Roger Fede-who? Mr. Switzerland, right here.

A superb XI of timeless ballers who turn up at every international tournament

Some footballers just have international football in their bones. The domestic game is literally just a means of keeping the engine ticking over until those big summer tournaments come around.

They’re a special breed of baller, and one which must be protected at all costs.

We’re huge fans of the career internationalist here at Planet Football, and the Euros has got us in full celebration mode. You’ll find a lot of articles here in the coming weeks that have very clearly spawned from a beer garden, and this is a classic of the genre.

Join us as we take you through our XI of timeless ballers who turn up at every single international tournament regardless of which club they’re playing for or if you’ve heard of that team.

GK: Yann Sommer

Switzerland always have good goalkeepers. It’s a thing. No idea why that is, to be honest.

This year the Alpine boys have Borussia Dortmund’s Gregor Kobel, and in previous tournaments they had Roman Burki, but there’s one man who beats the lot of them to our number 1 shirt.

Yann f*cking Sommer.

Always there, always brilliant, always looks like a Pro Evo newcomer goalie, and always has at least one of your mates asking, “Who does he play for again?” 

Well, he’s at Inter Milan now, and he’s just won Serie A, actually. Mustard. International mustard.

RB: Yannick Carrasco

Despite the fact that he’s obviously at least 39 years old, our information tells us that Yannick Carrasco is only 30. He’s also only ever played for two European clubs—Monaco and Atletico Madrid.

Spells in China and, now, Saudi Arabia mean that we often associate the winger/wingback with the Belgian national team more than we do with any particular club, and we kind of hope it stays that way. Why break the spell?

READ NEXT: 9 major footballers who switched international allegiance: Rice, Zaha, Williams…

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every international team that Lionel Messi hasn’t won against?

CB: Pepe

Obviously, we all know who Pepe plays for. Man is a legend of the game. But Portugal’s intimidating-as-f*ck centre-back is at his fifth consecutive European Championship as we speak—just one fewer than Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 41-year-old monolith will probably be holding the fort for his adopted country long after the death of the Sun, and fair play to him.

Appearing in his fifth European Championship this year.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every player with 15+ European Championship appearances?

CB: Axel Witsel

It ain’t a Euros or a World Cup till those piercing blue eyes have reached for us from an overhead projector in a rowdy pub.

For an almost imperceivably short moment in time, the whole place quietens as the big fella casts some silent elven spell on the Coach & Horses.

And then, before anyone even realises what’s happened, the camera pans to the next player and the spell is broken as the Belgian national anthem continues to stumble out of the cheap speakers.

Witsel is a centre-back these days, which is good for us because we were struggling for another central defender.

LB: Ricardo Rodriguez

We can’t remember a world in which Rodriguez wasn’t Switzerland’s set-piece specialist left-back. He made his senior international debut in 2011, but if you’d asked us we’d have probably argued it was in 1998, such is the man’s synonymity with that Switzerland team.

The walking embodiment of a cultured left foot has been playing his club football at Torino for the last four years, apparently. Whatever—see ya at the World Cup, mate.

CM: Tomas Rincon

After 15 years in European football, Venezuela’s midfield stalwart has crossed back over the Atlantic to play his club football with Santos in Brazil. Rincon is the Bootstrap Bill of Venezuela—part of the crew, part of the ship.

The midfielder has been capped over 130 time by his country, the first of those caps coming way back in 2008. Copa America royalty walks among this team.

The second of two 2016 trophies for Ronnie.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every player to win the Champions League and Euros in the same year?

CM: Ruslan Malinovskyi

Yarmolenko’s Ukraine teammate is one of those players who you won’t see much of unless you’re a regular watcher of Serie A.

Malinovskyi was an important part of that fun Atalanta team that made it to the Champions League with a beautiful brand of chaos-ball.

A loan to Marseille followed by an underwhelming permanent move, then a loan to Genoa and subsequent permanent transfer have thrown us all of kilter with him—don’t know if we’re coming or going.

but you can guarantee he’ll be there for Ukraine with the summer comes around.

RW: Andriy Yarmolenko

Premier League viewers are well aware of Yarmolenko from his four seasons with West Ham United, but this tricky winger will always be yellow & blue to us.

After a seven-year absence, Yarmolenko is back with Dynamo Kyiv in his native Ukraine, where he spent the best part of a decade at the start of his career.

Just feels right. Some players should remain a mysterious, ethereal entity that shows up for a month or so in the summer every few years. Yarmolenko was just that before West Ham broke the spell.

CAM: Xherdan Shaqiri

The man they call ‘The Power Cube’—so-called because he is both powerful and cube-shaped—has represented his country at senior level over 120 times, and counting.

The 32-year-old has just completed his third season with Chicago Fire in MLS, but if you thought that might lead to a case of out of sight, out of mind, in terms of his international career, you would be wrong.

Shaqiri in a Switzerland shirt is inevitable.

LW: Ben Brereton Diaz

The man gave himself an extra surname so he’d fit in with the Chile squad. A true international baller, as far as we’re concerned.

He’s racked up 30 appearances for the country of his mother’s birth since 2021, and despite recently appearing in the Premier League with Sheffield United and La Liga with Villareal, Brereton Diaz is a shoo-in for this XI.

ST: Breel Embolo

Switzerland’s star striker is the opposite of the unlucky baller who plays a blinder all season and finds themself injured for the tournament they worked so hard to get to.

Embolo simply spends the entire domestic season shooting the sh*t with the physio, gets himself fit for the summer, and rocks up with the Swiss squad to score goals on the world stage.

It’s all about legacy for Breel—he knows exactly what he’s doing, and we love that.