Xherdan Shaqiri claims he wanted Liverpool to draw Bayern Munich in the Champions League, giving him a chance to line up against his former club. The Switzerland international has got his wish, with the Reds set to take on the German giants at the last-16 stage of this season’s competition.
The first leg of the eagerly-anticipated continental clash is due to be staged at Anfield on Tuesday. Shaqiri, who spent two-and-a-half years with Bayern between 2012 and 2015, is looking forward to the challenge of facing a side he enjoyed a trophy-laden spell with.
The 27-year-old forward told Liverpool’s official website: “I was very happy ‘with the draw’ because I wanted to play against Bayern Munich, against my old teammates and my old team. I’m looking forward to the game. It was an amazing time (at Bayern). Two-and-a-half years I was there and it was amazing; we won a lot of titles, we won the Champions League. We had the best team Bayern Munich had. It was an amazing feeling to win so many trophies. I had many great memories there, I will never forget them. I’m really looking forward to going there and trying to win the game in Munich with my team.”
Shaqiri formed part of the Bayern squad which conquered Europe as part of a stunning treble-winning success in 2012-13. He was an unused substitute in a 2-1 final victory over Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium. Jurgen Klopp was the manager to taste Champions League heartache on that occasion, but is now the coach steering Liverpool towards potential silverware.
Shaqiri is delighted to be part of the Reds fold, having secured a switch from Stoke City in the summer of 2018, and believes a team which fell at the final hurdle last season is capable of challenging for major honours again in the current campaign.
He added: “I’m looking forward to the experience. It’s going to be amazing. We can go very far, I hope. They are going to be two very difficult games against Bayern because they are a top side. The two games will be interesting because both teams attack and play offensively. We need two very good performances to go through.”
A two-legged tie with Bayern forms part of a testing run of games for Liverpool which is also set to see them face Manchester United, Everton and Tottenham before the end of March.