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Kuhn names Swiss squad
May 28, 2008 19:30 IST
Patrick Mueller's decision to leave Olympique Lyon without permission to play for his national team last week was rewarded on Wednesday with a place in Switzerland's [Images] 23-man squad for Euro 2008 [Images].
Mueller, 31, made the final cut but Switzerland coach Koebi Kuhn axed fellow defender Mario Eggimann and striker Thomas Haeberli from the 25-man provisional squad that has been training in Lugano for the past 10 days.
"It was not a decision against Eggimann or Haeberli but a decision for the other 23 players," Kuhn said after unveiling his squad.
"Haeberli was called up as a late replacement for the injured Blaise Nkufo and I think he always knew it was going to be tight for him. Both players are professional sportsmen and have accepted the decision."
Mueller, who played just one first team match for Lyon last season, left the club without permission on the eve of Saturday's French Cup final in a bid to prove his fitness to Kuhn.
His contract with the club was already set to expire at the end of June.
The central defender tore a cruciate knee ligament in December but was in commanding form during Switzerland's 2-0 friendly win over Slovakia on Saturday.
"Of course there is always a risk choosing players who have not been playing regularly for their clubs," said Kuhn when asked about the inclusion of both Mueller and Arsenal [Images] central defender Johan Djourou.
"But I have stuck with such players in the past and that is certainly the case now."
Kuhn selected just three outright strikers in his squad but can call upon attacking midfielders Daniel Gygax and Hakan Yakin as forwards if necessary.
Yakin, traditionally the team's playmaker, proved himself more than adequate in a striker's role with Swiss league runners-up Young Boys last season, finishing as the league's highest scorer with 24 goals.
Switzerland, who co-host Euro 2008 along with neighbouring Austria, will play one more warm-up match against Liechtenstein on Friday.
At the June tournament itself, the Swiss have been drawn in Group A alongside the Czech Republic, Turkey and Portugal.
Goalkeepers: 1-Diego Benaglio (Wolfsburg), 18-Pascal Zuberbuehler (Neuchatel Xamax), 21-Eldin Jakupovic (Grasshoppers Zurich)
Defenders: 2-Johan Djourou (Arsenal), 3-Ludovic Magnin (Stuttgart), 4-Philippe Senderos (Arsenal), 5-Stephan Lichtsteiner (Lille), 13-Stephane Grichting (Auxerre), 17-Christoph Spycher (Eintracht Frankfurt), 20-Patrick Mueller (Olympique Lyon), 23-Philipp Degen (Borussia Dortmund)
Midfielders: 6-Benjamin Huggel (Basel), 7-Ricardo Cabanas (Grasshoppers Zurich), 8-Gokhan Inler (Udinese), 10-Hakan Yakin (Young Boys Berne), 14-Daniel Gygax (Metz), 15-Gelson Fernandes (Manchester City), 16-Tranquillo Barnetta (Bayer Leverkusen), 19-Valon Behrami (Lazio), 22-Johan Vonlanthen (Salzburg)
Forwards: 9-Alex Frei (Borussia Dortmund), 11-Marco Streller (Basel), 12-Eren Derdiyok (Basel)