At each World Cup there seems to be a single player who announces themselves to the world with a series of top performances. It is equally a common occurrence at major tournaments that the Swiss punch above their weight.
A tight-knit squad with glimpses of brilliance is the lifeblood of their squad, even as Vladimir Petkovic is replaced by Murat Yakin. Alongside this, they have the next generation on its way through, including Salzburg and Switzerland forward Noah Okafor.
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Germany and Spain being alongside each other in group E is certainly going to be worth a watch. Beyond that though, it is group G which is being labelled by many as the group of death. Brazil are favourites to win it all but it won’t be easy at all for them, Switzerland, Serbia and Cameroon ready to test Tite’s team at every turn.
Serbia have something of a golden generation on the table, Cameroon have several talents of their own and the Swiss side constantly compete at this level. Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka and Ricardo Rodriguez are amongst the regular stars who maintain high levels in that famous red shirt.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 9, 2022
The next generation is being brought with this winter tournament being the beginning of it. Breel Embolo is a forward who always threatens to go supernova but is yet to do so. The honour at this year’s World Cup could instead fall to RB Salzburg and Switzerland forward Noah Okafor. In a recent friendly defeat to Ghana, Embolo and Shaqiri were the men up top with Okafor and the ageing Haris Seferovic entering the fray off of the bench.
Reading into this would suggest that the 22-year-old is to be used as an impact substitute, but there is much more than meets the eye. Okafor has proved himself on the European stage in the Champions League with his hugely exciting Salzburg side and will be keen to carry that across to the World Cup.
All About Switzerland Forward Noah Okafor
As previously mentioned, Okafor plays his club football in Austria for RB Salzburg. They are commonly known for developing great players and selling them on to either their German sister club Leipzig, or another big-hitter in Europe. A man named Erling Haaland is the highest profile of these but Karim Adeyemi and Patson Daka joined Borussia Dortmund and Leicester City, respectively from them too.
Switzerland forward Noah Okafor will be hoping to follow in these footsteps and if the paper talk is to be believed, it won’t be long before this happens. His teammate Benjamin Sesko is said to be the hotter prospect so Okafor has an opportunity to change that storyline in Qatar.
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) November 15, 2022
As a Swiss striker, Okafor joined Salzburg from Basel, another famous club in their own right. In terms of what he has done for his country and Okafor has gradually worked his way up through the youth ranks. A Nations League game against England in June 2019 saw him given his first cup and he has since gone on to make nine appearances, scoring goals against Bulgaria and the Czech Republic on the way. The stage is set for Okafor to make a much more meaningful impact for Switzerland.
Last Word on Football recognise the human rights abuses and instances of corruption taking place throughout Qatar and in the background of the World Cup. Learn more about some of the issues surrounding the World Cup here.