Switzerland, taking the clean sheet feat to Brazil

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Team: Switzerland

FIFA Ranking: 6

Nickname: Die Eidgenossen

With nine World Cup appearances, Switzerland never found it easy to secure a place at Brazil 2014.

Qualifying for Brazil means Switzerland have booked their third consecutive World Cup appearance, with a game to spare.

The youthful Switzerland team will be looking to make use of their favourable to make an impact in Brazil.

Consistent Switzerland boasts a remarkable record of keeping nine clean sheets in their last 15 matches.

FIFA World Cup history

Switzerland have contested the FIFA World Cup finals nine times: (1934, 1938, 1950, 1954, 1962, 1966, 1994, 2006 and 2010)
They have, on three occasions, reached the quarterfinals, with the most recent last-eight appearance being in 1954.

1994, 2006: Last 16

2010: First round exit

Key players

Tranquillo Barnetta
Gokhan Inler
Philippe Senderos
Xherdan Shaqiri

Coach: Ottmar Hitzfeld

He intends to retire after the World Cup.

His glorious managerial career includes seven Bundesliga titles and two Champions League victories, among others.

Country Profile

Switzerland is one of the countries with the lowest crime rate in the world. The country has 26 cantons (federal states) which vary in size and population. The country has a perfect climate with moderate temperatures.

The capital city Bern is one of the oldest city found in the world. It was preserved in its original state and is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The country has nine other places on the list.

The Swiss have diverse religion with 42% of the population Roman Catholic and 35 % Protestant. Other religions include Buddhism, Islam and Jewish. According to the Wold Bank Switzerland has the world’s most expensive economy. The country’s political stability makes it attractive to investors.

The government is expecting the economy to grow by 2% from 2013 although the economic situation in Europe remains fragile. The country’s economy is dependent on exports which include cheese, chocolate, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering.

Switzerland is a world’s supplier of products including elevators, papers and printing machinery. The economy is also based on skilled labour. The country’s main trading partners are European Union countries such as Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

The economy is also dependent on skilled labour. Unemployment rate in the country decreased in April 2014 to 3.20% from 3.30 in March. The country has had a low unemployment rate with an average of 3.35 since 1995. However it reached its highest level in February 1997 at 5.7%.

• Full name: Swiss Confederation
• Population: 7.7 million (UN, 2012)
• Capital: Bern
• Largest city: Zurich
• Area: 41,284 sq km (15,940 sq miles)
• Major languages: German, French, Italian, Romansch
• Major religion: Christianity
• Life expectancy: 80 years (men), 85 years (women) (UN)
• Monetary unit: 1 Swiss Franc = 100 Rappen
• Main exports: Machinery and electronics, chemicals, precision instruments, watches
• GNI per capita: US $76,350 (World Bank, 2011)
• Internet domain: .ch
• International dialling code: +41

– By Tshepo Tsheole and Lerato Matlala