“We broke the glass ceiling by defeating France”

Five years after his first selection – on March 25, 2017 against Latvia in Geneva, where he replaced Haris Seferovic in the 82nd minute – Remo Freuler has established himself as one of the leading players in the Swiss team. On the eve of the Prague clash against the Czech Republic, the Zurich native wanted to devote himself fully to his status as a coach.

Switzerland meets the Czech Republic on Thursday evening.


Switzerland opens a new campaign on Thursday with this third edition of the League of Nations. How do you deal with that?

“We are fortunate to play six games against three worthy opponents ahead of the World Cup in Qatar. We are not the favorites of this group with the presence of Spain and Portugal. As a first step, let’s ensure our relegation in the first division. And then take as many points as possible with you…”

At the end of the season, do you still have the legs to play four games in eleven days?

“We can always discuss how important it is to fix so many games in June. But we had a few days off before we met in Bad Ragaz. And in the end I am convinced that we still have fuel in the tank.

Eleven months after the European Championship quarter-finals in Saint Petersburg, you will meet Spain in Geneva next Thursday. Will this game be some kind of revenge for you after being kicked out in this quarter-final?

“It’s always a big challenge to play against Spain. This team, which only wants possession, is really a great team. On a personal level, I have no revenge. I turned the page a long time ago. I had the opportunity to discuss this meeting with the referee when I played against Leipzig with Atalanta.

And what exactly did Michael Oliver tell you?

“He asked me if I remembered the scene… Of course I remembered. What is certain is that I made contact with a good heart. In my eyes it’s very hard to inflict a red card in the quarter-finals of the Euro for this intervention. Michael Oliver told me he feels the same way. In the first lap my mistake was worth red according to him. But in a knockout game, however, he realized yellow was essential.

What lessons do you draw from this euro?

“We practically broke through the glass ceiling with this round of 16 win against France. But it must remain an achievement without a future. This win gave us a lot of self-confidence. She proved that against the best teams in the world we no longer have to harbor the slightest complex.

Murat Yakin took over from Vladimir Petkovic after the European Championship. What did he bring?

“A very compact game, a defense that doesn’t allow many chances and a very high efficiency in the last gesture. We are also able to play by multiple systems. We are more flexible.”

How do you fit into this team?

“I found that my status had changed. I owe that to my performance. I also know that we are all faced with a debt obligation. It’s not easy now to find a place in this team.

You have just extended your contract with Atalanta until June 30, 2025. What are the reasons for such a choice?

“I really feel very comfortable in Bergamo. For me, Atalanta ticks all the boxes, even though we missed out on qualifying for a European Cup this season by finishing eighth in Serie A. After a first half of the season that was one of the most successful in the club’s history, we got caught in a negative spiral. Now we have to move forward to be back in the top four, six teams in Italy.”


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