On June 26, 1954, Austria defeated 7-5 to Swiss For the quarter-finals of the World Cup that was held in this country. It was the match that scored the most goals in World Cup history, in a tournament where the average was very high: 5.4 per game. Just four days later, at the same stadium in Pontes, in Lausanne, Uruguay fell in the semi-finals against Hungary 4-2 in what would be the first heavenly defeat in one of these tournaments.
Since then, Switzerland has not reached the quarter-finals of any football competition. Everything changed on Monday when He won nothing less than France من, the world champion, in a very epic match that secured her the transition to Euro quarter-finals.
When I arrived at my home in the Charmels district of Geneva, I found a picture of the hero of the moment, smiling. it’s a Jan SomerThe national team goalkeeper who puts his smile on the electric car advertisement. If you watch Swiss Radio Television, it appears every few minutes in an advertisement for Coop, a supermarket chain. It is everywhere.
Bentin, the goalkeeper who plays in German football and was born in the French-speaking canton of Vaud, put his left hand to deflect a Kylian Mbappe penalty on Monday. The madness was unleashed. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing on Monday night in Geneva. The usually cautious Swiss took to the streets with a white cross flag on a red background (curiosity: it’s the only square in the world). It was a scandal. In a city with more than 30% of the population born outside Switzerland, some of the revelers were Latino and African immigrants.
There is a very important Portuguese community in Geneva. These days, the Portuguese flags on the balconies outnumber the Swiss flags, and Portugal’s defeat by Belgium was a huge disappointment. Switzerland had lost to Italy and there was not much optimism about the match against France.
The country has more than a hundred clubs, hosted the World Cup and is home to the headquarters of FIFA and UEFA, but its national team, affectionately nicknamed “La Nati”, does not have a very glorious record. He participated in many world championships and in 2010 defeated no less than Spain who later became the world champion. But he doesn’t have a lot of great works to his credit.
The great achievement at that time was the one that happened on June 28. The current generation of Swiss national teams has long pissed experts off. But it did not achieve the relevant achievements. And there were those who said that football players care a lot about their hairstyles and earn a lot of money and that their leader Granit Xhaka did not sing the anthem before matches.
Switch to Balkan style أسلوب
In fact, a quiet and positive transformation began years ago under the artistic leadership of Bosnian Vladimir Petkovic.
Here we must take an arc and talk about the influence of the Balkans evident in the current Swiss football. After the wars that devastated the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Switzerland took in many refugees. Geneva has many Kosovars, for example. From its airport there are direct flights to Pristina, the capital of Kosovo.
Sherdan Shaqiri was born short, stout and purposeful in Kosovo. Xhaka, captain of the national team, a charismatic midfielder who makes passes with amazing accuracy, was born in Switzerland in 1992, the son of Albanian immigrants.
Mario Gavranovic, who scored the third goal against France, was born in the Italian-speaking city of Lugano, Switzerland, the son of a Bosnian. Haris Seferovic, who scored the first and second goals, was born in northern Switzerland, to Bosnian parents as well. They are all very well accompanied by the fast and professional Robin Vargas, son of a Dominican father, and Cameroonian-born Brielle Embolo.
Football awakened national identity
Yesterday, the main French-speaking newspaper in Switzerland, “Le Temps” (from Lausanne), published an editorial on its cover in which it highlighted that football is a “simple” sport, with the power to unite a country that is not often given to explosions of collective joy and with a distinct national identity, manifested in the Its great diversity is reflected in the fact that it has four official languages.
“Le Temps” highlighted the obvious: Roger Federer is the undisputed idol, much loved throughout Switzerland, but his achievements are individual and correspond to a sport that is considered elite here. It’s not that he doesn’t want to. He’s appeared in dozens of advertisements and despite the fact that he comes from a German-speaking area, is highly regarded in Geneva, where he speaks French, among other reasons because he lived his teenage here. But his victories don’t have the power to unleash the euphoria seen on Monday.
And the same newspaper published on its cover a drawing of a cow on an alpine mountain with a bell with the Swiss flag, and instead of lowering it, it sounded “cocoroco”, more typical of a defeated French rooster that struck it. France is now proud of Switzerland. Blick, a popular German-language newspaper, stated on its cover that “everything is now possible”.
It seems that anything is possible. Because the Swiss played against France the best that the team could show: speed, strength, accuracy, confidence, desire for glory, and a willingness to beat the giants.
I am very Hispanic. She swelled many times for “La Roja”. I love everything about Spain: the landscape, the art, the literature, the food. But I really want another red, a fighter Switzerland, diverse and full of immigrants, to win on Friday in Saint Petersburg.