SWITZERLAND 1-1 POLAND (4-5 pens)
Shaqiri: "I scored a beautiful goal, but we're out..."
Shaqiri lamented that his tremendous, acrobatic equaliser against Polonia wasn't enough to see Switzerland progress to the quarter finals.
Switzerland striker Xherdam Shaqiri regretted that despite his wonderfully acrobatic equaliser in this afternoon's game against Poland, surely a contender for goal of the tournament, was of no use to his team who pack their bags and will play no further part at Euro 2016, after losing the game 4-5 in the penalty shoot-out.
"It was important because it put us back into the game and gave the team a push. I scored a beautiful goal but in the end, we 're out of the tournament", Shaqiri said after the match.Earlier, the Stoke City player had delighted spectators - at least the Swiss and neutral ones, by launching himself to send a spectacular overhead kick inside Fabianski's post to cancel out Blazczykowski's first half opener in Saint-Etienne. It was a stunning goal - with echoes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's for Sweden in a friendly against England which won the 2013 FIFA Puskás award for being the best goal of the year in world football.
"I always feel proud when I score for my national team", Shaqiri added to avoid any misunderstandings due to his Kosovar-Albanian roots and for the fact that now he would have been eligible to play for his birth country under FIFA regulations.
The striker added that he felt Switzerland, who had the better possession against Poland, would have been worthy quarter-finalists.
"It's upsetting for us because we played at 150 per cent and we were so close to a great achievement", and recalled that the Swiss suffered a similar fate against Argentina at the 2014 World Cup, losing by the minimum after having the Albiceleste up against ropes.
As for his team mate Granit Xhaka, the only player to miss a penalty in the shoot-out, Shaqiri assured that, "He'll be fine, he'll get over it" and sent him a message of support, by betting that it will be the Borusia Mönchengladbach midfielder who will score at the next World Cup.
Shaqiri was also asked for his opinion on Poland's celebrations in which the players stood jubilant right in front of the Swiss supporters' end of the ground which provoked anger amongst the supporters on the losing side. "They're professional players and so they know that they should have gone down to the other end to celebrate; what more can I say?".