On one hand, preseason friendlies are irrelevances designed to generate commercial revenue that have no real bearing on the success of Liverpool Football Club.
On the other hand, Xherdan Shaqiri scored with a bicycle kick on his debut against Manchester United.
Yeah, I prefer the second one, too.
Anyway, the Switzerland international lit up the game against Manchester United, adding a brilliant assist for Daniel Sturridge as well as his stunning goal. And he’s pretty happy about it.
Calling the goal “very beautiful”, he told the official Liverpool website that “I scored many times like this, I love bicycle kicks so I [am] always training this sometimes. The ball was perfect and why shouldn’t you try? So I tried it and it was a very beautiful goal.”
Talking more about the game experience overall, he said that “I think it’s an amazing day; there are a lot of fans here and it’s my first game for this big club and I’m really happy and of course with the beautiful goal. It was amazing to play with this great team, you can see this team has amazing players, I feel good and I’m very happy.
“It’s a big club and I want to show my football too and you can see on the pitch that I have a lot of experience too. I have played at a lot of big clubs and I want to help this team to go forward and I hope we can start a good season. That’s important to have good friendlies and today was a good friendly for us and a beautiful win too”.
What proved interesting about the game was Shaqiri’s role. While most had assumed he’d been brought in to provide cover for Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané in the wide forward roles, he was very much central throughout the second half, playing arguably as a third central midfielder. Whether this was just about getting him on the pitch or a genuine plan going forward, it’s positive to see this versatility in his game.
More goals like that and you’ll do just fine, Xherdan.