Football: The video that demonstrates why Shaqiri is a rare player

A 360-degree reconstruction of the brilliant assist signed “XS” against West Ham allows to better understand his talent: it was madness to try it!


In these frustrated times when image technology distorts football a little more every weekend, this exception should be greeted as a blessing. Sunday evening, the Liverpool Twitter account published a video reconstruction of the decisive goal of the Reds, Saturday against West Ham (2-1). This is a form of amplified reality: the sound and both ends of the film are original but the moment before Xherdan Shaqiri’s assist is suspended to allow the perspective to overlap the field of view. of Basel playmaker. In short, everyone can relive this goal by putting on the crampons of “XS” at the time of his brilliant inspiration.

What does this original point of view teach us? First, that the West Ham defense did nothing wrong. As Jordan Henderson shifts Xherdan Shaqiri, the Hammers are indeed concentrating at eight in a rectangle that squares the 16-meter line. In addition, David Moyes’ men defend by advancing and when “XS” succeeds in his control, the trio Ogbonna – Balbuena (closest to him) – Coufal seem to block any form of initiative in the depth. Truth be told, and based on his reconstructed vision: Shaqiri should never even have attempted this pass as it seems impossible.

So how did the “Zauberzwerg” manage to make the impossible bright and decisive? In fact, he tilts his hip slightly to the back to pretend to slip a side pass to his left. A false track that pushes Balbuena to throw his right leg and thus open the only space where the ball could highlight Jota’s appeal: between his legs. What follows is further proof of the perfect technique of the Swiss team’s playmaker: the ball is delicately measured. Right in the race of Jota who only has to crucify Fabianski.

But when you look at it, this video shows how much this pass defines the very nature of the player that is Xherdan Shaqiri. Does it take luck for such inspiration to lead to a goal? A little, of course. But above all, you have to think about it and dare. Let’s be clear, most players – even offensives – would not have “seen” this pass. Too direct, too blind, too instinctive, too irrational. Then among those who would have seen it, 99% of these creative elements would have considered it “too risky”, formatted that they are now by a football percentage in which it is better to wait for the right moment to dare.

“XS” ​​is not afraid to miss

Xherdan Shaqiri is a rare player because he does not espouse this managerial logic. He tries, plays, dares. So much so – and this is the most important – that he is not afraid to miss. So of course, what he imagines often strikes a watchful foot. Sometimes his desire to create even causes him to lose balls in areas that the doxa considers too dangerous. A freedom of choice that “XS” has regularly paid for by going to sit on the bench or in the stands; as if inspiration absolutely has to pay off.

This decisive pass is therefore great for the action as such and for what it symbolizes. She came to prove that, despite months of doubts and so few minutes of play, Xherdan Shaqiri had enough self-confidence to continue to dare. She shows those who tire of her intermittence that there are rare players that nothing can really shake. Players who allow themselves to imagine the impossible because that’s how they experience football. Free players therefore essential.

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