Benjamin Huggel has been elected Swiss Footballer of the Year at an awards ceremony in Bern.
Less than three weeks before the 2010 World Cup begins in South Africa, Switzerland’s best players and coaches – male and female, young and less young – gathered for the 13th Night of Football.
Defensive midfielder Huggel, 32, played a central role in FC Basel’s league success and will no doubt feature heavily in the plans of national team coach Ottmar Hitzfeld next month.
For the second year in a row, Seydou Doumbia was named Axpo Super League Player of the Year, eight days after his team, Young Boys Bern, were beaten for the title by Basel.
Coach of the Year was Dani Ryser who moulded the Swiss Under 17 squad into world champions in November.
“Hope of the Year” was Xherdan Shaqiri, an 18-year-old midfielder at Basel, who was a surprise member of the World Cup squad.
Referee of the Year was Massimo Busacca, who will also be running around the South African veld, and Female Player of the Year was Caroline Abbé at Yverdon.
swissinfo.ch and agencies