Hitzfeld: Shaqiri can shine in midfield for Switzerland

The winger was redeployed as a trequartista to sensational effect against Ecuador, scoring a hat-trick in a win that sealed his country’s place in the last 16 of World Cup 2014

Switzerland boss Ottmar Hitzfeld says Xherdan Shaqiri is capable of realising his full potential in an attacking midfield role.

The Bayern Munich winger was deployed as a trequartista to devastating effect in Wednesday’s crucial World Cup 2014 Group E clash with Honduras, with the 22-year-old scoring all three of his country’s unanswered goals as they progressed to the last 16.

“He really displayed today what he is capable of,” Hitzfeld said after the 3-0 win in Manaus. “This is the confirmation of all the potential he has.

“This is a new position for him. In midfield, he needs to run more and this tests his concentration, but we can only congratulate him for scoring three goals.”Switzerland must now take on Argentina, for whom Lionel Messi has been in inspirational form, scoring four goals in three games.

Stopping the Barcelona No.10 undoubtedly represents a daunting task but Hitzfeld is buoyed by the fact that all of the pressure is on the Albiceleste ahead of their Sao Paulo showdown.

“We are highly motivated,” the German coach stated. “We are going to write history. In fact, we have already done that by reaching the last 16 in a World Cup in South America.

“It’s not easy playing here but playing against Argentina … we have nothing to lose.

“We are going to have to see how we will line up against Argentina, but I’m not so concerned about it now.

“I know their team and their tactics, though I’m not going to talk about them now!”

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