Shaqiri says Fergie believed 'a great player requires Balkan-style skills and Swiss discipline'

Xherdan Shaqiri has made an interesting assertion today over what Sir Alex Ferguson believed was a great player.

Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri is undoubtedly one of European football’s top talents - but at 22-years-old he finds himself trying to break ahead of two of world football’s most exceptional wide-men in the form of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

When he has featured for Bayern Munich this campaign he has impressed. Shaqiri has played just 782 minutes of Bundesliga football this term but has six goals to his name.

With that in mind plenty of teams are said to be keeping tabs on the player - who appears to be getting itchy feet.

Premier League teams are obviously being linked with the player - who joined Bayern Munich for €11.6 million from FC Basel in 2012 and is said to now be valued at around €17.5 million - two of which were even mentioned by name by his brother Erdin a couple of months ago:

“We are now waiting for the summer to see what we do. But when clubs like Liverpool, Manchester United, Internazionale and other top clubs report to you, then of course we must listen to what they have to offer."

Liverpool are the team being most heavily linked with the player - and they would be right to make a move ahead of a far busier campaign next season after Champions League qualification was assured.

However, in an interview with Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse today, Shaqiri mentioned a Chelsea player and a former United manager - but not Liverpool.

The interview, conducted mainly to speak about the Swiss chances at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil, saw him asked a couple of questions which got interesting Premier League related answers.

For instance, when asked who his favourite players were a Chelsea man got a mention:

“My favorite defensive player is Brazil's David Luiz, and my favorite attacking player is Argentina's Lionel Messi. He defeated us single-handedly in that 3-1 loss back in 2012.”

But it was perhaps his comments on what Sir Alex Ferguson once said - and how it helped him have a ‘positive influence’ on the football pitch - that really caught the eye.

Here is the result of the exchange - in which he uses a quote I have personally never heard from Sir Alex:

According to some people, legendary coach Alex Ferguson once said, ‘A great player requires Balkan-style skills and Swiss discipline.’ Maybe that's your answer. It's simply a good combination.”

A good combination Liverpool will want to utilise from next season - if United don’t get their first.

As, by the sounds of it, Fergie should be a big fan.

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