10 World Cup Questions – Post-South Africa
As some of you may recall, back in April, I had an interview with Daryl about the World Cup.
In it, we discussed a few things like the anticipated strengths and weaknesses of the Swiss national team going into the World Cup.
So I thought that now would be a good time to have the same interview, but compare answers to how I feel now that the World Cup is over…so, here we go:
1. Who is your best player?
ORIGINAL ANSWER: Bayer Leverkusen winger Tranquillo Barnetta – after years of Alex Frei taking this mantle, Barnetta – nominated for ‘Best Young Player’ at the 2006 FIFA World Cup is definately our top talent.
NEW ANSWER: Undoubtedly, goalkeeper Diego Benaglio was our best player at the World cup, keeping up the defensive tone set at the last World Cup – probably his best preformance was his cleansheet against Spain in the opening round. Benaglio would later be voted, by many editors as goalkeeper of the group stage.
2. What do you think of your coach?
ORIGINAL ANSWER:Ottmar Hitzfeld is one of the greatest managers in the history of football, he is the only manager to win the UEFA Champions League with two different clubs (Bayern Munich and Dortmund). In my opinion, he stands only second to Lippi as the most decorated of all 32-team national coaches heading into South Africa this summer.
NEW ANSWER: My opinion stays the same. It was a shame that his first foray into the World Cup had to end in group-stage elimination – but he did mastermind the victory against eventual winners Spain.
3. What do you think of the Switzerland World Cup 2010 kits?
ORIGINAL ANSWER:Love it. The introduction of the Swiss flag onto the kit is a great addition. It is definately a huge step up from the V-neck design from the UEFA Euro 2008.
NEW ANSWER: Just wished I could have seen more of the kit – we played two out of our three games in the away strip.
4. What is Switzerland’s biggest strength?
ORIGINAL ANSWER: Midfield. Our midfield boasts a lot of players that can both attack and defend. We are blessed with Barnetta on the wings (the Swiss equivalent to Messi, Ronaldo, Ribéry and Robben). We have a number of players that can also hold up the ball, so possesion will be a key part of our game.
NEW ANSWER: Defence came to be our greatest asset. With a world-class goalkeeper, and a great backfour, we were able to extend our clean-sheet run of 2006 to set a new defensive record as most consecutive minutes without letting in a single goal.
5. …and biggest weakness?
ORIGINAL ANSWER: Defence. We can be too attack minded, and when we let in goals, we LET IN goals. Though we do have Wolfsburg’s Diego Benaglio, what good is a goalkeeper if defenders lose the ball too easily? Also we lack depth. Should a key member of the squad be injured or suspended, we lack adequate replacements, and often struggle.
NEW ANSWER: Attack. We only managed to score a single goal – the match winner against Spain – and that was set up by our midfield, and scored by a midfielder. our attackers lacked good touches – and we were punished by it, being eliminated in the group stage.
6. If you could steal one player from any other World Cup 2010 team, then who would it be and why?
ORGINAL ANSWER: To solve our defensive worries, I would choose a strong-centre back in the frame of Brazilian Juan. The AS Roma centre back has had a fantastic season in Italy and would be a great asset to help strengthen the area I highlighted as problematic.
NEW ANSWER: To fix our stiking woes, the ideal adopted Swiss would be Thomas Müller – winner of the ‘Golden Boot’ – the lad can score, and has great positioning – and even put in three assists to add to his five goals – exactly what we needed.
7. Tell us one thing about your team that the rest of the world might not know…
ORIGINAL ANSWER: Switzerland co-own the record, along with Austria for the highest-ever scoring game at a FIFA World Cup finals. In the 1954 edition, hosted in Switzerland, Austria defeated the Swiss 7-5 in the quarter-finals, even though the Swiss were 3-0 up after 19 minutes.
In the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Switzerland became the only team to exit the competition without letting in a single goal, and also became the only team in history to finish the group stages without letting in any goals.
NEW ANSWER: In the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Switzerland set the record for most consecutive matches without letting in a single goal during the World Cup finals tournament – going 559 minutes without the ‘keeper having to pick the ball out of his own net – a run originally started with 0-0 draw against France in Germany 2006.
8. What would you consider success/failure for your team at World Cup 2010?
ORIGINAL ANSWER: Success? Advancing from the group stages. Unfortunately, the way the draw is shaped means that Switzerland can potentially face Brazil or Portugal in the round of 16 – meaning our chances of a record-equalling quarterfinal appearance are quite slim. Success for me is therefore a R16 appearance, and further progress. Failure would be the opposite.
NEW ANSWER: Therefore, it was failure.
9. What are you most exited about at World Cup 2010?
ORIGINAL ANSWER: Well, it IS the first World Cup to be hosted in Africa – so I’m actually REALLy excited to see that – so many stadia I’m not familar with – and all brand-spanking-new – can’t wait.
NEW ANSWER: The stadia were impressive – but plagued by the dreaded VUVUZELAS :@
10. Who do you think will win World Cup 2010?
ORIGINAL ANSWER: Tough to call. I’d give my vote to either Italy (my “other” team) or Germany. Other teams are the traditinal favourites like Brazil, Spain and the Netherlands. Argentina have not convinced me, though they posses the magical Messi, they struggled to qualify. I’d keep my eye on the Dutch to win their first-ever World Cup – Sneijder and Robben have had a great season and may help the Dutch cause greatly.
NEW ANSWER: I got two of the four semi-finalist correct – not bad.
Keep sending in those comments!
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