line to sarcasm, frequently spiced up the football scene.
In 1933 a classified advertisement by the Viennese football club Rapid looking for young players allured the 15 year old Max Merkel. They took him, but to his disappointment he was made defender and not, as he hoped, forward. He was to remain in this position for the rest of his career. Later he formed a formidable duo in the defence with Ernst Happel
, who as coach went on to achieve legendary status in the 1970s and 80s.
He also played for Wiener Sportclub
between 1937–42 and in the 1945–46 season, for the Luftwaffen
-SV Markersdorf an der Pielach between 1942 and 45) before returning to Rapid from 1946 to 1954.
After the Anschluss
he played once for the German national football team
in 1939. In 1952 he also played once for Austria
Merkel's greatest regret about his time... Read More