Switzerland squeezed through qualifying to gain a place at their first World Cup finals for 12 years. Having finished second behind France in one of UEFA's closest groups, the Swiss overcame 2002 semi-finalists Turkey in an ill-tempered playoff, the repercussions of which may still come back to haunt them. They looked nervous at times during the preliminaries, none more so than when star striker Alexander Frei saved his nation's blushes with a last gasp winner against minnows Cyprus in March. In the playoffs with Turkey, Switzerland stuttered to an away goals victory despite being 3-0 up on aggregate at one point.

Frei has sported plenty of controversy during his career but is the one Swiss player who can grace the world stage. The 26-year-old Rennes striker was the leading scorer in France last season with 22 goals in 40 games for his club, sparking interest from Bundesliga side Stuttgart. Watch out too for Colombia-born striker Johan Vonlanthen. Still only 19-years-old, the promising forward is currently on loan at NAC Breda from PSV after spending last season loaned to Serie A side Brescia. AC Milan's Johann Vogel captains the side while the experienced Yakin brothers are also still influential.


Switzerland v France 13 June; KO 18:00; Stuttgart
Switzerland v Togo 19 June; KO 15:00; Dortmund
Switzerland v South Korea 23 June; KO 21:00; Hannover


Kobi Kuhn


1950, 1962, 1966 First Round; 1946 Second Round; 1934, 1938 Quarterfinals.

Men to watch

Alexander Frei, Philippe Senderos

Predictions & Latest Odds

They could pull off a shock in this group and emulate their performance at USA '94 by reaching the second round, but we doubt it - first round victims.
World Cup Betting

How they qualified

The Swiss came through a stormy play-off with Turkey on away goals after finishing second to France in European Qualifying Group 4.