Fabian Frei (born 8 January 1989) is a Swiss footballer who currently plays as a midfielder for FC Basel. Until June 2011, he played for the Swiss U-21 team. He made his international debut for Swiss senior team on 7 October 2011. He was selected to represent Switzerland at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He is of no relation to former club and country team mate Alexander Frei.
Fabian Frei (June 2011)
|Full name||Fabian Frei|
|Date of birth||8 January 1989|
|Place of birth||Frauenfeld, Switzerland|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive midfielder, centre back|
|2009–2011||→ St. Gallen (loan)||64||(13)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 9 May 2019|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 29 March 2018
Born in Frauenfeld, Frei started his youth football with FC Frauenfeld and FC Winterthur, but he came through the ranks at FC Basel. With Basel he was Swiss Champion at both U-16 and U-18 levels. During the 2006–07 season, Frei played in the U-21 team, he played so well that he was given a professional contract. Because he was one of the best midfielders in the U-21 side, ahead of the 2007–08 season Frei was called into the first team squad.
Frei played his first team debut on 22 July 2007 in the 1–0 home win against FC Zürich. He played a major part in Basel's title and cup win in the 2007–08 season. He scored his first goal for the club on 4 December 2008 during Basel's 3–1 win over FC Aarau in the St. Jakob-Park Stadium. Frei played his first Europa League game, as substitute, on Thursday, 16 August 2007 in the Qualifier against SV Mattersburg. He played his UEFA Champions League debut for Basel on 26 November 2008 in the 5–0 away defeat against Shakhtar Donetsk.
In July 2009, due to the fact that Basel strengthened their squad for the beginning of the 2009–10 Swiss Super League season, Basel's new trainer Thorsten Fink loaned Fabian Frei to FC St. Gallen. During his two-year loan in St. Gallen he played 64 league games in which he scored 13 goals.
For the start of the 2011–12 Swiss Super League season he was recalled to Basel, the reigning Swiss Champions, and he immediately won his place in the starting eleven. Frei scored his first Champions League goal for Basel on 14 September 2011 in the Group C 2–1 home win against Oțelul Galați, his second on 27 September in the 3–3 draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United and his third on 22 November in the Arena Națională, in Bucharest, as Basel won the away game against Oțelul Galați 3–2. At the end of the 2011–12 season, Frei won the Double, the League Championship title and the Swiss Cup with Basel.
At the end of the Swiss Super League season 2012–13 Frei won the Championship title and was Swiss Cup runner up with Basel. In the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League Basel advanced as far as the semi-finals, there being matched against the reigning UEFA Champions League holders Chelsea, but they were knocked out, losing both home and away tie, beaten 2–5 on aggregate.
At the end of the 2013–14 Super League season Frei won his fourth league championship with Basel. They also reached the final of the 2013–14 Swiss Cup, but were beaten 2–0 by Zürich after extra time. During the 2013–14 Champions League season Basel reached the group stage and finished the group in third position. Thus they qualified for Europa League knockout phase and here they advanced as far as the quarter-finals. In their season 2013–14 Basel played a total of 68 matches (36 Swiss League fixtures, 6 Swiss Cup, 6 Champions League and 10 Europa League and 10 test matches). Frei totaled 66 appearances, 34 League, 6 Cup, 6 Champions League and 10 Europa League as well all 10 in the test games.
The season 2014–15 was a very successful one for Basel and for Frei. The championship was won for the sixth time in a row that season and in the 2014–15 Swiss Cup they reached the final. But for the third season in a row, they finished as runners-up, losing 0–3 to FC Sion in the final. Basel entered the Champions League in the group stage and reached the knockout phase as on 9 December 2014 they managed a 1–1 draw at Anfield against Liverpool. Frei scored the goal for FC Basel against Liverpool to help Basel to the next round of the UEFA Champions League. But then Basel then lost to Porto in the Round of 16. Basel played a total of 65 matches (36 Swiss League fixtures, 6 Swiss Cup, 8 Champions League and 15 test matches). Under trainer Paulo Sousa Frei totaled 56 appearances, 31 in the Super League, 5 Cup, 8 Champions League, as well 12 in test games. He scored a total of 4 goals in these matches.
Return to BaselEdit
On 23 December 2017, FC Basel announced that Frei would return to the club, signing a four and a half year contact dated up until June 2022.
Frei represented Switzerland at various age levels. He played his Swiss Under-16s debut on 12 October 2004 in the 3–1 away win against the Belgium Under-16s. In 14 games for the Switzerland U-17 team he scored ten goals.
Between 2008 and 2011 Fabian Frei played 18 games for the Switzerland U-21 team. His Under-21s debut was on 19 November 2008 in the 1–1 away draw against the Greece Under-21 team. His last game was the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship Final on 25 June 2011.
Following this he was called into the Swiss national football team by trainer Ottmar Hitzfeld. Frei gave his international debut for Switzerland on 7 October 2011 in the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying game in the Liberty Stadium against Wales.
Frei was selected to represent Switzerland in the men's football tournament at the 2012 Summer Olympics as part of the Swiss under-23 team. He played over 90 minutes in all three games in the tournament, but the team were knocked out, finishing in fourth position of their Group.
- As of 1 June 2017
|Basel||2007–08||Swiss Super League||24||0||2||0||7[a]||0||33||0|
|St. Gallen (loan)||2009–10||Swiss Super League||30||6||5||1||—||35||7|
|Basel||2017–18||Swiss Super League||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
- Scores and results list Switzerland's goal tally first.
|1.||18 November 2014||Municipal Stadium, Wrocław, Poland||Poland||2–2||2–2||Friendly|
|2.||7 October 2017||St. Jakob-Park, Basel, Switzerland||Hungary||2–0||5–2||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|3.||27 March 2018||Swissporarena, Lucerne, Switzerland||Panama||6–0||6–0||Friendly|
- Swiss Super League (5): 2007–08, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15
- Swiss Cup (2): 2007–08, 2011–12
- Swiss Cup runner up (3): 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15
- Uhren Cup (3): 2008, 2011, 2013
- U18 Swiss Champion (1): 2005–06
- U19 Swiss Cup (1): 2005–06
- Goal of the Year 2008–09: scored on 5 December 2008 against FC Aarau
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- "Fabian Frei Profile". Retrieved 22 November 2016.
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- "Zwei weitere Titel für FCB-Nachwuchs" (in German). FC Basel 1893. 18 June 2006. Retrieved 30 December 2013.