Xherdan Shaqiri said that he feels proud that he will be able to lead Switzerland as captain, in the absence of the first captain Granit Xhaka, in the quarterfinals against Spain on Friday at Euro 2020.
Captain Xhaka will be absent against Spain because he is suspended, therefore the captain’s armband will be transferred to the other Kosovar, winger Shaqiri.
The Liverpool star – who scored two goals in the group stage to send Switzerland to the quarter-finals where the Swiss team made history by reaching the quarter-finals of a major tournament after winning on penalties against France – will carry the bar of captain for the first time in his career with the national.
It will be an emotional match for the 29-year-old, who is Switzerland’s top scorer in big tournaments with 7 goals.
Speaking before Friday afternoon’s match, Shaqiri said: “It was a difficult match against France. I worked hard in defense with Haris (Severovic). I will try to give everything of myself for the team even in the match against Spain. If I score or assist, it will be great. But I’m not weak if I do not score or assist.”
Asked about the captain’s armband, the footballer from Gjilan said: “It is a pride for me to lead the team tomorrow.”
“We will play our normal game. If we give 120 percent of ourselves, anything is possible.” he added.
With two goals against Turkey, Shaqiri became the first Swiss player to score in four consecutive tournaments, in the 2014 World Cup, Euro 2016, the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020.