Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Swiss'can beat anyone' at World Cup, says Xhaka

Swiss'can beat anyone' at World Cup, says Xhaka

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka celebrates after forward Breel Embolo's first goal in their Qatar 2022 World Cup Group G match against Cameroon at the Al-Janoub Stadium on November 24.AFP

Swiss'can beat anyone' at World Cup, says Xhaka

Granit Xhaka said Switzerland "can beat anyone" at the World Cup after Breel Embolo's goal secured a 1-0 victory over Cameroon in their opening match on Thursday.

The Swiss have reached the last 16 at the last two World Cups but play tournament favourites Brazil next before concluding their Group G campaign against Serbia.

Switzerland made the quarter-finals at Euro 2020 after knocking out current world champions France and Xhaka feels his side could be one of the dark horses in Qatar.

"It is not chance, when you look at the last 10 to 12 years we have been in the main tournaments," the Swiss captain said.

"Brazil is the favourite for the tournament in my view. We have to bother them as we did in 2018."

Switzerland drew 1-1 with Brazil in their first game at the 2018 World Cup, where they also beat Serbia 2-1 thanks to goals from Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri.

"I think Brazil can put three teams in the starting 11. Huge, huge talents. Big, big quality," said Xhaka.

"But it is one game over 90 minutes. Anything can happen in one game. We need to be very compact and not make stupid mistakes because you pay for that.

"Our team is much more experienced than four years ago. We're looking forward to our next match. On our day we can beat anyone."

Xhaka praised the Yaounde-born Embolo for his winner against the country of his birth, which he left as a child.

Embolo held up his hands apologetically after scoring early in the second half.

"It's never easy playing against the country of your birth but Breel was great today. I know he kept quiet after his goal but we need Breel for his goals," said Xhaka.

Embolo was granted Swiss citizenship in 2014 and pledged his international allegiance to his adopted homeland.

"That's part of the game," said Cameroon boss Rigobert Song. "We are all proud of our country, and you saw he didn't celebrate the goal. This is part and parcel of football.

"I'm happy and I'm also proud of him. He's playing for the Switzerland national team. I'd have liked him to be on my side but that's just life."

MOST VIEWED

  • Second Hungary business forum set for H2

    Cambodia has asked Hungary to provide GSP- (Generalised System of Preferences) Plus facilities for when the Kingdom sheds its least-developed country (LDC) label, as the two countries prepare to hold a second business forum in the second half (H2) of this year to expand trade

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports

  • CPP sets out five primary strategic goals for 2023-28

    The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) on January 29 concluded its two-day extraordinary congress, setting the party’s priority goals for 2023-2028. The ruling party’s congress was attended by more than 3,000 members from across the Kingdom, including the members of the permanent and central committees,