Xherdan Shaqiri was unveiled as a Chicago Fire player this week, and after completing his second move in six months, the attacker revealed Jurgen Klopp‘s support.
It is only half a year since Shaqiri left Liverpool for Lyon, but after falling out of favour at the Ligue 1 club, this month saw him head to MLS.
He has signed for Chicago Fire as a Designated Player, meaning the franchise has agreed a contract above their salary cap, and his arrival in the United States is being considered a high-profile one.
There could be question marks regarding his ambition, having departed one of Europe’s top five leagues for one on the up but still far off in terms of quality.
But Shaqiri is looking to use his experience to lift Chicago Fire, and in his unveiling press conference on Monday, revealed a message of support from Klopp.
“Jurgen I’ve known for a long time,” he told reporters.
“Since I played for Bayern, we played against him – he was Dortmund coach, so it was a big rivalry there.
“I had a wonderful three years at Liverpool, we won many titles, I had a really beautiful time.
“You can always learn from these big coaches.
“I’m proud that I worked with Jurgen Klopp, I worked with [Pep] Guardiola, I worked with Jupp Heynckes, I worked with Ottmar Hitzfeld, big coaches who won a lot of titles, had a lot of experience.
“So you can learn a lot, and I am proud I learned so many things from them, because every coach is a bit different. It’s only positive for your career.
“Jurgen, I had a really good relationship with him. He texted me and congratulated me for this transfer. We still stay in contact.”
Shaqiri has maintained his desire to play for Switzerland at every opportunity, with his switch to the US not seen as step towards winding down.
Interestingly, as he explained his decision further, the 30-year-old admitted he had sought to leave France entirely after a difficult six months.
“I wanted to go away from France, the opportunity came with Georg [Heitz, Chicago Fire sporting director], we were always in touch,” he said.
“[Did I need] convincing? Of course, I was thinking a lot, but Georg came with a big project and I was really excited.”