By 90Min
November 06, 2018

Jurgen Klopp claimed Xherdan Shaqiri gave a short, simple response to being left out of the match day squad to face Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday.

Klopp opted to leaving Shaqiri out of his side that travelled to Serbia, amid concerns that his presence would prove something of a distraction.

Shaqiri would likely have received a bitter welcome to the Serbian capital following his provocative celebrations at the World Cup. After scoring a 90th minute winner against Serbia in Russia, the Swiss attacker, who was born to Kosovar Albanian parents, clasped his hands together to mimic the shape of a double-headed eagle - Albania's national symbol. This was viewed by many as a highly provocative gesture given the political tensions and history of the region.

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Asked what Shaqiri's response was to being left behind for Tuesday's clash, as quoted by, The Express, Klopp replied: "Okay boss.

"I will not make it 'Shaqiri said' or 'wanted' actually. That makes no sense. It makes no sense for you and it makes no sense for him. That's why. He said, 'Ok, boss'."

Klopp did also admit it was a difficult decision for him to make.

He added: "Usually you don't have to think about things like this before a game but we had to think about it.

"I constantly have to make decisions that I never expected before. I was confronted with that and this is the decision." 

Srdjan Stevanovic/GettyImages

Liverpool were ultimately beaten 2-0 in Belgrade on Tuesday night, with a first half brace from Milan Pankov leaving the Reds' hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout stages hanging in the balance.

Shaqiri, who cost Liverpool around £13m in his move from Stoke City this summer, has started his career at Anfield promisingly, scoring his first goal for the club in the 4-1 win over Cardiff on October 27.

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