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UEFA EURO 2020 contenders in focus: Switzerland

Switzerland are the latest UEFA EURO 2020 contender to go under the spotlight.

Xherdan Shaqiri scored a stunning goal against Poland in 2016
Xherdan Shaqiri scored a stunning goal against Poland in 2016

EURO pedigree

Previous final tournaments: 4
EURO best: last 16 (2016)

This will be the Swiss national team's fifth participation in a EURO finals – the goal remains to reach the quarter-finals. They came closest in 2016, when losing out to Poland on penalties in the round of 16.

Key players

Every goal on Switzerland's road to EURO 2020
Every goal on Switzerland's road to EURO 2020

Yann Sommer (58 caps)
Sommer became Swiss No1 following the 2014 FIFA World Cup and in the same year swapped Basel for the same club he remains loyal to today: Borussia Mönchengladbach. He continues to prove himself to be one of the most accomplished goalkeepers in the Bundesliga and is a tower of strength for his country.

Granit Xhaka (89 caps, 12 goals)
Switzerland's captain is the brains and the engine in midfield. The 28-year-old, who came through the Basel youth ranks, has been at Arsenal since 2016. A member of the Switzerland team that won the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2009 and part of the squad that finished runners-up at the Under-21 EURO two years later, he already has three senior major tournaments under his belt.

Memorable EURO goals

• Kubilay Türkyilmaz scored Switzerland's first goal in their maiden game at a EURO final tournament – the opening match of EURO '96. His penalty seven minutes from time earned a 1-1 draw against hosts England at Wembley.

Watch Vonlanthen’s record-breaking strike
Watch Vonlanthen’s record-breaking strike

• Aged 18 years 141 days, Johan Vonlanthen went down in history as the youngest goalscorer in EURO history when he struck in a 3-1 defeat by France in the UEFA EURO 2004 group stage.

• Xherdan Shaqiri's bicycle kick against Poland in the UEFA EURO 2016 last 16 will live long in the memory of any of those there to witness it.

Memorable moments

• Switzerland’s point against England in 1996 remains a historic result, but they had to wait until 2008 for their first EURO victory – a 2-0 defeat of Portugal in their final group stage game.

• It may have ended in a 1-0 defeat by the Czech Republic, but Switzerland taking to the field as co-hosts in 2008 was a significant moment in the annals of Swiss football history.

• Alexander Frei ended his career as Switzerland's all-time leading scorer, so when he tore a ligament prior to half-time in that curtain-raiser against the Czechs it felt like an especially bitter pill to swallow.

Stats

Watch Yakin strike in Swiss win against Portugal
Watch Yakin strike in Swiss win against Portugal

Most final tournament appearances
7: Valon Behrami, Stephan Lichtsteiner
6: Gelson Fernandes, Patrick Müller, Hakan Yakin

Most final tournament goals
3: Hakan Yakin
1: Kubilay Türkyilmaz, Johan Vonlanthen, Fabian Schär, Admir Mehmedi, Xherdan Shaqiri

Killer stat: Including UEFA EURO 2020, Switzerland have failed to qualify for only one of the last nine major tournaments (2012).

Did you know?

• Switzerland have won only two of their 13 EURO final tournament fixtures: 2-0 vs Portugal (2008) and 1-0 vs Albania (2016).

• Vladimir Petković has guided the Swiss to three successive major tournaments since succeeding Ottmar Hitzfeld in 2014, as well as the UEFA Nations League finals in 2019.

Watch: top ten goals of EURO 2016

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