Switzerland star Xherdan Shaqiri admitted that Liverpool will always be close to his heart while speaking ahead of Switzerland against Cameroon.
The former Liverpool midfielder became a fan favourite during his time on Merseyside but injuries hampered him from ever cementing a long term place in the Liverpool XI.
Speaking to The Athletic ahead of the Swiss’ opener Shaqiri was asked about his thoughts on the World Cup, Liverpool and facing his former Brazilian team mates.
“I had a very beautiful three years at Liverpool. We won many titles — we won the Champions League, we won the Club World Cup, we won the Premier League.
“It was a wonderful time. Liverpool will always stay in my heart. I’ll always cherish those memories. I will always follow them. The fans supported me a lot. They were so warm and I had a good relationship with the club.”
The energetic midfielder is enjoying life in Chicago and comes into the tournament with a month’s rest under his belt having not played in the MLS since mid October.
He went on to tell The Athletic that his idol growing up was Ronaldo Nazario, AKA the original Ronaldo.
“My story with Brazil is a nice one. When I was young, Ronaldo Nazario was always my big idol. And Brazil 2014 was the best World Cup for me so far. I enjoyed it so much. I scored my hat-trick there’ he says..
“It was one of the best moments in my career. It was very hot in Manaus but it was an amazing day that I’ll never forget. I still have the ball from 2014 at home. A great memory.”
Shaqiri has played over 100 times for his country and is set to appear at his fourth World Cup.
With Arsenal’s Granut Xhaka in fine form and Breel Embolo offering an incredible goal scoring threat the Swiss will be confident in making the knock-out stages of the World Cup.
Liverpool fans would take joy in Shaqiri having an impressive tournament.