The feat he signed against France in the round of 16 Euro is already a thing of the past.
The Swiss team must ignore the emotions generated by this resounding victory in order to reach their quarter-finals against Spain as well as possible at 6 pm on Friday in St. Petersburg.
The selection of Vladimir Petkovic probably couldn’t have dreamed of a better setting than the former Imperial City stadium to ward off his old demons a little more. It was there that he faced Sweden’s Law (1–0 on a goal from Forsberg in the 66th) in the round of 16 of the 2018 World Cup.
The Swiss team was then outnumbered, suffering a fifth consecutive failure in a major event at this stage of the competition. But that glass ceiling was broken on Monday in Bucharest, where Yann Sommer removed Kylian Mbappe’s penalty and sent Switzerland into seventh heaven.
“We must continue our journey”
This feat should not go unheard. Vladimir Petkovic and his players may have tasted it, but quickly put it in the memory cabinet. Because, let’s not forget, he has achieved nothing by giving himself the skull of a world champion, if not the hearts of many new supporters.
“We know we must continue our journey”, giving Switzerland the first semi-final in their history at the World Cup or Euro. “The enthusiasm that has been in the country since the victory against France will be of no value,” said Remo Freuler.
Don’t be inspired by Federer
Switzerland must work harder: Confirm. Fortunately, this quarter-final is played 20 years after Roger Federer defeated four-time defending champion Pete Sampras in the round of 16 at Wimbledon. And for once, it will be a question of not being inspired by the greatest tennis player in history.
Because at that time 19 years and 11 months of Basel Man could not accomplish this feat. He had come out of his bubble, responding to countless messages and solicitations, and was still not chained two days later. Defeated by Tim Heineman in the quarterfinals, he still needed two years to take his first major title.
replacement in tune
Vladimir Petkovic’s army must do everything to leave no regrets at the end of their euro. He has the required maturity. Players continued to claim they could achieve something big, that they wanted to “write history”, as Granit Xhaka won against France on Monday after the round of 16.
The captain will not be on the pitch in St Petersburg on Friday. This is a big blow. But he will surely play his role as a motivator brilliantly till the kick-off. His replacement, probably Denis Zakaria, will then have to take over the field technically and tactically.
Vladimir Petkovich can calm down. His choice against France paid off, with the “clowns” able to respond under pressure. “It’s a team sport. Whoever takes Granit’s place will be 100% ready,” recalls Remo Freuler, aware that he will have huge responsibilities to take on himself.
Shaqiri as Detonator
But if there is one person who will have to remove all stops from the Swiss side on Friday, it is Xherdan Shaqiri. The Liverpool striker, author of a crucial double in the deciding match in the group stage against Turkey, did not have the same effect in the round of 16. He was dismissed 2-1 for France in the 73rd minute.
Promoted captain in the absence of Granit Xaka, “XS” should be the custodian of the Swiss offensive against Spain. An offensive game that shrugged off the formidable French defence, and who must find a way to penetrate a very penetrating Spanish defense in the Round of 16 against Croatia (5-3 AP).
memory of durban
It will also be a question of being concrete and realistic in the face of a Rosa who will not be content to wait and who has found her running pace. After a hesitant start (0–0 against Sweden, 1–1 against Poland), coach Luis Enrique’s men scored five goals against both Slovakia (5–0) and Croatia.
“We expect to face an opponent who attacks more in the first half and who is less passive than the French,” Christian Fassnach rightly insisted.
This Spanish team has also been given a double warning. On one hand, he saw on Monday what this Swiss is capable of. On the other hand, its captain Sergio Busquets was already on the field in Durban on 16 June 2010, where Switzerland defeated future Spanish world champions 1–0 on the success of Gelson Fernandes.
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