Capped 103 times by Switzerland and a UEFA Champions League winner with Borussia Dortmund, Stéphane Chapuisat remains involved in football on the staff of former club BSC Young Boys, coaching the youth teams. Final tournament ambassador for the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship in Nyon from Tuesday, Chapuisat gives his advice to young players.
"You must have fun. I have always said that it is not every year you will play in a final tournament. You must prepare well in order to win games and have fun playing in such a competition. Football players are competitors, they want to give everything and win everything. In the end the best team wins and the most important thing is to prepare well and be ready for such a tournament, because it doesn't happen often in a footballer's career.
"Every debut, whether it's with the national team or with a club, you remember your first game a bit more than the others. Then it becomes a habit, but it is always a real pleasure. Looking back, it is a bit different with the national team because there are fewer games during the year, and when you play for your country it is always a real honour.
"The most important thing for young players is to be within a good structure, with good coaches, and to play regularly so you can put into practice the lessons you have learned during the week. Match practice and experience are very important.
"For a coach it is always difficult to manage every single player. It is important within a squad that all the players accept the same rules. For me personally, the player who can make it is not necessarily the most talented one but the one who wants it more, the one who wants to succeed the most, who will do everything to succeed, the one who loves football, who has the passion. He will have more chances to make it in comparison with a talented player who takes everything for granted.
"Outside pressures can be difficult for the players. If a player has a lot of pressure at home, he can't really play freely. In Switzerland we manage it quite well because we make the players get an education in order for them to have a diploma in case they do not make it in football. Also, if they get bad grades [at school], there is no training for them."
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