Alexander Frei

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Alexander Frei
Alex-frei-2011.jpg
Frei with Switzerland in 2011
Personal information
Full name Alexander Frei
Date of birth (1979-07-15) 15 July 1979 (age 34)
Place of birth Basel, Switzerland
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[1]
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1987–1988 FC Begnins
1988–1995 FC Aesch
1995–1997 FC Basel
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–1998 FC Basel 11 (1)
1998–1999 FC Thun 32 (6)
1999–2000 FC Luzern 53 (17)
2001–2003 Servette FC 64 (36)
2003–2006 Rennes 100 (47)
2006–2009 Borussia Dortmund 74 (34)
2009–2013 FC Basel 103 (73)
Total 437 (214)
National team
1995–1996 Switzerland U-18 5 (1)
1996–1997 Switzerland U-19 4 (3)
1999–2000 Switzerland U-21 19 (9)
2001–2011 Switzerland 86 (42)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Alexander Frei (born 15 July 1979 in Basel) is a former Swiss footballer who last played for Swiss Super League club FC Basel. He first played for Basel, then for various other clubs in Switzerland, France and Germany before returning to his home club, where he won his first Championship title. Frei was the captain of the Swiss national team and is all-time leading scorer of the Swiss national football team with 42 goals in 84 games. He is of no relation to club and country team mate Fabian Frei.[2] However, he is the second-cousin of Toronto FC keeper and former Swiss youth international Stefan Frei.[3] His younger sister is Andrea and she plays football for the Basel ladies team. He's married to Nina and on 26 June 2012 they welcomed a daughter named Lia.[4]

Club career[edit]

Frei started his professional career with his hometown club of FC Basel, where he later was transferred to FC Thun, FC Luzern, and Servette FC, all in his native Switzerland. After a transfer to French club Rennes, he finished as the highest goalscorer in Ligue 1 for the 2004–05 season with 20 goals and was named Swiss Footballer of the Year the same season. He was also named Swiss Footballer of the Year in 2004 and 2007.

Frei then signed a four-year contract with Borussia Dortmund on 29 June 2006. Dortmund paid a transfer fee of approximately €5 million for him. In the 2006–07 season, Frei was the highest goal scorer for Borussia Dortmund with 16 goals in 32 matches.

He recovered from a long-term injury in the 2007–08 season to score six times in his last eight appearances for Borussia Dortmund. After speculation regarding his future, he came back to action against Schalke 04 in the fourth fixture of the Bundesliga. He scored two goals, equalising in an incredible game.[5]

On 17 July 2009, he left Borussia Dortmund and, after six years, returned to Switzerland to sign with FC Basel.[6] He made his debut in a 2–1 win over FC Sion on 26 July 2009. He made an assist and also scored the last minute winner in the match at the Stade Tourbillon.[7] During the 2009–10 season he scored 15 goals in 19 league games and FC Basel won the Double. During the 2010–11 season he scored 27 goals in 35 league games, becoming the Swiss League Top goalscorer.

At the end of the 2011–12 season, Frei won his second Double with Basel, the League Championship title[8] and the Swiss Cup.[9]

Frei played his last professional match on 14 April 2013 in the home game at St. Jakob-Park as Basel beat Zürich 3–1. He led the team as captain for this game. He also scored his last goal, a free kick from about 25 meters in the 55th minute. He was transferred out some ten minutes later accompanied by a standing ovation.[10][11] At the end of the Swiss Super League season 2012–13 Frei was awarded his fourth championship medal[12] and was awarded a Swiss Cup silver medal.[13] In the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League Basel advanced as far as the semi-finals, there being matched against the reigning UEFA Champions League holders Chelsea, but were knocked out being beaten 2–5 on aggregate.[14] Freis' last game in this competition was as Basel qualified for the quarter-finals in the home game against Tottenham Hotspur, whom they beat 4–1 on penalties after a 4–4 aggregate draw to progress.

Sports director[edit]

After Frei ended his career, he became new sports director of FC Luzern. This was announced by both FC Basel[15] and Luzern[16] on 19 March 2013.

International career[edit]

Frei represented Switzerland at Under-18s, Under-19s and Under-21s levels. He played his Swiss U-18s debut on 25 October 1995 in the 5-1 away defeat against the French Under-18s. His Under-21s debut was on 3 Speptember 1999 in the 3-1 away win against the Danisch U-21 team.

