Xherdan Shaqiri: His performance in the Chicago Fire could help his national team make it far in Qatar
When he signed for the Chicago Fire, there will have been many that have thought it was a major coup given the reputation and the history of the clubs Xherdan Shaqiri has played for throughout his career.
Indeed, the Swiss superstar counts clubs like FC Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, and Liverpool among some of the teams that he has played for – including FC Basel, Stoke City, and Olympique Lyonnais – and given that he has only just reached his 30s, there may be some that would have thought he could still be playing in one of Europe’s top leagues.
Nonetheless, with the 2022 FIFA World Cup coming up in a little over a month’s time, those that support Switzerland and work for the national team will certainly have been delighted that their little maestro is performing at the level that he is in the MLS at this stage of his career.
Shaqiri has been impressive in the MLS
Turning out for the Chicago Fire, there is no denying that Shaqiri has been impressive for the club from Illinois. The winger has been instrumental for the team since arriving, having been able to put up a number of impressive figures in his first MLS season with the club.
As of writing – and ahead of the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup – he has scored a total of seven goals and provided a further six assists in his 28 appearances so far. However, while his contributions have been solid for the team, the club has struggled.
The Chicago Fire are currently sitting lowly in the Eastern Conference in a 12th-place position, having only managed to accumulate nine wins and 35 points from the 32 games played thus far. Unfortunately, it would seem that their chances of playing in the postseason are all but over, especially as they only have two games left to play in the regular season against FC Cincinnati and the New England Revolution.
Nonetheless, there is no denying that Shaqiri has been able to have an excellent campaign at Soldier Field and will be primed ready for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup, where fans will be counting on him to be able to deliver for Switzerland.
What are Switzerland’s chances of having a successful 2022 FIFA World Cup?
Of course, many Swiss eyes following the winger’s progress in Illinois will be turning their focus to the upcoming competition in Qatar, as they will expect the player to achieve some great things while out in the Middle East.
Indeed, for the Switzerland national team to have any success, many will feel that the country will need to be at their best if they are to have any chance of having what can be considered to be a successful campaign.
Being their talisman, too, many will feel that Shaqiri will have to be as good as everyone knows he can be if they are to spring a couple of surprises and punch with the best national teams in the competition. Many will also be betting on the idea that the winger will need to be the best player, too.
With a number of soccer odds available at BetMGM Illinois sportsbook for punters looking at the Chicago Fire player as one to look out for if they decide to place bets on the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and with the team in Group G, they may feel there are a number of opportunities available to them.
With games against Cameroon, Brazil, and Serbia set to take place in Qatar, bettors may be looking at the two games on either side of the South Americans and the favorites for this year’s trophy as games that they can potentially bet on Shaqiri enjoying himself on the pitch and being able to produce.
Will Shaqiri make a difference at the 2022 FIFA World Cup?
Based on his form for Chicago Fire in the MLS this season, it would be easy to suggest that Shaqiri will be able to play a key role for his national side in the upcoming competition, and there will be many that will be expecting him to do so.
Of course, nothing is a given in football and as the game is not played on paper, there is no doubt that things may not necessarily go the way that scout reports or player analysis may suggest they will, despite how good they can be at providing an overall picture regarding what to expect.
Nonetheless, as he is the country’s talisman and a key competent, there is no doubt he will be a focal point of Murat Yakin’s side as they look to progress from Group G. The boss will be looking at Shaqiri to help the team get past both Cameroon and Serbia, while they may look at the game against Brazil as one where they look to be as defensive as possible and take any opportunity that they can to counter-attack should the opportunity present itself. Again, this is where Shaqiri might become the main man and be relied upon to take any chance that arrives.
Indeed, the Switzerland national team should be buoyed by the form that Shaqiri has shown with Chicago Fire in the MLS this season, as his return of seven goals and six assists in 28 matches thus far is a respectable one given that it is his debut campaign in the MLS has been as solid as it has.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be another showcase event for the 30-year-old to display his skills – something he has managed to do in the past, and hopefully be able to have a very successful campaign that many in Illinois and around the world will be watching closely.
Many will expect Switzerland to be able to progress from their Group given the calibre of the teams that they are required to be faced, but it will be interesting to see where they can end up.