Famous Swiss Sportspersons

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Find out more about the greatest Swiss Sportspersons, including Roger Federer, Sepp Blatter, Xherdan Shaqiri, Roman Bürki and Granit Xhaka.
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 1 
Roger Federer
(One of the Most Successful Male Tennis Players of All Time)
Roger Federer
41
Birthdate: August 8, 1981
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland

Widely regarded as the greatest tennis player of all time, Roger Federer has won the most number of men's Grand Slam singles titles. He is the only person to be honored with the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year award on four occasions. Despite enduring several injuries, Federer continues to dominate the tennis court.

 2 
Martina Hingis
(Swiss Former Professional Tennis Player)
Martina Hingis
18
Birthdate: September 30, 1980
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Košice, Slovakia

Swiss tennis sensation Martina Hingis made waves when she won the Australian Open at age 16, becoming the youngest Grand Slam singles winner of the 20th century. The youngest world number 1, too, she was named after Martina Navratilova and was the daughter of a Czech tennis player and a tennis coach.

 3 
Stan Wawrinka
(Swiss Professional Tennis Player)
Stan Wawrinka
12
Birthdate: March 28, 1985
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lausanne, Switzerland

Stan Wawrinka is a Swiss tennis player who has won three Grand Slam titles so far in his career. At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Wawrinka won the gold medal for Switzerland in the doubles event along with teammate Roger Federer. At the 2014 Davis Cup, Stan Wawrinka played a key role in the Swiss team's victory.

 4 
Ivan Rakitić
(Football player)
Ivan Rakitić
6
Birthdate: March 10, 1988
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rheinfelden, Switzerland

Popular Croatian central midfielder Ivan Rakitić now represents FC Barcelona. Though born in Switzerland, the talented footballer has never played for the country. Known for his energy on the field, he was instrumental in taking his team to the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

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 5 
Granit Xhaka
(Swiss Professional Football Player Who Plays as a Midfielder )
Granit Xhaka
9
Birthdate: September 27, 1992
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland

Swiss footballer and Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka wasn’t just part of the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup-winning Swiss team but has also been part of 2 FIFA World Cups. In 2022, he posted an apology on social media following his red-card exit in a game against Liverpool.

 6 
Romain Grosjean
(Only Racing Driver to Hold Both the GP2 Asia Series and Main GP2 Series Titles Simultaneously)
Romain Grosjean
10
Birthdate: April 17, 1986
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland

Romain Grosjean is a racing driver who spent nine Formula One seasons with several teams. In 2011, he won the GP2 Series as well as the GP2 Asia Series, becoming the first two-time GP2 Asia champion. He currently competes in the US-based IndyCar Series.

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 7 
Xherdan Shaqiri
(Football player - Winger)
Xherdan Shaqiri
17
Birthdate: October 10, 1991
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gjilan, Kosovo

Born to Albanian-origin working-class immigrant parents in Switzerland, Xherdan Shaqiri had a tough childhood. His talent in football led him to join Basel’s youth team at age 8. The Swiss footballer is now better known for his stints with clubs such as Bayern Munich and Liverpool.

 8 
Mirka Federer
(Swiss Former Professional Tennis Player)
Mirka Federer
12
Birthdate: April 1, 1978
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bojnice, Slovakia

Mirka Federer is a Swiss former tennis player best known as the wife of legendary tennis player Roger Federer whom she met at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Having supported Federer throughout his career, Mirka is often praised for being a pillar of strength and is largely credited for Roger Federer's achievements on the tennis court. 

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 9 
Cesaro
(Wrestler)
Cesaro
18
Birthdate: December 27, 1980
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lucerne, Switzerland

Swiss WWE wrestler Cesaro had initially been part of the Swiss army. He then began a promising career in European rugby but was soon banned for his aggression. His next destination was the US, where he made waves in wrestling. Cesaro speaks 5 languages and loves to travel, too.

