Zurich 'curse' hits Vonlanthen
Switzerland winger Johan Vonlanthen is the latest World Cup hopeful to find that playing for FC Zurich this season has been less-than-ideal preparation for South Africa.
Vonlanthen sat out the Swiss champion's 2-0 loss to league leader Young Boys last week after being told the club had declined its option to buy him from Austrian club Salzburg.
He was brought in on loan last year to bolster Zurich's challenge in the Champions League and play nearer to home, where Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld could watch him more closely.
But Zurich finished last in its Champions League group and has slumped into seventh place in the 10-team Swiss League.
Teammate Ludovic Magnin also has disappointed since joining Zurich in January after falling out of favour at German club Stuttgart.
"I haven't lived up to expectations and I'm mad with myself," said Magnin, whose World Cup prospects have improved because his main rival for the left back position, Christoph Spycher, is injured.
However, the World Cup seems out of reach for Zurich midfielder Almen Abdi. He was given his international debut by Hitzfeld last season but has not been selected for the national team since refusing to sign a new club contract.
Abdi was left out of Champions League games before being sent to complete the season with French club Le Mans.