Reto Ziegler

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Reto Ziegler
Reto Ziegler 2012.jpg
Ziegler with Lokomotiv Moscow in 2012
Personal information
Full name Reto Pirmin Ziegler[1]
Date of birth (1986-01-16) 16 January 1986 (age 33)
Place of birth Geneva, Switzerland
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Left back
Club information
Current team
FC Dallas
Number 3
Youth career
1993–1995 Gland
1995–1997 Servette
1997–1998 US Terre Sainte
1998–2000 Servette
2000–2002 Grasshopper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2004 Grasshopper 41 (0)
2004–2007 Tottenham Hotspur 24 (1)
2005–2006Hamburger SV (loan) 8 (0)
2006Wigan Athletic (loan) 10 (0)
2007Sampdoria (loan) 15 (1)
2007–2011 Sampdoria 127 (4)
2011–2015 Juventus 0 (0)
2011–2012Fenerbahçe (loan) 38 (1)
2012–2013Lokomotiv Moscow (loan) 6 (0)
2013Fenerbahçe (loan) 16 (0)
2013–2014Sassuolo (loan) 17 (0)
2015–2017 Sion 72 (12)
2017 Luzern 9 (2)
2018– FC Dallas 61 (9)
National team
2000–2001 Switzerland U15 4 (1)
2001–2003 Switzerland U17 8 (0)
2003–2004 Switzerland U18 4 (0)
2004 Switzerland U19 4 (0)
2004–2009 Switzerland U21 30 (2)
2005–2014 Switzerland 35 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12 October 2019

Reto Pirmin Ziegler (born 16 January 1986) is a Swiss footballer who plays as a left-back for Major League Soccer club FC Dallas.

Ziegler has played top-flight football in seven different countries. He earned 35 international caps for Switzerland and played at both the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

In the summer of 2004, Ziegler signed a contract with Tottenham Hotspur, which was initially meant to begin on 1 January 2005, when his contract with Grasshoppers expired. However, the two clubs – reportedly through the initiative of then-Tottenham sporting director Frank Arnesen – agreed to an immediate transfer, and Ziegler joined Spurs in late August of that year.


Despite being just 18 years old, Ziegler soon made his debut and became an important member of the team under both head coach Jacques Santini, who left in October after just a few months in charge, and his successor, Martin Jol. Ziegler featured mostly at left midfield but also played a few matches as left full-back, often switching position with Timothée Atouba, another versatile left-sided player with the team at the time.

Ziegler featured in 31 matches in all competitions that season, including 23 in the Premier League. He showed great promise and improvement, and became popular with the fans for his attack-minded play on the left side and good passing ability. One of his most memorable moments from that season came in the home loss to Arsenal. Near the end of the game, he played a delicate chipped pass to Frédéric Kanouté, who scored to make it 4–5. Another memorable moment was in the 1 January 2005 match against Everton, where he scored his first goal en route to a 5–2 Tottenham win.[2] At the time, it was his only goal of his professional career. At the end of the season, he was named the JSM Young Player of The Year, an award given to a young Tottenham player by its junior fan club.[3]

In the summer of 2005, Ziegler was sent on loan to German Bundesliga club Hamburger SV, where he featured in 11 league matches and 3 UEFA Cup matches, but was criticised by manager Thomas Doll for a poor attitude and rarely played more than a few minutes per match. He was recalled from the loan by Tottenham in January 2006, only to be put back out on loan, this time at another Premier League club, Wigan Athletic. He played with Wigan until the end of the 2005–06 season, receiving five starts and five substitute appearances in the Premier League and one start in the FA Cup, performing well but not spectacularly. He also appeared as a substitute in the 2006 Football League Cup Final against Manchester United, a 4–0 defeat.[4]

Ziegler returned to Tottenham for the 2006–07 season and featured in four matches, including starts in the League Cup against Milton Keynes Dons[5] and in the UEFA Cup against Slavia Prague,[6] as well as a substitute appearance against Manchester United in the Premier League.[7] On 31 January 2007, he joined Italian Serie A club Sampdoria on loan until the end of the season.


Ziegler with Sampdoria after training

On 18 February 2007, Ziegler played his first Serie A match for Sampdoria against Parma.[8] He scored his first goal in his tenth Serie A appearance for the club against Messina on 21 April 2007. In May, Spurs brought in young left back Gareth Bale, and Ziegler opted to sign for Sampdoria permanently on 3 July 2007.[9] During his first season, he was in and out of the starting line-up, and most of his appearances were substitutions.

