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Switzerland 2012 Olympic Squad

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Pajtim Kasami is one of Switzerland's brightest prospects

Pajtim Kasami is one of Switzerland's brightest prospects

Tullio M. Puglia / Getty Images

Background:

Former silver medallists Switzerland return to the Olympic soccer tournament after 84 years this summer and will be looking to continue the impressive progress they have made under manager Pierluigi Tami.

The Swiss qualified for London 2012 having finished third in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship and many of the squad that featured at last year’s tournament will be appearing at the Olympic Games.

Although there are notable absences in the Swiss side, such as Bayern Munich new boy Xherdan Shaqiri and Fulham youngster Kerim Frei, their squad still contains a number of players from Europe’s top leagues.

Tami’s Under-21 side have a reputation for tight defensive displays, having only conceded to eventual winners Spain in their last tournament, and he will be hoping to carry his structured approach through to the Olympic squad.

This year’s Games will provide some of Switzerland’s young stars the chance to play alongside experienced full internationals Diego Benaglio and Fabian Frei in the hope of stepping up to the senior set-up.

Quick Facts:

  • Best Olympic Result: Silver Medal (1924)
  • 2008 Olympic Result: Did not qualify
  • Coach: Pierluigi Tami

18-man Switzerland Olympic Squad:

Goalkeepers: Diego Benaglio (Wolfsburg), Benjamin Siegrist (Aston Villa).

Defenders: Francois Affolter (Werder Bremen), Fabio Daprela (Brescia), Timm Klose (Nurenberg), Michel Morganella (Novara), Ricardo Rodriguez (Wolfsburg), Fabian Schaer (Wil).

Midfielders: Valon Behrami (Fiorentina), Amir Abrashi (Grasshoppers), Fabian Frei (FC Basel), Pajtim Kasami (Fulham), Alain Wiss (Lucerne), Granit Xhaka (Borussia Moenchengladbach).

Forwards: Innocent Emeghara (Lorient), Admir Mehmedi (Dynamo Kiev), Josip Drmic (Zurich), Steven Zuber (Grasshoppers).

The Coach: Pierlugi Tami

An attacking midfielder with a promising future, Fulham’s Pajtim Kasami will be looking to use London 2012 as a platform to prove his worth to Fulham Boss Martin Jol. The Macedonian born youngster signed for Fulham from Italian side Palermo and impressed last season in the London club’s Europa League campaign. Having played a number of times for both the Swiss Under-18 and Under-21 sides, Switzerland manager Omar Hitzfeld will be keeping tabs on the 20-year-old as an option for the 2014 World Cup qualification campaign.

Player to Watch: Pajtim Kasami

An attacking midfielder with a promising future, Fulham’s Pajtim Kasami will be looking to use London 2012 as a platform to prove his worth to Fulham Boss Martin Jol. The Macedonian born youngster signed for Fulham from Italian side Palermo and impressed last season in the London club’s Europa League campaign. Having played a number of times for both the Swiss Under-18 and Under-21 sides, Switzerland manager Omar Hitzfeld will be keeping tabs on the 20-year-old as an option for the 2014 World Cup qualification campaign.

Group Matches:

Thursday, July 26, 2012 v Gabon (18:15 CET at St James’ Park, Newcastle)
Sunday, July 29, 2012 v South Korea (18:15 CET at City of Coventry Stadium, Coventry)
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 v Mexico (18:00 CET Millennium Stadium, Cardiff)
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