Red Star Belgrade vs. Liverpool live stream

Ross Houston
November 6, 2018

Shaqiri was famously involved in controversy during the World Cup after he celebrated scoring for Switzerland against Serbia by making a double-headed eagle gesture, which symbolises the Albanian flag.

Kosovo's independence is not recognised by the Serbian government.

This will be Liverpool's first away game against Red Star in European competition since October 1973, when they lost 2-1 in the first leg of a Last 16 tie in the European Cup/Champions League.

In an effort to avoid controversy and unnecessary "distraction" Klopp has now made a decision to leave Shaqiri at home, stating his intentions to be "respectful" and to exclusively focus on the football.

"We have heard and read the speculation and talk about what kind of reception he would receive", Klopp said.

Like several of his fellow Switzerland internationals, Xherdan Shaqiri was born in Kosovo before his family had to leave his native country ahead of the Kosovan War, along with more than a million other people who were displaced due to the conflict.

Xhredan Shaqiri has also remained in England as the German admitted that he did not want to take the Switzerland worldwide winger due to political reasons.

"It's a situation where we will go to the fantastic city of Belgrade as a football team to play football", Klopp told Liverpool's official website.

"But we are not here for that, we are here to play football".

Locally Klopp's decision has been viewed as a sensible move, with tensions likely to have run high at the Rajko Mitic Stadium had Shaqiri appeared. "We have no political message, absolutely not", Mr Klopp said.

Liverpool might have dropped two points in the Premier League away to Arsenal but Klopp will be expecting his side to get back to winning ways in the next two fixtures as Red Star and Fulham prepare to face the Merseysiders.

"Maybe if Shaq would have played they (the crowd) go for him or whatever, I don't know, but I didn't think that far", Klopp added.

"He's a wonderful player but in the past nine of his appearances for Liverpool he has scored once - against Red Star Belgrade - and not managed a single assist".

Other reports by iNewsToday