Shaqiri glad to be heading back to Bayern on Champions League stage: It was difficult at Stoke!

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The Swiss forward is preparing to return to Munich with Liverpool, with the Reds preparing for a crunch clash with the Bundesliga title holders

Xherdan Shaqiri is relishing a reunion with Bayern Munich in the Champions League, with the Liverpool forward admitting it was “difficult” to grace such a stage while with Stoke.

The Switzerland international was a regular in Europe’s elite club competition during spells with Basel and Bayern.

He was, however, to spend three years on the outside looking in after leaving Germany for Inter and then Stoke.

A move to Liverpool in the summer of 2018 has lifted him back up the ladder and the 27-year-old is now readying himself for a return to the Allianz Arena.

Shaqiri could figure for the Reds in the second leg of a last-16 encounter which is currently locked at 0-0 and has said of a heavyweight clash: “It's two top sides going against each other.

“For me it is the best game in this competition and it's going to be very intense.

“I love to play in the Champions League. After a long time it has been really nice to be back playing in it. It is at another level, a top level.

“Obviously Liverpool did very well in the Champions League last year but didn't win it. Now we have a big chance to go very far again. But to go through we must beat a top side."

Georginio Wijnaldum Roberto Firmino Xherdan Shaqiri Liverpool 2018

Shaqiri has not returned to Munich since leaving for Italy and is determined to make the most of a meeting with a club that allowed him to savour a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble in 2012-13.

“I've not been back there. It was difficult with Stoke and I was there for three years,” he added.

“Even with Inter Milan, we only played in the Europa League so this will be the first time.

“Bayern Munich is a massive club and one of the best in the world. A lot of people are going to come to watch and I am very happy to be going back there after a long time, to play in the Allianz Arena.

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“It's an amazing stadium to play in. Obviously, it's going to be a very good game and I wanted this – I wanted to play against Bayern Munich.

“I'm looking forward to seeing my old team-mates and also the people I worked together with at Bayern Munich. It's going to be emotional for me because I had an amazing time and we won a lot of titles.

“I will never forget this but I want to go there and win the game.”