Breel Embolo

Swiss footballer

Breel Embolo

Embolo warming up for Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2022
Personal information
Full name Breel Donald Embolo
Date of birth (1997-02-14) 14 February 1997 (age 25)
Place of birth Yaoundé, Cameroon
Height 187 m (6 ft 2 in)
Position(s) Forward
Club information
Current team
Monaco
Number 36
Youth career
2006–2008 Nordstern
2008–2010 Old Boys
2010–2014 Basel
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2014–2016 Basel 61 (21)
2016–2019 Schalke 04 48 (10)
2019–2022 Borussia Mönchengladbach 88 (22)
2022– Monaco 15 (7)
National team
2012–2013 Switzerland U16 4 (1)
2014–2015 Switzerland U20 3 (0)
2014–2015 Switzerland U21 4 (0)
2015– Switzerland 60 (12)
Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 13 November 2022
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 24 November 2022

Breel Donald Embolo (born 14 February 1997) is a Cameroon-born Swiss professional footballer who plays as a forward for Ligue 1 club Monaco and plays for the Switzerland national team

Embolo moved with his family to France before finally settling in Switzerland After working his way through their junior teams, Embolo made his professional debut for Basel in March 2014, and won the Swiss Super League in all three of his first seasons before moving to Schalke 04 for an initial €20 million Shortly after moving to the Bundesliga, he suffered an ankle injury that ruled him out for nearly a year

Embolo made his senior international debut in March 2015 and represented Switzerland at UEFA Euro 2016, the 2018 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2020 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Early life

Embolo was born on 14 February 1997 in the Cameroonian capital Yaoundé His parents separated when he was young and when he was five or six years old, his mother moved to France to attend school Whilst there, she met her future husband, a Swiss national Then the following year, the family moved to Basel

He received Swiss citizenship on 12 December 2014 His girlfriend Naomi gave birth to their daughter Naliya in June 2018

Club career

Early career

Embolo started his youth football with Nordstern Via Old Boys he transferred to the youth system of Basel in 2010 In the 2011–12 and 2012–13 seasons he played in Basel’s U-16 With the U-16 team he won the Swiss Championship title twice at this level He received various individual prizes, such as the Basel youngster of the year 2013 Just three weeks after his 16th birthday he signed his first professional contract with the club In summer 2013 he rose to play in their U-18 and U-21 teams

FC Basel

Embolo made his professional debut on 13 March 2014 as a 90th-minute substitute for Geoffroy Serey in the Europa League round of 16 first leg at St Jakob-Park The match against Red Bull Salzburg ended in a goalless draw Three days later, he made his Swiss Super League debut in the 5–0 home win against Aarau, coming on as a substitute in the 85th minute He scored his first goal for the team just four minutes later, the final goal of the game At the end of the 2013–14 Super League season he won the league championship with Basel; they also reached the final of the 2013–14 Swiss Cup, but Embolo sat on the bench as they were beaten 2–0 by Zürich after extra time

On 4 November 2014, he scored his first goal in the UEFA Champions League, opening a 4–0 home group win against Ludogorets Razgrad The championship was won again that season, and the team reached the cup final, under new manager Paulo Sousa After winning the title, Embolo called Raphael Wicky, the club’s under-18 manager, and requested that he play their remaining games now the senior season was over

Late into the 2016 January transfer window, VfL Wolfsburg made a bid for Embolo, but it was rejected by Basel The bid was reported to be close to €27 million Under Urs Fischer, Embolo won a third consecutive title in 2015–16 In June 2016, Embolo was described by FourFourTwo as “one of Europe’s hottest prospects”

Schalke 04

Embolo with Schalke 04 in August 2018

On 26 June 2016, Bundesliga side Schalke 04 confirmed the signing of Embolo from Basel on a five-year deal, for a reported fee of €20 million plus add-ons He made his debut on 20 August in the first round of the DFB-Pokal away to sixth-tier FC 08 Villingen, starting and scoring in a 4–1 victory A week later he made his league debut in a 1–0 loss at Eintracht Frankfurt, replacing Franco Di Santo at half time in the season opener

He scored his first league goals for the Gelsenkirchen-based club on 2 October, a brace in a 4–0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach Eleven days later in his next match against Augsburg, he suffered a serious injury following a foul from Kostas Stafylidis, a complicated ankle fracture, ruptured syndesmosis and medial collateral ligament damage which ruled him out for the remainder of the season

On 16 September 2017, Embolo made his return after missing nearly a full year of football, coming on as an 80th-minute substitute for Amine Harit in a 2–1 win at Werder Bremen

Borussia Mönchengladbach

Embolo signed for fellow Bundesliga club Borussia Mönchengladbach on 28 June 2019 on a four-year contract He made his debut in the first round of the DFB-Pokal on 9 August, coming on at half time for Jonas Hofmann in a 1–0 win at SV Sandhausen Fifteen days later, again from the bench, he scored his first goal for the club in a 3–1 win at Mainz 05

On 27 October 2021, Embolo scored twice in a 5–0 surprise win over FC Bayern Munich in the cup second round – Bayern Munich’s biggest ever defeat in the DFB-Pokal, and their first ever cup elimination to Gladbach

Monaco

On 15 July 2022, Embolo joined Ligue 1 club Monaco for a four-year deal The transfer fee paid to Mönchengladbach was reported as a little over €12 million

