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FOOTBALL

FC Basel bags footballer from German league

Ivory Coast forward Giovanni Sio is joining Swiss champions FC Basel from Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg for an undisclosed fee, the German club says.

FC Basel bags footballer from German league
Giovanni Sio. Photo: UEFA.com

Basel have confirmed the move, announced by Wolfsburg on Saturday, and Sio is set to play in their Champions League play-off, first-leg tie against Bulgarian champions Ludogorets Razgrad on Wednesday if the paperwork is completed in time.
   
The 24-year-old Sio, who signed for Wolfsburg in January 2012, made only 10 Bundesliga appearances, including the final ten minutes of Wolves' 2-0 defeat at Hanover 96 last weekend.
   
In his 18-month spell at the club he was twice sent out on loan at Germans Augsburg then France's Sochaux.
   
Sio made the last of his three appearances for Ivory Coast when he came off the bench in their 4-1 defeat to Mexico in New Jersey last Wednesday and already has Swiss league experience having spent three years at FC Sion.
   
"The move is a great chance for Giovanni and he can establish himself as a first-choice option at FC Basel," said Wolfsburg's team manager Klaus Allofs.
   
"We wish him all the very best for this new challenge."

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FOOTBALL

‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame

A Swiss super fan who has shot to fame after images of him watching Switzerland’s win over France went viral told the media he was unaware of his viral fame - but that he was overwhelmed with the world’s attention.

‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame
Image: Twitter.

Like most Swiss football fans, Luca Loutenbach’s Monday evening – highlighted by a surprise upset win over the current World Champions and tournament favourite France – went about as well as you could have expected. 

But while his side were putting on the pressure through late goals to push the game into extra time, Loutenbach’s image was being shared across the world. 

Two pictures of Loutenbach, juxtaposed from before and after Switzerland scored an equaliser in the 90th minute to send the game to extra time, were widely shared. 

The images were even shared by Sadiq Kahn, the mayor of London, who congratulated Switzerland and said the images summed up the beauty of football. 

On Tuesday, Loutenbach spoke with Swiss tabloid Blick to tell the story. He said he had no idea about the images as his phone had no reception in Romania – and only found out after the game. 

“I didn’t have a network during the game. But some fans around me were connected to the internet and quickly realized what was happening. What an incredible buzz!” said the man from the canton of Jura. 

While Switzerland have made it further than they have in their history in the tournament, Loutenbach is far from a bandwagon fan. He told Blick he’s seen around 50 national team games before. 

“It’s the most beautiful day in the history of Swiss football, let’s not be afraid of saying it. It is the accomplishment of the immense work of the ASF (Federation), of (coach) Petkovic and of the whole team” he said. 

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