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By ESPN Staff

Basle - Squad Profiles

Pascal Zuberbuhler (goalkeeper)
Born: 08.01.71
Nationality: Swiss

Zubi

Zuberbuhler's career was in tatters when a series of blunders led to him being released by German club Bayer Leverkusen in the middle of the 2000-01 season.

But the big keeper has bounced back in fine style in a second spell at Basle, doing much to keep the club's Champions League dream alive. His strength is his reflexes, his excellent shot-stopping ability and he was a star in the first phase. Began at Grasshoppers and a key man in this Basle starting line-up.


Group A: Barcelona | Bayer Leverkusen | Inter Milan | Newcastle
Group B: Ajax Amsterdam | Arsenal | AS Roma | Valencia
Group C: AC Milan | Borussia Dortmund | L Moscow | Real Madrid
Group D: Basle | Deportivo | Juventus | Manchester Utd

Philipp Degen (defender)
Born: 15.02.83
Nationality: Swiss

A product of the Basle youth ranks, the teenage right-back or right-sided midfielder is one for the future.

With Haas and Ergic playing so competently, his first team opportunities are limited at the moment, but he has time on his side to prove his worth at the highest level.

Only made his professional debut last season, so the experience of playing in Europe's premier competition should stand him in good stead.

Gregory Duruz (defender)
Born: 20.04.77
Nationality: Swiss

Combative left-back whose career looked in trouble when former club Sion were demoted from the Swiss top-flight last May because of financial problems.

But Basle swooped to give him a lifeline and he has repaid them with a string of gutsy, purposeful performances this term. Made five appearances in the first phase of the Champions League.

Bernt Haas (defender)
Born: 08.04.78
Nationality: Swiss

Pitched into the Grasshoppers first team as a teenager in the 1996-97 campaign, he instantly established himself as the team's first-choice right-back and full international honours quickly followed.

Signed for Sunderland in the summer of 2001 but the move did not work out and he was loaned to Basle at the start of this season. He is proving his English employers wrong with some great performances in the Champions League.

Alexandre Quennoz (defender)
Born: 21.09.78
Nationality: Swiss

The solid central defender started the majority of Basle's games last term, but he now finds himself cast in the role of understudy to Zwyssig.

Joined Basle in 1999 from Sion and he can play full-back if required, though he admits himself that it is not a role he particularly likes. Started in four of Basle's first phase games in this competition.

Murat Yakin (defender)
Born: 15.09.74
Nationality: Swiss

Murat Yakin

Of Turkish stock, Yakin is the central defensive organiser of both Basle and Switzerland.

A former midfielder, he can be a threat in and around the opposition box thanks to his fierce shooting from free-kicks and aerial ability.

Started out at Grasshoppers and has also played in Germany for VfB Stuttgart and Kaiserslautern, as well as Turkish side Fenerbahce. An elegant performer, he has been in fine form for club and country this year.

Marco Zwyssig (defender)
Born: 24.10.71
Nationality: Swiss

Tall centre-back who moved from cash-strapped Austrian side FC Tirol to Basle midway through last season.

He has not always been a stopper as Zwyssig also has experience as a right-back and a midfield enforcer.

Began his top-flight career with St Gallen and is a full Swiss international.

Has only recently returned to the first team after suffering a broken leg and made his mark in the first phase of the Champions League.

Thimothee Atouba (midfielder)
Born: 17.02.82
Nationality: Cameroon

Able to take on a variety of midfield guises or slot in at left-back, this athletic, technically-gifted young African offers Christian Gross a multitude of options. Signed from Neuchatel Xamax during last season's winter break.

His one problem is the number of niggling injuries he often picks up. Atouba scored a crucial goal in the sensational 3-3 draw with Liverpool that booked their place in this stage of the Champions League.

Sebastien Barberis (midfielder)
Born: 31.05.72
Nationality: Swiss

Industrious, forceful utility man able to play at full-back or in a number of different midfield roles. Bought from Servette Geneva two years ago, he is a chip off the old block.

His father, Umberto was one of Switzerland's all-time great playmakers, notably starring for Servette and Monaco. Now his son is an experienced performer and he is a vital squad man for Basle coach Christian Gross.

Mario Cantaluppi (midfielder)
Born: 11.04.74
Nationality: Swiss

Cantaluppi

While he has played in central defence at previous clubs, Grasshoppers and Servette, he is at his best in a holding role in front of the back-four.

