Football: König to replace 'Zubi' at Basel
FC Basel have wasted little time in filling the void left by their departing goalkeeper, Pascal Zuberbühler. The club have agreed a one year loan deal with Grasshoppers Zurich's Slovakian keeper, Miroslav König.
König could make a dramatic debut on Saturday - when Basel play host to the Zurich side. The Slovakian was brought to Switzerland by GC's former coach, Roy Hodgson, who saw König as a possible replacement for an under-performing Stefan Huber. But the club's new manager, Hans-Peter Zaugg, has reinstated Huber as his number one keeper, precipitating Konig's move to Basel.
The Slovakian international, who has represented his country 20 times, has a lot to live up to, following the departure of Zuberbühler. The Swiss national keeper is moving to Bayer Leverkusen in the German Bundesliga.
Even König's arrival at Basel was overshadowed by Zuberbühler's last performance - in which the 29-year-old keeper let in four goals and still finished comfortably on the winning side. Basel's win over Lucerne on Saturday will be remembered not only for Zuberbühler's sign-off but also for the 7-4 scoreline.
It was the first time in 26 years that a Swiss game had ended with 11 goals - Sion's 6-5 win over Servette during the 1974-75 season was the last such 'goal-fest'. The 11 goal tally has only been bettered on two occasions. In the 1959-60 season Berne's Young Boys enjoyed an 8-4 away win over Lucerne, while two years later Servette annihilated Grenchen 11-2.
Miroslav König will be hoping for much smaller scorelines as his career at Basel gets underway, but his arrival is unlikely to end the club's search for new talent. Saturday's spectacle against Lucerne also saw Basel's George Koumantarakis leaving the pitch with a broken rib, following a collision with the visitor's goalkeeper, Patrick Foletti. The South African striker is expected to be out for two months, leaving Basel in need of at least a short-term replacement.
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