Scout Report: Fabian Schär - The ball-playing centre-back attracting Europe’s attention
In the minority when compared to most promising youngsters or up-and-coming footballers, 21-year-old Fabian Schär worked in the banking industry before making his footballing breakthrough at FC Basel. He possesses the necessary qualifications to work as a banker.
With his impressive Football intelligence, well-rounded technical skill set, ball-playing ability and, arguably most importantly, a well-grounded mature mindset, this Swiss centre-half and his interesting background story is most definitely one to remember and for all the right reasons.
Who is Fabian Schär?
Born on the 20th of December 1991 in the city of Wil in the Swiss Canton of St. Gallen, Fabian Schär joined the youth academy of his hometown club FC Wil 1900 as an 8-year-old. Promoted to the FC Wil 1st-team at the age of 18 in 2009, the Swiss centre-half hasn’t looked back since.
After his 1st-team debut and a single further senior appearance in 2009/10, Schär went on to appear 25 times and score 4 goals for Wil in 2010/11, impressing so much that he was called up for Switzerland at U20 level. He then made 29 appearances in 2011/12, getting on the scoresheet on 5 occasions.
A video clip of him scoring a goal from his own half against FC Aarau in an October fixture in the Swiss Challenge League – ie the Swiss 2nd Division – went viral on the Internet in late 2011, bringing Schär up many notches in terms of visibility. On the international stage, the progress continued as Schär stepped up to the Swiss U21s and even headed in a goal on his 3rd appearance, a 3-1 win over Estonia in a Euro Qualifier. 56 appearances and 9 goals for his hometown side, Schär impressed enough to make the step up the footballing ladder, joining perennial Swiss domestic champions FC Basel in the summer of 2012.
Schär didn’t manage to break into Murat Yakin’s Starting XI immediately, having been with Switzerland at the 2012 Olympic Games, but bided his time and made the most of his opportunity when it finally came on 29 September 2012. After ending 2012/13 with 24 domestic (league + cup) appearances, starting all but 2 of the Rotblau’s 14 UEFA Europa League matches in a run to the semi-finals, appearing for the final time for the Swiss U21s and proceeding to earn 3 senior international caps, Schär hasn’t looked back.
The young Swiss international contributed a total of 11 goals and 1 assist in 42 appearances for Basel and Switzerland. At the time of writing in 2013/14, Schär has appeared 15 times for Basel in the league, scoring 3 and assisting 2. In Europe, he scored twice across the 2 rounds of UCL qualification that Basel had to negotiate to reach the group stage, where he played every single minute of Basel’s 6 matches.
Hugely impressive performances were seen from both FCB and Fabian Schär in their double over Chelsea, with Schär impressing even further with his assist for Salah’s winner in Matchday 5. Internationally, Schär further cemented his spot in Switzerland’s squad for this year’s 2014 FIFA World Cup, making 2 appearances in friendlies – 1-0 win against Brazil and a 2-1 defeat to South Korea.
Barring any significant drop in form, expect to see Schär on Switzerland’s plane to Brazil. A big move after the World Cup? That would not be a surprise. However, note that any big move would be what he deserves, through his impressive development and displays at Basel, rather than 1 of those “flavour of the month” transfers that happen in the wake of World Cups.