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Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka backs his country to enjoy a strong Euro 2024

Xhaka expects Switzerland to surprise a few at Euro 2024
© Reuters
Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka says that his team are in a confident mood heading into this summer's European Championship.

Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka has said that his team's performance at Euro 2020 has given them confidence that they can make a serious impression in this summer's European Championship.

A-Team reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2020, which proved to be their best-ever showing in the tournament, famously overcoming France in the round of 16.

At Euro 2024, Murat Yakin's side will play in Group A alongside Hungary, Germany and Scotland, with their tournament opener coming against the former on June 15.

Xhaka has said that there is huge confidence in the Switzerland camp ahead of the competition, with the Bayern Leverkusen midfielder expecting his country to make their mark this summer.

"It felt like recognition for us [reaching the quarter-finals of Euro 2020], for the staff, but also for the whole of Switzerland. The [round of 16] match against France has entered into the history books already," Xhaka told UEFA's official website.

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 26, 2024© Reuters

Switzerland reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2020

"We will always remember that game. If we had had a little better luck, we maybe could have knocked out the Spanish [in the quarter-finals, where Switzerland lost out on penalties].

"Unfortunately, during the penalty shoot-out, we didn't have luck on our side. It showed once again that we are a good team and that together we can achieve something. That's our intention now for the tournament in Germany as well, and we will give our all in order to make history again.

"Being on the national team, and leading it as captain, is a source of pride for me. But still, neither of those things [by themselves] are any use to me: I am a very ambitious person, I want to be successful.

"I want to lead the team to make history again in Germany, so that this team is remembered, and we will work hard to achieve that.

"Many [of our] players have won titles [this season]. But a lot of players have also made it into the Champions League, and that gives them motivation and self-confidence, and we also feel that during training.

Switzerland's Ruben Vargas celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on November 15, 2023© Reuters

Xhaka says confidence is high in the Switzerland camp

"Training is at a very high level; in my opinion, it hasn't been this high for a long time and we push each other. Everyone wants to play. We have a lot of competition for places. And that makes a team stronger and individual players stronger. That's how it has to be.

"Obviously we want to get through the group stage. In my opinion, the group we've got is a difficult one. But our number one aim is to reach the round of 16, and then we'll take one game at a time and hope that we get as far as possible.

"The first match [against Hungary] is important, of course. I'm not saying we have to win, but it would obviously be very nice if we could start the tournament with a victory.

"We need to play a perfect game against Hungary and stay focused for 90 minutes. And we need team spirit. Together we are strong. Hopefully we'll be able to show that in our first match on Saturday."

Switzerland will enter Euro 2024 off the back of a 1-1 draw with Austria in a friendly on June 8, and they are unbeaten in their last four matches in all competitions, conceding just once in the process.

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Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 26, 2024
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