jeudi 2 février 2017

Switzerland "Nati" XI at World Cups and Euros

Switzerland XI in the great tournaments from the 1930s until today.

1934 : World Cup quarter-finalist.
Winner of Holland then defeated by Czechoslovakia (3-2 each time).

CH 1934
1938 : World Cup quarter-finalist.
Winner of Germany (1-1 a.e.t then 4-2 in a replay) and beaten by Hungary in the next round (0-2).

CH 1938
The redoubtable defender Minelli got injured so he could not play the quarter-finals.

1950 : group stage.
0-3 against Yugoslavia, 2-2 with Brazil (Fatton x2), 2-1 against Mexico and third of the group 1.

CH 1950
Friedländer replaced Antenen at inside right in the matches #2 and #3. Antenen replaced Bickel at outside right in the match #3. Hug was the keeper in the match #3 instead of Stuber.

1954 : Quarter-finalist of the World Cup held at home.
A 2-1 win over Italy, a 2-0 loss to England and a new victory over Italy in a play-off match (4-1!). Beaten by Austria in the quarter-finals (7-5!).

CH 1954
Meier (IL) in the two first games against Italy and England.

1962 and 1966 World Cup : Group stage. 
Difficult to propose a typical XI for these two tournaments. Some notes though.

1962 : 3 losses (2 goals for, 8 against) in 3 matches with mainly Elsener (GK), Schneiter, Groberty (CB's), Alleman-Weber at midfield, Volanthen once at midfield and onceat OR and in attack Eschmann (2 m.), Wüthrich (CF), Dürr and Antenen (LW).
Morf (RB) was replaced after the first match against Chile (the hosts), like Pottier (OR), subbed with Dürr then Volanthen at this position. 

1966 : 3 losses again (1 goal for, 9 against). With : Elsener (did not play the last match), Brodmann, DF and captain in replacement of Schneiter after the first game, Kuhn and Quentin (the scorer) in attack. Odermatt (MF) only played in the first game. Tachella and Dürr (1962 World Cup) were also replaced after the first game. The first game in question was a severe loss to West Germany (0-5, Haller x3 and Beckenbauer x2).

No Nati in the major tournaments until 1994 and the U.S World Cup.

1994 : World Cup round of 16.

CH 1994
Typical team. Bickel played instead of Sutter in the round of 16 against Spain (0-3). Other player (usual sub) : Subiat. Switzerland had progressed thanks to win over Romania (4-1) and a draw game with the United States (1-1). Lost in the third match of groups against Colombia (0-2). Romania (group winner) and the U.S (3rd) qualified with Switzerland. Not Colombia for whom the return to South America will be tragic with the assassination of the defender Andrés Escobar.

1996 : Group stage at the Euro.
A draw with the hosting nation England then two losses.
The new players compared to 1994 : Henchoz and Vega in central defence, Vogel at midfield, Türkyilmaz in attack but also Grassi in some maneer (only 10 minutes of play in '94). And Bonvin who missed the precedent competition but not this one, aged 31 (arguably his last chance to play in a major tournament).
The absents : Herr, Knup, Sutter. As for Geiger, he only played the first 71 minutes in the match with England in all.

2004 Euro (group stage)
1 draw with Croatia then 2 losses (France and England) at the Euro in Portugal.

One finds this new generation and quite the same team again two years later at the second round of the World Cup in Germany. But now without Stéphane Chapuisat, always with Gygax (who only appeared in the first round though) and without the young Johan Volanthen this time.

2006 World Cup : 1st of its group before France then eliminated in a penalty shootout by Ukraine.

CH 2006
Plus Spycher (left side of the defence or left side of the midfield) and Streller (forward).
Presented as they started in the round of 16. One must note that Senderos left his place for Djourou in the last match of the group stage at the 53rd minute and that here again, Djourou,  since the 34th minute, had to leave his place in this round of 16. This time for Grichting. It was better to explain it here in details. Senderos was the number 1 choice alongside the "libero" (more covering type) Müller. In parenthesis, Müller also had to leave his place in the very first match (0-0 with France), after 75 minutes of play, for Djourou.

2008 : group stage at the Euro held at home (and in Austria).

CH 2008
The come-back of Volanthen in the squad and some novelties. First tournament for Derdiyok, a new midfield Behrami, Gelson Fernandes and Inler.
In Switzerland, Frei and Streller was the duo of attack which started the competition. Frei only stood on the pitch during the the first half (0-1 against the Czechs). They were then replaced by a duo Hakan Yakin plus Derdiyok for a new loss to Turkey this time and finally a win over Portugal (with Volanthen instead of Barnetta) for the honour of it (last of group).

2010 World Cup : group stage.  
Winner of the eventual World Champion Spain in their first match then 1 loss to Chile and 1 draw with Honduras.
XI presented as against Spain what equals to the Swiss typical team into this tournament. Von Bergen had to replace Senderos after 35 minutes of play in the 1st match. Alexander Frei never imposed himself in this tournament. Swiss legend overall but not the man of the finals (injuries etc.). We take note of the absence of Müller who had stopped his international career and was replaced in consequence by (the not much younger) Grichting in the central defence.

CH 2010

2014 World Cup : round of 16 with a new generation.

CH 2014
Eliminated by the eventual runner-up Argentina, here is a brand-new Switzerland team with new talents in attack (plus Seferovic and Dzemaili from the bench) and at left-back, the come-back of a Behrami, a Djourou who finally took his place and always Lichtseiner. Beaten 5-2 by France in the group stage, but hard to beat in the first knockout stage (0-1).

2016 Euro : round of 16.

CH 2016
Same team and a new round of 16 for the first 24-teams Euro tournament ever, in France. Eliminated by Poland in a penalty shootout after a 1-0 against Albania, a 1-1 with Romania and a 0-0 with France.

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