Shaqiri plays down goal celebration

Xherdan Shaqiri played down any political significance in his goal celebration after netting a dramatic late winner in Switzerland’s 2-1 victory over Serbia.

Switzerland came from behind to beat Serbia on Friday and moved level on points with Brazil at the top of Group E after goals from Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka and Stoke’s Shaqiri.

Both players are of Kosovan descent – the former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008. After scoring, they each appeared to make an eagle gesture, to symbolise the eagle on the Albanian flag.

Relations between Serbia and Kosovo remain tense, yet after running the length of the field to score and then ripping his shirt off, Shaqiri would not be drawn on his celebration.

“In football you have always emotions and you can see what I did and it’s just emotion,” he said.

“I’m very happy to score the goal, that’s all.”

Victory in their final group game against Costa Rica will now guarantee Switzerland’s place in the last 16.