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Switzerland vs Spain: UEFA EURO 2020 match background, facts and stats

Switzerland's first ever UEFA European Championship quarter-final pits them against three-time winners Spain in Saint Petersburg.

Spain's Sergio Busquets and Switzerland's Granit Xhaka after their UEFA Nations League meeting in October 2020
Spain's Sergio Busquets and Switzerland's Granit Xhaka after their UEFA Nations League meeting in October 2020 AFP via Getty Images

Switzerland's first ever UEFA European Championship quarter-final pits them against three-time winners Spain in Saint Petersburg.

• Both sides came through epic round of 16 ties. Spain needed extra time to finally see off Croatia in an eight-goal thriller in Copenhagen; Switzerland ousted FIFA World Cup holders France on penalties after sharing six goals in Bucharest.

• Spain have dominated their meetings against Switzerland, although their recent contests have been more even.

• The winners of this tie will play Belgium or Italy in the semi-finals at Wembley on 6 July.

Previous meetings

When Switzerland and Spain met last year

• Switzerland have managed only one win in their 22 fixtures against Spain (D5 L16) – although they have lost only one of the last four games between the sides (W1 D2).

• The teams met twice in the UEFA Nations League in autumn 2020, an early Mikel Oyarzabal goal giving Spain a 1-0 victory in Madrid on 10 October before a 1-1 draw in Basel on 14 November, substitute Gerard Moreno's 89th-minute equaliser cancelling out Remo Freuler's first-half opener for the Swiss. Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer saved two Sergio Ramos penalties at St. Jakob-Park.

• The sides had also shared a 1-1 draw in a Villarreal friendly in June 2018, Álvaro Odriozola giving Spain a lead that was cancelled out just past the hour by Ricardo Rodríguez.

• Switzerland's sole win against Spain came in the teams' opening fixture of the 2010 World Cup. Gelson Fernandes scored the only goal in Durban on 16 June 2010 – but Spain won their next two games to progress from Group H, with Switzerland eliminated in third place, before going on to lift the trophy.

• This is the sides' first ever EURO meeting, final tournament or qualifying, although that 2010 encounter was their third at the World Cup. Current Spain coach Luis Enrique scored the second goal – his first at international level – in Spain's 3-0 win in Washington in the 1994 round of 16; Spain were also 2-1 winners in the 1966 group stage in Sheffield.

• Spain have scored 48 goals in their 22 games against Switzerland, conceding 18.

Switzerland: Who is most likely to...?

EURO facts: Switzerland
• This is Switzerland's fifth EURO, all in the last seven editions of the competition. Eliminated in the group stage in 1996, 2004 and as co-hosts in 2008, they finished second in their section at UEFA EURO 2016 behind hosts France but bowed out in the last 16, losing 5-4 on penalties to Poland after a 1-1 draw.

• This is Switzerland's fourth successive appearance in a major tournament having also qualified for the 2014 and 2018 World Cups, reaching the last 16 at both. This is the first time they have reached the quarter-final of a major tournament since the 1954 World Cup, a tournament they hosted.

• The Swiss booked their place at UEFA EURO 2020 by finishing first in Group D, taking 17 points from their eight qualifiers. They won four of their last five matches, scoring 13 goals and conceding only two in that five-game sequence with three clean sheets.

• Switzerland opened Group A with a 1-1 draw against Wales in Baku but then suffered a 3-0 loss to Italy in Rome in their second fixture. They responded with a 3-1 defeat of Turkey back in Baku, Xherdan Shaqiri scoring twice to secure third place in the section.

• Switzerland looked to be on their way to a sixth successive round of 16 loss as they let slip a first-half lead against France given to them by Haris Seferović, Rodríguez missing a penalty with the score at 1-0 before France established a 3-1 lead with less than ten minutes left. Seferović (81) gave them renewed hope, however, and Mario Gavranović's 90th-minute equaliser forced extra time and, ultimately, penalties, where after nine successful kicks, Sommer saved from Kylian Mbappé to seal Switzerland's first quarter-final appearance.

• The defeat by Italy on Matchday 2 was only Switzerland's second reverse in their last 18 EURO fixtures, qualifying and final tournament combined (W9 D7), the other a 1-0 loss away to Denmark in October 2019. They were unbeaten at UEFA EURO 2016 (W1 D3), with their shoot-out elimination to Poland classed as a draw.

• Switzerland's record in 17 EURO finals games is now W3 D7 L7.

• Switzerland finished fourth in the inaugural UEFA Nations League in 2019, losing 3-1 to hosts and eventual champions Portugal in the semi-finals and 6-5 on penalties to England in the third-place play-off after a goalless 120 minutes.

• This is Switzerland's first EURO quarter-final. They have taken part in three World Cup quarter-finals, losing to Czechoslovakia in 1934 (2-3), Hungary in 1938 (0-2) and, most recently, Austria in 1954 (5-7).

