Matthias Sindelar was a star on the Austrian national soccer team. Nicknamed "The Paperman", he was a sublime creator and is considered one of the greatest footballers of his generation.
Sindelar captained Austria at the 1934 World Cup, scoring against France, and helping his country finish fourth. Four years later, they qualified again for the tournament, but then their not-so-friendly German neighbors decided that Austria was no longer a country. Its national team was disbanded... although, in reality, that was the least of Austrian worries.
But before the team was disbanded, it was to play one final match... against Germany, to celebrate the two countries coming together. As if the Austrians had much cause for celebration.
During the match, the Austrians didn't exactly play well. Supposedly, they missed a number of easy chances, which makes a lot of sense when the alternative might have been a trip home in a body bag. Yet late in the game, Sindelar scored; soon, a teammate did as well, and Austria recorded a 2:0 victory. Its last victory for a long, long time.
A year later, Sindelar was found dead in his apartment.
But no, Sindelar wasn't Jewish. Just rumored to be so. Doesn't make the story any less sad, if you ask us.