The Swiss hope to do well in Qatar, and one of the best goalkeepers in Europe and some highly experienced outfield players will be crucial to their chances. In the last few years, things have been going well in Switzerland. The Nati made it to the quarterfinals of the UEFA EURO last year, knocking out the holders of the FIFA World CupTM, France, on the way. They then lost to Spain on penalties.
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Switzerland: Five to follow
The next qualifying campaign for Qatar 2022 couldn’t have gone much better. With 15 goals scored and only two givens up, Murat Yakin’s team finished ahead of Italy at the top of the group. The bubble burst in 2022 when the Swiss won only one of two friendlies and four UEFA Nations League games against Portugal. During that six-game stretch, they lost four times and tied once, giving up ten goals. The defence suddenly seemed weak, and Yakin will have to get his team back to the form it had in qualifying. If he can do that, Switzerland can do anything in Qatar. Here, we look more closely at the Nati team and pick out five likely players to play important roles.
Yann SommerYann Sommer:
Position: Goalkeeper Age: 33
Yann Sommer is in every way the backstop of the Swiss team. The penalty-saving expert can always count an excellent job for his club and his country, and he has done so many times. They made his international debut in 2012 under Ottmar Hitzfeld. He now has 74 caps and a lot of significant tournament experience, having been the first choice between the posts at Russia 2018 and the last two EUROs. Sommer played every minute of every qualifying game for Qatar 2022 and only let in two goals. All three of Switzerland’s group-stage opponents, Brazil, Serbia, and Cameroon, are known for how well they attack. Switzerland’s defence, led by Sommer, will be critical to the team’s success.
Ricardo RodriguezRicardo Rodriguez:
Position: Left-back or centre-back Age: 30
Rodriguez has an exciting career so far. He won the FIFA U-17 World Cup as a youth national team member. They played in 149 Bundesliga games for Wolfsburg at home and beat the DFB-Pokal. Then, after a short time at PSV, he played for AC Milan and Torino in over 100 Serie A games. The Swiss defence will need Rodriguez’s versatility and experience. He’s likelier to play on the left side in Qatar, where Nico Elvedi and Manuel Akanji have become a strong pairing at centre-back. Rodriguez has played for his country 98 times and scored nine goals. He will soon try to reach 100 caps. During the qualifying season, they only missed one game. For the rest, he was in the starting lineup. Rodriguez was born in Zurich, but he has Spanish and Chilean roots. He is known for having a “sweet left foot,” which helps him at set pieces. He is also dangerous on the wings, where he feeds the forwards with a steady stream of crosses.
More first-team equals were hard to come by; nevertheless, he finished his Barcelona occupation, having been introduced only 13 times. Injury-hit invocations at Lazio, Real Betis, Numancia, and Gimnastic were disastrous to catch fire things – and he ended up opening his career in Holland with Go Into the future Eagles in 2012 at just 32. For more to know about Football World Cup Tickets, Click here.
Granit XhakaGranit Xhaka:
Position: Midfielder Age: 29
Xhaka is one of the most experienced players in Murat Yakin’s team. He has played for his country 104 times and scored 12 goals. He works at Arsenal in his home country and is the captain and leader of the Swiss team. Xhaka was born in Basel, Switzerland, but his family is from Kosovo and Albania. His brother Taulant plays for Albania. People often consider him an aggressive leader who never backs away from a tackle. However, he is also a very skilled footballer who can break down a defence with a well-timed pass.
He could only play in two World Cup qualifying games because of injuries, but the captain has been back in the starting lineup for all six games this year. The fact that only one of those games ended in a win is sure to give Xhaka, who has played more than 200 times in the Premier League and over 100 times in the Bundesliga, plenty of motivation. This man is the only one who can pull the Nati up by its bootstraps before the World Cup.
Remo FreulerRemo Freuler:
Position: Midfielder Age: 30
Freuler is another Main player in the middle of the field for Switzerland. The 30-year-old joined Atalanta in 2016 and went on to make more than 200 appearances for the team, including a few as captain and a lot in European competition. Then Freuler decided to move to Nottingham Forest before this season started. He hasn’t made a name for himself yet with the newly promoted club, so he often sits on the bench in the East Midlands.
He has played 46 times for Switzerland and scored four goals. Like Xhaka, Freuler is a complete player who loves to battle in the middle of the field and can also pick out a pass. He is also very good at reading the game. Coach Yakin knew this, which is why he always put him in the starting lineup during World Cup qualifying. He and Xhaka will probably be in charge of the Nati in Qatar.
Xherdan ShaqiriXherdan Shaqiri:
Position: Attacking midfielder or winger Age: 30
Shaqiri is the player in Yakin’s team with the most international appearances and goals. He has 106 international appearances and 26 goals to his name. He is short (1.65 m) and stocky. That puts him fourth overall behind Stephan Lichtsteiner (108 caps), Alain Geiger (112) and Heinz Hermann (118). Shaqiri has won a lot of trophies at home.
He won the German Bundesliga three times, English Premier League once, the UEFA Champions League twice, and the FIFA Club World Cup twice. He moved to the MLS last February and now plays for the Chicago Fire. Shaqiri is an essential member of Yakin’s team. He is the link between the midfield and the attack and often plays in a forward position just behind the front line.
He played in six Football World Cup qualifying games, scored one goal, and set up five others, showing how important he is to Switzerland’s ability to score goals. With Xhaka and Freuler on his back, Shaqiri knows he has a lot of room to run and take on the defence of the other team. He can also play on the right side of the field. The other forwards on the Swiss team (Breel Embolo, Haris Seferovic, Steven Zuber, and Renato Steffen) usually switch places, but Shaqiri is likely to be on the team sheet every day in Qatar.
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