Basel have set the Europa League alight this year with their exciting style of play, reminiscent of the way Athletic Bilbao did in last year's competition.

Europe's giants such as Manchester United could do far worse than look at some of the Swiss team's players when they go hunting for fresh talent in the summer.

In this season's Europa League they have already seen off Zenit St. Petersburg, Sporting Lisbon and Tottenham.

With an array of midfield talent such as Valentin Stocker, Fabian Frei and Cabral - all of whom are 24 - and Egyptian pair Mohamed Salah and Mohamed Elneny - both 20 - Basel are top of their domestic league.

Fabian Schar, 21, has three goals in his 10 games so far - not bad for a centre-back.

They helped to put Manchester United out of the Champions League at the group stage last season, and if they can keep their team together, which seems somewhat unlikely, who knows how far they can go.

Salah has four assists in the 11 Europa League games so far, whilst Stocker has three goals and one assist in his 10 appearances.

Other young Basel stars include 'keeper Yann Sommer, who is only 24, and Austrian defender Aleksandar Dragovic, 22.

Philipp Degen, at 30, is one of the veterans of the team who Liverpool fans will remember from his less than successful time there, as is striker Marco Streller at 31.

Streller is top scorer with four goals in his eight games in the competition so far.

Even losing last season's star player Xherdan Shakiri to Bayern Munich does not seem to have halted their progress.

One thing's for sure: Basel's Europa League semi-final opponents Chelsea will not be treating the Swiss outfit lightly.

Swiss football seems to be on the rise at the moment, with their national team topping their World Cup qualifying group and looking set for Brazil in 2014.

Perhaps some of Europe's giants such as United will start to take note.


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