Switzerland will bank on its track record of consistency at major tournaments to reach the Euro 2024 knockout stage following a below-par qualifying campaign that unnerved its captain and put the coach in the spotlight.

Managed by Murat Yakin, the Swiss have a reputation for finding a way to perform at major tournaments, unburdened by the pressure star-studded teams face to reach the late stages.

It has featured at all but one major finals since 2004, and reached the Euro 2020 quarterfinals by knocking out world champions France in a shootout after recovering from 3-1 down with nine minutes remaining.

To get out of Group A, which includes hosts Germany, Scotland and Hungary, Switzerland will have to rediscover the momentum it had early in qualifying before uninspired performances caused worried captain Granit Xhaka to criticise the squad for a lack of intensity in training.

In a qualifying group with weaker sides such as Israel, Kosovo and Belarus, it finished second, two points ahead of Israel and five behind Romania. Switzerland recorded five draws — an unusually high number — four wins and one loss.

Switzerland at EURO 2024: At a Glance

Previous Euro performances: Five participations, best performance quarterfinals 2020

Other: World Cup quarterfinals 1934, 1938, 1954

FIFA ranking: 19th

Nickname: Nati (National Team)

Coach: Murat Yakin

Star players: Yann Sommer, Granit Xhaka, Manuel Akanji, Xherdan Shaqiri, Gregor Kobel

Main clubs: Young Boys, Basel, Grasshopper Zurich

How did they qualify: Group I runners-up behind Romania

Pre-Euro friendlies:

Switzerland 4 Estonia 0 (June 4)

Switzerland v Austria (June 8)

Its tepid qualifying campaign stirred debate about whether Yakin, who remains under contract until after the finals, should be fired, but the Swiss FA issued a statement last November backing the manager.

“In terms of results, things sometimes didn’t go the way we wanted, which was our fault,” Yakin said in March.

“We didn’t live up to expectations in certain areas, especially in attack where we unfortunately didn’t convert our chances.”

Since its disappointing qualifying campaign, Switzerland has looked solid at the back led by goalkeeper Yann Sommer. It had two clean sheets in beating Ireland 1-0 and drawing 0-0 with fellow Euro qualifiers Denmark in friendlies in March.

Xhaka, who has revived his career with a move to Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen from Arsenal last year, has been instrumental for his club in a stellar season and will be key for Switzerland if it is to be successful at the Euros.

The Swiss will warm up for the finals with friendlies against Austria and Estonia this week when it will hope to find the momentum that will give them a strong start in the Euro opener against Hungary on June 15.


Switzerland preliminary squad

Goalkeepers: Yann Sommer (Inter Milan), Yvon Mvogo (Lorient), Gregor Kobel (Borussia Dortmund), Marvin Keller (Winterthur), Pascal Loretz (Luzern)

Defenders: Ricardo Rodriguez (Torino), Fabian Schar (Newcastle United), Manuel Akanji (Manchester City), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Monchengladbach), Silvan Widmer (Mainz 05), Kevin Mbadu (Augsburg), Ulisses Garcia (Marseille), Cedric Zesigner (Wolfsburg), Leonidas Stergiou (Stuttgart), Aurele Amenda (Young Boys), Albuan Hajdari (Lugano), Bryan Okoh (Red Bull Salzburg).

Midfielders: Granit Xhaka (Bayer Leverkusen), Xherdan Shaqiri (Chicago Fire), Remo Freuler (Bologna), Denis Zakaria (Monaco), Michel Aebischer (Bologna), Fabian Rieder (Rennes), Uran Bislimi (Lugano), Ardon Jashari (Luzern), Filip Ugrinic (Young Boys), Vincent Sierro (Toulouse).

Forwards: Breel Embolo (Monaco), Steven Zuber (AEK Athens), Ruben Vargas (Augsburg), Renato Steffen (Lugano), Noah Okafor (AC Milan), Zeki Amdouni (Burnley), Andi Zeqiri (Genk), Dan Ndoye (Bologna), Kwadwo Duah (Ludogorets), Joel Monteiro (Young Boys).


Switzerland Euro 2024 fixtures:

Hungary vs Switzerland – June 15, Saturday – 6:30 PM IST

Scotland vs Switzerland – June 20, Wednesday – 12:30 AM IST

Switzerland vs Germany – June 24, Monday – 12:30 AM IST


All of Switzerland’s matches at Euro 2024 will be telecasted on the Sony Sports Network. The matches will also be live-streamed on the SonyLIV app.

(With inputs from Reuters, AFP)