Xherdan Shaqiri couldn’t help Switzerland fall to an embarrassing defeat to lowly Qatar on Wednesday night.
The Swiss were hosting the game and expected to run riot over the team ranked 96th in the world, but succumbed to an 86th goal from Akram Afif, who plies his trade at Al Sadd.
Shaqiri was brought off the bench at half-time and had plenty of the ball, but couldn’t use his creative ability to carve Switzerland, who are ranked eighth, a goal.
Our playmaker did fashion a chance when his team-mate hit the woodwork, but this was the closest the favourite’s came.
The result is interesting as Qatar, the tiny desert nation with zero historical football infrastructure to speak of, are hosting the 2022 World Cup.
Right now, they’re spending billions on enormous stadiums in order to host the tournament – and on this evidence – perhaps they won’t be the whipping boys everybody assumed.
Switzerland face Belgium on Sunday in the Nations League, where Shaq will definitely start. He’ll be up against many Premier League compatriots, such as Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and potentially his Liverpool team-mate Simon Mignolet.