Before the Match: 10 Facts about the Swiss National Football Team

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Reading time: 4 mins

The Internet is all about 10-point lists, cats, and maybe football – and in this article, you‘ll get 2/3 of that. England has already qualified for the Euro 2016, but it wouldn‘t do to lose any of the three upcoming matches now that the top place of the group has been secured.

Switzerland will try to challenge England tonight. How up to date are you on the opponent?  Here are 10 (interesting) facts to brush up your knowledge on the Swiss national football team:

1. Do you know why a World Cup match from 1981, May 30th is kind of important? Well, it marks the last time that the Swiss were able to beat the English in a football game that ended 1:2 and then the following 34 years didn’t bring any victories. Ouch!

2. Xerdan Shaqiri is the top scorer of the Swiss team – he brought in 4 goals in 9 appearances during 14/15.  It’s no wonder Stoke City were pretty stoked to bring him on for a record fee of £12 million – the midfielder seems to be worth the price, and Premier League clubs like to spend big.

3. England won 15 times out of the 23 matches with Switzerland over the period of 82 years. Since the first game in 1933, the Swiss only managed to win three times, and only five times the teams were as good as each other and played to a draw.

4. Seven matches, five victories, and two defeats: that’s how the Swiss have been playing in the qualifiers so far. They managed to score an impressive 16 goals and only let the other teams past their defence six times. Could these numbers add up to a historical win against the usually-victorious England?

5. Even though the Swiss have never been the champions of the Euro tournament, they did co-host it in 2008. Coincidentally, that was the year when they reached 11th place which still stands as their best result.

6. The majority of the Swiss qualifying matches – 5/7, in fact – ended in clean sheets for one of the teams. However, it was only in Switzerland’s favour three times, because the other two were the Swiss not scoring a single time.

7. While other teams may change their colours quite a bit over the years, the Swiss always play in red and white, both at home and away. Admittedly, their minimalistic flag didn’t exactly offer a creative palette nor a creative nickname: the team’s called Rossocrociati, which means “red crosses”.

8. Switzerland seems to be apt at producing excellent midfielders: that’s the position of all three Swiss footballers currently playing in Premier League clubs. Valon Behrami plays in newly-promoted Watford, Xerdan Shaqiri has joined Stoke City and Gokhan Inler wears a Leicester City jersey.

9. Both the biggest loss and the biggest victory ended in 9:0 for Switzerland. In 1911, Hungary no less than annihilated the Swiss, and the latter 13 years later returned this favour to Lithuanian footballers. Switzerland also won silver medal in Olympics that same year, and it remains their only Olympic football medal.

10. Football is pretty much the national sport in Switzerland and their national team was formed way back in 1895. Despite being so invested in it, the Swiss didn’t even qualify for 11 out of 14 European Championships. However, this year they boast 15 points and a second place in the group: looks like we can expect to see them go through!

The bookies are predicting yet another win for England – their odds are 4/5 against the 77/20 that Switzerland got. Even though the Swiss definitely look like they’re doing pretty well so far, it’s unlikely that they would manage a win against the English.

The qualification is about to end – the last matches will be played in October. The final phase of Euro 2016 in France will last for a month starting June 10th and ending on July 10th. French national team automatically qualified, swiftly followed by England, Czech Republic and Iceland, however, that’s just a small part of 24 teams that will be participating.