International career

Embolo in June 2016

Embolo made four appearances for the Switzerland U16 national team He scored his first international goal on 1 November 2012 in the 3–0 away win against the Ukraine U16 He was also eligible to play for Cameroon, however in December 2014 he pledged his international allegiance to Switzerland

He made his senior international debut on 31 March 2015, replacing Josip Drmić after 56 minutes of an eventual 1–1 friendly draw against the United States in Zürich On 9 October, he scored his first international goal, a penalty in a 7–0 win over San Marino at the AFG Arena in St Gallen, converting after Alessandro Della Valle fouled Eren Derdiyok; the result qualified the Swiss to UEFA Euro 2016 In the same game, he also set up Michael Lang for the first goal and won a spot-kick scored by Johan Djourou

Embolo was selected by manager Vladimir Petković for the final tournament in France A substitute in the first two group games, he then started against the hosts in a goalless draw in Lille and came off the bench in the last 16, a 1–1 draw and penalty shootout loss to Poland

In qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Embolo scored once to open a 2–0 win over European champions Portugal at his former club ground in Basel Petković named him for the squad to compete in the finals in Russia

Embolo scored once in UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying, putting the Swiss 3–0 up in an eventual 3–3 draw at home to Denmark on 27 March 2019 At the finals, held in 2021, he scored the opener in their first group game, a 1–1 draw with Wales in Baku

2022 FIFA World Cup

In Switzerland’s first game of the 2022 World Cup against Cameroon, Embolo scored the opening and only goal of the game This made him the first player in tournament history to score a goal for their adopted country against their nation of birth Out of respect, his reaction was unusually “muted” as he “barely celebrated his goal” Instead, he stood still and put his hands up to his face as his teammates mobbed him and did the more vigorous celebrating

Style of play

Embolo challenging with Benedikt Höwedes of Lokomotiv Moscow in October 2018

UEFAcom writer Steffen Potter praised Embolo as a complete striker: “He is powerful, technically strong and decisive He has explosive pace and is a composed finisher” Fabian Frei, who was a midfielder for FC Basel at the same time with Embolo, complimented him as well, for keeping his feet on the ground

Embolo has cited Mario Balotelli as one of his inspirations Both players like to lurk between defenders and both have great control allied to physical prowess

Embolo can also play in midfield; according to David Lemos of Radio Télévision Suisse he resembles N’Golo Kanté in this role, using his power to retrieve the ball and give it to the attackers

Personal life

At the age of 18, he created the Embolo Foundation to support refugee children in Switzerland and disadvantaged youth in his birth country of Cameroon

Career statistics

Club

As of match played 13 November 2022
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Basel 2013–14 Swiss Super League 7 1 0 0 4 0 11 1
2014–15 27 10 5 6 8 1 40 17
2015–16 27 10 1 0 12 3 40 13
Total 61 21 6 6 24 4 91 31
Schalke 04 2016–17 Bundesliga 7 2 1 1 2 0 10 3
2017–18 21 3 2 0 23 3
2018–19 20 5 3 0 5 1 28 6
Total 48 10 6 1 7 1 61 12
Borussia Mönchengladbach 2019–20 Bundesliga 28 8 1 0 5 0 34 8
2020–21 31 5 3 0 7 1 41 6
2021–22 29 9 2 2 31 11
Total 88 22 6 2 12 1 106 25
Monaco 2022–23 Ligue 1 15 7 0 0 8 1 23 8
Career total 212 60 18 9 51 7 0 0 281 76

International

As of match played 24 November 2022
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Switzerland 2015 7 1
2016 10 1
2017 4 0
2018 9 1
2019 6 1
2020 4 0
2021 10 4
2022 10 4
Total 60 12
Scores and results list Switzerland’s goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Embolo goal
List of international goals scored by Breel Embolo
No Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 9 October 2015 AFG Arena, St Gallen, Switzerland 6  San Marino 6–0 7–0 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
2 6 September 2016 St Jakob-Park, Basel, Switzerland 15  Portugal 1–0 2–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
3 27 March 2018 Swissporarena, Lucerne, Switzerland 23  Panama 3–0 6–0 Friendly
4 26 March 2019 St Jakob-Park, Basel, Switzerland 32  Denmark 3–0 3–3 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying
5 25 March 2021 Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria 41  Bulgaria 1–0 3–1 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification
6 12 June 2021 Baku Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan 43  Wales 1–0 1–1 UEFA Euro 2020
7 12 October 2021 LFF Stadium, Vilnius, Lithuania 50  Lithuania 1–0 4–0 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification
8 3–0
9 26 March 2022 Wembley Stadium, London, England 51  England 1–0 1–2 Friendly
10 24 September 2022 La Romareda, Zaragoza, Spain 57  Spain 2–1 2–1 2022–23 UEFA Nations League A
11 27 September 2022 Kybunpark, St Gallen, Switzerland 58  Czech Republic 2–0 2–1 2022–23 UEFA Nations League A
12 24 November 2022 Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah, Qatar 60  Cameroon 1–0 1–0 2022 FIFA World Cup

Honours

Basel Youth

  • U16 Swiss Champion: 2011–12, 2012–13

Basel

  • Swiss Super League: 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16

Individual

  • FC Basel Young Player of the Year: 2013
  • Swiss Footballer of the Year: 2015

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