Despite the harsh words you may have read on a few previous Fire Nation posts about Xherdan Shaqiri, it is important to recognize that all slanders must come to a halt tomorrow!
Anything negative I have stated in the past has now been taken back about our extremely expensive Designated Player.

PHOTO: Getty Images

Just kidding. I still think the purchase of Shaqiri is the poorest financial decision the Fire has ever made. However, I will stand by my request that all the slander stop—at least until tomorrow.

All of the CF97 Nation must come together and show tons of support for our Swiss superstar as he takes the stage in the Round of 16 in the Euro Cup tomorrow.

Why Though?

I have a theory on Xerdan Shaqiri and his ongoing participation at the Euros. There have been talks and rumors about him wanting to return to Europe and play in a top-flight overseas once again. If he wants that to be a possibility, he knows very well that a great individual showing up at this tournament would put his name back up on the map. Shaqiri is only 32 years old, which means he definitely can still offer a solid 2-3 more seasons at any competitive club. A deep run in the Euros with Switzerland could open a few doors for him.

Switzerland’s matchup in the knockout round is as tough as can be as they will face off against defending champions and European giants Italy. Shaqiri will need to dig deep and give, yet again, another world-class performance for his national team, as he tends to do in big moments. Italy is coming off an emotional, uplifting game as they equalized Croatia in the 98th minute to secure qualification into the Round of 16. Unfortunately for Switzerland, Italy is riding high and looking to keep that momentum in the knockout stages.

Back to my theory, though – If Shaqiri and co. manage to do well in this competition (starting off with a win tomorrow against Italy), the squad and Shaqiri himself will begin to attract attention from all over Europe. Let’s just say Switzerland wins the following match in the quarterfinal round after defeating Italy tomorrow. They would find themselves in the semis of the Euro Cup, and all eyes would be on one man, Xherdan Shaqiri. The player, who formally was a part of some of the most prestigious European clubs like Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, and Lyon, could now add another club to where he would bring a major spotlight – the Chicago Fire.

Let me rephrase that – It’s not like he hasn’t already brought some attention to the club, but his performances this year and last have been extremely underwhelming. Attention has shifted away from Shaqiri and the Fire since the earlier months of 2022 and onto other clubs around MLS as of late. If my theory is correct and Shaqiri has a few more great games this tournament, he will have absolutely no choice but to simply ball out for the Chicago Fire for the rest of the season.

PHOTO: Chicago Fire

Think about it: let’s suppose Switzerland makes the semi-finals at the very least. Shaqiri has a great showing and then returns back to Chicago. Any clubs interested in him will have to keep tabs on his follow-up performances this Summer in MLS to see if his play in the Euros was a fluke or if he indeed can still perform at a world-class level. It’s a beautiful theory! You’re telling me that we would get our # 10 DP star performing at a high level, helping us make a playoff run into the play of Summer, all while we have the chance to sell him away or create major salary space on the roster if he were to leave the club? Sign me up!

To be fair, in this year’s edition of the Euros, Xherdan Shaqiri and Switzerland have performed tremendously well. They qualified out of the group stage into the round of 16 in second place.

They defeated Hungary 3-1 in their opening match and drew against Scotland and Germany. Aside from their quality play, the moment that shocked the world was an absolute stunner from the man himself, Shaqiri, against Scotland. It was a highlight on repeat all over social media for days, and rightfully so. Shaqiri just always happens to find the back of the net in stylish fashion when he reps his country.

Switzerland, in general, has been in excellent form. They have only lost one match since the end of 2022. They have played over 12 matches since then and only lost to Romania in November 2023.

This theory has many parts, and none of them matter if Shaqiri and Switzerland don’t take care of business tomorrow against Italy first.

My fellow Chicago Fire fans, let’s all hope for an upset tomorrow and for the Swiss to advance to the quarterfinals.

PHOTO: Getty Images

Our man, Xherdan Shaqiri, will have the weight of a country all on his shoulders, but that man is more than capable of delivering on a big stage, as we have seen before. Because let’s face it – if Switzerland were to lose tomorrow, I would bet so much money that Shaqiri would return to the Fire extremely upset, unmotivated, and mentally checked out of this MLS season.

Shoot, he may even try to find any kind of excuse to get shut down and sit out the remainder of the year (which, honestly, is probably better for us).

So, let’s send some good vibes to our friend Xherdan over in Germany right now as he gets ready to take on Italy and looks to make a deep run in the Euro Cup. After all, he is one of our own!

¡Vamos Suiza!

PHOTO: Chicago Fire

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