Euro 2022: A guide to the Switzerland team

Switzerland graphic

Euro 2022 is taking place at 10 venues across England between 6-31 July. Switzerland are in Group C, along with the Netherlands, Sweden and Portugal. Seraina Degena journalist at Swiss broadcasting company SRF who has been covering women’s football for 15 years, assesses their chances.

How will Switzerland do?

Officially, Switzerland have not set their goals as high as they did when they made their European Championship debut in the Netherlands in 2017.

There being eliminated after the group stage was a great disappointment. In England, it would be a surprise if the Swiss were to qualify from a group containing Sweden and the Netherlands. In the opening match against Portugal however, a win is a must.

Switzerland have not yet played very convincingly this year. In February they lost an international match against Austria 3-0 and in April they were disappointed in both World Cup qualifiers – a draw against Romania and then a loss at home against Italy. Switzerland’s offensive performance was particularly poor.

Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic from Barcelona and PSG’s Ramona Bachmann were unable to make an impact despite their experience. And Arsenal midfielder Lia Walti alone is not enough for Switzerland to be competitive at the top international level.

Who is the manager?

Nils Nielsen graphics

Dane Nils Nielsen has been the Swiss national coach since the end of 2018. He succeeded Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, who became national coach in Germany after seven years on the Swiss touchline.

The 50-year-old differs in style from his predecessor. He is considered a calmer, more relaxed person and cultivates a different style of leadership. He gives the players more freedom and places less emphasis on discipline and control.

“Only when a player feels comfortable and has the feeling that she is being heard can she bring out the best in herself. It is important that she can be herself,” said Nielsen.

He embarked on a coaching career at an early age, having had to stop playing football at the age of 18 due to a back injury.

Nielsen is experienced in women’s football. Before taking the Swiss role he coached the Danish Under-18s and Denmark’s women’s national team from 2013 to 2017, with whom he surprisingly reached the European Championship final in 2017.

Who is the star player?

Lia Walti playing for Arsenal
Lia Walti joined Arsenal in July 2018 from German side Turbine Potsdam

Walti is the captain and the absolute key player for Switzerland. Nothing works without her. The Gunners player pulls the strings in midfield, can always be passed to, and ensures the calm needed in the Swiss game.

Normally, Walti plays as a six, but she can also be placed in central defence.

In addition to her playing qualities, she is also convincing off the field. Walti likes to be called a “communicative all-purpose weapon” – she faces the journalists after every game.

Who is the rising star?

Had former Arsenal player Malin Gut not torn her anterior cruciate ligament last summer and missed out on a place at the Euros, she could have caused a sensation.

But there are other young Swiss players to whom the future belongs – Riola Xhemaili of SC Freiburg, for example. At 15, she made her debut in the top Swiss league, two years later she played her first international match for Switzerland, and now the midfielder is playing in her first major competition.

Xhemaili is considered the greatest Swiss talent and says herself that she wants to make a stir at the European Championships.

Previous tournaments One
best result Group stage – 2017

squad list

Goalkeepers: Seraina Friedli (Aarau), Livia Peng (FC Zurich), Gaelle Thalmann (Real Betis).

defenders: Eseosa Aigbogun (Paris FC), Luana Buhler (Hoffenheim), Viola Calligaris (Levante), Rahel Kiwic (FC Zurich), Noelle Maritz (Arsenal), Lara Marti (Bayer Leverkusen), Rachel Rinast (FC Koln), Julia Stierli (FC Zurich), Ella Touon (SGS Essen).

Midfielders: Sandy Maendly (Servette), Sandrine Mauron (Eintracht Frankfurt), Geraldine Reuteler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Coumba Sow (Paris FC), Riola Xhemaili (SC Freiburg), Lia Walti (Arsenal).

Forwards: Ramona Bachmann (PSG), Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic (Barcelona), Svenja Folmli (SC Freiburg), Fabienne Humm (FC Zurich), Meriame Terchoun (FC Zurich).

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