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Gelson Fernandes happy with role in Swiss squad

UEFA Euro 2016: Gelson Fernandes embracing senior role in Swiss squad

June 7, 2016 By Sarah Salahpour
Switzerland's Gelson Fernandes will be glad to take on the senior role for his national side.

This will be Switzerland's fourth time participating in this elite European tournament, as they will face hosts France, Albania and Romania in Group A.

Midfielder Gelson Fernandes made his debut as a Swiss international in August 2007 and since then he has continued to be a regular for his side. The former Manchester City player is regarded as a veteran due to his many years with the national team.

Despite only being 29, the Rennes defensive midfielder has taken part in all of Switzerland's Euro campaigns proving to be a vital asset to Vladimir Petković's squad.

Speaking to UEFA.com, Fernandes is embracing his role as one of the elder statesmen in the team.

"It's always a great opportunity to experience a tournament like this, but now I can also share my experience with the younger players," he added. "It's the first tournament for quite a few of them. It will be a huge moment in their lives and a very special one. It's the older players' job to assist them and help them enjoy themselves here."

The Swiss will begin the UEFA Euro 2016 competition against Albania on June 11 at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis. This match is set to be a special one, as nine of Albanians' 23-man crew either own a Swiss passport or play in the Swiss Super League.

"It will be a special occasion. It will be tough because it's their first game at a big tournament, and we know a lot of the players because they play in Switzerland and were our team-mates in the youth national teams. We'll be like brothers on the pitch."

Fernandes has made 49 international appearances for his team and will most likely start in their opening match against Albania on Saturday.

 

 

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