Chicago Fire have completed the signing of Switzerland national team midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri from Ligue 1’s Lyon, making him their most expensive transfer to date.
He joins as a Designated Player and his contract runs through the 2024 Major League Soccer season.
MLSsoccer.com’s Tom Bogert previously reported Chicago paid $7.5m to land the former Bayern Munich, Inter and Liverpool star.
“We’re extremely pleased to formally welcome Xherdan Shaqiri to the Fire,” sporting director Georg Heitz said in a release. “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 joins the American league after a prolific career abroad. He kicked off professionally with FC Basel, where he managed 23 goals and 27 assists in 130 appearances before going off to the Premier League.
He spent three seasons with Stoke City, recording 15 goals and 15 assists. Shaqiri then spent time with Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Inter.
He’s won league titles in England, Germany and his native Switzerland. While at Bayern Munich, Shaqiri played alongside former Chicago star Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Internationally, the player has earned 100 caps with Switzerland, scoring 26 goals while featuring in three consecutive FIFA World Cups and back-to-back European Championships. Shaqiri also recently helped Switzerland qualify for the Qatar 2022 World Cup by winning UEFA Group C.
With this signing, the Chicago Fire will target qualifying for the MLS Cup after missing out on four consecutive occasions.
The team is set to kick off the 2022 season on February 26 when visiting Inter Miami.