Football: what will remain of this Swiss U21 team?

Football: what will remain of this Swiss U21 team?
Football: what will remain of this Swiss U21 team?

It’s up to the players to continue their own adventure.

The story was that of a group with an irreproachable state of mind, made up of talented players but who seemed to want to exist only through collective expression. The victory against England, from the outset in this Euro, popularized the fable. The defeats against Croatia, then Portugal revealed in broad daylight the limits of players not necessarily broken in the chain of meetings of such intensity.

It must serve. For this team, for its succession (nine elements who participated in the Euro are eligible for the next campaign), but also and above all for the players who must constitute the future of Swiss football. “The experience here is fantastic because it is something that the players cannot know in their clubs, rightly remarked Mauro Lustrinelli after the elimination. It is an experience which can prove to be important in their course. . “

In 2002, the Switzerland of Bernard Challandes (Frei, Magnin, Cabanas, Grichting) reached the semi-finals of the Euro. In 2011, that of Pierluigi Tami (Shaqiri, Xhaka, Sommer, Mehmedi) had failed in the final. Lustrinelli’s will not have done as well, but it is undeniable that this generation will be the one who will have to carry the destiny of the Swiss A team in the decade to come.

Who for team A?

But history has also taught that an M21 selection can never be fully transposed into A. For an Alexander Frei, there are also Elvir Melunovic or Roman Friedli. And to accompany Xherdan Shaqiri, there was Xavier Hochstrasser or Innocent Emeghara. Good players, who have existed in the Super League, some even obtaining capes in A. But who never had the shoulders to last and carry the Swiss team as high as its current level.

There is a world between the U21 and the A and it is often the one that is the hardest to fill. What will happen to Mauro Lustrinelli’s band of friends in ten years? Who will be those with whom Vladimir Petkovic or more probably his successor (s) can count in the future?

This Euro does not say everything. The levels of each other have been variable. But their ability to respond, at times, to the requirements of the very high level and to register in the intensity of this one makes it possible to identify names. No doubt that Jordan Lotomba, one of the few (with Sohm) of this selection to have already worn the jersey of the “big ones”, and holder in a foreign championship with Nice is a serious contender for the Euro next June. . He’s probably the only one. For the moment.

Andi Zeqiri, who put a lot (too much?) Of energy into this March tournament without managing to score, is still learning at Brighton. It will be a question of earning playing time in the coming months to become a credible candidate for selection. Many hopes rest on him, in particular to embody the future of the Swiss attack, in need of relief. Alexandre Jankewitz, only 19 years old, is one of the good surprises of this competition. The performance of the Genevan from Southampton against England was noted by all and its volume of play suggests a golden future. In the Premier League or elsewhere, he will also have to obtain regular minutes to confirm over time.

The limits of the Super League

Kevin Rüegg and Simon Sohm are also on Petkovic’s radar. But their discovery of the Italian championship, in Hellas Verona for the first and in Parma for the second, is not easy. Also like Dan Ndoye (Nice) or Bastien Toma (Genk), whose playing time is very irregular. As a reminder that shining in the Super League is not enough to become a broken player at the highest level. It takes time, at the very least. Cédric Zesiger, Jan Bamert, Jasper van der Werff, Toni Domgjoni, Kastriot Imeri or Jérémy Guillemenot, among others, will therefore have to be patient and make further progress if they intend to have an international future.

Young Leonidas Stergiou, Felix Mambimbi or Fabian Rieder are twenty years old or less, but their profiles are already shaking Europe. They have the opportunity to leave for a tour with the U21. But their growing evolution in recent months could accelerate their departure abroad (especially for Stergiou) and the leap towards the A.

Finally, there is the question of the guards. The position is loaded in Switzerland behind the well-established trio Sommer-Omlin-Mvogo. Gregor Kobel, convincing in Stuttgart at only 23 years old, has everything to integrate him in the very short term. Suffice to say that for Anthony Racioppi, holder in Dijon, red lantern in Ligue 1, it will be a question of being very efficient to postpone the national jersey. Because for a good number of players in this group, the story with the Swiss jersey ended on Wednesday in Ljubljana. International football is selective.

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