September 30, 2023

Ahead of the Kosovo match – Xherdan Shaqiri: “This has always been my dream” – Sport


For Xherdan Shaqiri, the match against Kosovo is a private matter. Two days before kick-off, he was full of anticipation.

Chicago’s Xherdan Shaqiri came to the National Camp in the quiet village of Reeds in canton Valais. The Swiss has long been the highest earner in the league since arriving in Major League Soccer (MLS) in February 2022, but has recently lost that position to Lionel Messi. The Argentine not only managed to remake Inter Miami, but also created an incredible sensation in soccer in the USA.

Shaqiri also expressed his admiration for the “Messi effect”. “The euphoria is so great. You can also see how many stars are attending the games. Suddenly, soccer is very popular,” explained the 31-year-old. Shaqiri is not surprised that Miami, thanks to Messi, has gone from relegation favorite to title contender: “In the MLS, anyone can beat anyone. If you suddenly have four or five really good players, that makes a huge impact.”

I can’t wait to be in the stadium where I was born. This has always been a dream of mine.

Now Shaqiri is fully focused on the national team. With the first leg in Kosovo, there is a special poster for the attacking player. Switzerland have played against Kosovo only once, a friendly match in Letzigrund last year that ended in a 1-1 draw. But on Saturday it will be serious, it’s about points in the European Championship qualifiers.

“It will be a special match,” Shaqiri admitted. The anticipation is high: “I can’t wait to be in the stadium where I was born. It’s always been a dream for me. It’s great to be able to experience that with the Swiss national team.”

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The match between Kosovo and Switzerland can be watched live on SRF Channel 2 on Saturday. Preliminary report begins at 8:10 p.m., and the game begins at 8:45 p.m.

Many ticket requests have been fulfilled

There will probably be no shortage of support for Shaqiri and Elnaty in Pristina. The 31-year-old had to fulfill several requests for tickets: “Luckily I managed to organize everything. My whole family will be there.” Despite all the friendship, he also made it clear: “It’s about three points, we have to get our performance back.”

But Shaqiri couldn’t help but smile: “There are a few family members who will see me play for the first time. I just hope they will be the same for me and the national team.”