ONE of the most explosive and dynamic wingers in European football, Xherdan Shaqiri will be desperate to wreak havoc in the Barclays Premier League after completing a stunning move to the Britannia Stadium in August 2015.
Dubbed ‘the Alpine Messi’ and ‘the Magic Dwarf’, the 23-year-old ended the Club’s summer pursuit of a high profile wide-man when he put pen-to-paper on a five-year deal when the Potters agreed a sensational Club record £12m transfer fee with Italian giants Inter Milan.
Undoubtedly Mark Hughes’ number one transfer target throughout the summer, Shaqiri brings an entirely new dimension to the Welshman’s ever-improving side, with his incredible technical attributes as well as his rapid pace.
Yet another Champions League winner, the Swiss football pin-up boy has enjoyed a remarkable playing career thus far, helping both FC Basel, back in his homeland, and European heavyweights Bayern Munich to no fewer than 13 trophies.
The undoubted highlight was helping Bayern to the coveted European title at Wembley Stadium in 2013, where he featured in seven fixtures throughout that triumphant run, chipping in with a solitary goal.
The 2-1 success against Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund in London capped off a tremendous 12-months for Shaqiri, and his Bayern teammates, as they also lifted the domestic league title and the DFB Pokal – making them the first side in club history to complete the treble.
His second season in Germany wasn’t too bad neither – capturing a further four titles – the Bundesliga, the DFB-Pokal, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup, and then to top that all off he ended the campaign by netting the 50th hat-trick at the World Cup Finals.
He had already claimed the man of the match award for his superb performance against Ecuador in the opening group game in Brazil, before starring in the decisive encounter against Honduras, on matchday three, where his three well taken efforts claimed a spot in the last 16 of the competition.
His record on the international stage is quite superb, scoring 17 goals in his 46 appearances to date, including another hat-trick against Bulgaria in qualification for Euro 2012, whilst just a couple of months before that he grabbed his first goal for his country against England.
Shaqiri’s hugely successful spell with Bayern came right on the back of hugely productive stint with FC Basel in his homeland – for whom he helped to win two domestic doubles (the League title and Swiss Cup) in both 2009/10 and 2011/12.
Sandwich in between those campaigns was another successful term in which FC Basel lifted the League title, whilst the hugely sought after winger provided two assists in a famous 2-1 Champions League triumph over Manchester United.
The Red Devils, along with the likes of Arsenal, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich all showed interest in the talented playmaker, but it was the German side who won the race for his signature when they agreed an £8m deal with FC Basel in the summer of 2012.
More recently, the Kosovo-born star spent six months with Inter Milan, after they beat a plethora of clubs to his signature in January, but his spell in Italy didn’t prove to be as fruitful as all parties had hoped, and has subsequently been given the green light to complete what he has described as a ‘dream move’ to the Barclays Premier League.
Xherdan Shaqiri sponsored by Wrights