Today's Birthday 10/10

Gus McCubbing
Xherdan Shaqiri plays as a winger for Premier League club Liverpool and the Swiss national team

Today's Birthday, October 10: Swiss footballer Xherdan Shaqiri (1991- )

Liverpool forward Xherdan Shaqiri is a household name among football fans.

The 27-year-old scored six goals in 24 appearances for the Reds throughout the 2018/19 English Premier League season after spending three years with Stoke City.

But long before Shaqiri, who commands an annual salary of more than $A7 million from Liverpool, graced the biggest stage of club football, he came from very humble beginnings.

Shaqiri was born in Gjilan, Kosovo, before his parents moved him and his two elder brothers to Switzerland when he was just four years old.

The family settled in Augst, a small town near the French and German borders.

"It was not easy," Shaqiri told The Players Tribune in 2018.

"My father didn't speak Swiss German, so he had to start out washing dishes in a restaurant. He eventually got a job working construction on roads.

"My mother worked as a cleaner in office buildings in the city. I was her vacuum helper, and my brothers cleaned the windows."

Growing up, Shaqiri idolised Brazilian star Ronaldo, and cried for the striker when Brazil lost the 1998 World Cup final to France.

Shaqiri first joined local club SV Augst before he was scouted by FC Basel as an eight-year-old.

He made 92 appearance for FC Basel's senior side from 2009 to 2012 before joining German powerhouse Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.

Shaqiri has represented Switzerland 80 times and scored 22 goals.

This included a hat-trick against Honduras in the 2014 World Cup that booked Switzerland a spot in the round of 16 against Argentina.

But he attracted controversy during the 2018 World Cup after scoring a 90th-minute winner against Serbia in a group-stage match.

Shaqiri celebrated the goal by turning to face Serbian fans and making a crossed-hands gesture to represent the double-headed eagle on Albania's national flag.

He was berated by Swiss coach Vladimir Petkovic for mixing sport and politics. But Shaqiri had no regrets.

"In football, you have always emotions," he said.

"You can see what I did, and it's just emotion, and I'm just happy to have scored the goal. I did it, and we don't have to speak about this."