Liverpool and Switzerland midfielder confessed to having imitated Ronaldo (Nazario De Lima) ‘s (in)famous triangle hairstyle as a child. Like a lot of children at that particular time period, to whom ‘El Fenomeno’ was the most perfect idol, Shaqiri copied his hairstyle and even cried when Ronaldo’s team lost important matches in the tournament.
“I liked him, his style and how he was playing was so amazing. He was my big, big idol. I did his haircut too – in 2002, the triangle – I did it, too. Everybody was shocked in school when I went to school with this haircut. But I loved him and I still love him,” said Shaqiri.
When Ronaldo’s Brazil lost to France in the finals of the 1998 World Cup in a match infamous for Ronaldo’s illness which has given rise to multiple conspiracy theories, Shaqiri couldn’t hold back his tears.
“He is my big idol. I wish I could meet him. I was not really copying him, because every player is so different and has different specialities and different talents. But he was my big hero back in the day. When he lost against France in the final, I was crying at home. He was my big idol,” he said.
Shaqiri himself has had a career of his own in his idol’s field, having represented clubs like Bayern Munich and Liverpool. He’s amazed at his own success.
To be honest, I never thought I would do this kind of career. Sometimes I tell my family, ‘Look where I played, look how many trophies I won.’ It’s just incredible,” he said.
“You cannot have that every day, or not everyone can say they won the Champions League twice with two different teams, twice a world champion, many titles with Bayern Munich in Germany and in Switzerland too with Basel.”
“It’s just amazing, it’s like a dream how I live every day. And I enjoy it, that’s my thing – to stay grounded and enjoy it on my own with my family and my people around who are very proud of what I achieved until now. And I want to give this to this club [Liverpool] too, my experience, what I did with big clubs. That can only be a positive,” Shaqiri added.