Max Kern (text), Toto Marti (photos) from Roma and Michael Wiegmann
Between 1973 and 1986 Eric Burgener of Upper Valley scored 64 Swiss goals. His record has been held for 35 (!) years. Recently, Diego Benaglio has been the closest to him with 61 internationals. Burgener’s record will be the date from Monday. The goalkeeper legend, who trained goalkeepers under national team coach Kobe Kon between 2001 and 2008, was surpassed by Jan Sommer.
Burgener looked over the phone yesterday: “It’s about time. Lovely, Yan deserves it! He’s technically up to date and has good timing. He’s calm, exudes confidence. In short: Yan is very strong!”
goalkeeper since birth
Sommer’s trajectory as a goalkeeper has been predetermined since his birth. Father Daniel stood between positions in the first division club FC Küsnacht in the 1970s. A few days after Yan was born on December 17, 1988, Sommer’s parents sent friends and relatives a thank-you card with the following text: “My dad just signed me up for Junior K. My big feet and confident hands are actually a guarantee of a promising career on the green. With lucky clover , I will soon be able to plant the entire 5m area in front of the gate. Indeed, a guarantee of 90-minute goalless trials. Thank you very much and best regards. Your Jan with Monica and Daniel.”
Yan’s father’s career ends early. After two meniscus surgeries. “It meant the end of your career at the time, and that was before Jan was born,” says Daniel Somer. However, Yan still saw his father working. In 1992, when he was 38 years old, Daniel stood for half a year at FC Herliberg in the third division – for his brother Mark, who was injured. “Yan was three years old. He was allowed to be in the team photo.”
In 1992, the junior coach at FC Herleberg asked who he wanted to be in goal. Father Sommer recalls: “The children were sitting on the floor. Only one got up.” Because Father Sommer gets a job in Basel, Jan moves to Concordia Basel. At the age of 14, he joined the Basel FC.
Burgener picks summer at 14
Until then, his path crossed with legend Natty Burgner. The 64-time international yesterday: “With Martin Brunner, we took care of the under-14 and under-15 options. Even then, Yan was very disciplined and a true professional. He came with two pairs of soccer shoes and changed depending on the nature of the grass. There were eight to ten guards to choose from. It soon became clear to us who we would nominate.”
Sommer plays 65 international matches with the Swiss youth teams. In 2011 he became the Vice-Champion of Europe with the Under-21 team in Denmark.
Via Vaduz, GC and Basel landed in Gladbach in the summer of 2014. He made his international debut at the end of May 2012 under coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, in the 0-1 win over Romania in Lucerne. Romania’s capital, Bucharest, will host the record-breaking summer match on Monday. A place that deserves: European Championship Round of 16 against world champion France. Also in Bucharest, he will fly on the grass before entering.
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