Klopp Leaves Out Shaqiri for Liverpool's Red Star Trip

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Liverpool midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri has been left out of the Liverpool squad for the Champions League trip to Red Star Belgrade with Reds boss Jurgen Klopp explaining the club are keen to "avoid any distractions".

Shaqiri is of Kosovar extraction and was born in the partially recognised nation which was fought over by forces from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – Montenegro and Serbia at that time – and the Kosovo Liberation Army during the late 1990s.  

 

Shaqiri is of Kosovar extraction and was born in the partially recognised nation which was fought over by forces from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – Montenegro and Serbia at that time – and the Kosovo Liberation Army during the late 1990s.  

Serbia does not acknowledge Kosovo as an independent state, with relations between the Balkan nations remaining tense.

Shaqiri stoked those tensions further during the 2018 World Cup when he scored the decisive goal in a comeback victory for Switzerland over Serbia. In celebration, the then 26-year-old proudly gestured with his hands seemingly imitating the wings of the two-headed eagle from the flag of Albania, the country of his father who was once a political prisoner in the former Yugoslavia.