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FOOTBALL

Basel captures sixth straight league title

FC Basel continued their domination of Swiss football by winning the Super League on Sunday, although in less than spectacular fashion.

Basel captures sixth straight league title
FC Basel coach Paulo Sousa. Photo: AFP

The Basel team’s 0-0 draw with Bern’s Young Boys was enough for the squad to clinch the championship for the sixth time in a row.

With three games left in the season, FC Basel, coached by Portuguese Paulo Sousa has accumulated enough points to outdistance Young Boys, in second place 11 points behind the leaders.

The performance marks the 18th time the Basel team has won the national title, and the tenth time in the last 14 seasons.

It capped the career of captain Marco Streller, 33, who is retiring at the end of the season.

The striker, a native of Basel, began playing for his home-town club in 2000 and subsequently played for the Swiss national team.

“It’s a difficult moment for me because this is the last championship title of my career,” Streller told broadcaster SRF.

Basel may be on top now but it still has some distance to go to capture the all-time record for league championships — 27 — held by Zurich’s Grasshoppers club.

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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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