Ziegler finally managed to retain his place more regularly during the first half of the 2009–10 season. After a string of substitute appearances, he became first-choice left back. During the winter transfer window, he was linked with a move to Juventus. Having just secured his place in the starting 11, he refuted the transfer rumours saying that he wanted to continue his run in the starting line-up in hopes of being selected for the upcoming FIFA World Cup with Switzerland.[10]

Since his contract would expire on 30 June 2011, in January 2011, Ziegler was linked to Milan, as Sampdoria opted to gain some cash. However, he did not leave. Instead, Sampdoria sold its striker Giampaolo Pazzini and let Antonio Cassano leave as a free agent. The team subsequently performed poorly and were eventually relegated to Serie B.


Ziegler joined Juventus on a free transfer on 26 May 2011, having signed a four-year contract.[11] He passed a medical on 25 May.


Ziegler with Fenerbahçe

On 2 September 2011, Fenerbahçe announced they were holding discussions with Juventus and Ziegler to loan him for the 2011–12 season. The next day, it was announced that all parties had reached an agreement for his loan. On 22 April 2012, Ziegler scored the first goal in the derby match against Galatasaray, which Fenerbahçe won 2–1.

Lokomotiv Moscow[edit]

After his spell with Fenerbahçe, Ziegler was loaned to Russian Premier League side Lokomotiv Moscow.[12]

Fenerbahçe (second spell)[edit]

Ziegler returned on loan to Fenerbahçe on 31 January 2013 until the end of the 2012–13 season.[13]


On 20 August 2013, Sassuolo confirmed it had acquired Ziegler on loan from Juventus for an undisclosed period and fee.[14]


On 2 February 2015, Ziegler transferred to Sion in his native Switzerland, signing a six-month contract until the end of the season. He would later sign a new contract with Sion and would play for the club until the end of the 2016–17 season.

FC Dallas[edit]

On 2 January 2018, MLS club FC Dallas announced the signing of Ziegler.[15][16] In the 2018 season, he was the club's primary starter at left center-back. He scored four goals and was sent off a team-high three times.

International career[edit]

Ziegler is a former youth international and was in the Swiss U-17 squad that won the 2002 U-17 European Championships.[17]

Ziegler made his full debut for Switzerland in a 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification match against France on 26 March 2005, helping his team secure a point through a 0–0 draw at the Stade de France. He gained two more caps before drifting out of the frame and was not named to Switzerland's squad for the 2006 World Cup.

For the Swiss U-21 team, he scored a late free-kick against the Netherlands in September 2008 to send Switzerland through to the play-off round of the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

On 19 November 2008, Ziegler scored his first senior goal for Switzerland, a powerful left-footed strike against Finland which won the Swiss the match, 1–0. He was selected for the 2010 World Cup squad. He started at left back and played the full 90 minutes in all three matches in the group stage. Switzerland did not advance out of the group. Ziegler was selected again for Switzerland's 2014 World Cup squad. This time, however, he did not appear in any matches.

International goals[edit]

Correct as of 15 September 2011

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 19 November 2008 AFG Arena, St. Gallen, Switzerland  Finland 1–0 1–0 Friendly

Personal life[edit]

Ziegler's brother Ronald also played as a professional footballer, including for Swiss side ES FC Malley.




Wigan Athletic




Switzerland U17


  1. ^ Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2005). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2005/2006. Queen Anne Press. p. 450. ISBN 1-85291-662-1.
  2. ^ "Tottenham 5–2 Everton". BBC Sport. 1 January 2005. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  3. ^ "Reto is JSM Young Player of Year". Tottenham Hotspur F.C. 15 May 2005. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Man Utd ease to Carling Cup glory". BBC Sport. 26 February 2006. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  5. ^ "MK Dons 0-5 Tottenham". BBC Sport. 25 October 2006. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  6. ^ "Tottenham 1-0 S Prague (agg: 2-0)". BBC Sport. 28 September 2006. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Man Utd 1-0 Tottenham". BBC Sport. 9 September 2006. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Tactical Formation". Retrieved 23 February 2007.
  9. ^ "Ziegler makes switch to Sampdoria". BBC Sport. 3 July 2007. Retrieved 3 July 2007.
  10. ^ Kern, Max (12 January 2010). "Lieber in Genua bleiben: Ziegler gibt Juventus einen Korb!". (in German). Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  11. ^ "Ziegler signs for Juventus". Juventus FC. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
  12. ^ "Reto Ziegler Joins Lokomotiv". FC Lokomotiv Moscow. 26 September 2012. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  13. ^ "Reto Ziegler İstanbul'da". Fenerbahçe. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2013.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Ufficiale: arriva Ziegler dalla Juventus". Archived from the original on 2 September 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  15. ^ Carrick, Buzz (2 January 2018). "FC Dallas announces Reto Ziegler signing". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  16. ^ Stejskal, Sam (2 January 2018). "FC Dallas sign veteran Swiss defender Reto Ziegler". Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  17. ^ Tschoumy, Renaud (10 November 2009). "Les "Rouge" admirent les "Rougets"". Le Matin (in French). Archived from the original on 7 July 2012.

External links[edit]