New Switzerland captain Stephan Lichtsteiner says he is more proud to wear the team shirt than the armband at Euro 2016.
The Juventus defender was named as skipper after Gokhan Inler was left out of the squad for the campaign in France due to a lack of playing time with Leicester City.
But Lichtsteiner claims the overall team ethic is far more important to his side’s chances of progressing from a challenging group containing the host nation, Albania and Romania.
“I’m extremely proud of wearing the Swiss jersey – it’s not that important being captain. There are 10 or 11 captains so it doesn’t depend on me,” he said ahead of his country’s clash with Albania in Lens on Saturday.
“I’m proud to represent my country in a great tournament. It’s a great challenge for me.
“We want to get through the group stage, even though everyone thinks it’s done and dusted. But football is not as easy as that. That’s why it’s important to put in a good performance tomorrow.”
Switzerland’s clash with Albania offers an intriguing side-plot, with a number of players who have similar backgrounds in each country set to face off against one another – including brothers Taulant and Granit Xhaka.
Xherdan Shaqiri, who was himself born to Kosovo-Albanian parents, admits it could be an emotional way for each team to begin their respective Euro 2016 campaigns.
“We’re playing Albania, our friends,” said the Stoke City star. “There will be a lot of emotions but we’ve already played them, we know who we’re facing.
“I’m quite relaxed. I”m just playing, fighting for the squad. I’m one amongst many who can make a difference, Switzerland have always been a team.
“It’ll be an emotional game for both teams but the strongest, the team that works hardest, will win.”
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