SwitzerlandPosted on: 05 June 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves
From the home of Absinthe, watches and chocolate, it's our co-hosts Switzerland.
Coach: Kobi Kuhn (64) will bow out as Swiss coach after the finals following a successful spell in charge which included reaching the second round of the World Cup two years ago.
Away From The Game
Currency: Swiss Franc
Language(s): German, French, Italian
Famous Export: Absinthe, chocolate, watches, Roger Federer (tennis).
National Food: Rosti (potatoe dish), fondue (bread and cheese dish), chocolate.
National Drink: Kirsch, Pflumli and Grappa are all fiery spirits similar to Schnapps.
National Animal: None.
Star: Alexander Frei (28), Borussia Dortmund (Ger) the lethal striker has been plagued by fitness problems throughout the year. But if he can steer clear of injuries, expect him to add to his 35 international goals.
Hidden Gem: Tranquillo Barnetta (23) Bayer Leverkusen (Ger), whether used on the left of midifled or at the point of a diamond, Barnetta’s pace, mobility and unselfishness give the side another dimension.
How They Qualified: As co-hosts.
Previous Best: First Round 1996, 2004.
FIFA Ranking: 79
Key Fact: Switzerland set a FIFA World Cup record by being eliminated from the 2006 competition despite not conceding a goal in any of their four matches. In addition, the Swiss are the only national team in Cup history to fail to score a single goal in a penalty shootout - Ukraine knocked them out 3-0 on penalties.
Overview: FIFA and UEFA hold their home offices in Switzerland. Once a major football power in Europe, the Swiss are only appearing at their second European Championships. A kind draw and home advantage has breathed hope into the hosts’ supporters but a lack of depth could restrict Kuhn’s team to a quarter-final place at best.
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