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Page last updated at 16:23 GMT, Tuesday, 11 May 2010 17:23 UK

World Cup 2010: Teenager Xherdan Shaqiri in Swiss squad


Switzerland's World Cup qualifying highlights

Teenager Xherdan Shaqiri was a shock inclusion in an otherwise experienced 23-man Switzerland World Cup squad.

Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld Cup has opted for the 18-year-old Basle winger, whose only cap to date came in a friendly.

Arsenal's Philippe Senderos, on loan at Everton, is selected after only five appearances for both clubs this season.

But another Gunners defender, Johan Djourou, misses out on the finals after returning from a nine-month knee injury absence against Fulham on Sunday.

West Ham midfielder Valon Behrami is the only other British-based player to feature for the Swiss, who will face tournament favourites Spain, Chile and Honduras in Group H in South Africa.


Shaqiri has made 31 appearances and scored four goals for Basel since making his debut for the club last July. However, he has played just 45 minutes of international football - in a 3-1 friendly loss against Uruguay in March.

Hitzfeld said of his gamble on the youngster: "Shaqiri has produced some good performance for Basel and he can play several positions."

And the 61-year-old former German international also backed Senderos despite his lack of first-team football at the Emirates and Goodison Park.

"Senderos has had only a little match practice at club level, but he has always justified my confidence," he said.

Hitzfeld has retained nine of the players taken by predecessor Koebi Kuhn to the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where the Swiss reached the last 16 before losing to Ukraine in a penalty shoot-out.

Two of those stalwarts, captain Alex Frei of FC Basel and Lucerne striker Hakan Yakin, will be hoping to add to their respective 40 and 20-goal international tallies in South Africa.

Midfielder Benjamin Huggel, meanwhile, will travel to his first World Cup after missing out in Germany because of the six-match Fifa ban he received for his part in the brawl that erupted after Switzerland's 2005 qualifying play-off victory over Turkey in Istanbul.

Goalkeepers: Diego Benaglio (Wolfsburg), Johnny Leoni (Zurich), Marco Woelfli (Young Boys).

Defenders: Stephan Lichtsteiner (Lazio), Stephane Grichting (Auxerre), Steve Von Bergen (Hertha Berlin), Philippe Senderos (Arsenal), Mario Eggimann (Hannover), Christoph Spycher (Eintracht Frankfurt), Reto Ziegler (Sampdoria).

Midfielders: Valon Behrami (West Ham), Gokhan Inler (Udinese), Benjamin Huggel (Basle), Gelson Fernandes (St. Etienne), Xherdan Shaqiri (Basel), Pirmin Schwegler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Tranquillo Barnetta (Bayer Leverkusen), Marco Padalino (Sampdoria).

Forwards: Alex Frei (Basle), Blaise Nkufo (Twente), Eren Derdiyok (Bayer Leverkusen), Hakan Yakin (Lucerne), Marco Streller (Basle).

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see also
Injured trio make Spanish squad
11 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Welcome change for Honduras squad
11 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Switzerland's World Cup qualifying highlights
03 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010
Senderos moves to Everton on loan
25 Jan 10 |  Everton
Foxes' Berner has World Cup hope
01 Mar 10 |  Leicester
Arsenal rocked by Djourou knee op
06 Sep 09 |  Arsenal

related internet links:
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Swiss Info Hitzfeld makes Shaqiri surprise for World Cup - 38 hrs ago
Telegraph Hitzfeld takes gamble on Senderos - 45 hrs ago
CBC Hitzfeld makes Shaqiri surprise Swiss pick - 46 hrs ago Hitzfeld surprises by naming teen in Swiss WC squad - 47 hrs ago Switzerland name Philippe Senderos in World Cup squad - 47 hrs ago


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