Liverpool midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri has insisted he is not worried about travelling to Serbia for the return leg against Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League in a couple of weeks, despite the hostility he is likely to face from some home fans.
Shaqiri was born in Kosovo to Kosovar Albanian parents but emigrated to Switzerland as an infant. Proud of his heritage, he was was fined for an emotional celebration in which he appeared to make an eagle gesture, referencing the symbol of ethnic Albanians, after scoring a late winner against Serbia for Switzerland in the World Cup group stages.
Shaqiri also sported the flag of Kosovo on his boots for the match, sparking an official complaint to UEFA and subsequent tensions from the Serbian supporters.
He is set to be faced with another wave of volatility when he visits the country with Liverpool on 6 November, and although boss Jurgen Klopp has hinted that he may consider dropping Shaqiri for the tie, the Swiss midfielder told the Guardian he has 'no concerns' about the trip.
“I had this already at the World Cup so I know I can handle this no problem,” he said.
“No concerns. I saw a few articles where one player said something. I don’t really care what people are saying. I just go there to play a football game.
"It is not about politics it is about football. I worry about nothing and go to play.”
Shaqiri starred as Liverpool dispatched the Serbians 4-0 at Anfield, and Klopp was full of praise for the midfielder's display - something he thanked the manager for when asked about it by the Guardian.
"I just want to say thank you for that," he said.
"I am enjoying the football here and you can see that on the pitch. The most important thing is to win as a team and the game was brilliant from everyone.”