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Newcomer Ndoye Switzerland's man of the moment at Euro 2024

Ndoye was among the surprises of Euro 2024 having started only one competitive match for his country prior to the tournament, but the versatile forward has seized the moment and looks certain to start against Italy in the round of 16 on Saturday.
Last Updated : 28 June 2024, 10:17 IST

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Dusseldorf, Germany: With his startling pace and ability to ride out tackles, unheralded Swiss newcomer Dan Ndoye has put himself on a few radars at Euro 2024 and could be key to another Swiss march to the quarter-finals.

Ndoye was among the surprises of Euro 2024 having started only one competitive match for his country prior to the tournament, but the versatile forward has seized the moment and looks certain to start against Italy in the round of 16 on Saturday.

The Bologna player has been a dynamo in a Swiss attack that looked dangerous against Hungary, Scotland and Germany, with Ndoye tantalising defences with quick feet and surging forays down both flanks.

Swiss coach Murat Yakin had kept him mostly on the margins during qualifying, but his roll of the dice at the Euros paid off, with Ndoye a standout player in Switzerland's 1-1 draw with Germany last week, scoring first to spoil the hosts' perfect record in Group A.

For a 23-year-old who started only once in qualifying and made substitute appearances of an average 21 minutes a game, Ndoye has exuded confidence, accounting for nearly a third of Switzerland's goal attempts.

Three days before netting what was his first for Switzerland against Germany, Ndoye had already suggested it was on the cards.

"It will come, I'm not worried about that," he told broadcaster SRF.

"I'm already doing a lot of things right."

The numbers confirm that and show Ndoye is a player Italy should be wary of.

With a top speed of 35.6 kph (22.1 mph) he is the third-fastest player at Euro 2024, quicker than France's Kylian Mbappe, and joins France's Ousmane Dembele and Belgium's Jeremy Doku in the top five players with the most dribbles.

He is seventh for goal attempts, level with Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne and three short of Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo.

It has not gone unnoticed, with news reports this week that Ndoye is now a target of Inter Milan and Manchester United.

A Senegalese-Swiss who played for Nice and Basel before moving to Italy's Bologna, Ndoye was a regular for Switzerland's under-21s and once expressed interest in switching to Senegal.

Switzerland will be glad that never happened, as they pursue another spot in the last eight, a stage they reached in Euro 2020 after eliminating France. "We have shown we can hold our own against the top teams. That gives us a lot of courage," Ndoye said.

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Published 28 June 2024, 10:17 IST

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