Markus Babbel has commenced the rebuilding project that is the Western Sydney Wanderers squad, with the club on Wednesday morning announcing the capture of Swiss international Pirmin Schwegler.
A member of the Swiss 2010 World Cup squad, 32-year-old Schwegler graduated to senior football from the academy side of Swiss Super League side FC Luzern, going on to make 30 appearances while scoring two goals for the club. Signing with Bayer Leverkusen in 2005, he was immediately loaned out to Swiss side Young Boys; going on to make 41 appearances in his year at the Bern based club.
Making the move to the Bundesliga in 2006, Schwegler went on to play in over 250 matches in German football with the likes of Leverkusen, Eintracht Frankfurt, 1899 Hoffenheim and Hannover 96.
Capped 21 times for the Swiss at an U21 level, the holding midfielder made 14 appearences for the Nati across 11 friendlies and three European qualifiers – including a 3-1 loss to England in Basel in 2010.
The Ettiswil born midfielder was also an unused substitute during the Swiss’ games against Spain, Chile and Honduras at the 2010 World Cup.
“For me, an opportunity had arisen to fulfil a lifelong dream,” Schwegler said upon signing with the Wanderers.
“I got the opportunity to live for a while in Australia and it was an opportunity that I did not know would come again.
“The decision to move was anything but easy because Hannover 96 has been part of me for a long time.
“I am very excited to join the Western Sydney Wanderers and I am counting down the days until I arrive.
“I am very proud to be part of the Red & Black and look forward to getting started.”
That Schwegler comes with such a glittering resume is a testament to the fighting spirit he possesses.
Diagnosed with leukemia at just 16-months-old, Haematologists at the University Hospital of Bern gave him just a 10% chance of survival.
Thankfully, chemotherapy eventually proved successful for Schwegler; although his childhood was dotted with regular check-ups as a result of his cancer experience.
Meanwhile, former Wanderers captain Brendan Hamill has been confirmed as Western United’s latest signing.
The 26-year-old defender farewelled Western Sydney via Instagram on Tuesday.