The 22-year-old insists that criticism about his performances in Brazil are unfair, and also praised Switzerland for scoring two goals against a dominant France side
Bayern Munich playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri has hit back at criticism over his performances for Switzerland at the World Cup, insisting that he is being singled out unfairly.
Despite beating Ecuador 2-1 in their opening game in Brazil, the Swiss were hammered 5-2 by France in their second Group E match in Salvador.
Shaqiri has failed to have an impact on the tournament so far, and will be under pressure to do so in Switzerland’s final group game against Honduras on June 25 – with Ottmar Hitzfeld’s men needing to better Ecuador’s result against Les Bleus to progress from Group E.
But, the 22-year-old has stressed that the focus going into Switzerland’s final match in Manaus should not be on his individual performances but rather on the collective.
“We have enough players in the national team that can be decisive. Not just me,” Shaqiri told Blick. “It’s about the team. Always.
“I feel very comfortable in the team. What bothers me is that I am criticised much harder when something is not working. I’m exactly the same as everyone else.”
Switzerland came from 5-0 down against Didier Deschamps’ impressive France team on Friday with two late goals – a response that Shaqiri was proud of.
“We have just been totally run over by the French. In the second half we tried to play football. I think to some extent we succeeded.
“It’s certainly good for morale that we scored two goals.
“It wasn’t easy, we had to chase the ball a lot. We were always a step too late. The performance of the whole team was not optimal.
“Even though I have not scored a goal or made an assist (in the first two games), I am always working.
“I have created opportunities. For me, the most important thing is that we play well as a team. We did not succeed in this against France.”