The internet is full of rumours that it is illegal to mow your lawn in Switzerland if you are dressed as Elvis. We can’t find any evidence to prove or disprove this myth so we’re just going to sit back and enjoy it.
In 1963 Switzerland introduced a law where every home has to have a nuclear bunker, or at least have access to a community one. This was to protect people during the security threats of the Cold War and the Swiss have continued the rule today presumably because they’re super sensible rather than being incredibly fearful. Without the threat of a major war the Swiss people have also found these bunkers the ideal place to avoid any of Justin Beiber’s music.
William Tell, the 15th-century folk legend. Tell was a strong man and had a pretty sharp eye with a crossbow. In his time the emperors of Austria were trying to dominate an area of Switzerland called Uri. One of these lads, named Gessler, raised a pole in the village, put his hat on top and forced everyone to bow to his hat. When William Tell refused to do so, he and his son were arrested. Intrigued by Tell’s marksmanship Gessler said he would spare the lives of Tell and his son if Tell could shoot an apple off the head of his young lad. Tell split the apple in one shot.
Unfortunately for our hero he was arrested but made his escape after leaping from a boat during a storm and then running cross-country to assassinate Gessler. This sparked a rebellion and led to the old Swiss Confederacy. It also paved the way for many freak talent show accidents.
In the early days it wasn’t dreadful. They won their first ever international match 1-0 away to France in 1905 and then between 1934 and 1954 they reached three World Cup quarter-finals. They also picked up a silver medal in the 1924 Olympics in Paris. Almost four decades of pretty shocking stuff followed before super Roy Hodgson took the reins in 1992. Switzerland went up to number three in the FIFA World Rankings and qualified for their first ever European Championships in 1996.
A decade later in 2006 they were eliminated in the first knock-out round of the World Cup despite not conceding a goal in the entire tournament and in 2010 they shocked Spain by beating them 1-0 in the Group Stage. The Swiss managed to get through qualifying for the World Cup 2014 without losing a game so that gives them slightly more kudos than a fair few other teams going into the tournament.
Acceptable National Stereotype
A fairly reserved group who pride themselves on always being on time.
Unacceptable National Stereotype
Cow-milking, tree-hugging, yodellers who always stick to rules and never have your back in a scrap.
Don’t be surprised if…
They top Group E and sneak a quarter-final spot without being particularly entertaining
Odds to win World Cup 2014: 100/1