Switzerland says striker Streller won’t quit team
3 June 2008
FEUSISBERG – Switzerland’s football association is confident Marco Streller will remain in the national team after the European Championship.
The 26-year-old striker angrily announced over the weekend that he would quit international football after fans booed him off the field during Switzerland’s 3-0 friendly win over Liechtenstein last week.
But Ernst Laemmli, the Swiss Football Association’s delegate to the national team, said he was sure that Streller will suit up again for Switzerland.
“He made statements out of frustration that were not thought through,” Laemmli said.
Laemmli said he had two fruitful conversations with Streller and said the striker was now concentrating on the tournament. As for the future, Laemmli said: “Everyone I speak to changes their mind.”
Streller has had a difficult relationship with Swiss fans since missing a penalty against Ukraine in the World Cup two years ago, contributing to Switzerland’s elimination. He has also been targeted because he plays for FC Basel, the country’s richest club team.
Streller has scored 11 goals in 28 international matches, but has often been injured. The 1.97-metre forward was whistled throughout Friday night’s match and was booed when replaced in the 59th minute by Hakan Yakin.
“I like playing for my country, but at some point it is enough. I’ve heard that (booing) long enough,” Streller said Saturday.
He said he was “definitely” retiring after Euro 2008, but declined to revisit his comments when he arrived at camp on Monday.
Laemmli, coach Koebi Kuhn and the Swiss squad all have come out in support of Streller, saying that booing individual players has no place at national team matches.
“I think the booing is a disgrace,” Switzerland defender Johan Djourou said. “When you put on the red shirt, it’s for your country. You have to forget about clubs now.”
[AP / Expatica]