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A decade of dominance: how Red Bull Salzburg kept the good times rolling
Red Bull Salzburg have won the Austrian Bundesliga for the 10th season in a row. Here’s a quick look back at every one of those unforgettable title winning campaigns.
The Red Bull Arena was celebrating once again on Sunday after Red Bull Salzburg wrapped up the Austrian Bundesliga title for a 10th straight year.
Karim Konate’s 88th minute winner against Sturm Graz sealed the deal and ensured Matthias Jaissle’s side will take their place among the European elite in the Champions League next season.
What started with a record-breaking title triumph 10 years ago has evolved into an era of dominance while playing an aggressive, relentless brand of football you can’t take your eyes off for a second.
Here’s just a few facts and memories from each of the 10 seasons so far…
2013/14 – a record-breaking season
The influence of Ralf Rangnick in his second season as Sporting Director and coach Roger Schmidt was clearly felt as Salzburg stormed home, smashing records along the way. With opponents unable to cope with the aggressive high press, they blasted a record-breaking 110 goals in their 36 matches, finishing with a goal difference of 75 and wrapping up the title with a record eight matches to spare. Sadio Mané was inspirational, while Spain’s Jonathan Soriano finished as the league's top scorer with 31 goals.
2014/15 – Soriano breaks the 30-goal mark again
Roger Schmidt departed and was replaced by Adi Hütter, who had previously impressed with SV Grodig. With Mané also departing for Southampton, Salzburg took a while to get into gear under the new leadership, but, after going top following the 12th match day, were always in command. For the second season in a row, Soriano was top scorer with 31 goals.
2015/16 – battling it out with the Vienna clubs
Guinean midfielder Naby Keïta burst onto the scene, as he inspired Salzburg to a hat-trick of titles, while Soriano was leading scorer for a third time in a row with 21 goals. Still, it was a real battle with both Austria Vienna and Rapid Vienna each leading the table at various points during the season. Coach Peter Zeidler, who replaced Adi Hütter before the start of the season, left shortly before the winter break and was replaced by Óscar García. Salzburg overhauled Rapid Vienna in March and wrapped up the title with two games to spare.
2016/17 – the beginning of a new era
The departures of Keïta and Soriano meant Óscar García had some rebuilding to do, however Salzburg have proved adept at reinventing themselves and the arrivals of Mu’nas Dabbur and Amadou Haidara ushered in a new era. The likes of goalkeeper Alexander Walke, defenders Paulo Miranda and Stefan Lainer, and Konrad Laimer and Valon Berisha in midfield also played key roles, while Andreas Ulmer was voted Player of the Year.
2017/18 – the goals start flowing for Dabbur
Marco Rose, previously a youth team coach with the club, was promoted to the senior side and the choice was quickly justified. Salzburg once again dominated the league as they finished 13 points clear of their nearest challengers, with a goal difference of 52, at one stage going 22 matches unbeaten. Dabbur was the Bundesliga’s top scorer with 22 goals while Berisha was Player of the Year.
2018/19 – a new league format, the same result
In many ways, this was a re-run of the previous season. Rose was again in charge and Salzburg never looked back after winning their first 10 matches of the campaign. Meanwhile, Dabbur again finished as top scorer, this time with 20 goals. The Austrian Bundesliga changed the format, adopting a split season system, and Salzburg reached the end of the regular season with a nine-point lead. Although this was halved to four points for the play-offs, a 2-0 win at challengers LASK Linz effectively wrapped up the title.
2019/20 – the emergence of Erling Haaland
With Rose moving away to Germany, Jesse Marsch stepped into the hot seat and became the first US coach to win a top flight league in Europe. Erling Haaland showed his phenomenal potential by firing 16 goals in only 14 Austrian Bundesliga appearances. Although he left for Borussia Dortmund before the winter break, Patson Daka kept the goals flowing and finished the season as second top scorer with 24 goals. Salzburg finished the season 12 points clear of runners-up Rapid Vienna, with a remarkable tally of 110 goals.
2020/21 – Zambian duo Daka and Mwepu shine
This was Daka’s season as the Zambian scored 27 goals to finish as both the league’s top scorer and Player of the Year. With Marsch in charge for a second season, Mërgim Berisha and Sékou Koïta both played impressive supporting roles alongside Daka’s compatriot Enock Mwepu. As usual, Salzburg were top scorers, this time with 94 goals, and finished the Championship Round 15 points clear of Rapid Vienna.
2021/22 – Matthias Jaissle arrives as coach
Salzburg continued their custom of promoting young, promising coaches by giving Matthias Jaissle his first senior coaching role at the age of 33 – and he responded by winning the Bundesliga title at the first attempt. Karim Adeyemi was the league’s top scorer with 19 goals, while Austrian midfielder Nicolas Seiwald was the latest revelation and named Breakthrough of the Year. Other players to make their mark included defenders Rasmus Kristensen and Maximilian Wöber, and midfielder Mohamed Camara. They lost only three league games all season, winning the Championship Round by 15 points from Sturm Graz.
2022/23 – 10 in a row achieved!
Jaissle remained at the helm and led Salzburg to their 10th successive title, wrapping things up with two games to spare. With Noah Okafor, Benjamin Šeško and Seiwald all enjoying outstanding seasons, they clinched the title having lost only one match during the campaign and boasting both the best attack and the best defence to secure Champions League qualification once more.