If any of you watch Swiss football, you will certainly be aware that Grasshopper Club Zürich has dramatically improved out of nowhere.
If you don't watch the Raiffeisen Super League, you might well be seeing GCZ in the Champions League next year.
GCZ are a club with rich history, winning the swiss league a record of 27 times, accompanied by 18 cup wins and two Champions League participations, which at the time were very rare. In one occasion they even beat the future semi-finalists Ajax Amsterdam on their own turf, a side that included legends such as Edwin Van der Saar, Marc Overmars, and the de Boer twins.
In recent years, however, Grasshoppers have struggled to show their dominance of old. They have not won any silverware since winning the league in 2003.
Even worse than that was their performance last season, where they barely escaped the relegation play-offs after FC Sion was deducted 36 points for fielding ineligible players and ended up saving GCZ from the Challenge League. After the disappointing season the manager Ciriaco Sforza chose to resign and leave the club.
The new manager, Uli Forte, came into a side that had low expectations and barely and hope. His team of young and mostly home-grown players were not considered good enough for the Super League.
Yet, for some reason, he inspired his young lads to give it their all and fight for each other.
This season has been magnificent for the club and its supporters. Seemingly out of nowhere, GCZ started some runs of good form and will finish the season second, which will secure them a spot in the Champions League qualification.
For a team with neither hope nor expectations for their new managers, this was quite a season.
And it wasn't all. In the Swiss Cup, they managed to reach the final where they beat FC Basel on penalties. This was their first piece of silverware for 10 years and showed that GCZ are back to their best.
This was a historic season for the Zürich-based club, and with their young team and inspirational manager, the future seems bright. Maybe, just maybe, fate will have it that GCZ are restored to their former glory in Swiss football.
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