Energetic, a good ball-winner and passer and above all, highly-consistent. A Swiss international who is a star of the improved side under Jakob Kuhn, he was a virtual ever present in Basle's first group success in the Champions League.

Scott Chipperfield (midfielder)
Born: 30.12.75
Nationality: Australian

Basle will be hoping that their gifted midfield creator soon makes a full recovery from a knee ligament injury.

Joined from Aussie club Wollongong Wolves in 2001 and played an influential role in Basle's Swiss League and Cup double last season. His presence would boost their hopes of making yet more unlikely progress in this competition after their shock passage from the first phase.

Ivan Ergic (midfielder)
Born: 21.01.81
Nationality: Yugoslav

On loan from Juventus, Ergic's ball-skills and pace on the right-flank represent one of Basle's main attacking weapons.

Born in Yugoslavia, but moved to Australia as a teenager, where he learnt his footballing craft at the country's famous Institute of Sport before starring for Perth Glory and being picked up by Juventus.

He was Basle's hero when scoring both his teams goals in the 2-2 draw at home to Valencia in the first phase of the Champions League.

Antonio Esposito (midfielder)
Born: 13.12.72
Nationality: Swiss

Basle did good business recruiting the veteran ex-Swiss international midfielder from French side Saint-Etienne last summer.

He can play anywhere in midfield, his distribution is good and he approaches every game as though his life depended upon it.

First made a name for himself at Grasshopper Zurich and later emigrated to Italy and Spain to turn out for Verona and Extremadura respectively. Finally winning the success he has craved at the highest level.

Carlos Varela (midfielder)
Born: 15.09.77
Nationality: Spanish

The son of Spanish immigrants who moved to Switzerland to find work, the right-sided midfielder came through the youth ranks of Servette Geneva, eventually helping them claim the Swiss League title in 1998-99. Moved to Basle in 2000 but has found it difficult to shrug off the substitute label.

All the same, a good counter attacker and crosser, he played his part in Basle's progression to the second phase of the Champions League.

Christian Gimenez (forward)
Born: 13.11.74
Nationality: Argentine

Quick, aggressive and an instinctive marksman, he joined Basle in a £1.5 million deal from fellow Swiss club Lugano early last season and proved himself to be worth every penny.

By contributing 28 goals to his new club's League title-winning campaign and finishing top of the national scoring lists, Gimenez instantly became a star.

Used to be on the books of top Argentine club Boca Juniors, where team mates included Diego Maradona and Claudio Caniggia.

George Koumantarakis (forward)
Born: 27.03.74
Nationality: South African

The lanky target man was once the heart and soul of the Basle attack, but the advent of Gimenez and Rossi has left him on the fringes and last summer he looked set to move to AEK Athens, only for the deal to fall through.

Born in Athens but grew up in the South African city of Durban and he is a full international for his adopted country. Joined Basle in 1999 from another Swiss side, Luzern and a key squad man for Christian Gross.

Julio Hernan Rossi (forward)
Born: 22.02.77
Nationality: Argentine

Basle were not exactly taking a gamble when they signed the South American front runner from Lugano in the close season.

The previous season, he had chalked up 21 Swiss League goals and, more importantly, he used to form an exciting attacking duo at Lugano with Gimenez.

Once with River Plate of Buenos Aires, he likes to attack from deep positions and makes his fair share of goals too. Scored crucial goals against Liverpool home and away in the first phase of the Champions League.

Herve Tum (forward)
Born: 15.02.79
Nationality: Cameroon

Not a first-choice starter by any means but has a well-deserved reputation as a supersub, boasting the ability to come on and instantly cause problems to opposing defences with his height, speed and persistence.

Signed from Sion two years ago, Tum made five appearance in this first phase of the Champions League. At the age of 23, the time has come for him to move his career onto the next level.

Hakan Yakin (forward)
Born: 22.02.77
Nationality: Swiss

Hakan Yakin

The younger brother of Murat Yakin, he is probably the most exciting talent in Swiss football at the moment and must be destined to move soon to one of Europe's top leagues.

Made his name as a conventional striker but is now playing with great success in the hole behind the strikers, proving himself both a consummate creator and taker of chances.

In his second spell at Basle, he has also played for Grasshoppers and St Gallen. Now at the height of his powers, he will need to be at his scoring best in Basle are to progress further in this competition.