Bruno Berner

Berner: Amazing To Be Back In Leicester

Former Leicester City left-back Bruno Berner described returning to King Power Stadium as ‘an amazing feeling’ as his countrymen prepare to face England on Tuesday night.
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The ex-Switzerland international will be on Filbert Way to watch his nation face Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions in a friendly fixture.

Berner, now manager at Swiss outfit SC Kriens, reflected fondly on both his time at Leicester and the stunning success the Club had shortly after he returned to his homeland.

“It’s an amazing feeling [to be here],” Berner told LCFC TV ahead of the game. “I’ve got a lot of memories here, so it’s great to be here and great to be back.

“It was an amazing story (City’s Premier League triumph), even to watch it from quite far away, from Switzerland. I was proud to be part of that foundation where the Club just kept going and building on from their achievements in the past.

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'A Chance To Present Leicester To The World'

Bruno Berner believes England's clash with Switzerland on Tuesday will no doubt be a proud moment for the city of Leicester.

“I remember the owners coming in when they took over the Club and they said ‘we want to go to the Premier League’ and here we are. They became Premier League champions, so it’s an amazing story.”

After four years with the Foxes, Berner headed back to Switzerland to earn his coaching badges. He took up a coaching role in FC Zürich’s academy before being named manager of FC Tuggen in November 2016.

The following summer, he took up a managerial role at SC Kriens and earned promotion during his maiden season in charge.

“It’s better,” joked Berner when discussing his return to Switzerland. “No, it’s different. Going home is always great. I was in England for five years playing for Blackburn and Leicester so I had an amazing time.

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Bruno Berner
Bruno Berner

“My wife was pregnant with my daughter and we decided to go home and kick on in Switzerland. I also wanted to give her something back because she just followed me for five years in England to support me in football.

“Then, we thought coming towards the end of my career, what are we going to do? Do we stay in England? I was always thinking of going into coaching once I turned 30, but we decided to go home and build up our life there.”

Having played in England for five seasons – first at Blackburn Rovers before moving to City – it will no doubt be a special fixture for the 40-year-old.

“Having that game and watching the game as a Swiss fan, also with my affinity for English football, it’s just great to watch the game,” he continued. “I’m very much looking forward to the game.

It’s a great opportunity to present themselves – Leicester City as a club but Leicester as a city as well. Hopefully, it will be a very good game and me being here watching Switzerland, it’s going to be great.

Bruno BernerLCFC TV

“I think it’s very, very big [for the Club]. What I heard, it’s the second time that England have played in Leicester, so it goes back quite a while.

“It’s a great opportunity to present themselves – Leicester City as a club but Leicester as a city as well. Hopefully, it will be a very good game and me being here watching Switzerland, it’s going to be great.”

Berner went on to highlight several talented players in the Switzerland set-up, some of which he has previously worked with while coaching.

“Djibril Sow was playing under me when I was Under-18s coach at FC Zürich, he’s a rising star for Swiss football,” said Berner. “Also, Kevin Mbabu. He played for Newcastle [United] for a few years.

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Bruno Berner
Bruno Berner

“I wasn’t there (in England) at the time but he carried on in Switzerland in the Swiss league and is now a very strong right full-back. He fully deserved to be called up.

“Xherdan Shaqiri is now at Liverpool, he’s new as a no.10, as a shadow striker behind the main striker. It’s a different role but I think it's a role that suits him. He’s a player to look out for for the game.”

Supporters could potentially see three Foxes stars in action at King Power Stadium, with Harry Maguire, Demarai Gray and Ben Chilwell all earning call-ups.

“That’s massive,” said Berner of City’s significant presence in the England squad. “You just asked me the question how it was 10 years ago and now we talk about internationals playing at Leicester City.

To play for your country, especially for the first time, it’s something as a child or teenager, you dream of those days.

Bruno BernerLCFC TV

“That’s massive and it’s very big for the Club. It’s an amazing story.”

As a former international himself, Berner says he can relate to Chilwell and Gray’s recent maiden senior call-ups and added: “The moment you first get a call-up for your country, it’s pure goose bumps. You can’t describe it, you don’t have the words.

“To play for your country, especially for the first time, it’s something as a child or teenager, you dream of those days. Here we are, you just got called up and the moment you step on that pitch the first time playing for your country, it’s one of the best feelings ever.”

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