• Switzerland's 2018 World Cup campaign ended at the Saint Petersburg Stadium, with a 1-0 defeat by Sweden in the round of 16 in their sole previous game in the city. Their record at that tournament was W1 D2 L1.

• That loss to Sweden was also Switzerland's last game in Russia, where their record overall is W1 D3 L4. Their sole victory there was a 2-1 defeat of Serbia in Kaliningrad on Matchday 2 of the 2018 World Cup, Granit Xhaka and, in the last minute, Xherdan Shaqiri scoring the goals.

Spain team-mates quiz

EURO facts: Spain
• This is Spain's seventh consecutive EURO. Champions in 1964, they were also victorious in 2008 and 2012 to become the first side to retain the Henri Delaunay trophy.

• Spain's defence of the trophy was ended by Italy in the round of 16 at UEFA EURO 2016, the Azzurri running out 2-0 winners. Eliminated also in the round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup, by hosts Russia on penalties, this is the first time Spain have reached the quarter-final of a major tournament since UEFA EURO 2012.

• Spain and Germany/West Germany are the most successful EURO teams having won three editions each.

• Spain qualified for UEFA EURO 2020 by winning eight and drawing two of their ten qualifiers to finish on 26 points in Group F, five above second-placed Sweden – with whom they drew 0-0 in Group E on Matchday 1.

• The three-time champions are one of five sides who did not lose a game in the UEFA EURO 2020 preliminaries, along with Belgium, Italy – who both won all their fixtures, and have also recorded four victories at the finals – Denmark and Ukraine.

• Spain had more shots (227), possession (70%) and completed a greater percentage of their passes (91%) than any other team in qualifying.

• Luis Enrique's side played all three Group E games at the Estadio La Cartuja in Seville, opening with that goalless draw against eventual section winners Sweden before being held 1-1 by Poland. They found their scoring touch in the third game, however, overwhelming Slovakia 5-0 – the first time Spain had scored five goals in a EURO finals game and the joint biggest margin of victory overall at a UEFA European Championship.

• Spain became the first team to score five goals in successive EURO matches with a 5-3 defeat of Croatia in the last 16 on 28 June, a game in which they had led 3-1 with five minutes left. Extra-time goals from Álvaro Morata and Oyarzabal finally took Spain through.

• Spain's record in EURO quarter-finals is W3 L5, including a forfeit defeat in 1960. Before beating Italy on penalties in 2008, they had not won a tie since defeating the Republic of Ireland 7-1 on aggregate in 1964, losing four in a row; they were also victorious in the 2012 last eight against France (2-0). La Roja's last quarter-final defeat came against France at UEFA EURO 2000 (1-2).

• Each time Spain have won their quarter-final they have gone on to lift the trophy.

• Spain's sole previous game at the Saint Petersburg Stadium was a 3-3 friendly draw against Russia on 14 November 2017 in which Jordi Alba opened the scoring. David de Gea, Sergio Busquets and Thiago Alcántara also played.

• La Roja's record in Russia overall is W2 D4 L1; they were unbeaten at the 2018 World Cup there (W1 D3), bowing out on penalties against the hosts in Moscow in the round of 16. Their two wins in the country were both by 1-0 in June 2018 – against Tunisia in a pre-World Cup friendly in Krasnodar and Iran in Kazan in the tournament itself.

Switzerland: When did you last...?

Links and trivia

• Have played in Spain:
Fabian Schär (Deportivo La Coruña 2017/18)
Haris Seferović (Real Sociedad 2013/14)

• Silvan Widmer signed for Granada in 2012, but never made an appearance for the club.

• Have played together:
Mario Gavranović & Dani Olmo (Dinamo Zagreb 2018–20)
Xherdan Shaqiri & Thiago Alcántara (Liverpool 2020–)

• Thiago scored twice in Bayern München's 5-1 win at home to Xhaka's Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg on 15 February 2017.

• A Ferran Torres goal was not enough to prevent Valencia going down 4-3 at home to Remo Freuler's Atalanta in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg. Freuler had found the net in the Italian club's 4-1 home success in the first leg, with José Gayá also playing both legs for Valencia.

• Villarreal's Gerard Moreno scored in a 3-2 defeat away to Nico Elvedi's FC Zürich in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League group stage. Xhaka's equaliser earned Borussia Mönchengladbach a 2-2 draw away to Villarreal on Matchday 5 that season, a match in which Moreno was an unused substitute.

• Schär got Basel's goal from the penalty spot in a 2-1 first-leg defeat at home to César Azpilicueta's Chelsea in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League semi-finals.

• Kevin Mbabu earned Young Boys a 1-1 draw against Dani Olmo's Dinamo Zagreb in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League play-off first leg. Loris Benito, Djibril Sow and Christian Fassnacht also played in both legs for the Berne side as they won the tie 3-2 on aggregate.

