There’ll be an intriguing back story when Liverpool face Red Star in Belgrade during the Champions League Group Stages.
Red Star’s general manager Zvezdan Terzić has made comments about Xherdan Shaqiri, who is disliked in Serbia due to his belief that Kosovo should be independent.
At the World Cup, when Shaqiri scored against Serbia for Switzerland, he made a controversial Albanian Eagle gesture – a political reference to the Baltic conflict between Serbia, Albania and Kosovo.
As we explained over the summer: Serbia doesn’t recognise Kosovo’s independence, but Shaqiri, born there despite representing Switzerland after emigrating in 1992, does – and like many who were affected by Serbian atrocities in the 1990s – hasn’t forgotten.
Terzić though has suggested his welcome will be incredibly hostile, if he even decides to travel.
“I think Shaqiri will be under incredible psychological pressure because he will know where he comes from and he knows that the Red Star is a symbol of Serbia,” he told Radio Sarajevo.
“I do not know whether he will even come, and if he does, he will feel smaller than a poppy seed.”
For this reason, we really hope Shaqiri plays and scores.
We’re actually fully behind his celebration in the first place and believes he has a right to stand up for what he believes in, especially having lived through what he has an opinion of first hand.