In an interview, the 30-year-old explains how he got to the United States and what he especially loves there.
At the beginning of February, Xherdan Shaqiri left football in Europe and joined the Chicago Fire in Major League Soccer. Now, 6 weeks after his move, the 30-year-old is back on the Old Continent. He arrived with mild fatigue in his legs and severe fatigue in his bones. Meanwhile, that’s been trained away, Shaqiri explains at the Nati camp in Marbella.
It’s not quite on par with the best European football, but you can’t underestimate the level here.
In any case, Nati player looks back with satisfaction from his winter move: “It was the right moment to go to Chicago. The project convinced me that this was the most important thing”, he explains his move.
The start in the USA was successful
A move that wasn’t easy at all, he missed a big part of the setup in the new location. At the same time, he faced high expectations. “But I was aware of it. I am trying to help the boys with my experience,” that is his motto. The start – the best of the franchise in the last 9 years – was already a success, “but there’s still a long way to go”.
Football is a bit unruly, but very sporty.
If one talks about the MLS in Europe, it still has the reputation of the “Old Men’s League”. Shaqiri strongly contradicts this cliché: “It can’t be completely compared to European football, but the level shouldn’t be underestimated here – but a lot of people do.” He was positively surprised by how the training went and also by the quality of the team.
“The league is getting better and better, new top players come in every year. Football is a bit unruly, but very sporty,” characterizes MLS Football. The mix of South Americans (“they can play football”), young Americans, and European veterans is exciting.
A new quality of life: no envy, more peace
Chicago Sports City is also exciting for Shakiri. He, who describes himself as a guy who likes to see new things, also took a step to “get to know American culture.” A culture that really impressed him. The veteran who has made 100 appearances for the national team emphasizes one thing in particular: “Americans love stars, but there is no envy. That is the first thing I loved here.”
He also noted favorably that he enjoyed more peace and quiet than in Europe. Although he is also known in the USA, this is normal for him, “if you play in big clubs and in tournaments that the whole world has seen. But there are also Americans who only watch basketball, baseball or ice hockey.” He was also looking for a little peace with his movement.
But in the next few days this will be the end. At Nati, Shaqiri is supposed to provide music in Test matches against England and Kosovo. When he returns to the United States, he can then “shake” the MLS, though rest on the field side.
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