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Swiss skipper Frei nets football award

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The captain of the Swiss national football team, Alex Frei, has been crowned the country's player of the year at an awards ceremony in Bern.

This content was published on May 30, 2007 - 10:24

The title of manager of the year went to Lucien Favre, who led FC Zurich to their second successive Super League title.

Favre, who is being courted by top-flight German club Hertha Berlin, retained the championship despite competing on a smaller budget to some of his rivals.

His team pipped Switzerland's biggest club Basel to the title on the last day of the season for the second year in a row.

But Basel, who won the Swiss Cup on Sunday with a 1-0 victory over Lucerne, did not leave the annual awards ceremony empty-handed.

Striker Mladen Petric, the top division's most prolific scorer with 19 goals, was named Super League player of the year. Petric has a contract with Basel until 2010 but the club are expected to face a tough fight to hold on to him.

Teammate Ivan Rakitic, who was named most promising newcomer, also picked up the prize of goal of the season for a left-foot strike in a 2-1 win over St Gallen. The midfielder's performances have attracted the attention of both the Swiss and Croatian selectors.

Player of the year

Swiss captain Frei, who plays for Borussia Dortmund in the German Bundesliga, was crowned national team player of the year.

Frei, who moved from French club Rennes to Dortmund in June last year, scored 16 goals last season. He also bagged two during last summer's World Cup in Germany where Switzerland were knocked out in the second round despite not conceding a goal in the tournament.

FC Wil, who fought their way past Young Boys of Bern in the quarter-finals of the cup when reduced to ten men, were named Swiss Cup team of the year.

Massimo Busacca, who refereed this year's all-Spanish Uefa Cup final between Espanyol and Seville, was named best referee for the third year in succession. Best women's footballer went to SC Fribourg's Marisa Brunner.

The event was hosted on Tuesday night by the Swiss Football Association and the Swiss Football League.

swissinfo with agencies

Awards

Alex Frei (Borussia Dortmund) – best national team player.
Mladen Petric (Basel) – best Super League player.
Lucien Favre (FC Zurich) – best manager.
Ivan Rakitic (Basel) – most promising newcomer and goal of the season.
Marisa Brunner (SC Fribourg) – best women's player.
Massimo Busacca – best referee.

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