Frei played his debut as full international on 24 March 2001, being substituted in, during the 1–1 away draw against the Republic of Yugoslavia during the World Cup qualification Group 1 match.[17] In the following match, just four days later, Frei scored his first three goals for the National team in the 5-0 home win against Luxembourg.[18]

Frei played for Switzerland at Euro 2004 and at the FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany. He scored two goals in the 2006 World Cup, one in the match against Togo and a controversial goal against South Korea. Frei had 84 caps for Switzerland.

Frei is also Switzerland's all time top scorer with 42 goals.[19] During Euro 2004, in a group match against England, Frei was caught on camera appearing to spit at Steven Gerrard. Although no action was taken at the time, Frei was later charged and given a provisional 15 day suspension by UEFA.

Within the first half of the opening match of UEFA Euro 2008, Frei was injured while captaining the Swiss team and missed the rest of the tournament due to a torn knee ligament in his left knee after a challenge from Czech defender Zdeněk Grygera. He decided to remain with the team to show his support. He later underwent surgery.[20]

In a Euro 2012 qualifier at home against Wales he was booed by his own fans throughout the match, even though Switzerland won the match 4–1. When he was finally substituted the fans in the home sector booed him repeatedly. On 5 April 2011, he decided to quit from the national squad after being criticized again following a 0–0 draw with Bulgaria on 26 March for the Euro 2012 qualifying match.[21]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Switzerland's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 28 March 2001 Hardturm, Zurich  Luxembourg 1–0 5–0 2002 World Cup qualifier
2. 2–0
3. 5–0
4. 2 June 2001 Svangaskarð, Toftir  Faroe Islands 1–0 1–0 2002 World Cup qualifier
5. 5 September 2001 Stade Josy Barthel, Luxembourg  Luxembourg 1–0 3–0 2002 World Cup qualifier
6. 21 August 2002 St. Jakob-Park, Basel  Austria 2–1 3–2 Friendly
7. 8 September 2002 St. Jakob-Park, Basel  Georgia 1–0 4–1 Euro 2004 qualifier
8. 12 February 2003 Športni Park, Nova Gorica  Slovenia 3–0 5–1 Friendly
9. 5–0
10. 30 April 2003 Stade de Genève, Geneva  Italy 1–0 1–2 Friendly
11. 7 June 2003 St. Jakob-Park, Basel  Russia 1–0 2–2 Euro 2004 qualifier
12. 2–0
13. 11 June 2003 Stade de Genève, Geneva  Albania 2–1 3–2 Euro 2004 qualifier
14. 11 October 2003 St. Jakob-Park, Basel  Republic of Ireland 2–0 2–0 Euro 2004 qualifier
15. 18 February 2004 Stade Moulay Abdellah, Rabat  Morocco 1–2 1–2 Friendly
16. 9 October 2004 Ramat Gan Stadium, Tel Aviv  Israel 1–1 2–2 2006 World Cup qualifier
17. 30 March 2005 Hardturm, Zurich  Cyprus 1–0 1–0 2006 World Cup qualifier
18. 4 June 2005 Svangaskarð, Toftir  Faroe Islands 2–1 3–1 2006 World Cup qualifier
19. 3–1
20. 17 August 2005 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo  Norway 1–0 2–0 Friendly
21. 3 September 2005 St. Jakob-Park, Basel  Israel 1–0 1–1 2006 World Cup qualifier
22. 7 September 2005 GSP Stadium, Nicosia  Cyprus 1–0 3–1 2006 World Cup qualifier
23. 16 November 2005 Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, Istanbul  Turkey 1–0 2–4 2006 World Cup play-offs
24. 3 June 2006 Hardturm, Zurich  China PR 1–0 4–1 Friendly
25. 3–0
26. 19 June 2006 FIFA WM Stadion Dortmund, Dortmund  Togo 1–0 2–0 2006 World Cup
27. 23 June 2006 FIFA WM Stadion Hannover, Hanover  South Korea 2–0 2–0 2006 World Cup
28. 16 August 2006 Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz  Liechtenstein 1–0 3–0 Friendly
29. 2–0
30. 2 September 2006 St. Jakob-Park, Basel  Venezuela 1–0 1–0 Friendly
31. 6 September 2006 Stade de Genève, Geneva  Costa Rica 2–0 2–0 Friendly
32. 25 March 2007 Miami Orange Bowl, Miami  Colombia 1–1 1–3 Friendly
33. 24 May 2008 Cornaredo Stadium, Lugano  Slovakia 2–0 2–0 Friendly
34. 30 May 2008 AFG Arena, St. Gallen  Liechtenstein 1–0 3–0 Friendly
35. 2–0
36. 11 October 2008 AFG Arena, St. Gallen  Latvia 1–0 2–1 2010 World Cup qualifier
37. 15 October 2008 Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus  Greece 1–0 2–1 2010 World Cup qualifier
38. 28 March 2009 Zimbru Stadium, Chişinău  Moldova 1–0 2–0 2010 World Cup qualifier
39. 1 April 2009 Stade de Genève, Geneva  Moldova 2–0 2–0 2010 World Cup qualifier
40. 9 September 2009 Skonto Stadium, Riga  Latvia 1–0 2–2 2010 World Cup qualifier
41. 17 November 2010 Stade de Genève, Geneva  Ukraine 1–0 2–2 Friendly
42. 2–1

