Lichtsteiner denies international retirement after missing out on Switzerland squad
Arsenal defender Stephan Lichtsteiner has been left out of Switzerland's squad for the Nations League Finals. The 35-year-old, who captained his country at last year's World Cup, has only made seven appearances in all competitions for the Gunners in 2019. He has been overlooked for the 23-man group for the inaugural four-team tournament in Portugal but maintains he has not yet retired from international football.
"The coach decides, not me," Lichtsteiner told Blick regarding Vladimir Petkovic's decision to omit him.
Arsenal team-mate Granit Xhaka is included, as is Liverpool's Xherdan Shaqiri, neither of whom are expected to link up with the squad this week due to the Europa League and Champions League finals. Stuttgart's Steven Zuber is needed for the Bundesliga relegation play-off and Remo Freuler's season with Atalanta only concluded on Sunday, meaning neither is likely to join Petkovic's party immediately. Youngsters Noah Okafor, Eray Comert and Ruben Vargas will therefore train with the senior squad in Zurich in the first phase of preparation.
"These three young players made a special name for themselves in the second half of the season with remarkable consistency and deserve to have their first experience with the senior team," said Petkovic.
Switzerland face Portugal in the semi-final in Porto next Wednesday.
Switzerland squad for the Nations League Finals:
Goalkeepers: Yvon Mvogo (RB Leipzig), Jonas Omlin (Basel), Yann Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach);
Defenders: Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund), Loris Benito (Young Boys), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Monchengladbach), Michael Lang (Borussia Monchengladbach), Kevin Mbabu (Young Boys, joining Wolfsburg), Francois Moubandje (Toulouse), Ricardo Rodriguez (AC Milan), Fabian Schar (Newcastle United);
Midfielders and strikers: Albian Ajeti (Basel), Josip Drmic (Borussia Monchengladbach), Breel Embolo (Schalke), Edimilson Fernandes (Fiorentina), Remo Freuler (Atalanta), Haris Seferovic (Benfica), Xherdan Shaqiri (Liverpool), Djibril Sow (Young Boys), Renato Steffen (Wolfsburg), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Denis Zakaria (Borussia Monchengladbach), Steven Zuber (Stuttgart)