rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Switzerland squad

Switzerland squad

Last updated on: June 05, 2008 19:19 IST

Switzerland squad penpix for Euro 2008:

Diego Benaglio (VfL Wolfsburg). Goalkeeper. Born: 8.9.83. Caps: 11 Goals: 0.

Named as Switzerland's first choice goalkeeper only in February at the expense of Pascal Zuberbuehler after some impressive performances in the German Bundesliga with new club Wolfsburg. Agile and fast, he also commands his defence well despite being one of the quietest team members off the pitch.

Pascal Zuberbuehler (Neuchatel Xamax). Goalkeeper. Born: 8.1.71. Caps: 50 caps Goals: 0.

Switzerland's first-choice goalkeeper at the 2006 World Cup, Zuberbuehler was also the only goalie to leave the tournament without conceding a goal in regulation time - eventually beaten in a penalty shootout against Ukraine in the second round. His erratic performances saw him dropped in favour of Benaglio.

Eldin Jakupovic (Grasshoppers Zurich). Goalkeeper. Born: 02.10.84. Caps: 0 Goals: 0.

Bosnian-born keeper who came to international prominence during FC Thun's shock Champions League qualification in 2005. Returned to former club Grasshoppers on loan from Lokomotiv Moscow at the start of last season in the hope of a Euro 2008 place, which was secured when Fabio Coltorti was ruled out.

Ludovic Magnin (VfB Stuttgart). Defender. Born: 20.04.79. Caps: 49 Goals: 3.

Trained as a primary school teacher, Magnin often has the look of an excited schoolboy, displaying emotions on the pitch in a highly 'un-Swiss' manner. A left-back who loves going forward, Magnin can also take a mean free-kick. Has won Bundesliga titles with Werder Bremen and Stuttgart, but was troubled by a recurring ankle injury last season.

Christoph Spycher (Eintracht Frankfurt). Defender. Born: 30.3.78. Caps: 38 Goals: 0.

Magnin's main rival for the left-back position and often favoured for matches where Switzerland are expected to be more on the back foot. Defensively solid but lacking Magnin's attacking capabilities. Recently extended his contract at Frankfurt for another two years.

Philippe Senderos (Arsenal). Defender. Born: 14.02.85. Caps 27 Goals: 3

A European champion at junior level, captaining Switzerland to the under-17 title in 2002, he is a first-choice central defender. Strong in the air at both ends of the pitch, he scored against South Korea at the 2006 World Cup with a brave header that left him with blood streaming down his face.

Patrick Mueller (Olympique Lyon). Defender. Born: 17.12.76. Caps: 77 Goals: 3.

Easily Switzerland's most experienced player with an ability to read the game that often makes up for his lack of pace. A cruciate knee ligament tear in December appeared to have ended his Euro 2008 chances, but he proved his fitness in the nick of time after walking out on Lyon before the French Cup final.

Johan Djourou (Arsenal). Defender. Born: 18.01.87. Caps: 17 Goals: 1.

Seemed set to replace Mueller in the heart of the Swiss defence after an impressive World Cup campaign in 2006 but has since faced his own problems with injuries and a lack of first-team action. The Ivory Coast-born defender is physically strong and can also play in defensive midfield.

Stephane Grichting (Auxerre). Defender. Born: 30.3.79. Caps: 17 Goals: 0.

Proved more than capable at the 2006 World Cup after replacing the injured Senderos in a 0-0 draw with Ukraine. Switzerland's second group stage match against Turkey could prove a test after Grichting was hospitalised after a post-match brawl that marred Switzerland's World Cup qualifying win.

Philipp Degen (Borussia Dortmund). Defender. Born: 15.2.83. Caps: 29 Goals: 0.

An attack-minded right-back who has often formed an effective partnership with his twin brother, right-sided midfielder David Degen who did not make the squad after injury. Set to join Liverpool immediately after Euro 2008.

Stephan Lichtsteiner (Lille). Defender. Born: 16.1.84. Caps: 11 Goals 0.

Completed an apprenticeship in banking during his days as a young player at Grasshoppers Zurich and has proven himself as reliable and unflappable on the pitch as the stereotypical Swiss banker. A regular first-team player at Lille despite being managed by notorious squad rotator Claude Puel.

Valon Behrami (Lazio). Defender. Born: 19.4.85. Caps: 15 Goal: 2.

