Xherdan Shaqiri

Xherdan Shaqiri

As British newspaper Guardian has put it, the England manager Fabio Capello and his team, were left in the shade during the 2-2 draw with Switzerland, last Saturday.

What makes the Switzerland national football team particular is  that its team consists of five Albanians: Admir Mehmedi, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri, Blerim Džemaili and Valon Behrami.

There is excitement about the future of Swiss football thanks to this cluster of talented players born in Kosovo.

Xherdan Shaqiri, 19, should need little introduction to Fabio Capello after coming off the bench to score a wonderful goal when the teams met in Basel last September.

Danger man: Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri scored a stunning goal against England.

Manager Hitzfeld promoted Granit Xhaka, another Kosovar displaced in the 1990s. Xhaka, 18, was the creative midfield starlet of Switzerland’s Under 17 World Cup triumph in 2009 and tipped for great things.

Admir Mehmedi, an ethnic Albanian born in Macedonia, is another Balkan immigrant in the Swiss squad. Mehmedi is 20 and plays up front for FC Zurich.

There are an estimated 350,000 Kosovo Albanians Switzerland. It has been an independent state since 2008 but is yet to be granted independent status by FIFA.

Sources:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1394141/Switzerland-draw-Kosovo-connection-future.html#ixzz1ORodvzjw
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/jun/06/england-switzerland-euro-2012
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland_national_football_team