Switzerland Team Fact Box

2010-05-12 13:50
Previous appearances in finals: 8

Nickname: Nationalmannschaft (National Team)

Best performance: Quarter-finalists in 1934, 1938, 1954

Coach: Ottmar Hitzfeld. One of Europe's most successful and respected club coaches, having won the European Champions League with both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund and a total of seven Bundesliga titles. Despite his successes, Hitzfeld was repeatedly overlooked by his native Germany and looked as if a World Cup would be missing from his CV until the Swiss came calling last year.

Captain:
Alexander Frei

Key players:

Alex Frei
Age: 31
Position: Forward
Club: FC Basel
FIFA World Cup Qualifier appearances: 25 (2002, 2006, 2010)
Goals: 17
FIFA World Cup Finals appearances: 4 (2006)
Goals: 2

Switzerland's all-time leading scorer with 40 goals in 71 appearances. He played at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup, however, he was injured during the first half of Switzerland's opening Euro 2008 match and missed the rest of the tournament. Adopted a llama after being found guilty of spitting at an opponent in 2004.

Tranquillo Barnetta
Age: 24
Position: Midfield
Club: Bayer Leverkusen
FIFA World Cup Finals appearances: 4 (2006)
Goals: 1

Switzerland's most inventive midfielder, Barnetta made his impact at a young age when was in the team which won the under-17 European championship in 2002. He played in the 2006 team where he scored in the group game against Togo but missed in the second-round penalty shootout defeat to Ukraine.

Diego Benaglio
Age: 26
Position: Goalkeeper
Club: VfL Wolfsburg
FIFA World Cup Qualifier appearances: 9 (2010)
Goals: 0

Third-choice goalkeeper at the 2006 World Cup. Benaglio's career has come on in leaps and bounds since then. He helped his club to win the Bundesliga last season and has been the regular first-choice keeper since Euro 2008.

FIFA world ranking May 2010: 18

How they qualified:
South Africa looked a distant dream when Switzerland suffered a stunning 2-1 home defeat to Luxembourg in only their second game. However, they won their next five matches and clinched top spot in their group with a 0-0 draw at home to Israel.

Prospects: Switzerland went out of the 2006 World Cup without conceding a goal after losing on penalties in the second round to Ukraine following a 0-0 draw. Hitzfeld has developed hem into a competitive, if unspectacular team, and a repeat performance would appear to be the most realistic outcome. 

World Cup 2010 Squad

Goalkeepers:
Diego Benaglio (Wolfsburg/GER), Johnny Leoni (Zurich/SUI), Marco Woelfli (Young Boys/SUI)

Defenders: Mario Eggimann (Hanover/GER), Stephane Grichting (Auxerre/FRA), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Lazio/ITA), Philippe Senderos (Arsenal/ENG), Christoph Spycher (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER), Steve Von Bergen (Hertha Berlin/GER), Reto Ziegler (Sampdoria/ITA)

Midfielders: Tranquillo Barnetta (Bayer Leverkusen/GER), Valon Behrami (West Ham/ENG), Gelson Fernandes (St Etienne/FRA), Benjamin Huggel (Basel/SUI), Goekhan Inler (Udinese/ITA), Marco Padalino (Sampdoria/ITA), Pirmin Schwegler (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER), Xherdan Shaqiri (Basel/SUI), Hakan Yakin (Lucerne/SUI)

Strikers: Eren Derdiyok (Bayer Leverkusen/GER), Alexander Frei (Basel/SUI), Blaise Nkufo (Twente/NED), Marco Streller (Basel/SUI)

Reserves: Fabio Coltorti (Racing Santander/ESP); Francois Affolter (Young Boys/SUI), Fabian Lustenberger (Hertha Berlin/GER), Albert Bunjaku (Nuremberg/GER), Nassim Ben Khalifa (Grasshopper/SUI), Valentin Stocker (Basel/SUI), Ludovic Magnin (FC Zurich)


All time top Swiss goal scorer and captain Alexander Frei (L) will lead his team in the FIFA 2010 World Cup. (AFP)
Read more on: switzerland

More In This Category

Everything you need to know about New Zealand: their road to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, squad members, key players and tournament prospects.
Everything you need to know about USA: their road to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, squad members, key players and tournament prospects.
Everything you need to know about Uruguay: their road to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, squad members, key players and tournament prospects.
Everything you need to know about Spain: their road to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, squad members, key players and tournament prospects.
Comments
Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk