Switzerland will tonight kick off their fourth consecutive World Cup finals campaign, and 33-year-old midfielder Valon Behrami has been present at them all.
Managed by Vladimir Petkovic, the Swiss qualified for Russia by winning nine of their ten qualification matches and conceding only seven goals. They’ve risen to sixth in the world rankings, four places behind tonight’s opponents, Brazil.
Petkovic favours a midfield-heavy lineup, typically using Benfica’s Haris Seferovic as the lone striker, flanked by wingers Steven Zuber and Xherdan Shaqiri. And this evening they’ll all be under strict instructions to keep an eye on Brazilian superstar Neymar.
“Sure, we hope that he has a bad day and we have a good day,” said Behrami, pictured, who plays for Udinese in Serie A and had spells at West Ham and Watford. “One player alone cannot stop him, because he is so fast and technically strong. We have to face him as a team.”