Stoke City forward Xherdan Shaqiri is the one player in the Swiss squad that stands out as a potential game-changer and match winner.
Now aged 26, Shaqiri has donned the iconic shirts of Bayern Munich and Inter Milan since leaving Basel in his homeland six years ago. There is no room for doubting Shaqiri’s quality but he is, for certain, an enigmatic talent.
He is capable of astonishing feats of skill, for example the sublime bicycle-kick he scored from 18-yards in a 1-1 draw with Poland at the Euro 2016 Finals in France.
Shaqiri is already a veteran of two major tournaments with the Swiss national team and he has left a mark on both.
Four years ago in Brazil he netted a fine hat-trick against Honduras and was the star performer in the Swiss side that reached the last-16 where they were only edged out in extra-time by eventual runners-up Argentina.
He is far from prolific, his record in three years at Stoke in England’s Premier League is a goal around every five/six games.
But Shaqiri is the sort of player deemed likely to thrive on the biggest stage, as his tournament record with Switzerland already demonstrates ably, and his return in the red shirt of his country is much closer to one-in-three games.
Surprisingly, he managed to net only of the 23 goals scored by the Swiss in finishing as runners-up behind European champions Portugal before edging out Northern Ireland in a tense playoff to seal their place in Russia.
Shaqiri at his best will be vital should the Swiss have designs on an upset in their opening game on June 17, where they are 8.50 to turn over Brazil. A positive outcome there and they might fancy their chances at 7.00 of topping Group E.