By Ellie Ramsauer
Above: The Swiss national team. Photo: Frank Haug.
Switzerland go into the competition minus key player, Alisha Lehmann who has withdrawn from the squad for mental health reasons. This is a major blow for Nils Nielsen’s side. The Swiss squad has little experience of playing at a European Championship, which may harm them when coming up against other, more experienced nations.
Goalkeepers: Seraina Friedli (29/FC Aarau), Livia Peng (20/FC Zürich), Gaëlle Thalmann (36/Real Betis Sevilla).
Defenders: Eseosa Aigbogun (29/Paris FC), Luana Bühler (26/Hoffenheim), Viola Calligaris (26/Levante), Rahel Kiwic (31/FC Zürich), Noelle Maritz (26/Arsenal), Lara Marti (22/Bayer Leverkusen), Rachel Rinast (31/Grasshoppers), Julia Stierli (25/FC Zürich), Ella Touon (18/SGS Essen).
Midfielders: Sandy Maendly (34/Servette), Sandrine Mauron (25/Eintracht Frankfurt), Géraldine Reuteler (23/Eintracht Frankfurt), Coumba Sow (27/Paris FC), Lia Wälti (29/Arsenal), Riola Xhemaili (19/SC Freiburg).
Forwards: Ramona Bachmann (31/Paris Saint-Germain), Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic (31/FC Barcelona), Svenja Fölmli (19/SC Freiburg), Fabienne Humm (35/FC Zürich), Meriame Terchoun (26/FC Zürich).
The Head Coach:
Nils Nielsen is a Dane who previously managed the Denmark Women’s National Team. He had an impressive tenure with the ‘Red and Whites’, most notably leading them to the final of the 2017 Women’s Euros in the Netherlands. Before he was appointed as manager of the Swiss National Team, he also worked as assistant manager of the Chinese Women U20s team, helping them to reach the U20 FIFA World Cup.
Switzerland have only appeared at one European Championship before. This was the 2017 Championship hosted by the Netherlands. This, unfortunately, was a rather unsuccessful campaign as they didn’t make it past the group stage, winning only one game at the tournament, which was a 2-1 win over Iceland, who finished bottom of the group.
Switzerland finished runners-up in Group H behind a strong Belgium team. This outcome put them into the play-offs where they drew the Czech Republic. The first leg was hosted 500 miles east of Switzerland at the Letní stadion, where a late penalty converted by Ana-Maria Crnogorčević earned the Schweizer Nati a 1-1 draw.
The return leg, played out at the Stockhorn Arena in Thun, was another 1-1 draw. Czech Republic’s Svitková scored the opening goal early in the second half, but this was soon cancelled out as Sow scored just eight minutes later. The game then went into extra time, but neither team was able to get the winner. Switzerland then went on to qualify on penalties, defeating the Czechs 3-2.
Switzerland has a number of players who play at some of the biggest clubs in the world, including Arsenal, PSG, and Barcelona. Equally, the squad contains several players who have played together for a number of years from youth teams until the present day, and have gained invaluable experience in this time. Likewise, their manager, too, has experience in previous major international women’s tournaments.
The loss of Lehmann will hit their creativity, along with a lack of top-level international tournament experience.
Ramona Bachmann, a striker who has made over 120 appearances and scored over 50 goals for the Swiss national team, will be key to Swiss success at this tournament. Previously playing at English side Chelsea, where she got the winning goal in the 2018 FA Cup Final, Bachmann sealed a move to PSG in July 2020 where she has stayed until now.
Ana-Maria Crnogorčević. An ever-present in the Switzerland team since her debut in 2009, contributing 61 goals during her international career. Crnogorčević is currently at Primera División side Barcelona. The 31 year old, who can play as a striker or right wing-back, has not always got the game time she deserves at Barcelona, however, this is a player who can shine for Switzerland on the international stage.
One To Watch:
Riola Xhemaili has made a name for herself in recent years, after making her debut for Basel in Switzerland’s top league, aged only 15. Performances in her home country earned her a move to SC Freiberg in Germany’s Frauen Bundesliga, in which she has established herself as a key player. This is the young star’s first major tournament and she is hoping to leave her stamp on it.
They have been drawn a particularly hard group, so getting out of the group stage will be difficult, but Switzerland have a talented squad and an experienced manager so my prediction is Quarter Final.
9th July: Portugal, 5pm, Leigh Sports Village, Leigh.
13th July: Sweden, 5pm, Bramall Lane, Sheffield.
17th July: Netherlands, 5pm, Bramall Lane, Sheffield.
Impetus is previewing a different nation every day between now and the start of the European Championships. Click below to read the previously published articles:
FRANCE – by Jean-Pierre Thiesset: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/25/euros-preview-france/
AUSTRIA – by Jorge Ceron: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/26/euros-preview-austria/
ICELAND – by Kris Goman: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/28/euros-preview-iceland/
SPAIN – by Nathan Edwards: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/29/euros-preview-spain/
FINLAND – by Jean-Pierre Thiesset: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/30/euros-preview-finland/
NETHERLANDS – by Kris Goman: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/07/01/euros-preview-netherlands/