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Karli Odermatt: in the cup only one game counts!

The Swiss Football Awards 2017 took place yesterday in Rapperswil-Jona. The award for best team in the Helvetia Swiss Cup went to this year’s winners, FC Basel. Basel legend Karli Odermatt and Jean-Paul Brigger, delegate of the Board of Directors, talk about the fascination of the cup.

29 August 2017, author: Fabian Weidmann, photos: Schweizerischer Fussballverband

With its 12th cup title in total, FC Basel not only achieved the championship and cup double but also became the first team ever to beat FC Sion in a cup final (FC Sion had previously never lost in 13 finals).

“Karli” Odermatt, a Basel football legend, and Jean-Paul Brigger, delegate of the Board of Directors at FC Basel, received the award as Helvetia Swiss Cup team of the year on behalf of the team. Benjamin Thoma, Head Event Management at Helvetia, met them both for a brief interview.

What does this award mean to you?

Karli Odermatt: It is an honour for us to represent FC Basel here and to receive such a prize. But it wasn’t us who won it; it was the team. As they are already in the middle of their preparations for the Champions League and the championship, we are delighted to be able to receive this award on their behalf.

Jean-Paul Brigger, you only joined FC Basel after the cup final. As a native of Valais, weren’t you a bit hurt by the defeat of FC Sion?

FC Basel took a well-deserved win in the game between the best Swiss team at the moment and cup specialists Sion. The game was so clear-cut that the victory is perfectly OK.

Karli Odermatt, what does the Helvetia Swiss Cup mean to you?

The cup is special in that it is a knockout competition. For the loser there is no second chance. The same applies in the final. only the win counts. It’s always a bitter pill to swallow for the loser of the final, as I know to my cost.

Jean-Paul Brigger, what significance does the cup have for you?

I come from a little village club and I played my way up, step by step, to bigger clubs. First I ended up at FC Sion, then at Servette, and then I made the leap into the Swiss national team. What fascinates me about the cup is that it’s a proper duel between two opponents. None of the other competitors are involved – it’s a matter of the here and now! Every game starts nil-nil, so even the outsider has a chance. The sport is characterised by these David and Goliath meetings.

Who’s going to win the Helvetia Cup in 2017/2018?

Karli Odermatt: Of course we hope that we’ll win it again. But in the end it will probably be some team from the Super League or the Challenge League.

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