Liverpool attacker Xherdan Shaqiri has insisted he always put his 'heart and soul' into the game while on international duty, contrary to what many pundits and fans think. Shaqiri made his international debut for Switzerland ten years ago, at the age of 18, and has made over 80 appearances for his country, featuring at the World Cup and European Championship.
Shaqiri's relationship with the national team, however, is a strained one, to say the least.
The Liverpool man has received much criticism from the national media in his home country over his recent performances. Shaqiri has also had sustained several injuries, which saw him go over a year without making an appearance for Switzerland before he featured against Spain three days ago.
Xherdan Shaqiri opens up about his situation at Liverpool and Switzerland
In an interview with Bieler Tagblatt, Shaqiri opened up on his absence and said that there was never any question about his mentality on returning to football.
" A lot was written. Most of it was very unnecessary, and a lot was misinterpreted. Anyone who knows me, knows what I've already achieved for the national team and that I always put my heart and soul into the game," said Shaqiri.
"I've never had mental problems dealing with it. I am very strong on the mental front. There are always ups and downs. I was also hurt a lot, which was the main reason why I was not there," added Shaqiri.
Shaqiri will return to Liverpool once the international break is over and will be looking to work his way back into Jurgen Klopp's plans for the season. Shaqiri has rarely featured for Liverpool this season and was heavily linked with a move away from the club this summer.
However, the Swiss international decided to stay at Liverpool and fight for his place. Shaqiri admitted that he worried about the transfer speculation but his focus is on playing at a high level for Liverpool, something he has already done in his two seasons at the club.
"Enough has been written and said about it. In football, there is a lot of speculation, and the players worry. I did this too, that's normal. But I have decided to stay at Liverpool and will try to get back into the team. I want to build on the performances that I have already put in for Liverpool," added Shaqiri.Published 14 Oct 2020, 18:11 IST