For many years, the main attraction of the Swiss football league was that it was a fine source of strangely named football teams - Grasshopper Club Zürich, Young Boys of Bern, Old Boys Basel, Young Fellows Juventus (are we detecting a theme here ?).

In actual footballing terms, the Swiss football league didn't provide a great deal of interest.

However, recent years has seen FC Basel almost single-handedly change the image of the Swiss league across the rest of Europe. The RotBlau has punched so far above its weight in European competitions, especially against English Premier League opposition, that the Swiss league and its teams have become much more respected. No longer is being drawn against a Swiss league team seen as an easy passage into the next round of a European competition.

One of the drawbacks of FC Basel's fine European form though, has been that the club has almost completely dominated the Swiss league since the turn of the century, save for a handful of titles from the two Zurich clubs, Grasshoppers and FC Zürich. If both of these clubs could start mounting a challenge again, possibly along with some of the other traditionally bigger clubs, such as Young Boys, St Gallen or FC Luzern, then the league would be all the better for it.

As for the level of the footballers that make up the league, well you only need to notice how consistently the Swiss national team has qualified for the World Cup and European Championships in recent times (especially for a relatively small country), to see that some fine homegrown players are coming through the Swiss league. This, along with some decent scouting (the Premiership, take note), particularly from some of the African clubs, has meant that the Swiss league has become something of a breeding ground for top-notch talent to be unearthed, with the likes of Mohamed Salah, Alexander Frei, Gökhan Inler, Xherdan Shaqiri and Tranquillo Barnetta all coming through the Swiss system and onto bigger things in recent years.

Swiss Football League Articles