Xherdan Shaqiri ([dʒɛrˈdan ʃaˈciɾi]; born 10 October 1991) is a Swiss professional footballer who plays as a winger for Premier League club Liverpool and the Swiss national team.
He began his career at FC Basel, winning honours including three Swiss Super League titles, before moving to Bayern Munich, where he gained eight domestic and international honours despite playing less frequently. In January 2015, he moved to Inter Milan for a fee of €15 million, and seven months later to Stoke City for a club record £12 million. After Stoke's relegation from the Premier League in 2018, Shaqiri was transferred to Liverpool prior to the following season for a reported £13.5 million fee, and he was part of the UEFA Champions League winning squad in his first season.
A full international since 2010, Shaqiri has earned over 80 caps and scored 22 goals for Switzerland. He represented the nation at the 2010, 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups, as well as UEFA Euro 2016.
Shaqiri was born in Gjilan, SFR Yugoslavia, to Kosovar Albanian parents. He immigrated to Switzerland in 1992 with his parents and three siblings. They settled in Augst, a small town in the canton of Basel-Country, near the French and German borders.
His father did not speak Swiss German, so he had to start out washing dishes in a restaurant, before working construction on roads. His mother worked as a cleaner in office buildings in the city, with which he and his brothers helped. His father would send as much money back to Kosovo to other family members as he could, meaning Xherdan and the family did not have extra spending money, except for birthdays. He idolized Brazilian striker Ronaldo, who he said played "like magic".
Shaqiri started his career at hometown club SV Augst, and at the age of eight he was scouted by FC Basel. Whilst playing for Basel's youth team, he competed in the Under-15 Nike Cup 2007 and was named the best player of the tournament. Despite having several other clubs attempting to sign him, he decided to stay with Basel, where he played for their reserve team from 2007 to 2009 in the Swiss 1. Liga. Two years later, Shaqiri signed his first professional contract with Basel on 2 January 2009, with the new contract keeping him at St. Jakob-Park until June 2014.
Shaqiri made his Basel club debut as a substitute on 12 July 2009 in Basel's 2009–10 season opening match against FC St. Gallen at the AFG Arena. Four months later he scored his first goal for Basel in a 4–1 win over Neuchâtel Xamax at home on 9 November 2009. At the end of the 2009–10 season Shaqiri won the national Double with Basel, and a year later won the League title again.
In December 2011, Shaqiri provided two assists in a match against Manchester United, with Basel winning 2–1. At the end of the 2011–12 season, for the second time in his Basel stint, he won the Double, consisting of the League title, and the Swiss Cup.
On 9 February 2012, Basel announced that Shaqiri had accepted a transfer to German club Bayern Munich of the Bundesliga for the 2012–13 season. The transfer fee was a reported €11.6 million, with Shaqiri signing a four-year contract with the German club which would last until 30 June 2016, and which paid him around €2 million per season. He faced competition for a place in the midfield from established internationals Franck Ribéry, Arjen Robben, Toni Kroos and Thomas Müller.
On 10 July 2012, Shaqiri made his debut in a 1–0 friendly win against Bavarian neighbours SpVgg Unterhaching. His first competitive appearance for the club came on 20 August in a DFB-Pokal match at SSV Jahn Regensburg, as a half-time substitute. He scored Bayern's second goal as well as providing assists for Mario Mandžukić and Claudio Pizarro, with Bayern winning 4–0. He helped Bayern secure the top spot in their Champions League group by scoring a goal and providing assists in a 4–1 defeat of BATE Borisov on 5 December, winning the Man of the Match award and avenging their defeat in Minsk.
Shaqiri did not score his first Bundesliga goal until the final league match of the 2012 calendar year, rescuing a point for them in a 1–1 draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach, leaving Bayern in first place at the winter break. On 16 April 2013, Shaqiri also scored in the DFB-Pokal semi-final against VfL Wolfsburg with a long-range shot. Although he did not play in the final, Shaqiri won the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League title with Bayern, as well as the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal title, making him one of the Bayern Munich players to have won the first treble in club history; he added the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup to his achievements that year. By June 2014, Shaqiri was reported to be the most decorated Swiss footballer of all time at just 22, with 13 medals to his name.
