Liverpool omits Kosovo-born Shaqiri from Serbia trip

Xherdan Shaqiri was a member of Bayern Munich's treble winning side of 2012/13

In a group game between his Switzerland team and Serbia, Shaqiri scored a superb last minute victor, and both he and teammate Granit Xhaka celebrated scoring by making a double eagle gesture with their hands representing the Albanian flag, viewed as a symbol of defiance.

Shaqiri is an ethnic Albanian from Kosovo, the former Serbian province and scene of Nato's military intervention during the conflict between the countries that ended in 1999.

Liverpool thrashed Red Star 4-0 at Anfield in the reverse fixture but they'll know this will be an entirely different prospect at the Marakana Stadium so I don't think Klopp will take any chances with his line-up.

However, the well-travelled football journalist James Montague - who wrote an article about Shaqiri for the New York Times following "Eaglegate" in the summer - has raised an interesting point about Liverpool's decision on Twitter.

Klopp is keen to avoid unnecessary distractions as Liverpool look to take a significant step towards qualification from Group C on Tuesday night.

Xherdan Shaqiri, Jordan Henderson and Nathaniel Clyne are not included.

"We are Liverpool FC, a big club, a football team but we don't have any message further than that", Klopp said.

"So for that reason, he is not involved and he accepts and understands this".

Moreover, Klopp said his club has "no political message" and is exclusively concerned with football. We tried to make sure we can be focused on football. He doesn't need to worry about Shaqiri's safety and can concentrate exclusively on football matters.

"The display at Arsenal was not the first below par performance of the season and we have reached the point where Klopp needs to consider leaving him out and trying something different up front".

This will be Liverpool's first away game against Red Star Belgrade in European competition since October 1973, when they lost 2-1 in the first leg of a last-16 tie in the European Cup.

"For the club, Belgrade, Serbia and the whole region tomorrow is an important occasion, and we are looking forward to a spectacle". "If anything I think the decision not to play him will sour things more".

"He's played in 69 games since the start of last season, more than any other player in the Premier League". He is in a very good shape.



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