One ex-Australia international with strong Swiss links believes the latest Aussie to star in the country's Super League is worthy of a national team call-up
Former Australia international Scott Chipperfield has called on Socceroos head coach Holger Osieck to pick Swiss-based midfielder Oliver Bozanic in his squad to play Brazil next month.
Osieck is expected to name his squad on Wednesday for the friendly in Brasilia, to be played on September 7, and Chipperfield, who made 68 appearances for the Socceroos, reckons Bozanic should be included.
Bozanic has scored six goals in seven matches in all competitions for his new club FC Luzern since arriving from Central Coast Mariners, helping to fire the club from the centre of Switzerland to third in the Swiss Super League.
Chipperfield reckons the 24-year-old midfielder's ability to create, score and work hard in defence means he is definitely one for the future for the Socceroos.
"I think Holger's shown in the past he's been willing to bring players in to camp to have a look at them," Chipperfield told Goal Australia from his home in Switzerland on Tuesday.
"So I think he's worth bringing into the squad anyway, to at least train with the players and then you can have a look at him."
Plenty of Australians have had success in Switzerland over the years, with Chipperfield the standout.
Chipperfield won seven league titles and six Swiss Cups in 11 seasons with FC Basel but others, such as Bozanic's former Central Coast team-mate Mile Sterjovski (Basel) and Ljubo Milicevic (Zurich and Thun) have also done well in Switzerland.
Dario Vidosic has become the latest Australian to head to the Swiss Super League, having signed for FC Sion from Adelaide United on Monday, and Chipperfield hopes more young Aussies choose smaller European countries to develop their career, rather than move to Asia.
"I think it's definitely a good stepping stone (for bigger European leagues)," Chipperfield said.
"I'd rather players come to Switzerland than go to places like Korea, Japan or China.
"I think Europe is where the football is at, at the moment, so I think it's good for young Australians to come here."
Luzern is not one of the traditional powerhouses of the Swiss Super League and has only won one national championship in their history.
But in the past four seasons, Luzern have finished in the top four twice, including a second position in 2011-12, when they also made the final of the Swiss Cup.
Luzern slumped to eighth last season but Chipperfield has argued Bozanic's arrival has been crucial to the fine start of Carlos Bernegger's side, while the Swiss media have been quick to get behind the former Central Coast player.
"The biggest newspaper here is called Der Blick and they've been stories in nearly every day about him," Chipperfield said.
"So they call him 'Crocodile Oli' and then they did a story with him, he was in like a cage with crocodiles in there ... so he's pretty popular since he arrived."
Chipperfield played a role in Bozanic's move to Switzerland after he recommended the young midfielder to former Basel team-mate Alexander Frei, who is Luzern's sporting director.
But Chipperfield has revealed it took a while to convince Bozanic that the interest from Luzern was legitimate.
"My agent got on to me and asked if I knew this player (Bozanic) and I knew Oliver was at the Mariners and I spoke to Mile Sterjovski and Mile said 'yeah, he's a good player ... he'd do a good job in Switzerland'," Chipperfield said.
"And I saw Bozanic, (that) he followed me on Twitter, so I actually contacted him on Twitter and my agent called him and he (Bozanic) thought it was piss-take.
"So then I had to call Oliver back and say 'nah, look it's serious' and then I think three or four days later he signed for Luzern."