Kosovo-born right-back who was taken to Switzerland at the age of four when war broke out in his home region. Long been a regular at Lazio, but is on the fringes for Switzerland. Has the reputation of an outsider within the Swiss squad while his tattoos and frequently-changing haircuts have seen him dubbed "Switzerland's David Beckham" -- much to Behrami's annoyance.

Gokhan Inler (Udinese). Defender. Born: 27.06.84. Caps: 16 Goals: 1.

Defensive midfielder who has made the big leap from Swiss football to Italy's Serie A with surprising ease. Voted best foreign newcomer by Italian sports paper La Gazzetta dello Sport in January. One of three Swiss players, alongside Hakan Yakin and Eren Derdiyok, to have joint Turkish nationality.

Gelson Fernandes (Manchester City). Midfielder. Born: 2.9.86. Caps: 7 Goals: 0.

Born in the Cape Verde islands, Fernandes moved to Switzerland with his family at the age of five and developed a love of football when his father found work as a groundsman at local club FC Sion. Made his first team debut for them at 16, before moving to City last July.

Benjamin Huggel (Basel). Midfielder. Born: 7.7.77. Caps: 24 Goals: 0.

Very popular with both fans and fellow players, a defensive midfielder rated as much for his fighting spirit as his ball skills. Missed out on the 2006 World Cup after being banned for his part in a post-match brawl that marred Switzerland's qualifying play-off win over Turkey. Looks good at Basel, after making little impact in two seasons at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Tranquillo Barnetta (Bayer Leverkusen). Midfielder. Born: 22.5.85. Caps: 32 Goals: 6.

Was highly impressive at the 2006 World Cup and has since become Switzerland's key player. A European champion with Switzerland's under-17 team in 2002, Barnetta is well known for his speed and ball control. Highly versatile, he scored both goals in a 2-1 friendly win over the Netherlands last August.

Hakan Yakin (Young Boys). Midfielder. Born: 22.2.77. Caps: 65 caps Goals: 15.

Widely seen as the most naturally talented Swiss player of his generation, Yakin looks to have rediscovered his form after several seasons hampered by injuries and misguided transfers. After failing to break through at PSG, Stuttgart and Galatasaray, Yakin has blossomed back in Switzerland.

Ricardo Cabanas (Grasshoppers Zurich). Midfielder. Born: 17.1.79. Caps: 49 Goals: 4.

Central midfielder with a reputation as a battler despite his relatively small frame. Returned to Grasshoppers in July 2007 after relegation from the German Bundesliga with Cologne. Missed most of the first half of the past season due to a knee operation but has looked strong since his return in February.

Johan Vonlanthen (Salzburg). Midfielder. Born: 1.2.86. Caps: 29 Goals: 5.

Colombian-born former striker who became the European championship's youngest goalscorer when he scored Switzerland's only goal of Euro 2004 during their 3-1 defeat by France. Has proved effective on the Swiss right wing since dropping back from the front line.

Daniel Gygax (Metz). Midfielder. Born: 28.8.81. Caps: 33 Goals: 5.

Attacking midfielder whose regular appearances for relegated Metz could see him favoured over Vonlanthen in the Swiss starting line-up. Has an important supporter in Alice Kuhn, the wife of coach Koebi Kuhn, who has frequently described Gygax as her favourite player.

Alex Frei (Borussia Dortmund). Forward. Born: 15.7.79. Caps: 58 Goals: 33.

Slightly built compared to most centre forwards, the Swiss captain has proved his goalscoring ability for both club and country over the years. Just one goal short of equalling Kubilay Turkyilmaz's record haul of 34 goals for Switzerland. Will be keen to erase memories of Euro 2004 when he was banned from the tournament for spitting on England's Steven Gerrard.

Marco Streller (Basel). Forward. Born: 18.6.81. Caps: 27 Goals: 11.

Surprisingly nimble and skilful despite his 1.97-metre frame, Streller would appear to be the perfect strike partner for Alex Frei, having first played alongside him for the local junior team at the age of 11. Won the Bundesliga title with Stuttgart in 2007 but returned to Basel.

Eren Derdiyok (Basel). Forward. Born: 12.6.88. Caps: 3 Goals: 1.

Talented teenager who benefited from Switzerland's striker shortage to make an early international debut, despite still being mainly a substitute for Basel. Instantly rewarded Koebi Kuhn's faith in his abilities with a stunning equaliser against England during Switzerland's 2-1 friendly defeat in February.

(Editing by Trevor Huggins)

Source:
© Copyright 2013 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.