• Sommer, Nico Elvedi, Denis Zakaria and Breel Embolo were all in the Borussia Mönchengladbach team eliminated from the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League round of 16 by a Manchester City side featuring Rodri, Aymeric Laporte and Ferran Torres. Manuel Akanji's Borussia Dortmund were then knocked out in the quarter-finals by City, for whom Rodri featured in both legs.

Watch Morata's extra-time stunner for Spain

Penalty shoot-outs

• Switzerland have now won one of their four competitive penalty shoot-outs:
0-3 v Ukraine, 2006 FIFA World Cup round of 16
4-5 v Poland, UEFA EURO 2016 round of 16
5-6 v England, 2019 UEFA Nations League third-place play-off
5-4 v France, UEFA EURO 2020 round of 16

• Spain's record in their nine competitive penalty shoot-outs is W5 L4:
5-4 v Denmark, 1984 UEFA European Championship semi-final
4-5 v Belgium, 1986 FIFA World Cup quarter-final
2-4 v England, EURO '96 quarter-final
3-2 v Republic of Ireland, 2002 FIFA World Cup round of 16
3-5 v South Korea, 2002 FIFA World Cup quarter-final
4-2 v Italy, UEFA EURO 2008 quarter-final
4-2 v Portugal, UEFA EURO 2012 semi-final
7-6 v Italy, 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final
3-4 v Russia, 2018 FIFA World Cup round of 16

Latest news

Watch Swiss celebrate shoot-out win

• Switzerland's penalty shoot-out win against France was their first in four attempts.

• Switzerland have scored three goals in each of their last two matches. They had never managed more than two in any previous EURO finals encounter – and that on only one occasion, in a 2-0 win on home soil over Portugal at UEFA EURO 2008 that came after they had already been eliminated.

• The victory against Turkey in Switzerland's final group game was the team's sixth win in eight games, the opening draw against Wales having ended a five-match winning run which had been extended by victories in UEFA EURO 2020 warm-up games in St Gallen against the United States (2-1) and Liechtenstein (7-0). The Matchday 2 defeat by Italy in Rome is the only one suffered by Vladimir Petković's side in their last ten games.

• Mario Gavranović scored three of Switzerland's goals against Liechtenstein – the only UEFA EURO 2020 participant to register a hat-trick in any of the pre-tournament friendlies. It was his first international treble, to which he added his first tournament goal – and 15th for Switzerland – with his 90th-minute equaliser against France.

• Two Switzerland squad members were domestic champions in 2020/21 – Gavranović with Dinamo Zagreb and Christian Fassnacht with Young Boys – while Manuel Akanji was the only domestic cup winner, helping Borussia Dortmund claim the DFB-Pokal.

• Breel Embolo's goal against Wales was his first in a final tournament at the ninth attempt and just his sixth in 47 international appearances.

• Haris Seferović's opening goal against Turkey was his 22nd for Switzerland but just his second in 16 final tournament outings, the previous one having come on his tournament debut – the added-time winner in a 2-1 victory over Ecuador at the 2014 World Cup. He doubled that tally with his brace of headers against France – the first time he has scored more than once in an international since his hat-trick in the 5-2 win against Belgium in November 2018 that took Switzerland into the inaugural UEFA Nations League finals.

• Xherdan Shaqiri's double against Turkey took his all-time tally of international goals to 25. Seven of those have been scored at major tournaments, including four at the World Cup and a stunning strike in the round of 16 against Poland at UEFA EURO 2016.

• Seferović and Shaqiri are now Switzerland's joint top scorers at the EURO finals alongside Hakan Yakin with three goals.

• Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka, who is suspended for this game, has not missed an international for over three years, since a friendly against Spain on 3 June 2018. In that time he has run up 37 successive appearances, the first 30 and last four all in the starting XI. The last competitive international he failed to start was a World Cup qualifier in Hungary on 7 October 2016, for which he was also suspended; he has been selected for all 39 since.

• Xhaka is one of ten members of the Switzerland squad who were also involved at UEFA EURO 2016, along with Nico Elvedi, Embolo, Admir Mehmedi, Ricardo Rodríguez, Fabian Schär, Seferović, Shaqiri, Yann Sommer and Denis Zakaria, although Elvedi and Zakaria did not actually play in France.

Spain baby photo challenge

• Spain's 5-3 extra-time victory against Croatia in the round of 16 not only enabled them to become the first team ever to score five goals in successive EURO final tournament encounters but also to become UEFA EURO 2020's top-scoring team entering the quarter-finals with 11 goals – two more than Denmark and Italy.

• The 5-0 win against Slovakia on Matchday 3 was Spain's biggest at the EURO finals, surpassing the two 4-0 victories they managed at UEFA EURO 2012 – against the Republic of Ireland in the group stage and Italy in the final.