 10 
Clint Capela
(Basketball player)
Clint Capela
5
Birthdate: May 18, 1994
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland

Swiss basketball player Clint Capela made history when he became his country’s highest-earning athlete of team sports. Known for his stints with the NBA teams Atlanta Hawks and Houston Rockets, the African-origin sports star had a tough childhood and grew up partly in foster care.

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 11 
Stephan Lichtsteiner
(Association football player)
Stephan Lichtsteiner
6
Birthdate: January 16, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Adligenswil

Known for his 20-year stint as a footballer and his successful tenures with teams such as Arsenal and Juventus, Stephan Lichtsteiner has, post-retirement, begun training as a watchmaker with the Swiss timepiece manufacturer Maurice de Mauriac. His powerful runs on the field earned him the nickname Forrest Gump.

 12 
Yann Sommer
(Association football player)
Yann Sommer
4
Birthdate: December 17, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Morges

Swiss footballer Yann Sommer is best known as the goalkeeper for Borussia Mönchengladbach. He has also been part of the 2 FIFA World Cups and 2 UEFA European Championships for Switzerland. Starting his career with youth teams such as Basel, he later became one of the greatest Bundesliga goalkeepers.

 13 
Belinda Bencic
(Tennis player)
Belinda Bencic
6
Birthdate: March 10, 1997
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Flawil, Switzerland

Known for her tactics and positions on field, Swiss tennis star Belinda Bencic first made waves when she made it to the US Open quarterfinal at age 17. Her aggressive style of play has already helped her win 5 singles titles, including an Olympic gold medal.

 14 
Enes Kanter
(Basketball player)
Enes Kanter
5
Birthdate: May 20, 1992
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland

Swiss-born American basketball player Enes Kanter is known for his stint with the NBA team Boston Celtics but has been in the news mostly for his controversial political opinions. From supporting the Uyghurs in China, to tweeting his negative views on LeBron James, he has created some serious waves in the media.

 15 
Lucien Favre
(Association football player, Association football manager)
Lucien Favre
4
Birthdate: November 2, 1957
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Saint-Barthélemy

Lucien Favre is one of the best-known football managers from Switzerland. A favorite of various French and Swiss clubs, he is known for bringing the best out of players such as Marco Reus and Marc-Andre ter Stegen. He also played a role in making Hertha and Borussia Mönchengladbach major European teams.

 16 
Volkan Oezdemir
(Swiss Professional Mixed Martial Artist and Former Kickboxer)
Volkan Oezdemir
4
Birthdate: September 19, 1989
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fribourg, Switzerland

Volkan Oezdemir is a Swiss professional mixed martial artist and former kickboxing practitioner. He competes in the light heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship in mixed martial arts and competed for Superkombat Fighting Championship in the heavyweight division in kickboxing. He has won the Performance of the Night award twice and the Battle of the Vikings Tournament once.

 17 
Fabian Cancellara
(Swiss Former Professional Racing Cyclist and Two-Time Olympic Gold Medallist)
Fabian Cancellara
4
Birthdate: March 18, 1981
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wohlen, Switzerland

Nicknamed Spartacus, Swiss retired cyclist and Olympic gold medalist Fabian Cancellara is a four-time world time trial champion. He also won both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix thrice. He had started cycling at 13, after finding an old family bike. He was also good at football and skiing.

 18 
Thabo Sefolosha
(Swiss Former Professional Basketball Player)
Thabo Sefolosha
4
Birthdate: May 2, 1984
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vevey, Switzerland

Born to a South African father and a Swiss mother, Thabo Sefolosha is well-traveled and speaks several languages. The former Swiss basketball player is known for his stints with NBA teams such as Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks. Having been a victim of police brutality earlier, he supported the BLM movement wholeheartedly.

 19 
Nico Hischier
(Swiss Professional Ice Hockey Player Who Plays as a Centre)
Nico Hischier
4
Birthdate: January 4, 1999
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Naters, Valais, Switzerland

Nico Hischier scripted history when he became the highest-drafted Swiss-born player ever in NHL history, after he was drafted number 1 by the New Jersey Devils. The Swiss ice-hockey center has also done wonders in the Canadian Hockey League. In 2020, he made it to the NHL All-Star Game.

