The official website for European football

Shaqiri shining for enterprising Swiss

Published: Sunday 5 June 2011, 12.05CET
Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri put in another fine display as his side earned a noteworthy 2-2 draw away against Group G leaders England on Saturday. profiles the exciting schemer.

This content is streamed in such a way that it is protected and available only in a Flash format. Your device seems not to be compatible with our Flash video player.



Published: Sunday 5 June 2011, 12.05CET

Shaqiri shining for enterprising Swiss

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri put in another fine display as his side earned a noteworthy 2-2 draw away against Group G leaders England on Saturday. profiles the exciting schemer.

Name: Xherdan Shaqiri
Club: FC Basel 1893
Debut: 12/07/09 v FC St. Gallen (Swiss Super League)
Position: attacking midfielder
Nationality: Swiss
Date of Birth: 10/10/91

Since making his professional debut as a 17-year-old at the beginning of the 2009/10 campaign, Xherdan Shaqiri has wasted little time in establishing himself for club and country. Born in what is now the Republic of Kosovo, Shaqiri began his career in Basel's youth set-up, capping a dream first campaign by helping the club to the domestic double.

Having played for Switzerland's Under-19s in the early stages of 2009/10, Shaqiri ended the season on the biggest stage of all – the FIFA World Cup. As if to underline his already burgeoning reputation yet further, Shaqiri came on as a substitute against England in the sides' first UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier last September and halved his team's deficit with a superb long-range strike on his home ground, St. Jakob-Park.

Perhaps Shaqiri's biggest asset is his versatility. He is comfortable in a number of positions, though with his dribbling skills and powerful shot, he has impressed most on the flanks in attacking and defensive roles.

Breakthrough game
FC Basel 1893 6-0 FC Lausanne-Sport
09/05/10 (Swiss Cup final)

Shaqiri had already shown flashes of brilliance prior to the cup final yet it was in the showpiece that he proved he can be relied upon in big-game situations. A stunning long-range strike and an assist helped Basel to an emphatic victory in a match which featured everything for which Shaqiri is now known: dribbling, firepower and a little bit of youthful exuberance.

He says:
"It's all a dream. If I'm honest, though, it's all going a bit too fast, but I have my family to make sure I stay grounded."

"I'm mentally strong and never nervous when I run out in a stadium. When I'm standing on the pitch I want to dribble around everyone. That's the attitude I bring to the game."

They say:
"He lives for the fun he has on the pitch and if there is no fun then it becomes difficult for him. He is a real street footballer."
Thorsten Fink, Basel coach

"It's a pleasure to watch him play because he exudes passion for football. He is already a very competent player; technically very good but also very strong physically."
Peter Knäbel, technical director for the Swiss Football Association and former head of youth at Basel

"Xherdan Shaqiri is an outstanding talent, that's why I've allowed him to be involved with the national team. He's powerful and fearless."
Ottmar Hitzfeld, Switzerland coach

"This little man is a phenomenon. For his age he has already come a long way, a lot further than most players. He's cheeky, has a good shot and is a fantastic dribbler."
Marco Streller, Basel team-mate

Last updated: 26/10/12 13.55CET

Related information

Player profiles
Member associations
Team profiles

  • © 1998-2015 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA and EURO 2016 words, the UEFA EURO 2016 logo and slogans and the UEFA EURO trophy are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.