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Bayern switch will not distract Basel's Shaqiri

Published: Tuesday 21 February 2012, 19.35CET
Xherdan Shaqiri said he is "concentrating on playing well for Basel" as he pondered coming face to face in the last 16 with FC Bayern München, the club he will join this summer.
by Ben Gladwell
from Basle
Bayern switch will not distract Basel's Shaqiri
Xherdan Shaqiri will join Bayern this summer ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

BaselBayern

Goals scored12
 
26
Attempts on target32
 
98
Attempts off target35
 
83
Corners30
 
83
Offsides24
 
17
Fouls committed91
 
209
Yellow cards18
 
29
Red cards1
 
1
 
Published: Tuesday 21 February 2012, 19.35CET

Bayern switch will not distract Basel's Shaqiri

Xherdan Shaqiri said he is "concentrating on playing well for Basel" as he pondered coming face to face in the last 16 with FC Bayern München, the club he will join this summer.

FC Basel 1893's round of 16 tie against FC Bayern München represents the "highlight" of goalkeeper Yann Sommer's career, while Xherdan Shaqiri insists there will be no split loyalties as he prepares to meet the club he will join at the end of the season.

Wednesday's UEFA Champions League encounter at St. Jakob-Park will be a special night for playmaker Shaqiri, who earlier this month agreed a €12m summer transfer to the Bundesliga outfit. When asked if the fixture was an early chance to wow the Bayern fans, the 20-year-old said: "I think I have already impressed them enough. I'm concentrating on playing well for Basel. The Champions League is the very highest level of football and tomorrow will be an exciting game."

According to the Swiss international, the area is buzzing with anticipation as supporters dream of Bebbi, beaten 2-1 at home and 3-0 away by the four-time European champions in last season's group stage, making a ground-breaking appearance in the last eight. "Basel have never been so far [in this competition] and everybody is looking forward to this game," he added.

"The team, the city and the whole region are looking forward to it. It will be a great game and we have got to enjoy it. Bayern are clear favourites but we will try to impose ourselves and, here at home, try to get something out of it, which means taking our chances. We need to play the perfect game, like we did against Manchester United."

Sommer, 23, stands between the German heavyweights and earning a place in the quarter-finals for the fourth time in five seasons. While he appreciates the size of the occasion – Basel are competing in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League for only the second time – he is taking it in his stride.

"It is like Manchester United and Benfica, both special games with a great atmosphere, and I'm really looking forward to one of the biggest matches in my career," said the Basel No1. "That doesn't mean I will be more nervous than normal, though – I'm just looking forward to the experience. The sense of anticipation is stronger than the pressure."

Last updated: 22/02/12 23.13CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000264/match=2007670/prematch/focus/index.html#no+split+loyalties+shaqiri

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