Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Switzerlnd Greatest All-time team

Switzerland 1994
This is my all-time team for SwitzerlandIf there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament. 
Please also see my All-Time Team Index.

Switzerland did find some successes at the beginning of international football.  They won a silver medal at the 1924 Olympics, losing to the mighty Uruguay in the Final.  They reached the quarterfinal of the 1934 and 1938 World Cup Finals.  After the World War II, they managed to qualify for 6 World Cup Finals, reaching the second round 4 times.  In 1954, they made it to the quarterfinal as the host. In 2014, they beat the European Champion and eventual winner Spain at the opening match.
Switzerland 1954 World Cup Team
GK: Frank Sechehaye
Frank Sechehaye participated in the 1928 Summer Olympics and the 1934 FIFA World Cup. He played a total of 37 matches for Switzerland. He began his career with FC Thônex, before signing for Etoile-Carouge FC.  He then went to play in France with Club Français in Paris. He then returned to Switzerland to play with Servette FC from 1931 to 1934. He ended his career at FC Lausanne-Sport.

GK: Erich Burgener
Erich Burgener was capped 64 times for Switzerland between 1973 and 1986.  He was remembered for getting a goalless draw against England in Wembley in 1977. He started his club career with FC Raron. He played for Lausanne between 1970 and 1981.  He  moved to Servette FC in 1981 and remained there until 1987. At one match, he was used as forward and scored a goal.

GK: Erwin Ballabio
Erwin Ballabio was capped 27 times for Switzerland.  The number of caps was limited due to the Second World War when international games were rare. He went to the WC Finals in 1938, but did not play.  For club football, he played for FC Grenchen from 1934 and 1956.  He started off as a defender.  His coach switched him to goalkeeper during a game when his team was losing 7-0.

RB:  Severino Minelli
Severino Minelli was considered one of the best European rightbacks in history.  He was capped 80 times for Switzerland at a time because he played in the Central European International Cup.  He played in the 1934 and 1938 WC Finals.  In 1938, Switzerland knocked out Germany, a team boosted by additional Austrian players in the first round. For his club career, he played for FC Zurich, Grasshopper and Serviette FC.  
Minelli on the right

RB: Stephan Lichtsteiner
Since 2006, Stephan Lichtsteiner has earned over 90 caps.  He had played in Euro 2008, the World Cup Finals in 2010, 2014 and 2018.  He played for Grasshopper Zurich in Switzerland and Lille in France.  He moved to Italy in 2008, joining first Lazio and then, Juventus in 2011. At the time of writing, he is considered one of the best right wingback playing in Serie A.  

CB: Stephane Henchoz 
Stephane Henchoz was capped 72 times and played at both European Champions of 1996 and 2004.  At the club level, he began his professional career in Switzerland.  He played successfully with Hamburger SV and Blackburn Roves before joining Liverpool. He was best remembered for playing over 5 years with Liverpool. In 2000-2001 season, Liverpool won the Cup tremble(the FA Cup, the League Cup and the UEFA Cup).
Stephane Henchoz 
CB: Rudolf Ramseyer
Ramseyer had played 59 times for Switzeland between 1920 to 1931. He earned a large numher of caps because of Switzerland's participation of the Central European International Cup. He went to the Olympics in 1924 and 1928.  In 1924, he played 6 matches as Switzerland won the silver medal.  He played with BSC Young Boys and FC Bern. He won a league title with BSC Young Boys in 1919-1920 season.

CB: Oliver Eggimann
Eggimann had 44 caps between 1941 and 1955.  He made his debut against Germany in 1941. played for Switzerland in the 1950 and 1954 FIFA World Cup, Finals where Switzerland was the host in 1954. For his club career, he also played for BSC Young Boys, FC Lausanne-Sport, Servette FC, ES FC Malley, and FC La Chaux-de-Fonds.

CB: Alain Geiger
Alain Geiger is the second most-capped players in Swiss football history with 112 caps.  He made his debut in 1980 against England. He was the captain at both the 1994 World Cup Finals and European Championship in 1996.  At the club level, he started with FC Sion in 1977.  He spent most of his career playing in Switzerland with a brief spell playing for AS Saint-Étienne in France between 1988 and 1990.  He also played for Grasshopper, Neuchâtel Xamax and Servette FC.
Alain Geiger
LB: Willi Steffen
Originally, Steffen came to England to study English in 1946. He ended up signing with Chelsea and became the first Swiss to play in England. He played 20 league and cup games for Chelsea during the 1946-47 season. He returned to Switzerland after a year to join the army.  He played for Young Boy Bern between 1950 and 1958.  He was capped 28 times.  He went to the 1950 WC Finals.

