Reto Ziegler began his football journey with fifth division FC Gland before spells in the youth ranks of FC Servette and Lausanne Sports led him to Switzerland's most successful club, Grasshoppers Zurich, at the age of just 14. Four years later the talented youngster signed his first professional contract, before deciding on a move to England in 2004.
The 1.83m midfielder signed a contract with London oufit Tottenham Hotspur, scoring his first goal for the Premier League side shortly before his 19th birthday.
After one season in England's top tier, Ziegler was loaned out to German side Hamburg, though the Swiss youngster was unable to make the desired impact in the Bundesliga. Another loan spell at Wigan Athletic was followed by a move to Italy with Sampdoria in February 2007, and the Swiss has been a fixture in the Serie A club's first team ever since.
Ziegler began his international career in the Swiss youth squads, winning the UEFA U-17 European Championship before going on to captain the U-21 side.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ will be the midfielder's first major tournament after he narrowly missed out on the squad for UEFA EURO 2008. Ziegler made his debut for the senior team in a FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Germany in 2005, though again he missed out on Jakob Kuhn's final cut for Germany 2006.
Nonetheless, current Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld soon recognised the 24-year-old's qualities and will see him as a useful option down the left hand side.