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Voice of a nation— Zürich

Preface

One of the few unifying experiences in multi-lingual Switzerland is Rainer Maria Salzgeber’s TV coverage of the national football team’s matches. The presenter says the sport can help the nation become more tolerant of different cultures.

Football, Language, National identity, Switzerland

Running commentary

Rainer Maria Salzgeber’s CV

1969: Born in the Valais canton
1988: Plays in goal for lowly FC Raron for three years
1994: Quits history studies at the University of Bern to start a two-year internship at Swiss Television
1996: Attends the European Champion-ships in England as a commentator
2000: Presents European Championships in Belgium and Holland as TV anchor for the first time
2007: Presenter of Fifa Gala for World Player of the Year
2008: Wins the award for Swiss Sports Journalist of the Year for coverage of the European Championships

Switzerland’s highs and lows

World ranking: 18
Number of times qualified for World Cup: Nine
Highest finish: Reached the quarter-finals in 1934, 1938 and 1954
Average salary for first division footballer: €15,000 a month
Worst football moment: Losing to Ukraine in a shoot-out at the 2006 World Cup in Germany
Best football moment: Crushing Romania 4-1 at the US World Cup in 1994
Football hero: Current national captain and top goalscorer Alex Frei

Monocle 24

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