Women's EURO team guide: Switzerland
Tuesday, 8 February 2022
Debutants in 2017, can a more experienced Swiss outfit now reach the last eight for the first time?
Article top media content
Group C fixtures
Saturday 9 July
Portugal vs Switzerland* (18:00, Wigan & Leigh)
Wednesday 13 July
Sweden vs Switzerland (18:00, Sheffield)
Sunday 17 July
Switzerland vs Netherlands (18:00, Sheffield)
How they qualified: Group H runners-up (P8 W6 D1 L1 F20 A6), Play-off vs Czech Republic W3-2pens (1-1a, 1-1h)
Women's EURO best: Group stage (2017)
Women's EURO 2017: Group stage
Key player: Ana-Maria Crnogorčević
The versatile 31-year-old has been a pillar of the national team for years. At club level Crnogorčević is enjoying a great run with Barcelona, while internationally she has set a new milestone for Switzerland – her 67 goals in 131 matches eclipsing the goalscoring record of Lara Dickenmann. During the qualifying stage, she managed a goal in each of her first four matches and was instrumental in Switzerland booking their finals ticket.
One to watch: Riola Xhemaili
First created headlines in a national shirt when she scored a hat-trick on her debut for the Under-19 side. In September 2020, the now 18-year-old made her first appearance for the senior team. Since then, the Freiburg midfielder has managed two goals in 11 matches.
Coach: Nils Nielsen
There was quite a sense of disappointment when Switzerland failed to qualify for the last FIFA Women's World Cup, so it wasn't the start that the Danish coach had hoped for when he started his new job in January 2019. Nielsen, who had begun his coaching career with the men's Under-18 squad before taking charge of the senior women's team in his homeland, then quickly shifted the focus on to this tournament and it didn't take long for his plans to start coming together. A very communicative coach, who is known for his patience, Nielsen once wrote a fiction novel about two young footballers and envisions releasing more books in the future.
Nielsen built on the foundations laid by his predecessor Martina Voss-Tecklenburg. The team is capable of switching to different systems and, depending on their opponents, could line up in a 4-3-3, 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 at the finals. Regardless of the system, a constant in Switzerland's game is attacking anchor Crnogorčević. Whether she plays as a sole striker, as part of a duo, or as the central attacker in a front three, she is of high value to the team. When it comes to deciding the tactics before a match, Nielsen often listens to input from his players.
The first tournament Switzerland qualified for was the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada, when the team were eliminated by the hosts in the round of 16. Two years later they took part in Women's EURO 2017 but failed to survive the group stage – this will be their first major tournament appearance since then.