In Basel, of all places, FCZ could become the champion on Sunday. Memories of the wonderful “Finalissima” of 2006 have awakened.
A point win in the Classics would be enough for the Zurich side on Sunday to surely secure the championship title. 16 years ago, residents of Zurich already had a chance to win the title in St. Jacob’s Park. However, the starting situation was much worse at that time.
FCZ traveled to “Joggeli” on May 13, 2006, by three points. He became an amazing hero. While Basel was preparing the championship shirts on the bench, Iulian Filipescu made it 2-1 in the 93rd minute. Not just a memorable goal, but also the first and last goal for the Romanian in an FCZ shirt. To this day, Filipescu enjoys legendary status among FCZ fans.
Catch the classic between Basel and FCZ on Sunday from 4:00 pm live on SRF Zwei.
Dzemaili can crown FCZ’s comeback
Two champions from 2006 will be back again on Sunday: Blerim Dezmaily and Alain Neve – albeit in different roles now. At that time, Dzemaili was playing his third professional season at FCZ. Another followed in town club dress before the 21-year-old began his adventure abroad with a move to the Bolton Wanderers.
This was followed by various stands in Italy, including 3 years in Naples, a transfer to Turkey to Galatasaray Istanbul, a short one to Canada and a shorter one to China. The 36-year-old has been back at FCZ since last summer. He is an indispensable veteran there. “We became champions in the 93rd minute, don’t forget that easily. It was my first title with FCZ and it was really something very special,” Dzemaili recalls in 2006.
Nev this time on the sidelines
Another person who has also witnessed “Finalissima” up close is Alain Nef. The 40-year-old, who has played nearly 250 Premier League games for his regular side in his professional career, has been part of FCZ’s coaching staff since last summer.
16 years ago, Neff had to be on the bench against Bayern. However, due to Cesar’s injury, the defender was replaced in the sixth minute. The cross was quickly handed to the opening goal of Hassan Keita after half an hour.
During his career, he has never had similar feelings and emotions as in the aforementioned classics against Basel. “The constellation was such that we had to win. Then comes the 93rd minute, the last event. Things are falling on you, you really can’t believe it,” Neff describes the moment.
FCZ doesn’t have to win on Sunday this time. The championship title can only be obtained from Zurich, in theory. However, a victory at St. Jacob’s Park would not only close a circuit for the odd geezy.
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