Hitzfeld makes Shaqiri surprise for World Cup

The Swiss national squad Keystone

Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has made 18-year-old midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri a surprise selection in his 23-man squad for the 2010 football World Cup.

This content was published on May 11, 2010 - 18:45

Kosovo-born Shaqiri made his club debut for FC Basel last July and has played just 45 minutes of international football, in a friendly against Uruguay.

German-born Hitzfeld on Tuesday selected Philippe Senderos despite the defender being largely out of favour this season at Arsenal and when sent on loan to Everton.

Hitzfeld retained nine of the players taken by predecessor Köbi Kuhn to the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where the Swiss reached the last 16.

Switzerland are in Group H for the tournament in South Africa and play favourites Spain on June 16, Chile on June 21 and Honduras on June 25.

Goalkeepers: Diego Benaglio (Wolfsburg), Johnny Leoni (Zurich), Marco Wölfli (Young Boys).

Defenders: Stephan Lichtsteiner (Lazio), Stéphane Grichting (Auxerre), Steve Von Bergen (Hertha Berlin), Philippe Senderos (Arsenal), Mario Eggimann (Hannover), Christoph Spycher (Eintracht Frankfurt), Reto Ziegler (Sampdoria).

Midfielders: Valon Behrami (West Ham), Gökhan Inler (Udinese), Benjamin Huggel (Basel), Gelson Fernandes (St. Etienne), Xherdan Shaqiri (Basel), Pirmin Schwegler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Tranquillo Barnetta (Bayer Leverkusen), Marco Padalino (Sampdoria).

Forwards: Alex Frei (Basel), Blaise Nkufo (Twente), Eren Derdiyok (Bayer Leverkusen), Hakan Yakin (Lucerne), Marco Streller (Basel). and agencies

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