LB: Pirmin Stierli
In his career, Pirmin Stierli played for SC Zug, FC Zurich and FC Neuchâtel Xamax in Switzerland.  He won 4 league titles with FC Zurich.  In the 1969-1970 season, he played a short period in Belgium, with Anderlecht. He was capped 14 times between 1968 and 1974, making his debut against Austria in 1969.

DM:  Johann Vogel
Vogel was capped 94 times between 1995 and 2007.   He has played in Euro 1996, Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup Finals. He was the captain at the 2006 World Cup Finals. He started with Grasshopper at home. He was best remembered for his 5 seasons with PSV Eindhoven. In 2004-2005, PSV reached the semifinal of the Champions' league.  He also had brief spells with AC Milan, Real Betis and Blackburn Rovers.

CM: Heinz Hermann
Heinz Hermann is the most capped player in Swiss football history.  He won 5 straight Swiss Footballer of the Year between 1984 and 1988.  On 1 July 1977 Heinz Hermann joined from FC Seefeld Zürich to Grasshopper Club Zürich, where he became Swiss league champion four times and cup champion once. At the end of the season 1984/1985 he moved to Neuchâtel Xamax, and he later played for Servette FC and FC Aarau. However, he played in a major international tournament.
Heinz Hermann
CM: Ciriaco Sforza
Ciriaco Sforza was one of the best Swiss players in the modern era. He went to the 1994 World Cup Finals and Euro 1996 for Swizterland.  In 1993, after winning the "Swiss footballer of the Year" award, he moved abroad to play in Germany. He was probably best remembered for his three separated stints with Kaiserslautern.  In his second stint, they won the Bundesliga in 1998, the season after they returned to the Bundesliga from the lower division.  In between his two stints, he played with Bayern Munich and Inter Milan.
Ciriaco Sforza
AM: Karl Odermatt
He started his career with FC Concordia Basel, but he is considered the best ever player for Basel.  He played during Basel's golden years under manager Helmut Benthaus with team-mates such as Paul Fischli, René Hasler and Ottmar Hitzfeld. He played for them between 1962 and 1975, winning 5 league titles.  He also played for the BSC Young Boys. He earned 50 caps. He also went to the WC in 1966 and and played in all three games.
RW: Charles Antenen

Nicknamed Kiki, Antenen was capped 56 times and played in three World Cup Finals: 1950, 1954, 1962.  Antenen played for FC La Chaux-de-Fonds from 1945 to 1952 and then, again from 1954 to 1965, winning three Swiss championships and six Swiss Cups. It was the greatest period for the club. In between his two stints, He also played for Lausanne Sports for a season  between1953 and 1954.

RW/FW:  Robert Ballaman
Robert Ballaman earned 50 caps and scored 18 goals for Switzerland. He played in the 1954 World Cup on home soil, where he scored 4 goals and Switzerland reached the quarterfinals.  He started with FC Reconvilier in 1941 at age 15. He played a total of 14 seasons in the Nationalliga A with FC Biel-Bienne, Grasshopper Club Zürich and FC Winterthur, scoring 271 league goals.

LW:  Jacques Fatton
Born in France, he was capped 53 times and scored 28 goals for Switzerland.  He played in two World Cups, scoring twice in 1950 and once in 1954.  He spent most of his career with Servette FC, but he went to play for Olympique Lyonnais in 1954. With the Olympique Lyonnais, he played 83 games , scoring 33 goals. The fans remembered him for scoring twice in the derby against AS Saint-Etienne in 1954.

FW: Alexander Frei
Alexander Frei is the all-time leading scorer for Switzerland.  He played for Euro 2004, the 2006 World Cup Finals, Euro 2008, and the 2010 WC Finals.  He began his career at FC Basel. He played with Rennes in France and with Borussia Dortmund in Germany.  In France,  he was the league top scorer in the 2004-2005 season. In 2009, he returned to FC Basel, where he won the Swiss Super League in all 4 of his seasons, including doubles with the Swiss Cup in 2010 and 2012. 
Alexander Frei
FW:  Josef Hugi
Josef Hugi was capped 34 times for the Swiss national team between 1951 and 1960, scoring 22 goals. Playing the 1954 World Cup at home soil, he scored six goals, tied second-best for the tournament, which makes him the all-time top goalscorer for Switzerland in World Cups. Starting in 1948, he spent 14 seasons with Basel. In 1962, he played 2 games for FC Zurich before heading to FC Laufen.