Shaqiri transferred to Italian club Inter Milan on 9 January 2015 for €15 million, signing a four-and-a-half-year contract, though English club Stoke City had previously declared an interest in signing him. With his previous number of 23 being taken by Andrea Ranocchia, Shaqiri chose the number 91 for his Inter shirt, representing his birth year. He was an unused substitute in Inter's 3–1 victory over Genoa at San Siro. He made his debut for Inter on 17 January, playing in the last 16 minutes as a substitute for fellow new signing Lukas Podolski. Shaqiri made his Coppa Italia debut in a match against Sampdoria in the round of 16 on 22 January, scoring the first goal of the match and helping the team to a 2–0 win to progress into the quarter-finals.
Shaqiri scored his first Serie A goal on 15 February 2015 in a 4–1 away win against Atalanta. Four days later, he registered his first European tournament goal for Inter, scoring the opener from a Zdravko Kuzmanović assist in a 3–3 UEFA Europa League draw away to Celtic.
– Garth Crooks, pundit on the BBC's Final Score, describing Shaqiri's second goal for Stoke against Everton on 28 December 2015.
In July 2015, Stoke agreed a £12 million fee to sign Shaqiri, but the deal fell through when he did not agree to the move before a deadline imposed by the club. The deal was revived a month later, however, with Shaqiri agreeing to personal terms and undergoing medicals. Everton had also expressed interest in him but only wanted a loan deal, while Inter preferred a permanent move. On 11 August, Shaqiri completed his move to Stoke for a club-record fee of £12 million (€14.5 million), on a five-year deal. He made his debut eleven days later in a 1–1 draw with Norwich City at Carrow Road, assisting Mame Biram Diouf's headed goal with a free kick. On 28 December, Shaqiri recorded his first goals for Stoke, a first-half brace in a 4–3 win at Everton. The second of these two goals was a half-volley over Tim Howard, from Bojan's pass. His only other goal in 2015–16 was a 20-yard strike against Newcastle United on 2 March 2016. In total Shaqiri played 32 times for Stoke in 2015–16 as the side finished in ninth position.
Shaqiri scored a 20-yard free kick against Middlesbrough on the opening day of the 2016–17 season. However a calf injury ruled him out for the next six weeks, returning to the side on 24 September 2016 against West Bromwich Albion where he provided the assist for Joe Allen in a 1–1 draw. Shaqiri scored two long-range goals against Hull City on 22 October 2016, becoming the first Stoke player to do so in a Premier League game. He scored another long range strike also against Hull on 15 April 2017 which was named as Stoke's goal of the season. Shaqiri made 22 appearances in 2016–17, as Stoke finished in 13th position.
Shaqiri scored his first goal of the 2017–18 season in the match against Newcastle United, on 16 September, scoring the equalizing goal in an eventual 1–2 defeat. On 4 November, he scored in a 2–2 draw against Leicester City. On 25 November, he scored in a 1–2 defeat to Crystal Palace. On 2 December, he scored in a 2–1 win over Swansea City. On 3 February 2018, he scored the opening goal in a 1–2 defeat to Bournemouth. A week later, on 10 February, he scored in a 1–1 draw against Brighton & Hove Albion. On 24 February, Shaqiri scored for a third consecutive game in a 1–1 draw against Leicester City. In March 2018, with Stoke battling against relegation, Shaqiri courted controversy with an interview for Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrierte in which he said there was a "lack of quality" in his Stoke teammates and that even the presence of Ronaldinho would not improve the team. On 5 May, Shaqiri scored in a 1–2 defeat to Crystal Palace, as Stoke suffered relegation to the EFL Championship. He played 38 times for the club in the season and finished as top goalscorer for the club with 8 goals, also providing 7 assists.
On 13 July 2018, Liverpool signed Shaqiri on a five-year deal after triggering his £13.5 million release clause.
He made his unofficial debut for the club on 29 July, in a pre-season friendly game in Ann Arbor, Michigan against rivals Manchester United and scored from a bicycle kick in a 4–1 win. On his competitive debut on 12 August, in the opening match of the season against West Ham United, he came on as a late substitute in a 4–0 win. He made his first full start on 22 September, in a 3–0 win over Southampton, and received praise for his performance which earned him the BBC Sport Man of the Match award.
Shaqiri scored his first goal for Liverpool on 27 October, scoring the third goal in a 4–1 win over Cardiff City. In November, he was left out of the club's Champions League trip to Red Star Belgrade in Serbia to avoid controversy over his pro-Albanian views. The following month, during the North West derby, Shaqiri scored twice after coming on as a substitute to guide Liverpool to a 3–1 win which saw the club record a league victory over Manchester United for the first time since March 2014.
