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Switzerland

Switzerland

Team Widget

Team Profile: Switzerland

GettyImagesSwitzerland exited the 2006 finals without conceding a goal

Appearances at finals:
1934 - Quarter-finals
1938 - Quarter-finals
1950 - First round
1954 - Quarter-finals
1962 - First round
1966 - First round
1994 - Second round
2006 - Second round

Overall record at finals: Played 26, Won 8, Drawn 5, Lost 13.

Best performance: Quarter-finals in 1934, 1938 and 1954.

Most appearances at finals: Kiki Antenen (1950, 1954, 1962) - 8.

Most goals at finals: Josef Hügi (1954) - 6.

World Cup high: Reaching the quarter-finals as host nation in 1954.

World Cup low: Spending 28 years in the international wilderness between the 1966 appearance and qualification for the 1994 tournament under Roy Hodgson.

World Cup legend: Josef 'Sepp' Hügi scored six goals at the 1954 finals in Switzerland, including two in an impressive 4-1 victory over Italy and a hat-trick in the astonishing 7-5 quarter-final defeat to Austria - the highest scoring game in World Cup history.

The story so far: Switzerland reached the quarter-finals in their first two World Cup appearances in 1934 and 1938, crashing out to the eventual losing finalists on both occasions - Czechoslovakia in 1934 and Hungary in 1938. The highlight of the 1938 campaign was a 4-2 victory over a Nazi-controlled German team also featuring Austrian players after the annexation of the country. When World Cup football resumed in 1950 after a 12-year World War II-enforced hiatus, the Swiss were knocked out at the group stage after losing 3-0 to Yugoslavia, beating Mexico 2-1 and earning a creditable draw against eventual runners-up Brazil.

Four years later, the Swiss hosted the tournament and again made the quarters with two victories over Italy. The quarter-final match against Austria was the highest scoring match in World Cup history as Switzerland remarkably threw away a three-goal lead, conceding five in seven first-half minutes to lose 7-5. In the 1962 and 1966 campaigns, the Swiss lost all their games and had to wait 28 years to appear again.

Current Fulham boss Roy Hodgson guided the Schweizer Nati through a tricky qualification group, which included Italy and Portugal, to the 1994 tournament, where a 4-1 victory over Romania secured their passage to the second round only for Spain to then dish out a 3-0 humbling. Twelve years later, in the 2006 tournament in Germany, Switzerland had the misfortune of being the first team to ever be knocked out of the World Cup without conceding a goal. An opening 0-0 draw against France was followed-up with successive 2-0 victories over Togo and South Korea but, after a 0-0 draw with Ukraine in the second round, they were sent crashing out 3-1 on penalties.

Qualification: Switzerland topped their qualification group ahead of Greece and Israel, qualifying for their second successive finals. A slip-up in the second game against minnows Luxembourg - losing 2-1 at home - looked to have damaged their chances, but they booked their place on the plane after six wins in the next eight games, including impressive home and away victories against second-placed Greece. The prolific partnership of record goal-scorer Alexander Frei (40 goals in 71 appearances) and FC Twente striker Blaise N'Kufo was key to qualification success, with the pair netting nine goals between them.

Qualifying record: P10, W6, D3, L1, F18, A8, Pts21.

Most appearances: Tranquillo Barnetta, Blaise Nkufo (10).

Top goalscorer: Alexander Frei (5).