In his early years as a coach, Murat Yakin, a defender by trade, became well known in Switzerland due to his exploits with FC Basel, where he won two Swiss Super Leagues in as many seasons. Yakin also guided Basel to a group-stage home and away victory over Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League in 2013-14. For his masterly performance in the defence, he received words of appreciation from the then-Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho.
Yakin also plied his trade in Germany and Turkey, playing for VfB Stuttgart and Fenerbahce, respectively.
In international football, he had 49 appearances for Switzerland and four goals. Yakin retired in 2006. After a short break, he took up coaching. He got his first break as a head coach in 2009 when Swiss club Thun went on to win the domestic Challenge League under his guidance. Over time, Yakin managed several top-notch clubs, including FC Basel and Spartak Moscow.
The 48-year-old has been in charge of the Switzerland national team since August 2021, when he replaced former manager Vladimir Petkovic.
In the FIFA World Cup 2022, Switzerland has one of the most experienced squads. Yakin has built a team which has the right mix of young and experienced players. Granit Xhaka will play his third World Cup, along with the centre-back Fabian Schar and Xherdan Shaqiri, who is all set for his fourth World Cup.
He also included Manuel Akanji, a defender of Premier League club Manchester City. In the frontline, Monaco forward Breel Embolo will be accompanied by a talented 20-year-old midfielder Fabian Rieder, who is expected to make his international debut in Qatar.
However, qualification for Qatar 2022 had been bumpy for Switzerland. In June, Switzerland lost to Portugal 4-0 in the Nations League. But Yakin’s experienced side bounced back to earn a 1-0 win over the same opponent a week later.
Yakin usually deploys a 4-2-3-1 formation with a focus on dominating the possession.
Switzerland, placed in Group G alongside Brazil, Serbia and Cameroon, will play its first match on November 24.