On 1 June 2019, Shaqiri picked up his second Champions League winner's medal, despite not playing in the final against Tottenham Hotspur, which Liverpool won 2–0, but having played a key role in the semi final against Barcelona. He later reaffirmed his intention to stay at Anfield. On 14 August, Shaqiri picked up his second trophy with the club, winning the UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea on penalties after a 2–2 regular finish. On 4 December, following a prolonged injury, Shaqiri scored his first goal of the 2019–20 season in the derby against Everton, slotting home Liverpool's second in a 5–2 win.
Shaqiri made his debut for the Swiss under-21s side on 11 November 2009 in a 3–1 win against the Turkish under-21 side in a 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifier. He scored his first goal for them on 11 June 2011 in the 2011 Under-21 Championship opening game against the Danish under-21 team.
2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012
Shaqiri was promoted to the Swiss senior team in 2010, making his debut on 3 March 2010 in a 3–1 friendly loss against Uruguay. He was included in the 2010 World Cup squad, after receiving a surprise call-up from manager Ottmar Hitzfeld. Shaqiri scored his first goal for them on 7 September 2010, a long range left-footed shot, in a 1–3 loss against England in a Euro 2012 qualifier. He netted a hat-trick in another Euro 2012 qualifier on 6 September 2011, as Switzerland came from behind to beat Bulgaria 3–1. Switzerland also tried to select him to participate in the 2012 Olympic Football tournament, but he opted to stay at his new club for pre-season training.
2014 FIFA World Cup
On 11 September 2012, Shaqiri did not sing the Swiss national anthem in a World Cup qualifier against his ancestral Albania in Lucerne, and did not celebrate when he scored the opening goal of a 2–0 win. He wore boots with the flags of Kosovo, Albania and Switzerland for the match.
In June 2014, Shaqiri was named in Switzerland's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In the team's opening match, Shaqiri was named man of the match by FIFA as the Nati defeated Ecuador. He earned the same title a mere ten days later in the Swiss team's third and final group match, scoring a hat-trick against Honduras, which included a bending strike from 30 yards, to ensure Switzerland a spot in the round of 16, where they lost 1–0 to Argentina.
UEFA Euro 2016
Shaqiri scored three times in the Swiss team's successful qualification campaign for UEFA Euro 2016, with all of his strikes coming against Lithuania. He recorded a brace on 15 November 2014 in a 4–0 win over them in St. Gallen, and in the reverse fixture the following 14 June, he netted an 84th-minute winner in a 2–1 victory. In the final tournament in France, he started all four of Switzerland's matches as they reached the last 16, equalising with a bicycle kick from the edge of the penalty area as they drew 1–1 with Poland in Saint-Étienne; he scored again in the penalty shootout but the Poles won nonetheless.
Following Switzerland's first game at Euro 2016, Shaqiri declared he would switch allegiance to Kosovo if their manager would make him captain, in reaction to Swiss manager Vladimir Petković's decision to omit him from that position. Although already an international for the Swiss, FIFA rules would permit Shaqiri to represent Kosovo, who joined the federation earlier that year. However, since Shaqiri continued to play for Switzerland after Kosovo had become a member of FIFA, it also ruled out the possibility of Shaqiri's eligibility to Kosovo.
2018 FIFA World Cup
Shaqiri was included in Switzerland's 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, held in Russia. In the group stage, he scored the winning goal as the Swiss came from behind to defeat Serbia 2–1. He and fellow goalscorer Granit Xhaka, who is also of Kosovar descent, celebrated their goals by making an eagle gesture, a symbol of ethnic Albanians. Swiss captain Stephan Lichtsteiner, who is not of Albanian origin, did the same gesture to celebrate Shaqiri's goal, and defended both players after the match. FIFA fined Xhaka and Shaqiri 10,000 Swiss francs "for unsporting behaviour contrary to the principles of fair-play", while Lichtsteiner paid 5,000 Swiss francs. Additionally, with the goal he equalled Stéphane Chapuisat's tally of 21 in internationals and entered Switzerland's top ten scorers of all time.
Shaqiri was part of Switzerland's squad at the 2019 UEFA Nations League Finals in Portugal. He was named in the Team of the Tournament.
