Shaqiri left the national team when Liverpool competed against Red Star Belgrade

Shaqiri left the national team when Liverpool competed against Red Star Belgrade

Jürgen Klopp has left Xherdan Shaqiri on Merseyside instead of exposing the midfielder in Belgrade to hostility.

The Swiss midfielder infuriated the Serbs during the World Cup because, after scoring a goal during a game between the two sides, they held a firing display while wearing boots decorated with the Kosovo flag.

It would have inevitably made him a goal when Liverpool competed in the Champions League against Red Star Belgrade.

Xherdan Shaqiri was left on Merseyside as Liverpool prepared for Red Star Belgrade

Xherdan Shaqiri was left on Merseyside as Liverpool prepared for Red Star Belgrade

Xherdan Shaqiri was left on Merseyside as Liverpool prepared for Red Star Belgrade

Shaqiri incensed the Serbs by celebrating a destination for Switzerland with the eagle gesture, a symbol of ethnic Albanians

Shaqiri incensed the Serbs by celebrating a destination for Switzerland with the eagle gesture, a symbol of ethnic Albanians

Shaqiri incensed the Serbs by celebrating a destination for Switzerland with the eagle gesture, a symbol of ethnic Albanians

Jürgen Klopp decided to leave Shaqiri at home to avoid a hostile reception in Belgrade

Jürgen Klopp decided to leave Shaqiri at home to avoid a hostile reception in Belgrade

Jürgen Klopp decided to leave Shaqiri at home to avoid a hostile reception in Belgrade

Klopp said: "We will go to the fantastic city of Belgrade as a football team to play football.

"We've heard and read the speculation and talked about what kind of reception Shaq would receive, and even though we have no idea what would happen, we want to go there and focus 100 percent on football and not have to worry about anything else that's all.

"We are Liverpool FC, a big club, a football team, but beyond that we have no message, we have no political message, absolutely no, we want the focus to be on a great football match, free from anything else.

"We want to be respectful and try to avoid distractions that focus on a 90-minute race that is important for football and football only.

"That's why Shaq is not involved and he accepts and understands that. Shaq is our player, we love him, and he will play for us many times, but not on Tuesday. "

Shaqiri wanted to play the game in the Serbian capital, but made no decision

Shaqiri wanted to play the game in the Serbian capital, but made no decision

Shaqiri wanted to play the game in the Serbian capital, but made no decision

Liverpool can come one step closer with another victory in the knockout round of the Champions League

Liverpool can come one step closer with another victory in the knockout round of the Champions League

Liverpool can come one step closer with another victory in the knockout round of the Champions League

POLITICAL VOLTAGES

Shaqiri's World Cup goalkeeping teamed his hands to form a "double eagle" – similar to the one on the Albanian flag.

Shaqiri is of Albanian-Kosovan origin. It is believed that the symbol of his destination celebration ignites tensions between Serbs who do not recognize Kosovo's independence and ethnic Albanians.

Shaqiri's touch was whistled by supporters of the Red Stars two weeks ago during the first meeting of the two teams at Anfield, and the hostility would be even further directed against a former Yugoslav born player against Kosovan Albanian parents.

Shaqiri said last month, "I just go there to play a football game.

"It's not about politics, it's about football. I'm worried about nothing and go play. I've had that at the World Cup (Bohen), so I know I can handle no problem with it. "

Another three points would bring them within reach of the knockout round after draws were played between Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli on Matchday 3.

There will be other choices about who will travel to Belgrade, but one man who will not be involved is Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson.

He is supposed to resume his full training at Melwood after a thigh problem, but he still has not got a good match.

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