World Cup Legends: Switzerland and Stéphane Chapuisat

by Alan Robins

STÉPHANE CHAPUISATPerhaps sometimes it’s just in the blood, a footballing son of a footballing father. The future striker Stéphane was born in Lausanne in June 1969, son of Pierre-Albert – an international defender, though the father would see the son far exceed him as a footballer. Stéphane’s youth career mimicked his father’s senior one with spells at Red Star Zürich and Lausanne whilst Pierre-Albert played for FC Zürich and Lausanne too.

Stéphane would spend a year at ES FC Malley before signing professional terms. Sixteen goals in 32 games could not be ignored and after only a season he moved to Lausanne Sport. Over the next three seasons ‘Chappi’ would score 36 goals in 104 matches, pushing Lausanne to league runners-up in his final season. A transfer to Felix Magath’s Bayer 05 Uerdingen followed in 1990, but after 4 goals in 10 games injury struck and the Swiss was sold to Borussia Dortmund during the ’91 season. It would arguably be a career defining move.

Ottmar Hitzfeld had just been appointed coach – coming from Grasshoppers of Zürich and one of his first priorities was to sign Chapuisat. The Swiss was handed the No 9 shirt and Die Schwarzgelben entered a golden age. Chappi scored 20 goals in his first season as BvB finished second, 15 goals in his second season and helped Dortmund get to the UEFA Cup Final where they lost to Juventus. Over the next few years, Dortmund won the Bundesliga twice, the DFL Supercup twice and took revenge in 1997 over Juventus, winning thee Champions League.

The Intercontinental Cup followed with victory Cruzeiro. With the exception of an injury stricken 1995-6 season, Chappi was a key figure and fan favourite but the 1998-9 season saw him playing less. After 126 goals in just under 250 matches, the Swiss said goodbye to the Westfalenstadion and joined Grasshoppers.

The next 3 years would bring a Swiss League title, a Uhren Cup and 45 goals before a move in 2002 to Young Boys of Bern. His three years in Bern saw another 53 goals but no silverware. Now back at Lausanne, Chappi’s final season saw his career finish as it had started – with 16 goals in 32 games.

A Swiss international for 15 years from 1989; making his debut in a 1-0 victory over Brasil, Chappi was a mainstay of La Nati until Euro 2004 and part of the team that reached the round of 16 at the 1994 World Cup under Roy Hodgson. In total Chapuisat made 103 international appearances scoring 21 times.

Never the quickest of forwards, Chappi was intelligent with a great sense of anticipation and a great left foot. He was committed both on and on the pitch– he had a reputation for always giving his all on the pitch and for physical preparation off of it.  In November 2003, the Swiss Football Association selected him as the outstanding Swiss player of the previous 50 years.

GREATEST SQUAD – STARTING XI [3-5-2]

DIEGO BENAGLIO

STÉPHANE HENCHOZ  ALAIN GEIGER      PIRMIN STIERLI

JOHANN VOGEL                 CIRIACO SFORZA

NORBERT ESCHMANN

HAKIN YAKIN                                                                                 KARL ODERMATT

STÉPHANE CHAPUISAT

ALEXANDER FREI

 

GREATEST SQUAD – RESERVES

GK: PASCAL ZUBERBÜHLER

GK: MARCO PASCOLO

RB: MARCH HOTTIGER

LB: PHILIPP DEGEN

CB: PATRICK MÜLLER

CM: GŐKHAN INLER

CM: ALAIN SUTTER

CM: HEINZ HERMANN

LW: JACQUES FATTON

RW: CHARLES ANTENEN

ST: MARCO STRELLER

ST: JOSEF HÜGI

 

Created by Alan Robins                                           Images by Jorge Manuel Martins

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