 20 
Gianni Infantino
(Swiss-Italian Football Administrator and the 9th President of FIFA )
Gianni Infantino
4
Birthdate: March 23, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brig, Switzerland

Gianni Infantino is a Swiss-Italian football administrator, currently serving as the president of FIFA. He studied law at the University of Fribourg and worked as the secretary-general of the International Center for Sports Studies (CIES). He later began working with the UEFA and FIFA. He was implicated in a FIFA corruption scandal in 2016. 

 21 
Sepp Blatter
(Functionary, Economist)
Sepp Blatter
4
Birthdate: March 10, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Visp

Swiss sports administrator Sepp Blatter has been a well-known face in football. Once the FIFA president, he was often plagued by criticism for his controversial statements and was also publicly heckled multiple times. He has also headed the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation and has organized the Olympics, too.

 22 
Alisha Lehmann
(Association football player)
Alisha Lehmann
3
Birthdate: January 21, 1999
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tägertschi, Switzerland

Known for her stint with the WSA club Aston Villa, Swiss footballer Alisha Lehmann was always openly lesbian and even gearing up for a wedding with her Swiss teammate Ramona Bachmann. She later stunned her fans with an Instagram post, confirming her relationship with Brazilian midfielder Douglas Luiz.

 23 
Viktor Korchnoi
(Soviet-Swiss Chess Grandmaster)
Viktor Korchnoi
3
Birthdate: March 23, 1931
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: June 6, 2016

Viktor Korchnoi was a writer and chess grandmaster. He is widely regarded as one of the best players never to have achieved the World Chess Championship title. He played chess until old age and became the oldest player to be ranked in the top 100 players list when he won the World Senior Chess Championship in 2006 at age 75.

 24 
Gökhan Inler
(Swiss Professional Footballer Who Plays as a Central Midfielder)
Gökhan Inler
3
Birthdate: June 27, 1984
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Olten, Switzerland

Turkish-origin Swiss midfielder Gökhan Inler is best known for his stint with the Turkish club Adana Demirspor. He began his career with Swiss and Turkish youth teams and later also represented Switzerland in 2 FIFA World Cups. His energy and on-field movements have made him a star in Switzerland.

 25 
Daniel Bernhardt
(Swiss Actor, Model, and Martial Artist Best Known for His Role as ‘Kirill’ in ‘John Wick')
Daniel Bernhardt
4
Birthdate: August 31, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Worblaufen, Switzerland

While he initially studied architectural design, Daniel Bernhardt also co-owned a martial arts center with his brother. He later worked as a model in Paris, before stepping into films. Known for his roles in action films such as the Bloodsport franchise, he was later seen as Agent Johnson in The Matrix Reloaded.

 26 
Valon Behrami
(Swiss Professional Footballer Who Plays as a Midfielder )
Valon Behrami
3
Birthdate: April 19, 1985
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mitrovica, Kosovo

Swiss footballer and Brescia midfielder Valon Behrami scripted history by becoming the first from his country to be part of 4 football World Cups. He once received death threats from Brazilian fans after his on-field conflicts with Brazil's Neymar. He is married to Swiss alpine ski racer Lara Gut.

 27 
Breel Embolo
(Football player - Forward)
Breel Embolo
1
Birthdate: February 14, 1997
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Yaoundé, Cameroon
Roman Bürki
3

The Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper, Swiss footballer Roman Bürki is known for his towering 6’4” frame. He has also represented his national team and been part of 2 World Cups, though he later expressed his reluctance in joining his team in 2018, stating he wished he could devote more time to his club.

 29 
Denis Zakaria
(Footballer defensive midfielder position)
Denis Zakaria
2
Birthdate: November 20, 1996
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
 30 
Admir Mehmedi
(Football player - Second striker / Centre forward)
Admir Mehmedi
3
Birthdate: March 16, 1991
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gostivar, North Macedonia
 31 
Philippe Senderos
(Swiss Retired Professional Footballer Who Played as a Defender)
Philippe Senderos
3
Birthdate: February 14, 1985
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland

Former Swiss footballer Philippe Senderos is known for his stints as a defender for teams such as Arsenal, A.C. Milan, and Aston Villa. Born to Serbian and Spanish immigrant parents, he speaks 7 languages. He was once the victim of a hoax that claimed he had converted to Islam.

