Le sélectionneur Murat Yakin est arrivé, comme son groupe, jeudi à Bad Ragaz. Détendu, mais pas en vacances.

Football: The League of Nations, this competition that Switzerland does not neglect


The national team met in Bad Ragaz (SG) this Thursday. Four games are scheduled before the holidays.

Valentine Schnorch

(Bad Ragaz)

Like his group, trainer Murat Yakin arrived in Bad Ragaz on Thursday. Relaxed, but not on vacation.

fresh focus

We must wait for recovery. The life of a Swiss national player offers many privileges, but not so much the rest and breather after a hard season. It is a small transhumance that awaits the national team over the next seventeen days. Gathered in Bad Ragaz (SG) since this Thursday, she will leave for Prague on Tuesday before joining Lisbon and settling on the shores of Lake Geneva for the two games she will have to play in Geneva against Spain and Portugal.

The selection of Murat Yakin therefore has a program ahead of it that runs until June 12th. With four games in the middle (in the Czech Republic on the 2nd, in Portugal on the 5th, before the two La Praille games on the 9th and 12th). In short, it is a schedule very similar to that of the international summer competitions. Conclusion: With four meetings in ten days, Murat Yakin will put his management to the test.

Pierluigi Tami, the director of national teams, makes the Nations League an important sporting goal.

Pierluigi Tami, the director of national teams, makes the Nations League an important sporting goal.

fresh focus

And a good foretaste of what the World Cup has in store for him next fall. The players will only be made available to her on November 14, just ten days before Switzerland enters the race against Cameroon (ARSP hopes to be able to plan a friendly in Qatar or in neighboring countries during this break).

Double meaning

“A year ago we were also in Bad Ragaz to prepare for the European Championships,” emphasizes Pierluigi Tami, director of national teams. This is for the League of Nations. And the only difference is that we have no real preparation ahead of us. But we have four games. In a big tournament, that would mean reaching the round of 16. Especially since we’re going to face three very strong teams in Europe. These are good tests.” In other words, there is no reason to neglect this competition, which has nothing friendly about it, if only at the level of the issues involved.

“The first goal is to keep us in Ligue A, so we have to finish in the top three.”

Pierluigi Tami, director of national teams

“The League of Nations is important for us in terms of sport and business,” adds Tami. Sporty, because we play in the A-League and meet big teams. It’s certainly a preparation base for the World Cup, but we also have goals that are directly related to the League of Nations. The first was to keep us in Ligue A and finish in the top three of the group.

And on an economic level? “The income they generate is significant: it is tied to the opponents. They are therefore more important in league A than in league B or C. UEFA bonuses are also higher. And then, in terms of sponsorship and merchandising, there’s also the opportunity to play in packed stadiums. That should indeed be the case for the two meetings scheduled in Geneva: all available tickets have already gone to Portugal and there are still a handful to Spain.

vacation for later

Still, with these four games in ten days, after a big season, Murat Yakin will have the task of managing his staff as best as possible. He only kept 26 players (including four goalkeepers) on whom he could perhaps have aimed a little further. “We’ve talked about it a lot and it’s clear the season has been busy for several players,” Yakin agreed in announcing his pick on Tuesday. That’s why we’ve expanded the picket list with the option of picking one or two players from the U21s for the second part of the internship. Also a sign that the rotation the trainer will practice should not be the widest. And that he approaches these meetings with genuine ambition.

Granit Xhaka and his teammates are being urged to make one last effort to end this long season.

Granit Xhaka and his teammates are being urged to make one last effort to end this long season.

fresh focus

So it’s up to the players to make that last little effort. With the exception of Xherdan Shaqiri (playing with Chicago on Sunday) and Mario Gavranovic (in the Turkish Cup final), they all arrived on Thursday. “It’s obvious that some players would like to go on holiday after a great season,” admits Pierluigi Tami. Because they have to be physically and mentally stressed.” In order to take the pill, the ARSP invited families to Bad Ragaz for a weekend. One last push?

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