Switzerland has been the centre of attention in world football in recent years. Big stars have been born in the small European country. Its clubs have also achieved a number of Champions League and Europa League successes. But it is the role of the national team that has been the focus of attention.
Football in Switzerland is experiencing one of its best sporting moments. We explain the ins and outs of Swiss football, what’s behind it, its greatest achievements and what’s to come. This is Switzerland in the beautiful game.
Swiss Super League
The Swiss Super League is the top division of Swiss football. The ten best football clubs in Switzerland compete in it. Some of these clubs are European and world footballing greats thanks to their international exploits. Others have only a few recent successes.
Format and clubs
In the 21/22 season, the Swiss Super League was made up of 10 clubs: Zurich, Basel, Young Boys, Lugano, Saint Gallen, Servette, Sion, Grasshoppers, Luzern and Lausanne. This competition is a four-round competition, with each opponent being played four times. Two at home, two away.
Thus, the first-placed team qualifies for the Champions League, while the second, third and fourth qualify for the UEFA Conference League. The second-placed team goes to the penultimate preliminary round, the third and fourth to the penultimate preliminary round. Finally, the last team is relegated to the second division and the penultimate team plays a play-out against the second-placed team from the second division.
Historical track record
The Swiss Superliga’s trophy cabinet has been very divided since its first year in 1987. The most successful club is Grasshoppers with 27 titles despite its recent history in the second division. They are followed by Basel with 20 titles, most of them since 2002, and Servette with 17, the last of which dates back to 1999.
Young Boys had established themselves as the current dominators of Swiss football. 15 league titles and a full house from 2018 to 2021, taking over from Basel. In 2022 the championship has been taken by Zurich, who already have 13 titles.
Swiss national football team
The Swiss national football team has grown in recent times. It has been one of the regulars at both World Cups and European Championships. Thanks to its new stars, it has achieved great results at the championships in recent years. This is the Swiss national team.
Its players play in the best teams and in the best leagues. Some examples are Embolo, Seferovic, Zakaria, Zuber, Comert, Ricardo Rodriguez, Akanji or Elvedi. But the most representative are Shaqiri, Xhaka and Arnautovic.
The historical rankings still include legendary players and legends. The player with the most appearances is Heinz Hermann (117), while the top scorer is Alexander Frei with 42 goals. Shaqiri is the only current player to appear in the top ten in both categories, although far from the top figures.
Switzerland’s national football team achieved its best result at a European Championship in 2020. Spain beat them in the quarter-finals, improving on the Round of 16 in 2016. The history of Swiss football at World Cups is longer. It reached its peak at the 1954 tournament in Switzerland, reaching the quarter-finals.
At the Olympic Games they went on to win a silver medal at Paris 1924 during their first participation. They lost 3-0 to Uruguay in the final. Finally, in the UEFA Nations League, they reached fourth place in their first participation. In 20/21 they did not make it past the first round.
Swiss players in Spain
There are very few top players in Spain at the moment. Only Cömert was at Valencia CF for half a year, although he has returned from his loan spell at FC Basel. Even so, many young players look to Spanish football to grow and improve. International football academies in Spain are the preferred option.
High-performance football schools such as SIA Academy have several Swiss football players. All of them seek to learn tactics and technique with Spanish coaches. In this way they prepare themselves to become professional footballers in Spain.
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