Alexander Frei

Euro Stars: Alexander Frei (Switzerland)

Euro Stars: Alexander Frei (Switzerland)

Publish on 06/07 at 22:00 - E. RAZO


As UEFA Euro 2024 draws closer, we’re focusing on a player from each of the 24 participating countries (except for France). In this latest article of the series, we’ll concentrate on former Stade Rennais standout Alexander Frei.

Frei began his career in Switzerland, playing for four clubs. He primarily showcased his skills for FC Basel 1893, his hometown side, where he had two separate periods. Throughout his time there, he made 167 appearances, scored 108 goals, and contributed 48 assists.


After his time playing first-team football in Switzerland from 1997 to 2003, Frei ventured overseas, joining Les Rouges et Noirs in 2003, where he made 117 appearances for the French side. In a 2021 interview with Onze Mondial, he recalled his connection to the area as a fond memory during his time there.


"The time in Rennes... I told my wife and kids that we were going to rent a camper van and spend two weeks in Brittany so I could show them. I can't forget that. It was an incredible moment.


"And then I was young too; I could eat anywhere, people were happy everywhere, and not just because I was scoring goals. They were happy already. Even if I was in the stands, people were open; they wanted to help me. I will never forget my time in Rennes."

One match that stood out for Frei during his time with Rennes was his four-goal performance against Olympique de Marseille in 2004. Frei noted in the interview with Onze Mondial that even to this day, people talk about that contest to him.


"Even now, whenever there's a Rennes-Marseille match, a lot of folks still bring it up to me. Even before the game, I felt on top of my game. Once we scored the second goal, I knew everything was clicking. I could have kicked the ball clear out of the stadium, and it still would've found its way in. It was just one of those days."


"Sure, the balls from Olivier [Monterrubio] and [Kim] Källström were something else. But that match was a big deal because it helped reshape how people saw me in France. It solidified my reputation as a true goal scorer. Suddenly, I was in a different league in France, ranked among the top five attackers. Before, I was just 'one of the forwards.' That match allowed me to really size myself up against the competition. That's why, to me, that match stands out as the most significant one."

Frei left Rennes in 2006 to join Borussia Dortmund and would return to Basel in 2009 to wrap up his career. At the international level, Frei made 84 appearances for Switzerland national team where he scored 42 goals.

Switzerland will compete in Euro 2024 and is part of Group A with Germany, Hungary, and Scotland. The Swiss will begin the tournament on June 15th against Hungary at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne, Germany. 


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