World football champions France were knocked out of Euro 2020 on Monday, June 28, by Switzerland in a penalty shootout, in one of the biggest surprises of the games, so far.
In a heated game, the Swiss stormed back from two goals down to draw level at 3-3 through 90 minutes before going on to win the shootout 5-4 to eliminate the 2018 World Cup winners.
Monday’s victory is the country’s first knockout phase win in a major tournament since 1938 FIFA World Cup. The Swiss squad, with several Muslim players, will meet Spain in the quarterfinal next Friday, July 2.
The Swiss squad features many players from an immigrant background, with players of Albanian, Kosovo, Macedonian, Bosnian Croat, Cape Verdean, and Ivorian roots.
Here are some key facts on top Muslim players in the Swiss team:
Granit Xhaka is a Swiss professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for English club Arsenal. He was born in September 1992 in Basel to Kosovo Albanian parents.
Xhaka was part of the Swiss team that won the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup. He made his senior debut in 2011 and has won over 90 caps, representing the nation at the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and 2018, and at UEFA Euro 2016.
The 22-year-old Xherdan Shaqiri represents the Swiss national team in the ongoing France Euro 2016. Born in Yugoslavia from Albanian origin, the Muslim footballer plays as a midfielder for Liverpool in the Premier League.
Since his breakthrough into Basel’s first team, the left-footed midfielder has drawn widespread praise for his speed, both on and off the ball.
Born in March 1991 in Macedonia, the Muslim footballer is among the Swiss squad participating now in EURO 2020.
Spending the majority of his youth career at FC Winthertu, the Albanian Mehmedi played his first international match between England and Switzerland in June 2014.
Playing for Switzerland at the UEFA European U-21 Championship 2011, the Muslim forward player made his first international debut in that same year. Mehmedi, 183-cm, has a history of 22 international caps and two international goals.
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The Portuguese club Benfica striker, born in February 1992, started his football career 22 years ago at the age of 7.
Dubbed as one of Switzerland’s finest talents, the Bosnian Muslim footballer was selected to present Switzerland in FIFA World Cup 2014 and Euro 2016.
Seferovic played his debut international match in February 2013 between Greece and Switzerland.
A full international since 2013, the 187-cm striker represented Switzerland at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2016 and 2018 FIFA World Cup, earning over 70 caps.
Seferovic’s goal in the 92nd minute in Switzerland’s match against Ecuador, in the last World Cup, in 2014, defined the result of the match, giving his country the first victory in the history of highest ranking FIFA tournaments.
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Mohameth Djibril Ibrahima Sow (born 6 February 1997) is a Swiss professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt and the Switzerland national team.
Born in Switzerland, Sow is of Senegalese and Swiss descent. He earned his first appearance for the Switzerland national team on 8 September 2018, coming on as a substitute for Steven Zuber in a 6–0 win against Iceland in the UEFA Nations League.In May 2019, he played in 2019 UEFA Nations League Finals, where his team finished fourth.
Born in 2002 to Bosnian parents, Bećir Omeragić is a Swiss professional footballer who plays as a defender for FC Zürich.
Omeragić is a youth international for Switzerland. In September 2020, he had called up to the Switzerland squad for UEFA Nations League fixtures against Ukraine and Germany. He made his debut on 7 October 2020 in a friendly against Croatia.