Switzerland National Football Team

Switzerland National Football Team

Switzerland National Football Team

The Swiss men’s national football team (short “Nati” [ˈnat͡si], French Équipe national suisse de football, Italian Nazionale di calcio della Svizzera, Rhaeto-Romanic Squadra naziunala da ballape da la Svizra) is the select team of the Swiss Football Association (SFV). The A-Team, as the SFV calls it, represents Switzerland at international level, unlike the youth teams in competitions without age restrictions.

The Switzerland National Football Team played their first international match in 1905 against France. The greatest success of the senior team to date was winning the silver medal at the 1924 Summer Olympics, the greatest success of a junior selection in 2009 was the U-17 world championship title. Austrian Karl Rappan shaped Swiss football from the 1930s to the 1960s; he introduced the Swiss bar and looked after the team at three world championships. The 1954 World Cup took place in Switzerland.

In the 1960s an era of failure began that lasted almost 30 years. National coach Roy Hodgson brought the team back close to the top of the world and qualified for the 1994 World Cup and Euro 1996.

With Switzerland National Football Team coach Köbi Kuhn, the Swiss qualified for the 2004 European Championships. As a result, Switzerland took part in all European and World Championships with the exception of the 2012 European Championship (WM 2006 and EM 2008 under Köbi Kuhn; WM 2010 and WM 2014 under Ottmar Hitzfeld; EM 2016, WM 2018 and EM 2020 under Vladimir Petković), plus the upcoming WM 2022 under Murat Yakin.

After the United Kingdom, Switzerland was the first country in Europe to practice football. British students and merchants founded various clubs in the Lake Geneva region in the early 1870s. In 1879, the oldest club in Switzerland that still exists today, FC St. Gallen, was founded. Eleven clubs founded the “Swiss Football Association” in 1895 in the Olten train station buffet. Initially, four out of five members of the association’s leadership were British. The Swiss association was one of the seven founding members of FIFA in 1904 and changed its name to the Swiss Football Association (SFV) in 1913. With the Germanization of the name, football, which was still considered typically “British” at the time, was to be better anchored in the population. In addition, the association hoped that this step would give it the status of a subsidy-eligible organization, but this did not happen until the 1920s and the first official match of the Switzerland National Football Team.

The fact that only a few German-language terms have become established in Swiss football is due to the strong Anglophone influence in the early phase. The penalty kick is still called a penalty, the corner a corner, the goal a goal and the captain is called a captain. Numerous clubs also have English names such as the Young Boys or the Grasshoppers.

The team of Switzerland tip also found out that the further spread of football in Europe came mainly from Switzerland, through graduates of local elite schools and universities, who had learned about the game during their studies and brought it to their respective home countries. They include the German Walther Bensemann, who founded the first football club in southern Germany in 1889, and Vittorio Pozzo, who also got to know the game in Switzerland and played a key role in popularizing it in Italy. The Swiss were also responsible for the spread: Gym teacher Georges de Rebius introduced football to Bulgaria in 1893, Hans Gamper founded FC Barcelona in 1899, and the majority of the founding members of Inter Milan were Swiss. The Stade Helvétique Marseille club, which is almost entirely made up of Swiss, won the championship of the largest French association, the USFSA, in 1909, 1911 and 1913.

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