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Salah, Rakitic... The formidible XI that Basel could've had

Pin Rakitic, Shaqiri, Xhaka and Salah were just a few Basel let go.
Rakitic, Shaqiri, Xhaka and Salah were just a few Basel let go.

Salah, Rakitic... The formidible XI that Basel could've had

FC Basel has been a mere stepping stone for players to develop and then advance their careers, hosting some of the world's best over the years. However, if only they had manage to keep hold of them, then the Swiss side would've been one of the giant forces of Europe.

GK: Yann Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach)

Developed through the youth ranks before making 113 appearances for the Swiss side's first team between 2007 and 2014.

D: Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund)

Only 22 years old but the defender appeared 42 times for Basel, scoring five goals in the process, before switching Switzerland for Germany.

D: Fabian Schar (Deportivo La Coruna)

His three-year stint at Basel saw him play in 73 games, finding the back of the net in nine of them. Schar then moved to the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim before finishing at his current club, Deportivo.

D: Aleksandar Dragovic (on-loan at Leicester City)

The Austrian defender has made eight appearances in the Premier League, having joined the 'Foxes' on-loan from Bayer Leverkusen. Before that, Dragovic played for Dynamov Kiev, his destination following a three-year stint with Basel - 77 appearances, four goals.

M: Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal)

The youngster moved to the 'Gunners' from Basel, after moving there when he was just 21. Over four seasons, he made 142 appearances for the Swiss outfit, scoring nine times.

M: Granit Xhaka (Arsenal)

Just like his teammate, Xhaka spent considerable time at Basel, having come through their youth system. Although he only played two seasons for them (61 appearances, two goals) before swapping Switzerland for the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach.

M: Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona)

It's hard to imagine the Barca midfielder in the Swiss league but that is exactly what happened. Having gone through the youth system, Rakitic notched up just 46 games and 11 goals before moving on to Germany with Schalke.

F: Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City)

Another one to advance through the youth systems, Shaqiri played 130 times for the first-team, racking up 23 goals, before moving onto Europe's big stage with Bayern Munich.

F: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

One of the contenders for the Ballon d'Or this season came from humble beginnings. Salah switched the Egyptian Premier League for Switzerland, playing two seasons for Basel (79 appearances, 20 goals) before catching the attention of Chelsea. The rest is history.

F: Breel Embolo (Schalke)

He may just be 21 years old but Embolo has already scored plenty of goals. During 91 matches for Basel across three seasons, the forward netted 31 times - earning him a move to the Bundesliga.

F: Felipe Caicedo (Lazio)

The striker has played for a host of clubs, including Premier League champions Manchester City. However, Caicedo got his first break at Basel, scoring 11 goals in 45 appearances to seal a move to England.

Anna Woodberry

Anna Woodberry

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