Nico Elvedi has long been a stalwart at the back for Borussia Mönchengladbach and Switzerland. - © Imago
Nico Elvedi has long been a stalwart at the back for Borussia Mönchengladbach and Switzerland. - © Imago

Nico Elvedi: Who is the Borussia Mönchengladbach and Switzerland defender?


Nico Elvedi is one of the most accomplished defenders in the Bundesliga, but what else is there to know about Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Switzerland international centre-back? fills in the blanks...

Nico Elvedi

Age: 26
Club: Borussia Mönchengladbach
Position: Centre-back/right-back
Country: Switzerland (47 caps/one goal)

Key stats

Born in Zürich, Elvedi joined hometown club FC Zürich before his 10th birthday and raced through their youth teams to make his Swiss Super League debut at the age of 17 years, seven months and 16 days, helping them to a 1-0 win at Lausanne-Sport. The 6’2” defender’s assured displays in helping FCZ to a third-place finish in 2015 were enough for Gladbach to take a gamble on his talent with Elvedi having played just a single season of senior professional football.

Now 26, Elvedi has already featured in well over 250 games for the Foals, helping them finish in the European places in three of his eight seasons at the club. A full Switzerland international with 47 appearances and one goal - scored against Belgium - to his name, Elvedi has also become a defensive mainstay for Gladbach. An average of two challenges won per match may not sound like much, but with just six yellow cards across the last three seasons against him, they are the numbers of a defender who reads the danger early, rather than having to compensate later. He also boasted the Bundesliga's best pass completion in 2022/23 (94.13 percent), completing a hat-trick in this regard after topping the ranks in the previous two seasons too.

Watch: Elvedi scored his 10th Bundesliga goal on the opening weekend of 2022/23

Plays a bit like: John Stones

Elvedi's elegance on the ball despite his height and ability to play centrally or wide in a three- or four-man defence is reminiscent of Manchester City and England stalwart John Stones. Stones may already have a handful English Premier League titles to boast, but Elvedi's trajectory suggests that there will be significant silverware glistening in his trophy cabinet before his career is out.

Did you know?

Elvedi has a twin brother, Jan, who plays as a centre-back for Bundesliga 2 outfit Kaiserslautern. The pair may be identical, but environmental influences have been known to accentuate the slightest differences between twins, and Nico always had the physical edge.

"He's catching up," Nico told Swiss daily newspaper Aargauer Zeitung of Jan. "I'm only two centimetres taller than he is now; it's been six before!"

Big or small, the Elvedis are Swiss to the core. Many of Elvedi's international teammates were also eligible for other countries - Ricardo Rodriguez could have turned out for Spain or Chile; Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka qualify for Albania - but any Balkan call for Elvedi was always going to fall on deaf ears.

"Even [FC Zürich] president Ancillo Canepa once asked me if we came from Serbia," he explained. "But we simply hail from Val Lumnezia in Graubünden."

What they're saying

"Nico has a strong aerial game and reads crosses very well." - former Gladbach coach Daniel Farke

"Nico has great positional play and rarely commits any fouls." - former Gladbach coach Dieter Hecking