 32 
Clay Regazzoni
(Swiss Racing Driver)
Clay Regazzoni
3
Birthdate: September 5, 1939
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mendrisio, Switzerland
Died: December 15, 2006

Iconic Swiss Ferrari F-1 racing driver Clay Regazzoni first gained prominence with his Italian Grand Prix in 1970. In spite of being partially paralyzed after an accident in 1980, he continued to compete in races. In late 2006, his car hit a lorry on an Italian highway, causing his death.

 33 
Sébastien Buemi
(Race car driver)
Sébastien Buemi
3
Birthdate: October 31, 1988
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Aigle, Switzerland
 34 
Lara Gut-Behrami
(Alpine Ski racer)
Lara Gut-Behrami
5
Birthdate: April 27, 1991
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sorengo, Switzerland
 35 
Kevin Mbabu
(Swiss Professional Footballer Who Plays as a Defender)
Kevin Mbabu
3
Birthdate: April 19, 1995
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chêne-Bougeries, Switzerland

Swiss defender Kevin Mbabu is best known for his stint with the Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg. After Newcastle United let him go, Mbabu went on record saying his performance would make Newcastle regret their decision. He was part of the Swiss squad that played at the 2019 UEFA Nations League finals.

 36 
Fabian Schär
(Association football player)
Fabian Schär
3
Birthdate: December 20, 1991
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wil
 37 
Taulant Xhaka
(Footballer defensive midfielder position)
Taulant Xhaka
1
Birthdate: March 28, 1991
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland
 38 
Johan Djourou
(Football Centre Back player)
Johan Djourou
4
Birthdate: January 18, 1987
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Abidjan, Ivory Coast
 39 
Joel Castro Pereira
(Swiss-Portuguese Professional Football Player Who Plays as a Goalkeeper )
Joel Castro Pereira
1
Birthdate: June 28, 1996
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Boudevilliers, Switzerland
 40 
Roman Josi
(Ice hockey player)
Roman Josi
4
Birthdate: June 1, 1990
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bern
 41 
Manuel Akanji
(Football player)
Manuel Akanji
1
Birthdate: July 19, 1995
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wiesendangen, Switzerland
 42 
Pajtim Kasami
(Football Midfielder)
Pajtim Kasami
3
Birthdate: June 2, 1992
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Andelfingen, Switzerland
 43 
Josip Drmić
(Footballer striker position)
Josip Drmić
2
Birthdate: August 8, 1992
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lachen, Switzerland
 44 
Vladimir Petković
(Football manager and former football player)
Vladimir Petković
1
Birthdate: August 15, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
 45 
Andy Hug
(Karateka)
Andy Hug
3
Birthdate: September 7, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Zurich, Switzerland
Died: August 24, 2000
 46 
Alexander Frei
(Association football player)
Alexander Frei
3
Birthdate: July 15, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Basel
 47 
Simona de Silvestro
(Racing driver)
Simona de Silvestro
3
Birthdate: September 1, 1988
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Thun, Switzerland
 48 
Blerim Džemaili
(Footballer midfielder position)
Blerim Džemaili
3
Birthdate: April 12, 1986
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Tetovo, North Macedonia
Timm Klose
3
 50 
Timea Bacsinszky
(Swiss Former Professional Tennis Player)
Timea Bacsinszky
3
Birthdate: June 8, 1989
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lausanne, Switzerland

Once world number 9 in singles, Swiss tennis star Timea Bacsinszky was 5 when she was encouraged to take up tennis by her tennis coach father. Born to Hungarian parents, she initially wanted to play for Hungary. The Olympic silver medalist retired in 2021, owing to a back injury and the COVID-19 pandemic.