Honours[edit]

Servette
Basel
Individual
  • Credit Suisse Player of the Year: 2003
  • Top goalscorer in Ligue 1: 2005 (20 goals)
  • Swiss Player of the Year: 2007
  • Top goalscorers in Swiss Super League: 2010–11 (27 goals), 2011–12 (24 goals)
  • Swiss Golden Player Award: "Best Forward": 2011,[22] 2012[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alex Frei" (in German). FC Basel. Retrieved 26 January 2013. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Fabian Frei & Alexander Frei both scored for Basle tonight but are unrelated – are any players in this season’s Champions League that are related?". socqer.com. 14 September 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "Swiss striker Frei has a nose for goal". CBC News. 13 May 2010. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Glückwünsche für Nina und Alex Frei: Töchterchen Lia ist da!" (in German). FC Basel. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "Borussia Dortmund 3–3 Schalke 04". ESPN Soccernet. 13 September 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  6. ^ "Alex Frei verlässt Dortmund" (in German). Derstandard.at. 17 July 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  7. ^ Weber, Dominik (26 July 2009). "Alex Frei schiesst FCB in letzter Minute zum Sieg in Sion!". FC Basel 1893. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Der 15. Meistertitel für den FCB – die Bilanz einer grandiosen Saison" (in German). fcb.ch. 29 April 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Matchtelegram FC Basel 1893 5:3 FC Luzern" (in German). football.ch. 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012. [dead link]
  10. ^ Marti, Caspar (14 April 2013). "Der FCB schlägt den FCZ bei der Verabschiedung von Alex Frei mit 3:1" (in German). FC Basel 1893. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  11. ^ Meister, Remo (14 April 2013). "Das isch emol e Abschied" (in German). FC Basel 1893. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  12. ^ Schifferle, Michael (10 June 2013). "Season review: Switzerlandpublisher = UEFA". Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  13. ^ "Telegramm Schweizer Cup Final" (in German). Schweizerischer Fussballverband. 20 May 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  14. ^ Haylett, Trevor (3 May 2013). "Basel take heart after Chelsea defeat". UEFA. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  15. ^ FC Basel 1893 (19 March 2013). "Alex Frei wird ab Mitte April 2013 Sportdirektor beim FC Luzern" (in German). FC Basel 1893. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  16. ^ "Alex Frei wechselt am 15. April zum FC Luzern" (in German). FC Luzern. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  17. ^ "Yugoslavia - Switzerland / Match report". FIFA.com. 24 March 2001. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  18. ^ "Switzerland - Luxembourg / Match report". FIFA.com. 28 March 2001. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  19. ^ "Frei breaks record, Swiss beat Liechtenstein". [dead link]
  20. ^ "Switzerland 0–1 Czech Republic". BBC News. 8 June 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  21. ^ "Swiss pair Frei and Strellar announce retirements". BBC News. 5 April 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  22. ^ "2010/11 / Letzte Jahre Home - Swiss Golden Player Award" (in German). goldenplayer.ch. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  23. ^ "Best Forward 2012" (in German). goldenplayer.ch. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Johann Vogel
Switzerland captain
2007–2011
Succeeded by
Gökhan Inler