Frei and Streller withdraw Switzerland services
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Switzerland will have to negotiate the remainder of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying campaign without Alexander Frei and Marco Streller after both retired with immediate effect.
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Switzerland strikers Alexander Frei and Marco Streller have announced their retirement from international football with immediate effect.
The FC Basel 1893 pair's decision comes after they were criticised by a section of the Nati support over recent performances for the national team. The 31-year-old Frei is Switzerland's all-time leading scorer with 42 goals in 84 appearances, while Streller, 29, has struck 12 times in 37 caps.
A joint statement from the Swiss Football Association (SFV-ASF) and Basel said the duo had "arrived at the conclusion that it is not possible for them to perform at an optimum [level] for the national team anymore".
Switzerland are in third place in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group G, six points behind England and Montenegro. Their next match is at Wembley on 4 June.
Ottmar Hitzfeld, the Switzerland coach, said: "We have a key match against England in front of us for which I now have to plan under different conditions. I thank Alex Frei and Marco Streller for their immaculate commitment to the national team."