Xherdan Shaqiri: Playing at Anfield is a ‘dream come true’

Xherdan Shaqiri: Playing at Anfield is a ‘dream come true’

The Switzerland winger has made a good start to his Anfield career, and is hoping there is much more to come.

Matt Addison

Swiss international winger Xherdan Shaqiri arrived at Liverpool from relegated Stoke City during the summer, and while he is yet to start a competitive game, he has certainly made his positive impression among supporters.

On Liverpool's USA tour, he scored a sensational overhead kick against Manchester United in his first match wearing the Anfield club’s red shirt, and in the win over Leicester City just prior to the international break, he came off the bench to help grind out the three points in a moment when Claude Puel’s team were in the ascendency.

Having been called out by former Stoke teammate Charlie Adam for being a “so-called big game player” who “never turned up”, there has been no sign of dissent at his new club, where he has settled immediately.

Shaqiri told the latest edition of the official Liverpool FC magazine: “As a new player I want to show my football. Most of the players know me already from the Premier League and from Bayern [Munich] and I have a good amount of experience.

“I won many titles with Bayern and I want to try to give this experience to this Liverpool team which is still young and try to help them win something.

“Coming on in the West Ham game was my first experience of playing for Liverpool at the stadium in a competitive game and it was a great feeling to be back there in the Premier League.”

Embed from Getty Images

Anfield experiences

Upon returning to Merseyside after Switzerland’s matches against Iceland and England, Shaqiri and Liverpool face an away game at Tottenham at Wembley Stadium before having three consecutive home fixtures against Southampton in the league, Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League and Chelsea in the Carabao Cup.

Having tasted Anfield a couple of times, against West Ham and Brighton and Hove Albion, Shaqiri is excited to get back there again.

He said: “There was an amazing atmosphere in the stadium and to live that experience was incredible and a dream come true for me. Previously I’d only played in the Premier League at Anfield with Stoke and it was different to play here as the away team and always difficult.

“I’m really looking forward to playing many more minutes in this amazing stadium.”

With Liverpool set to have embarked on three of their four major competitions by the end of September, Shaqiri will no doubt make his first start for the club soon, injury permitting.

If Liverpool's season is to be looked back at as being a success, progression in all of those tournaments is crucial.

Shaqiri said: “The aim is for the club to win something – that has to be the goal of our team.

“We have to take every game and try to win it, then close out from your mind the last game you won and think: ‘OK, we go forward now and look to the next game.’ It is like this that you win titles and I hope we are going to do that this year.

“First of all, we want to try to play very good football. But we also know it is not always the case that good football wins, so we need to know how to win games – that’s important – and to be competitive with other teams.”

Embed from Getty Images

Praise for the boss

The summer recruit also had praising words for his new boss, Jurgen Klopp.

Shaqiri said of his new manager: “He’s a very good coach, but for me, the character he has is also important.

"He has a very nice character, you can joke with him, but of course, you have to be focused on the pitch and give everything.

“You can see the relationship he has with the players all the time, he’s very friendly in speaking with them, and that was important for me in coming here and working with him."

The winger concluded: “I knew him from Germany when I was at Bayern and he was manager of [BorussiaDortmund. He wanted me to come to Liverpool and I wanted to work with him so I am very happy to reunite with him.”