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07-30-2004, 09:34 AM
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Swiss prospects

Here is my list for Swiss prospects. There are only players who are born between 1982 and 1987 and who are Swiss eligible. The most important players who are too old to be included are Marco Streller, Daniel Gygax and André Muff.

This is always difficult to establish a standing. I know that if I had to make another list in two weeks, there would be a few differences. The top 5 is pretty obvious.After that, it's obviously more controversial. And I must admit that I'm surely influenced by the recent U 19 European Championship.

01. Johan Vonlanthen 01.02.1986 PSV Eindhoven Forward

A pretty obvious choice. Vonlanthen is so skilled, he is the youngest player who has ever scored in an European Championship. Not a lot of size but a lot of quickness, and is so bright when he gets the ball, he has the ability to create a lot of danger because his skills enable him to make every movement with speed. He can really accelerate when he has the ball.

02. Davide Chiumento 22.11.1984 Juventus Turin Midfielder

When I think of him, the first thing is his incredible vision. He understands the game better than other players and he has an excellent feeling to make the good choice. His quality to find a player makes the players around him better. His passing is really excellent. And he protects the ball very well, with his centre of gravity very low.

03. Johan Djourou 18.01.1987 Arsenal Midfielder

All the people who watch him play can't help comparing him to Patrick Vieira. Was instrumental in the semi-final against Turkey in the U 19 Euro. Has a lot of size, his maturity physically is impressive, plays simple, makes the good choices very often, is able to bring danger when he has the ball because he has a very good acceleration on the first meters and it enables him to cross the first opposing definding line.

04. Tranquillo Barnetta 11.05.1985 Hanovre Left-back or midfielder

A very complete player. Knows how to defend, ability to eliminate an opponent 1 on 1, plays very well on a wing. He has a very good shot, and he likes to score from distant range.

05. Reto Ziegler 16.01.1986 GC/Tottenham Left-back or midfielder

Reto Ziegler is an excellent left foot player. He has been heavily scouted for four years. I know that four years ago, french teams were interested in him. Is very good in small rooms, can eliminate a player when he has the ball with ease, thanks to his technical qualities, especially the flipper. It's very difficult for an opponent to take the ball from him when he makes the flipper because he does it very quickly. He defends well. He is very clever. But he must mature physically. If he does it, he'll be a heck of a player.

06. Stefan Lichtsteiner 16.01.1984 GC Right-back

Lichtsteiner is another player who plays really well when he plays on the wing. A lot of enthusiasm, a good speed, he can nevertheless still improve on his technical abilities. Sometimes, he loses two many ball in one game. But he is a competitor. But he must absolutely avoid to be booked because he gets angry. Four things are the basis of football : technique, tactics, physical condition and mental qualities. He can improve in nearly every aspect. But it's interesting. He has a lot of room to improve. He should soon leave GC because a lot of french and german teams are interested in him.

07. Steve Von Bergen 10.06.1983 Neuchâtel Xamax Central defender or right-back

It can surprise a few people that Von Bergen is so high. But I watch him play very often, and he often impresses him. He is a complete defender, he can play full-back or central defender, he is the boss, he speaks a lot to help his teammates, has always a very good positioning. He can just improve on his passing. Sometimes, he has a lack of precision. But this is less and less the case. Will be one of the leaders for the U 21 Swiss team this year.

08. Fabrizio Zambrella 01.03.1986 Brescia Midfielder

Two months ago, I would have ranked him better. But he had a poor showing at the U 19 Euro, and he must confirm his qualities now with Brescia. I hope he won't suffer from the sophomore jinx. Because he had a career year with Servette. Is very skilled, has an excellent vision on the field and is able to score goals.

09. Valon Behrami 19.04.1985 Cagliari Right-back

Valon Behrami is an excellent player who plays extremely well on the right wing. Is a very offensive right-back with a lot of versatility. But sometimes he makes the wrong choices, and loses too many balls in one game. But he has a lot of room for improvement. Definitely a good possibility for him to play soon for the Swiss national team because we lack good right-backs actually. He could be challenged for this spot by Lichtsteiner, Degen and Barnetta.

10. Marc Lütolf 24.06.1987 GC Midfielder

My first wild-card. Marc Lütolf is not well known actually. But it could change soon. He has not a lot of size but he so skilled, he has eyes behind his back, has impressive technical abilities. He is the captain of the U 18 GC team, and he impresses me. Can create danger just with his passing qualities. He is a central midfielder and if you don't know what to do with the ball, just give it to him. You are sure he'll use it properly. His opponents are impressed by him, too. He is with the 86 generation with the Swiss national team (the new U 19 Swiss team). I'm really high on him.

11. Philipp Degen 15.02.1983 FC Basel Right-back

Was able to secure a spot with FC Basel. It tells the story. A very good right-back, likes to crash into the opposing defense, has a lot of heart, is not shy, he defends well and his passing has improved. Must be more constant. But a really interesting player.

12. Veroljub Salatic 14.11.1985 GC Central defender

Was impressive with the U 19 Swiss team at the Euro. A lot of serenity, a lot of calmness, he is an excellent central defender. Has an excellent air game, can score on the corners, especially with his header. His quality for the first pass when his team recuperates the ball is interesting and it enables his team to go quickly on the opposing goal.

13. Philippe Senderos 14.02.1985 Arsenal Central defender

Has he lost a year ? It's the question he will have to answer next year. Was injured for most part of the year and it slowed his evolution very much. Is a central defender who likes to compete, who likes physical game, and he has very good mental abilities. Was the captain of the U 17 Swiss national team two years ago when it won the Euro championship. This year will be very important.

