Sometimes all it takes is a hat trick to make everyone love you again. Xherdan Shaqiri scored three goals in Switzerland's match against Honduras on Wednesday, firing his country to the knock-out rounds and rekindling interest from clubs and potential future fans alike. The delightfully stocky winger had failed to impress on his two previous outings during the group stage, causing many to question what Liverpool saw in the player, but after an exceptional performance in the third and final match, flashes of Shaqiri's potential became abundantly clear once more.
The timing of his return to favour in certain quarters could not be better, as Liverpool are still in hot pursuit of der Kraftwürfel. Last week the club was reported to have submitted a £16m bid to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, and now a deal is rumoured to be inching closer and closer. While Shaqiri was putting three past the poor Honduran goalkeeper, his brother and manager Erdin Shaqiri was in England discussing the finer points of the deal — weekly pay, performances bonuses, hair gel sponsorships, the usual — with Ian Ayre and co.
With the transfer window's official opening just around the corner, it's increasingly looking like this deal could be completed much sooner rather than later. Shaqiri will still need to arrive on Merseyside for his meet-and-greet with Dr Zaf, but with Switzerland going up against Argentina in the Round of 16, Shaqiri's World Cup might be over sooner rather than later.
Until that point, let's all enjoy the 50th hat trick in World Cup history.
video courtesy of iCR7NationHD