After weeks of speculation, hype, and Marvel-style teasers, the Chicago Fire officially announced the signing of Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri. The $7.5 million transfer fee paid to Olympique Lyonnais makes him the most expensive player in Fire history.
Shaqiri will fill one of the club’s Designated Player slots, and is under contract through the 2024 season. After a lackluster 2021 where the Fire failed to strike fear into opponents in the final third, Chicago finally has a guy with the tools to dominate.
“We’re extremely pleased to formally welcome Xherdan Shaqiri to the Fire,” Sporting Director Georg Heitz said in a statement. “Xherdan is a game-changing player and someone who will bring joy to our supporters and the city of Chicago. As one of the most accomplished Swiss athletes of his generation, Xherdan joins us at a very important time for the Club and fully believes in what we are aiming to accomplish. We look forward to welcoming him and his family to Chicago very soon.”
Shaqiri, 30, brings an enormous amount of experience and success to the Fire. He began his career at FC Basel with Heitz. Since then, he’s played for Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Stoke City, and Liverpool. Shaqiri’s won the UEFA Champions League twice—with Bayern in 2013, where he was teammates with Fire legend Bastian Schweinsteiger, and in 2019 with Liverpool. He’s also earned 100 caps for Switzerland, and is expected to play in his fourth consecutive FIFA World Cup this November.
He will wear number 10 for the Fire.