Chicago Fire signs Xherdan Shaqiri as Designated Player

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Xherdan Shaqiri has signed for the Chicago Fire in Major League Soccer as a Designated Player.

The Swiss superstar is heading to the Windy City.

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Shaqiri, 30, joins from French club Lyon and the Swiss winger will become one of the stars of MLS over the next few years as he’s signed a contract until the end of the 2024 season.

The skilful winger left Liverpool last summer for Lyon but the move to Ligue 1 hasn’t worked out and now he’s in Chicago.

Speaking about Shaqiri’s move to MLS, here’s what Chicago Fire FC Sporting Director Georg Heitz had to say.

Fire delighted to add game-changer

“We’re extremely pleased to formally welcome Xherdan Shaqiri to the Fire,” Heitz said. “Xherdan is a game-changing player and someone who will bring joy to our supporters and the city of Chicago. As one of the most accomplished Swiss athletes of his generation, Xherdan joins us at a very important time for the club and fully believes in what we are aiming to accomplish. We look forward to welcoming him and his family to Chicago very soon.”

The Fire have placed Ezra Hendrickson in charge for the 2022 season and with their move to Soldier Field last season and their rebrand, they are trying to reinvent themselves.

Shaqiri’s signing will be a huge part of that and could see other stars arrive from Europe.

How much of an impact could Shaqiri have?

There is no doubting that if he stays fit, Shaqiri has the quality to be an instant star in MLS. We are talking about a Robbie Keane, Sebastian Giovinco and Carlos Vela type impact.

Shaqiri has been unlucky with injuries in recent seasons and sat behind Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino at Liverpool as they ripped it up and he played a bit-part in them winning the UEFA Champions League and Premier League titles.

The former Basel, Bayern Munich, Stoke City and Liverpool winger has incredible experience and is a driving force for Switzerland as they will play at the 2022 World Cup and Shaqiri will hope his swansong includes an appearance with them in the 2026 World Cup in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

In the short-term, this is a great signing for the Chicago Fire and Shaqiri is the type of character who will embrace the challenge of being a talisman.