David and Philipp Degen provide the Switzerland set-up with authentic professional footballing twins, although Liverpool defender Philipp leads the way in terms of international caps over BSC Young Boys midfielder David.
Now 27, David learned the trade in the FC Basel youth section, before switching to FC Aarau in 1999 for a first taste of the pro game. He spent four full seasons in the top flight with Aarau, before Basel called him home for the 2003-4 campaign.
Degen and his Basel team-mates won the Swiss title in 2004 and 2005, but the competition for a right midfield berth was always fierce and David was involved in a perpetual battle for regular football.
Partly as a result of that, he quit before his contract was due to expire in 2007 and moved to Borussia Monchengladbach in the German Bundesliga. He scored on his debut, but soon ran up against the familiar problem of being unable to command a regular first-team berth.
His relationship with then coach Jos Luhukay became strained, and the midfielder was loaned back to Basel. Things took a turn for the better and he claimed a third Swiss championship winner’s medal. BSC Young Boys liked what they saw and lured Degen back to Berne in 2008. After a settling-in period, he has finally achieved his long-term goal of regular football.
David and Philipp were both members of the Switzerland squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™, although neither made an appearance. Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld also opted not to field David in the successful qualifying campaign for the 2010 finals.