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Switzerland national football team profile


Switzerland will be appearing at the FIFA World Cup™ finals for the ninth time when next summer’s tournament gets underway in South Africa, where coach Ottmar Hitzfeld and his men are aiming for more than just a supporting role.

The former Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich boss took the national helm after Switzerland’s disappointing showing at UEFA EURO 2008, and has now led them to their second FIFA World Cup finals in a row. The Swiss made it to the Round of 16 at the 2006 event in Germany, where they were unluckily eliminated on penalties by Ukraine.

Switzerland national football team

The Swiss boast a healthy blend of youth and experience, combining talented younger players such as Eren Derdiyok, Tranquillo Barnetta and keeper Diego Benaglio with seasoned campaigners like Alexander Frei and Blaise N’Kufo. The current team is hoping at least to emulate the achievements of their forebears who made the last eight in 1934, 1938 and 1954.

Switizerland’s qualification to South Africa World Cup
Hitzfeld and his team made a distinctly inauspicious start on the road to the 2010 finals. After conceding in the final minute to draw away to Israel, a disastrous 2-1 defeat to minnows Luxembourg in Zurich brought shame and embarrassment on the team.

However, the cringeworthy defeat ultimately acted as a wake-up call, and the Swiss duly reeled off five wins on the spin, against Latvia (2-1), Greece (2-1 and 2-0) and Moldova (2-0 and 2-0). They only dropped points again in a 2-2 draw away to the Latvians.

A comfortable 3-0 revenge victory in Luxembourg and a goalless draw with Israel in front of a delirious Basel crowd sealed top spot in European Group 2 and a confirmed place in South Africa for Frei and company.

Star players of Switzerland
Alexander Frei is the undisputed chief on and off the field of play. The Basel striker, who is his country’s all-time record goalscorer, was Hitzfeld’s natural choice as national team captain. He finished the qualifying campaign on five goals.

That total was equalled by Blaise N’Kufo of Twente Enschede. The striker, who was born in Kinshasa (DR Congo), was first called up by the Swiss in 2000 and has struck up a productive attacking partnership with Frei.

Switzerland Coach
Ottmar Hitzfeld is one of Europe’s most highly regarded and most successful senior coaches. He is one of only two men to guide two different clubs to UEFA Champions League glory (Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich).

He became Switzerland head coach on 1 July 2008, and after a bumpy settling-in period, led his team to a direct qualifying berth for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The former Germany amateur international, who appeared at the 1972 Olympic Games, is no stranger to Switzerland after spending spells with Basel (1971-75), Lugano (1978-80) and Lucerne (1980-83) in his playing days.

Previous FIFA World Cups of Switizerland
– In South Africa, Switzerland will be appearing at the FIFA World Cup for the ninth time.

– The Swiss reached the quarter-finals in 1934, 1938 and 1954. They were knocked out in the Round of 16 at the 2006 finals in Germany.

Switzerland national football team profile



Name Date of Birth Position Clubs Height
1 Diego BENAGLIO 08/09/1983 GK Wolfsburg (GER) 193
2 Stephan LICHTSTEINER 16/01/1984 DF Lazio (ITA) 180
3 Ludovic MAGNIN 20/04/1979 DF FC Zurich (SUI) 186
4 Philippe SENDEROS 14/02/1985 DF Everton (ENG) 190
5 Steve VON BERGEN 10/06/1983 DF Hertha Berlin (GER) 183
6 Benjamin HUGGEL 07/07/1977 MF Basel (SUI) 190
7 Tranquillo BARNETTA 22/05/1985 MF Bayer Leverkusen (GER) 178
8 Gokhan INLER 27/06/1984 MF Udinese (ITA) 183
9 Alexander FREI 15/07/1979 FW Basel (SUI) 180
10 Blaise NKUFO 25/05/1975 FW Twente Enschede (NED) 186
11 Valon BEHRAMI 19/04/1985 MF West Ham Utd. (ENG) 184
12 Marco WOELFLI 22/08/1982 GK Young Boys (SUI) 185
13 Stephane GRICHTING 30/03/1979 DF Auxerre (FRA) 186
14 Marco PADALINO 08/12/1983 MF Sampdoria (ITA) 177
15 Hakan YAKIN 22/02/1977 MF Lucerne (SUI) 180
16 Gelson FERNANDES 02/09/1986 MF Saint-Etienne (FRA) 183
17 Reto ZIEGLER 16/01/1986 DF Sampdoria (ITA) 183
18 Albert BUNJAKU 29/11/1983 FW Nuremberg (GER) 178
19 Eren DERDIYOK 12/06/1988 FW Bayer Leverkusen (GER) 190
20 Pirmin SCHWEGLER 09/03/1987 MF Eintracht Frankfurt (GER) 178
21 Johnny LEONI 30/06/1984 GK FC Zurich (SUI) 189
22 Mario EGGIMANN 24/01/1981 DF Hannover 96 (GER) 184
23 Xherdan SHAQIRI 10/10/1991 MF Basel (SUI) 169

Coach: Ottmar HITZFELD (GER)

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