Switzerland national football team

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Switzerland Switzerland
Nickname(s) Schweizer Nati (Swiss Nati)
Association Swiss Football Association
Confederation EFU
FIFA code SUI
FIFA ranking 59 Decrease 9 (31 December 1963)
Highest FIFA ranking 4 (1928, 1930)
Lowest FIFA ranking 71 (1957)
First international  France 1–0   Switzerland
(Paris, France; 12 February 1905)
World Cup appearances 7 (First in 1906)
Best result Fourth Place, 1922 and 1930


The Switzerland national football team is the association football team that represents the country of Switzerland in international competition and is controlled by the Swiss Football Association. Switzerland has qualified for seven FIFA World Cups with the best result being fourth in the 1922 and 1930 World Cup.

History[edit | edit source]

Early history[edit | edit source]

In 1905, Switzerland played their first international match against France with the national team winning by a single goal. Only one year later, they would compete in the 1906 FIFA World Cup where would they come last in the group which featured Uruguay (who competed in the Swiss Tri Tournament and Scotland as they would lose both matches. The following tournament in 1910 was slightly better as they took their first win in a World Cup against Germany before losing to the eventual champions in England 3-0.

After making all the way to the semi-finals of the 1912 Summer Olympics before losing to the Netherlands, Switzerland would compete in the 1914 FIFA World Cup in England. But not before competing in the final Swiss Tri Tournament where they would lose out to Argentina. At the tournament, they were drawn in Group A with England, Sweden and Chile. After dispatching both Sweden and Chile with no trouble, they kept England scoreless until the 75th minute when Ian Fleming scored the match winner. This meant that they would take on Italy in the quarter-finals where after getting the early lead from Otto Märki, two goals in the second half from Italy, saw the Swiss crashing out of the tournament.

Between the wars[edit | edit source]

After the war, Switzerland skipped the 1920 Summer Olympics to compete at the 1922 FIFA World Cup which was held in the Netherlands. After not needing to play in the opening round, the Swiss made to the semi-finals for the first time from the own goal of Henning Svensson. Though the Swiss would lose in the semi-finals to the Netherlands before losing to Italy in the third place playoff. They would lose to the Italians two years at the 1924 Summer Olympics with Adolfo Baloncieri scoring two goals against them to eliminate the Swiss in the second round.

In early 1925, Switzerland would come last in their qualifying group for the 1926 FIFA World Cup which featured Austria, Hungary and Germany. The only point being a 1-1 draw to the Germans at Germany. At the following international tournament held in the Netherlands, a late goal from Raymond Passello booked the Swiss a spot into the quarter-finals where they lose to Uruguay 3-1 in the match.

Finishing second in their group for the 1930 FIFA World Cup which was held in Uruguay, they met Bulgaria in the play-off with André Abegglen scoring a hat-trick to book a spot in the World Cup. Being drawn in Group D with Czechoslovakia, Norway and Paraguay, they would finish top of the group with August Lehmann scoring five goals in three games. This meant in the quarter finals they had to take on Yugoslavia where two goals from Adolf Stelzer secured the Swiss a spot into the semi-finals for the second time where they would go down to a single goal from Carlos Peucelle. They would again finished in fourth place with a 2-0 loss to the Netherlands in the third-place playoff.

Qualifying for the 1934 World Cup was much the same as the previous tournament with them having to go to the play-off after finishing second to the Irish Free State. With wins against Austria and Japan in the first two rounds of play-offs, they met Sweden in the final play-off held in Stockholm for a spot at a World Cup. Though this time they would be unlucky with Sven Jonasson securing Sweden's spot into the World Cup and knocking out Switzerland. A quarter-final appearance at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Hamburg was than followed by an appearance at the 1938 FIFA World Cup where would they be knocked in Round 1 to Portugal.

Hosting a World Cup[edit | edit source]

Staying neutral in WWII, they hosted the first tournament after the World War with the Victory International Cup being held for all of the European winners. Competing in Group A, the Swiss finished third in the group after getting a draw against Great Britain and a win against Belgium. Two wins in the consolidation play-offs meant they finished in fifth place overall, just ahead of the Netherlands. Though it wouldn't be long after, where they competed in qualification for the 1950 FIFA World Cup that was going to be held in Sweden. In what should have been a easy group to qualify, the Swiss struggled in the group, finishing only third behind Spain and Luxembourg (who had defeated the Swiss 1-0). Their bad luck would continue in 1953 where they finished bottom of their qualifying group that featured Turkey and Italy. They once again met the Turks in the first round of the European Nations' Cup only two years later with the Turks once again winning the tie 4-3.

With the struggle that was occurring, the Swiss team had won the hosting rights for the 1958 FIFA World Cup. As the lowest ranked team in World Cup history to date, they weren't expected to win a match. That would indeed be the case with the Swiss only scoring a single point (against Egypt) with the other two matches against the Soviet Union and Great Britain ending up as losses. The following year saw Switzerland compete in two qualification tournaments, the first being the European Nations' Cup. After scraping through for a first round victory over Portugal, they took on Great Britain in the second round. After losing the first leg 2-0, they played the second leg at home with Josef Hügi scoring two goals to push the tie into a replay where they lose in the 90th minute to a goal from Tom Finney.

While they competed in the second round of the European tournament, they also attempted to qualify for the 1960 Summer Olympics that were being held in Rome. In what was a close group, the Swiss had three draws with the only loss being against Luxembourg 2-1 which meant that Luxembourg would qualify through to the finals at the expense of France. At the end of the year, qualifying started for the 1962 FIFA World Cup where they was put in Group 4. Three draws against Great Britain, Republic of Ireland and Italy was then followed up by a 4-1 win over Cyprus with a hat-trick coming from André Grobéty. The final match of the group being against Turkey in Istanbul and Switzerland couldn't pass the Turkish goalkeeper in what was a must win match. Another draw meant, they would finish one point behind Great Britain who qualified through as one of the four second place teams.

Tournament history[edit | edit source]

FIFA World Cup[edit | edit source]

     Gold       Silver       Bronze  

FIFA World Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA
France 1906 Group Stage 10th 2 0 0 2 1 5
1910 Quarter Finalist 6th 3 1 1 1 5 7
England 1914 Quarter Finalist 6th 4 2 0 2 5 4
Netherlands 1922 Semi Finalist 4th 3 1 0 2 1 4
Spain 1926 Did Not Qualify
Uruguay 1930 Semi Finalist 4th 6 4 0 2 11 4
Italy 1934 Did Not Qualify
Argentina 1938 Round 1 13th 1 0 0 1 0 2
Sweden 1950 Did Not Qualify
Chile 1954
Switzerland 1958 Group Stage 14th 3 0 1 2 3 7
Mexico 1962 Did Not Qualify
Total Semi Finalist 7/12 22 8 2 12 26 33

External Links[edit | edit source]

Template:Switzerland national football team Template:Football in Switzerland

Template:FIFA World Cup Hosts