Shortly after his first Liverpool training session on Wednesday, Xherdan Shaqiri sat down with Liverpoolfc.com to discuss his excitement about kicking off his Reds career for real.
The new No.23 sealed a deal to join the club from Stoke City earlier in July but only joined up in New Jersey yesterday following his post-World Cup holiday.
Shaqiri is feeling fresh and ready to hit the ground running with the Reds and is hopeful of featuring on the pitch as early as Saturday, when Jürgen Klopp’s team face Manchester United.
Read on for the full interview…
You’ve had your first session with Liverpool today – how did it feel to finally be out there?
It feels great to be back on the pitch and smell the green grass. I’m really happy to be here.
You were eager to join up early but was it good to get a few days’ holiday?
Yes, it was good and important, I think, to get at least two weeks’ holiday. I’m back fresh and really happy to get started.
Is it as important to rest the mind as the body? You went from a Premier League season right into a World Cup…
Of course, it was really important to switch off and recover well. We had a long season last year and the World Cup was also very intense. I’m back fresh and happy to be back on the pitch.
There are two interesting games to come, with Manchester City tonight. How much are you looking forward to watching it?
I’m really looking forward to seeing the game and my teammates. I hope we’re going to win. The team look good and look sharp. It’s still a friendly game. We are training hard and it’s always difficult to go into these games because you are a little tired and then you have to play in a game like this – a hard game against a good team. It’s important to get some kilometres in our legs. It’s good.
When are we likely to see you play? Could you feature against Manchester United on Saturday?
I hope so, yes. I don’t know yet. I need a few training sessions and then I hope I can get some minutes against Manchester United. I feel good. Of course, on the first day after one session you are always a little tired but I feel good. I didn’t lose a lot because I only had two-and-a-half weeks’ holiday. So I feel good and ready to go.
You arrived yesterday and had a very long wait for your teammates…
It was a long day for me, too. I was sleeping when they came. I was happy to see them this morning.
How excited are you about being part of this squad?
I’m really excited. When you see on paper the kind of players that are here, the quality of the team is amazing. You can see the coach wants to go forward with the players he brought in, very good quality players who can help the team. I’m really happy to be a part of this big club and to help them win titles.
You’ll get a sight here in America of how big this football club is…
I don’t know yet how many people are going to come but for sure it’s going to be a lot of Liverpool fans. I hope I can meet them.
Team spirit here is good…
That’s also important, to be good with each other. I can see the spirit in this team is big and very good and very important. It’s going to be a long season and an important season to try to be successful. We want to be successful and to try to go forward and give the fans some trophies.