• Pablo Sarabia and Ferran Torres have scored in each of the last two matches. Six other Spanish players have found the net in successive EURO finals games – Chus Pereda (1964), Antonio Maceda (1984), Gaizka Mendieta (2000), David Villa (2008), Cesc Fàbregas (2012) and Álvaro Morata (2016) – but none have done so three games running.

• Aymeric Laporte's goal against Slovakia was his first for Spain, on his fourth appearance, with Ferran Torres' strike 44 seconds after coming on to the field as a substitute registering as the fastest goal scored at the EURO finals by a substitute since fellow Spaniard Juan Carlos Valerón (39 seconds) against Russia at UEFA EURO 2004.

• The Matchday 2 draw against Poland was the third in succession for Spain under Luis Enrique's charge following a stalemate against Portugal in Madrid on 4 June, in which newly naturalised defender Laporte made his debut, and the goalless encounter with Sweden on Matchday 1. Illness in the Spain camp meant that a second scheduled friendly, against Lithuania in Leganés, was played – and won 4-0 – by Spain's Under-21 side, with Luis de la Fuente as coach.

• Unbeaten in their four UEFA EURO 2020 encounters, Spain have now lost just one of their last 28 internationals – 0-1 away to Ukraine in the UEFA Nations League last November – and are undefeated in 12 games since (W6 D6). Despite that reverse in Kyiv they have qualified for the 2021 UEFA Nations League finals and will face hosts Italy in the first of the semi-finals in Milan on 6 October.

• Enrique opted to select only 24 players, rather than the permitted 26, for his UEFA EURO 2020 squad. There are no Real Madrid players in the party, with regular captain Sergio Ramos, who started nine of the ten qualifiers and scored four goals, missing from a Spain tournament squad for the first time since he made his international debut in 2005.

• In Ramos's absence, Barcelona's Sergio Busquets has taken over the captaincy. The 124-cap midfielder – named Star of the Match against both Slovakia and Croatia having missed the first two group games through illness – is one of only three players in the squad who came into UEFA EURO 2020 with 50 or more caps, the others being Jordi Alba – the stand-in skipper against Sweden and Poland, now on 76 appearances – and Koke, who reached his half-century against Portugal.

• Aside from Busquets and Alba, both veterans of the 2012 and 2016 EUROs as well as multiple FIFA World Cups, only five other players in this squad have previous tournament experience – David de Gea, César Azpilicueta, Koke, Thiago Alcántara and Morata, all of whom played five years ago in France.

• Morata, who struck Spain's fourth goal in extra time against Croatia to become the country's joint leading scorer at EURO final tournaments alongside Fernando Torres, was the only player in Enrique's squad other than Alba – on target in the 2012 final win against Italy – to have found the net at a major finals until Laporte, Sarabia and Ferran Torres all broke their duck against Slovakia and Azpilicueta – with his first international goal – and Mikel Oyarzabal followed suit against Croatia.

• Morata, who struck Spain's fourth goal in extra time against Croatia, had a penalty saved against Slovakia – the fifth in a row that Spain have missed – and is the only member of the squad with an international goal tally in double figures (21). Koke has yet to score in 54 matches for his country.

• Only one of the 17 major tournament debutants in the squad has over 20 international caps to his name – Rodri, with 23 – and one of them, goalkeeper Robert Sánchez, has yet to make his debut.

• Two of those number – Pau Torres and Gerard Moreno – were UEFA Europa League winners with Villarreal in 2020/21, beating De Gea's Manchester United on penalties in the final, while Spanish champions Atlético de Madrid are also represented in the squad by two players – Koke and Marcos Llorente. English Premier League winners Manchester City have more players included, four, than any other club – Ferran Torres, Eric García, Rodri and Laporte – while there are three from Copa del Rey winners Barcelona, teenager Pedri joining his two 32-year-old club colleagues Busquets and Alba.

• Domestic cups were also won in 2020/21 by Morata in Italy (Juventus) and Sarabia in France (Paris Saint-Germain), while Azpilicueta lifted the most prestigious club trophy of them all as he captained Chelsea to victory in the UEFA Champions League.

• Gerard Moreno was the joint top scorer in the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League with seven goals and also notched 23 for Villarreal in the Spanish Liga, a figure bettered only by Lionel Messi, with 30 for Barcelona. He missed a penalty against Poland.

• Pedri became the youngest Spanish player to appear in a EURO final tournament match when he started the game against Sweden aged 18 years and 201 days. He then became the youngest from any country to appear in the competition's knockout phase when he took the field against Croatia 14 days later, eclipsing the record of England’s Wayne Rooney, who was 29 days older when he faced Portugal in the UEFA EURO 2004 quarter-final.

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