Style of play
Shaqiri plays as a right winger and FIFA's official website describes him as "unpredictable on the ball, adept with both feet, clinical in front of goal and possessing excellent vision." He was described in The Daily Telegraph as "stocky and powerful" with a "wand of a left foot". He is nicknamed "the Alpine Messi" and "the magic dwarf".
Shaqiri is a Muslim. Shaqiri was chosen to be on the cover of the FIFA video game FIFA 15 in Switzerland next to Lionel Messi. Shaqiri is sponsored by sportswear and equipment supplier Nike. He wears Nike Mercurial Vapor boots, and at the 2018 World Cup he had the flags of Switzerland and Kosovo embroidered on each heel.
In 2018, Shaqiri was the most Googled personality in Switzerland.
- As of match played 11 January 2020
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other||Total|
|FC Basel II||2007–08||Swiss 1. Liga||2||0||—||—||—||—||2||0|
|2008–09||Swiss 1. Liga||17||8||—||—||—||—||17||8|
|FC Basel||2009–10||Swiss Super League||32||4||5||1||—||10||2||—||47||7|
|2010–11||Swiss Super League||29||5||2||0||—||11||2||—||42||7|
|2011–12||Swiss Super League||31||9||4||0||—||6||0||—||41||9|
|Inter Milan||2014–15||Serie A||15||1||2||1||—||3||1||—||20||3|
|Stoke City||2015–16||Premier League||27||3||1||0||4||0||—||—||32||3|
- As of match played 9 June 2019
- As of 12 September 2018. Switzerland score listed first, score column indicates score after each Shaqiri goal.
|1||7 September 2010||St. Jakob-Park, Basel, Switzerland||7||England||1–2||1–3||UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying|
|2||6 September 2011||St. Jakob-Park, Basel, Switzerland||13||Bulgaria||1–1||3–1|
|5||29 February 2012||Stade de Suisse, Bern, Switzerland||18||Argentina||1–1||1–3||Friendly|
|6||11 September 2012||Swissporarena, Lucerne, Switzerland||21||Albania||2–0||2–0||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|7||14 November 2012||Stade Olympique de Sousse, Sousse, Tunisia||24||Tunisia||2–1||2–1||Friendly|
|8||11 October 2013||Qemal Stafa Stadium, Tirana, Albania||30||Albania||1–0||2–1||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|9||3 June 2014||Swissporarena, Lucerne, Switzerland||33||Peru||2–0||2–0||Friendly|
|10||25 June 2014||Arena da Amazônia, Manaus, Brazil||36||Honduras||1–0||3–0||2014 FIFA World Cup|
|13||14 October 2014||San Marino Stadium, Serravalle, San Marino||40||San Marino||4–0||4–0||UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying|
|14||15 November 2014||AFG Arena, St. Gallen, Switzerland||41||Lithuania||3–0||4–0|
|16||10 June 2015||Stockhorn Arena, Thun, Switzerland||45||Liechtenstein||2–0||3–0||Friendly|
|17||14 June 2015||LFF Stadium, Vilnius, Lithuania||46||Lithuania||2–1||2–1||UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying|
|18||25 June 2016||Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Étienne, France||57||Poland||1–1||1–1||UEFA Euro 2016|
|19||1 June 2017||Stade de la Maladière, Neuchâtel, Switzerland||61||Belarus||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
|20||9 June 2017||Tórsvøllur, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands||62||Faroe Islands||2–0||2–0||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|21||22 June 2018||Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad, Russia||72||Serbia||2–1||2–1||2018 FIFA World Cup|
|22||8 September 2018||kybunpark, St. Gallen, Switzerland||75||Iceland||3–0||6–0||2018–19 UEFA Nations League A|
- Swiss Super League: 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12
- Swiss Cup: 2009–10, 2011–12
- Bundesliga: 2012–13, 2013–14
- DFB-Pokal: 2012–13, 2013–14
- DFL-Supercup: 2012
- UEFA Champions League: 2012–13
- UEFA Super Cup: 2013
- FIFA Club World Cup: 2013
- UEFA Champions League: 2018–19
- UEFA Super Cup: 2019
- FIFA Club World Cup: 2019
- UEFA European Under-21 Championship runner-up: 2011
- Swiss Golden Player Award "SFAP Golden Player": 2012
- Swiss Golden Player Award "Best Young Player": 2012
- UEFA European Championship Goal of the Tournament: 2016
- UEFA Nations League Finals Team of the Tournament: 2019