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Switzerland Profile

Saturday, April 24, 2010


SWITZERLAND

Swiss Confederation

Swiss Football Association
1895
Coach: Ottmar Hitzfeld
Confederation: UEFA
FIFA Ranking (Dec 09) : 18
Previous Appearances: 5 ( quarterfinal 1934, 1938, 1954; round of the last sixteen 1994, 2006)
Map


Background
Switzerland is a small country that always has to fight hard to qualify for the World Cup every four years. They Swiss have qualified eight times for the World Cup and their best results were in 1934, 1938 and 1954.

How They Qualified
Switzerland earned top spot in Group 2 of the UEFA zone, but it was far from easy. They had a lot of problems on the way to qualifying for South Africa. They drew with Israel in the first match and somehow lost to Luxembourg at home. Ottmar Hitzfeld's men bounced back and defeated Greece in Piraeus and it was pretty clear sailing from there. In the last match Switzerland needed only one point and earned a draw against Israel to qualify directly for South Africa.

Strengths
The motivation in the team was never a problem. They have players like Barnetta, Frei, Senderos and Benaglio who have European experience. The collective in the team is very important and that’s the key for good results.
Weaknesses
Switzerland sometimes pick up poor results against teams they really should beat like Finland, Norway and Luxembourg just to name a few examples.
The Coach
Ottmar Hitzfeld is a big name in football circles. He is a pleasant coach with good character. He wasn't a stranger to winning trophies with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. Switzerland can be happy and can profit with a coach like Hitzfeld guiding the side.
Star Men
Alexander Frei (FC Basel)

The captain and topscorer in the team. He is a person who wants to win every match. With a good instinct for goal he can be very dangerous for opponents.

Diego Benaglio (VFL Wolfsburg)

A young 'keeper who are earned the number 1 jersey in the team. With Wolfsburg he won the Bundesliga last season and now has experience in the Champions League.

Tranquillo Barnetta (Bayer Leverkusen)


The 'Cristiano Ronaldo' of the Swiss Team. Barnetta has tons of pace and flair and at 24-years-old has a bright future with the national team.

Best XI


Best Footballing Moment
The victory in the U-17 World Cup in Nigeria by an unfancied Swiss side. They beat the likes of Italy, Brazil, Germany and Nigeria to win the title.

Off The Pitch With big cow bells and beer - Switzerland ready for a crazy party in South Africa.

World Cup Objective
To avoid a Group of Death scenario and pull off some major surprises like the U-17 squad did.

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