Euro 2020: Decoding the squad of Switzerland
The Switzerland national football team will need to step up in the upcoming European Championships. Placed in Group A alongside Italy, Turkey, and Wales, the Swiss team will need to play well to ensure a swift passage to the qualification stages. Under Vladimir Petkovic, Switzerland will aim to better their round of 16 qualifications across Euro 2016 and the FIFA World Cup 2018.
Switzerland will look up Arsenal's Granit Xhaka for stability in mid-field. Wanted by AS Roma in the summer, Xhaka boasts of experience aplenty. The 28-year-old has made 94 appearances for Switzerland, scoring 12 goals. Meanwhile, Liverpool's versatile Xherdan Shaqiri has a crucial job ahead. Nicknamed "Alpine Messi", Shaqiri has represented Switzerland 90 times, scoring 23 goals for his country.
Petkovic is overseeing his third major tournament as Switzerland's coach. Under his tenure, Switzerland reached the last 16 at both Euro 2016 and the World Cup in Russia two years later. Hopes have surfaced that the Swiss can go a few steps further this time. Petkovic has a win percentage of 54.79, winning 40 out of the 73 matches he has managed.
In the UEFA Nations League 2020-21, Switzerland finished third in League A Group 4. They won just one of the six matches, drawing three and losing twice in a group that saw Spain qualify for the Nations League Finals. They are second in Group C of the World Cup Qualifiers 2022 behind Italy. In the 2018-19 Nations League, they finished fourth in the Finals.
Borussia Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji is a key asset alongside Ricardo Rodriguez, who has 80 caps. Atalanta's Remo Freuler has shown consistency at club level and will feature Xhaka in mid-field. FC Basel's Silvan Widmer has to offer the goods as a right-wing back. Benfica's Haris Seferovic scored 26 goals in the 2020-21 season. He will be vital in providing the comforts upfront.
Goal-keepers: Yann Sommer, Yvon Mvogo, Jonas Omlin Defenders: Manuel Akanji, Loris Benito, Nico Elvedi, Kevin Mbabu, Becir Omeragic, Ricardo Rodriguez, Silvan Widmer, Fabian Schar, Jordan Lotomba, Eray Comert Mid-fielders: Granit Xhaka, Denis Zakaria, Remo Freuler, Djibril Sow, Admir Mehmedi, Xherdan Shaqiri, Ruben Vargas, Steven Zuber, Edimilson Fernandes, Christian Fassnacht Forwards: Breel Embolo, Mario Gavranovic, Haris Seferovic