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The political meaning behind Shaqiri's celebration against Serbia

23 June, 2018, 04:27 | Author: Hannah Francis
  • Romelu Lukaku

A seemingly innocuous goal celebration performed by both Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri has thinly veiled, politically charged undertones and could potentially land the pair in Federation Internationale de Football Association disciplinary proceedings following Switzerland's 2-1 win over Serbia.

Both Shaqiri and Xhaka trace their roots back to Kosovo, a former province of Serbia, a fact that stoked tensions before and during Friday's clash. We have a lot of Albanians, so there is a lot of history between Serbia and Albania.

"You should never mix politics and football, it's good to be a fan and important to show respect", he told reporters after the game.

"It's clear that emotions surface".

"I have heard from many people that he his a nice person".

He opened proceedings at the Kaliningrad Stadium after heading home a towering header, which means he has now scored 15 goals in his last 18 starts for Serbia.

"I guarantee you my players will take responsibility, be aggressive and on top of the other team", Krstajic said Thursday.




"I am very happy with Shaqiri". Xhaka is of Albanian descent, and his father previously participated in a demonstration against the communist Yugoslavian rule in Kosovo that landed him a lengthy jail sentence. After causing Yann Sommer problems with his first header of the night, Aleksandar Mitrovic made no mistake with his second to put his side ahead with five minutes gone. Against Switzerland, he is likely to be the key player once again.

On the half-hour mark, Steven Zuber cleverly teed up Blerim Dzemaili but the Hoffenheim man got his feet in a muddle and Vladimir Stojkovic was able to parry away.

Sharp, fast, tireless and elusive, *Xherdan Shaqiri *proved more than a handful for the Serbia defence.

Shaqiri shaved the outside of the post six minutes later with a curled snapshot from the edge of the box that left Stojkovic well-beaten.

This prompted Vladimir Petkovic to switch it up at half-time and he brought on Mario Gavranovic at the expense of a despondent Seferovic, and the Swiss attack was immediately transformed, as they pushed forward with more intent and objective than in the first half.

"What is important is that we have developed this winning mentality even when we are down", said Petkovic, whose side have lost only one of their last 24 games.

Shaqiri then struck in the 90th minute to secure victory for the Swiss, who are second in Group E behind Brazil on four points with one game remaining.

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