14. Blerim Dzemaili 12.04.1986 FC Zürich Midfielder

He came from nowhere this year (with exaggeration). He was central defender with the U 18 Swiss national team and finally he secures a spot with the U 19 team as a defensive midfielder. He is a regular with FC Zürich at 18. It's impressive. Has a good agressivity, has good passing skills. It will be interesting to see his improvement this year.

15. Guilherme Afonso 15.11.1985 FC Twente Forward

A big forward. His principal qualities are his play when he is back to the opposing goal and his play without the ball. Likes to go up deep. It's difficult for the defender to defend on him because he uses his body very well. Has a good protection of the ball. Must improve on his last gesture.

16. Sandro Burki 16.09.1985 Young Boys Midfielder

Maybe he made the wrong choice two years ago when he left Switzerland for Bayern München. It slowed his progression. Is a very good midfielder, a sort of metronome. He has excellent passing skills and a good vision. A little too soft, he must grow up physically.

17. Goran Antic 04.07.1985 Forward

He is a pure goal-scorer. He is very good from close range. Plays well back to the opposing goal. Can execute things very quickly, is able to find a good position to strike. He has no team actually. But he is on a trial with Neuchâtel Xamax. I really hope it will work for him. He must grow up physically.

18. Arnaud Bühler 17.01.1985 Aarau Left-back or midfielder

"Left Back to the future" ? He is a good player. He understands the game very well, plays well on the left wing, he is a left foot player. A lot of complicity with Ziegler with the U 19 Swiss team, and it shows he understands every tactical aspect of the game. Signed with Liverpool two years ago, but nobody knows if he'll rejoin the big club in the future.

19. Alain Rochat 01.02.1983 Young Boys Left-back or midfielder

Can play defensive midfielder or left-back. The only knock on him is his lack of size and power. But he has excellent qualities, techinically gifted.

20. Antonio Aiello 17.10.1987 GC Forward

My second wild-card. A very good forward, likes to score. Has good speed, is able to play as a pivot, it could be one of the stories this year. He should make waves around him.

21. Roland Schwegler 03.02.1982 GC Central Defender

Too many injuries slowed him down a lot. Is an excellent central defender. Is very smart. A lot of elegance.

22. Patrick Baumann 08.01.1982 Neuchâtel Xamax Midfielder

Three years ago, he would have been a top 5. But had difficulties to confirm the hype around him. Coachs of foreign juniors national teams were impressed by him a few years ago. But he disappared a little from the radar, lost his spot with Thun and the U 21 national team. But he had a coach in Thun who was not able to take advantage of his skills. Because he is so skilled. He is a number 10 who is better than other players technically, who has an excellent vision, ... This year will be boom or bust

23. Davide Calla 06.10.1984 Servette Midfielder

Has improved a lot last year. A good midfielder. Did he make the right choice by signing with Servette ? Only time will tell. Good skills.

24. Rijat Shala 26.09.1983 GC Full-back, midfielder, ...

OH my God! One of the brightest prospects in Swiss football two years ago. But his improvement was nearly non-existent. And his position on the field is another problem. Is he right-back? Midfielder?

25. David Degen 15.02.1983 FC Basel Midfielder

His minutes on the field are much less important than his twin. Has difficulties to secure a spot with Basel. But he has skills, too. Is a midfielder. A lot of versatility, wants to improve. But there are a lot of midfielders in Basel.

26. Henri Siqueira-Barras 15.01.1985 GC Central defender

I could have ranked him higher. I really like him. A central defender with very good technical skills, but his easiness can have a nasty effect, to do too many things on the field and lose balls in the defensive zone.

27. Xavier Margairaz 07.01.1984 Midfielder

A left foot player with good skills. Has an excellent shot, is very elegant, but a little slow. And he was often injured last year.

28. Alem Abdi 21.10. 1986 FC Zürich Midfielder

A good midfielder who has a bright future. Should have a lot of minutes this year with FC Zürich.

29. Steven Lang 03.09.1987 FC Basel Midfielder

A future star ? Yes if he has the opportunity to show his skills, which are obvious and great. Basel snatched him from Team Jura two years ago. A brillant midfielder. I could have ranked him higher.

30. Marco Wölfli 22.08.1982 Young Boys Goalkeeper

A goalkeeper. Difficult to compare goalkeepers with players. Is very good in his goal, has really good lateral movements, but he must improve a lot his game with his feet, and his passing skills.

31. Thierno Bah 05.10.1982 Servette Midfielder

Not a good year for him. He was often injured. Defensive midfielder with good speed, must be more constant.

32. Kim Jaggy 14.11.1982 GC Left-back or central defender

Same story. He was often injured. He has a lot of vivacity, very interesting physically, he must improve on his positioning. He plays left-back or central defender. Boom or bust this year

33. Leonel Romero 28.01.1987 GC Midfielder

A good midfielder from GC. Has a lot of room for improvement.

34. Claudio Megna 06.10.1986 FC Basel Right-back

A right-back for FC Basel. Must be more constant. Has good speed.

35. Sven König 03.09.1985 Aarau Goalkeeper

Goalkeeper for the U 19 National team. Had a solid tournament until ... the semi-final. Two goals allowed on free-kicks. He must stop the second-one. He doesn't make the two small steps that a goalkeeper has to. Very good with his feet.

Last edited by SwissPatRangers: 08-01-2004 at 11:50 AM.
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