Switzerland have started their campaign in this year’s tournament with a 1-0 win over Albania. They look set to qualify into the knockout phase from Group A along with the hosts, France.
EURO CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFICATION AND HISTORY
Having made it’s debut in the Euro Championship in 1996 in England, Switzerland has only managed to qualify for the tournament two times ever since, including this year’s event, being held in France. In the last 2 occasions Switzerland had not managed to get past the group stage. But the 2014 World Cup, held in Brazil, saw some resilient performances from them, specially in the Round of 16, where they held Argentina to a goalless draw in normal time, only to lose 1-0 in extra time. Switzerland finished 2nd in Group E in the qualifiers with 21 points, winning 7 and loosing 3 of their games.
PLAYERS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Xherdan Shaqiri – The 24 year old winger who is one of the hottest prospects in Europe is the biggest threat for the opponents with his enormous skills and blistering pace. He started his career at FC Basel-II during 2007 where he managed to score 8 goals in 19 matches. On 12th July 2009 he made his debut for their first team against FC St Gallen. He scored 18 goals in 92 games for them allover, winning three consecutive Swiss Super League titles in the ’09-10 , ’10-11 and ’11-12 seasons along with the Swiss Cup in ’09-10 and ’11-12. In 2012, Shaqiri signed for Bayern Munich for a reported fee of 11.6 million Euros, where he managed to score 11 goals in his 52 appearances not only winning the Bundesliga, but also the UEFA Champions League and DFB-Pokal. On January 2015, he signed for Inter Milan where he could manage to score only 1 goal in 15 matches. After a dismal performance at Inter, he joined Stoke City for a fee of 12 million Euros in July 2015. Shaqiri has since till now scored 17 goals in 51 games for Switzerland.
Stephan Lichtsteiner– The 32 year old Right Wing Back who has become a regular starter for Juventus, plays a major part in their defense as well as attack with his dangerous overlapping runs and pin point crossing. Lichtsteiner started his career at Grasshopper where he made 79 appearances and helped them to win the Swiss league in his 2nd season. In ’04-05 season he sealed a move to Lille and became a regular starter in his 1st season and helped them grab a spot in the Champions League. After his amazing performances in Euro 2008 many clubs like PSG and Everton showed an interest in signing him. But he decided to join S.S. Lazio by signing a 4 year contract for an undisclosed fees. In June 2011 he joined Juventus for 10 million Euros, and managed to win 5 Italian League titles with them. He made his debut for Switzerland in 2006 against Brazil in a friendly game. Till date, he has made 81 appearances for Switzerland and has scored a total of 5 goals.
Goalkeepers: Roman Bürki, Marwin Hitz, Yann Sommer
Defenders: Johan Djourou, Michael Lang, Nico Elvedi, Stephan Lichtsteiner, François Moubandje, Ricardo Rodríguez, Fabian Schär, Steve von Bergen
Midfielders: Steve von Bergen, Blerim Džemaili, Gelson Fernandes, Fabian Frei, Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka, Denis Zakaria
Forwards: Eren Derdiyok, Breel Embolo, Admir Mehmedi, Haris Seferović, Shani Tarashaj