Xherdan Shaqiri is hoping the fourth time’s the charm.
The Qatar-based tournament will follow the attacking midfielder’s past World Cup appearances in South Africa 2010, Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018. Now joining an elite four-tournament player club, Shaqiri is hoping to build off his nine World Cup matches and 108 Nati caps overall (with 26g/30a).
Switzerland are drawn into Group G and will open play Nov. 24 against Cameroon, before meeting early-favorites Brazil (Nov. 28) and fellow European side Serbia (Dec. 2). The top two finishers advance to the 16-team knockout round.
Shaqiri joined Chicago last winter via a reported $7.5 million transfer fee from Ligue 1’s Lyon. While the Fire missed the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for the fifth straight year, he had a team-leading 18 goal contributions (7g/11a) in 29 matches under first-year manager Ezra Hendrickson.
The 31-year-old has enjoyed a trophy-filled club career, highlighted by time at Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern Munich and Premier League side Liverpool. And he’s stepped up on the World Cup stage, memorably netting a hat trick at Brazil 2014 in a 3-0 rout of Honduras.
Switzerland qualified by winning Group C in UEFA’s pathway. They’ve now made five straight World Cups and reached the Euro 2020 quarterfinals, powered by a generation that includes Shaqiri, Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka, Borussia Mönchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer and more.