Far from raising the level, the 29-year-old midfielder was overwhelmed Wednesday (3-0) by an Italy that he nevertheless assured to know “on the fingertips”, promising to approach the Azzurri in “compact and united team” .
“Who was this player pretending to be Freuler? Doubtful placements, rare passes alibi, no projection”, tackled the Lausanne daily Le Matin on Thursday, inflicting him the worst score of the team with that of striker Haris Seferovic.
Difficult to blame the N.8 for all the Swiss mistakes: little inspired in attack, the “Nati” was above all shown a rare passivity without the ball, leaving the Italian offensives astonishing freedom.
But the disappointment shows the weight of expectations around the Zurich resident, missing piece of a Swiss collective now accustomed to the final stages, and which still aims to reach its first quarter-finals.
To complete this playful team, which likes to have the ball but hardly knows how to undergo, what better than a midfielder with an enormous volume of play, capable of raking as of projecting itself or even of scoring (3 goals in 31 selections)?
This is precisely the panoply offered by the “Atalanta Duracell rabbit” and its “13 kilometers covered per match”, underlined in November the daily Blick, explaining why the “Nati” can not do without it.
It would still be necessary that it shines there as much as in Bergamo, club which made it explode since its arrival in 2016. Bought 2 million euros at the Swiss club Lucerne, it is now worth 25, according to the Transfermarkt site .
Remo Freuler and the Lombard city, it is the meeting of a laborer with a late emergence with an armada of players with a modest past, metamorphosed by Gian Piero Gasperini into a pressing and attacking machine.
Never injured and able to withstand the intensity imposed by his coach, the Swiss has become one of Atalanta’s essential cogs in the league, with three podiums in the last three seasons.
“Remo Freuler is an underrated midfielder who travels with the lights off: he is third in the overall standings for average score, behind Lukaku and Muriel,” wrote the Gazzetta dello Sport on 25 May.
Asked by this sports daily in May, he did not seem to regret his relative anonymity, shared with his Dutch sidekick in the middle, Marten de Roon.
“It’s normal that those who score, like Luis Muriel, or make high class movements, like Josip Ilicic, take more light. We have other tasks: to filter and give balance to the team. we feel important, we are a bit the heart of Atalanta, “he said.
He also contributed to the club’s two European epics, eliminated by Paris SG (1-2) in the quarter-finals of the Champions League last season and then Real Madrid (0-1, 1-3) this year in the round of 16. final.
Severely ruled out against Madrid at the start of the first leg, he asked for “forgiveness” the next day from the team and the supporters, before his partners assured him that he did not have to apologize.
But this mishap is nothing compared to his disappointments in the selection, he who waited for the approach of his thirties to discover his first tournament in the skin of a holder, after having spent the World-2018 on the bench.
“It’s annoying not to play for a single minute. In a way it stimulated me, not to just watch again, but to contribute to our success”, he confided just before the Euro.
To recover from Turkey, which should offer more space than Italy, he can at least draw on his experience last year in the League of Nations: going beyond his strict role as regulator, he had scored two superb goals against Spain (1-1) and Germany (3-3).
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– Euro 2021. The two faces of Remo Freuler between l& # 39; Atalanta and Switzerland
– Euro 2020: Atalanta or Switzerland, the two faces of Remo Freuler
– Atalanta or l& # 39; Swiss team, the two faces of Remo Freuler