I like Xherdan Shaqiri. He appears happy and to get on well with his teammates. He hasn’t made any fuss about a reduction in playing time over the season, and this after some really important goals and assists for Liverpool. Jürgen Klopp has spoken highly of Shaqiri throughout the season so we know the manager likes him. And when Shaq’s offered the opportunity to make a difference in a match, he’s been pretty reliable despite never having developed too much match rhythm.
It was Shaqiri who sent in the cross for Gini Wijnaldum’s second goal against Barcelona in the semi-final. The Swiss player may not make it onto the Estadio Metropolitano pitch but he’s come up big for this team before and he knows, after a season on Merseyside, how special a moment tomorrow’s final against Tottenham Hotspur could be for Liverpool.
“I think we had a great season and there is one big final ahead of us,” said Shaqiri.
“We’ll try everything to win this title because the club deserves it, the fans deserve it and the players deserve it. It’ll be a really special thing if we win it.
“Tottenham is a top team. They showed the world how good they are.
“It’ll be a difficult game, but we’re confident. We’re very well prepared and we’ll try everything to win this game.”
Shaqiri was in the Bayern Munich squad that beat Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 Final and is relishing the thought of delivering that victor’s euphoria to Liverpool fans this weekend. Shaqiri knows that Klopp is a unique manager who has created a unique situation at a unique club and Der Kraftwürfel is clearly inspired by the big German.
“I want this emotional thing again. Especially for this club because they’re waiting a long time to win it.
“He (Klopp) is always relaxed. We are always having fun during and after training. He’s a positive person.
“He does everything for us and we give everything for him. We want to win it for him.”
I want to win it for James Milner for some reason. That’s just the way I’m channeling my hyper disquiet energy, I guess. One more day.