Alexander Frei will be relieved to finally make it onto the pitch for Switzerland's game against Chile on Monday, but whether he manages to remain there is doubtful if past history is anything to go by.

Switzerland's all-time top goalscorer has an unfortunate habit of courting disaster, self-inflicted or otherwise, at major tournaments.

He was forced to sit out Switzerland's opening FIFA World Cup™ win over Spain after picking up an ankle injury four hours before the team boarded their flight for South Africa.

That was just the latest in a long line of international setbacks for the 30-year-old Basel striker who has netted 40 times for his country.

His mishaps started in Portugal at EURO 2004 when he had established himself as Switzerland's main strker after a fine debut season at French club Rennes. His tournament came to a premature end when he spat at England's Steven Gerrard in the second game, incurring a three-match ban which meant he didn't kick another ball as the Swiss crashed out in the first round.

At Germany 2006, World Cup Switzerland enjoyed a great start, edging France to top their group, with Frei contributing two goals to help put them into the Round of 16. There they faced Ukraine and Frei, the regular penalty-taker, was replaced during extra time.

The game went to penalties with Frei sorely missed as his team-mates set a new FIFA World Cup record when failing to convert any of their spot-kicks.

At EURO 2008, co-hosted by Switzerland, disaster struck after a mere 45 minutes into the tournament's opening match when he suffered a left knee ligament injury, spelling the end of his involvement.

And so to the 2010 FIFA World Cup when another blow landed even before the tournament had got underway and only just after he had returned for his club after breaking his arm in February.

Thankfully the injury seems less serious than first thought and he was declared fit to play in Monday's game by Swiss coach Ottmar Hitzfeld. It will not be surprising though to see him come on to the field with his fingers tightly crossed.