ST: Kubilay Turkyilmaz
Of Turkish descent, once Kubilay Turkyilmaz refused to play against Turkey because of his ethnic background.  He played with AC Bellinzona and Servette FC at home before he joined Bologna FC in 1990 and Galatasaray in 1993.  In 1995 he returned to Switzerland with Grasshopper Zurich, winning the league twice. Capped over 60 times.  He missed the 1994 World Cup Finals in USA through an injury. He played at the Euro 1996. He was at one point the all-time top-scorer for Switzerland. 
Kubilay Turkyilmaz
ST: Alfred Bickel  
Alfred Bickel played 405 matches and scored 202 goals in the Swiss first division from 1935 to 1956, a period during which he won 7 league titles and 9 cup titles with Grasshopper.  He played for Switzerland from 1936 to 1954, earning 71 caps. He went to the World Cup Finals in both 1938 and 1950.  He is one of only two footballers ever to participate in World Cups before and after World War II.

Andre Abegglen played in the 1934 World Cup, but probably best-remembered for scoring a hat-trick in the 1938 World Cup against Germany, in which was won by Switzerland 4–2. The game eliminated Germany, a team that included Austrian players as a result of Anschluss.  For club football, he scored 83 goals in 82 matches for Grasshopper.  He later played for Sochaux, where he was the league champion in 1935 and 1938, and was the top goalscorer of the 1935.

ST: Stephane Chapuisat 
Stephane Chapuisat was selected as Switzerland's UEFA's Jubilee Golden Player.   He was also voted Swiss Footballer of the Year four times (1992, 1993, 1994 and 2001).  At the international level, he played 103 times for Switzerland between 1989 and 2004.  He went to the 1994 World Cup  Finals, Euro 1996 and Euro 2004. For his club career, he played notably for Borussia Dortmund between 1991 and 1999.  He won the Champions' league in 1997 and back-to-back Bundesliga in 1995 and 1996.
Stephane Chapuisat 
Honorable Mention
Diego Benaglio, Max Abegglen, Alan Sutter, Murat Yakin, Hakan Yakin, Gökhan Inler, Patrick Muller, Adrian Knup, Thomas Bickel, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri, Ricardo Rodríguez, Umberto Barberis, Paul Sturzenegger.

Squad Explanation
-- In 1938, Switzerland beat Germany 4-2 at the World Cup Finals in which the German team included Austrian players as a result of Anschluss. The match was probably Switzerland's greatest victory. Severino Minelli was the Swiss captain while Andre Abegglen scored a hat trick.  Alfred Bickel also played in the game while Erwin Ballabio was the back keeper.
-- Switzerland won the Silver medal at the 1924 Olympics.  Rudolf Ramseyer is the only member who made tis team.  Max Abegglen who scored 6 goals in the tournament is the brother Andre Abegglvn who scored the hat trick against Germany in the 1938 World Cup Finals.
-- Switzerland hosted the 1954 World Cup Finals, where they advanced to the second round for the first time.  Josef Hugi scored 6 goals in the tournament.  He finished joint second at the top scoring table.  He remained Switzerland's highest goal scoring in the WC Finals.
-- Severino Minelli was considered one of the best European rightbacks in history. 
-- Willi Steffen became the first Swiss to play in England when he joined Chelsea in 1946.
-- Stephan Lichtsteiner has established himself as one of the top defenders in Serie A.  And Juventus' unit is one of the best defensive club team in Europe.  He has played in the highest level in Europe.  Not many Swiss player could claim that.  
-- Roger Bocquet, Patrick Muller and Murat Yakin were seriously considered for the last spot on the defensive unit.  Bouquet seemed to be a tough guy, playing with a brain tumour, but Oliver Eggimann took the last and final spot.
-- Switzerland had a weak generation from the 1970's and 1980's. Heinz Hermann suffered internationally because of that. Heinz Hermann is the most capped player in Swiss football history.  He won 5 straight Swiss Footballer of the Year between 1984 and 1988. 
-- Umberto Barberis was often overlooked for Swiss All-Time Team because the lack of major international tournament during his prime. He was elected foreign player of the year by France Football magazine in 1981. In the end, I was choosing between him and Karl Odermatt.  I took Odermatt because he appeared in many all-time team while Barberis was not listed as often. In the end, he again was overlooked.
-- Philippe Senderos was impressive as a young player for Arsenal. His career, however, regressed since.  He never took off.  What a pity! He is not on my honourable mention.
-- Alan Sutter had a good World Cup Finals in 1994, but his career with Bayern Munich did not do too well. So he only made honourable mention.
-- Ciriaco Sforza was disappointing with both Inter Milan and Bayern Munich, but his career was fine overall.  His career with Kaiserslautern was stunning.
-- The Swiss has many good midfielders.  Gökhan Inler was overlooked.
-- Stephane Chapuisat was selected as Switzerland's UEFA's Jubilee Golden Player.  He also won the Champions' League in 1997 with Borussia Dortmund.

Starting lineup
Formation: 4-4-2


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