NEW YORK - Speaking at an autograph session at the Paulaner Brewery in Manhattan, Xherdan Shaqiri affirmed that he will stay at Bayern Munich for the foreseeable future.
"For me, I have a contract through 2016. I'll give my best when I am at Bayern," said Shaqiri. "The club believes in me and I believe in the club, so I will stay."
Many clubs, including Juventus, Liverpool, and Roma, were allegedly after Shaqiri's services, but sporting director Matthias Sammer shooed them away, saying that the 22-year-old was part of their future.
The team that Shaqiri was part of a year ago has changed in complexion, Bayern relinquishing Toni Kroos and Mario Mandzukic for a combined €52 million. Shaqiri stipulated that Kroos's departure will not change the way Bayern plays.
"I think Toni is good player," Shaqiri said. He changed the team, but we have a lot of players in position. It won't change anything in the game."
Shaqiri returned with the club eight days ago after his vacation following the World Cup. He played a 33-minute shift against Chivas Guadalajara, coming on for Claudio Pizarro, which has been his only action since his return.
"I am at the beginning," he said. "I have to train a lot to be 100 percent. When all the players come back – all the Germany players come back – we can be ready for the season."
Meanwhile, Holger Badstuber sitting beside him appeared elated talking about his preseason. After multiple knee surgeries, he is confident with how his knee is progressing.
"It feels great. I have no pain," Badstuber said. "The feeling on the field is getting better and better.
"The games help me a lot. A lot of training with the team, but also the games to improve myself and come back."
Pep Guardiola has deployed Badstuber as a sweeper in a new three-center-back system, and it is a position that he feels he can guide the team in as it becomes more defensive. He does not feel that his injury will change the way that he plays the game.
"In my mind, I think the way I play is right, and you don't change," he said. "I am 100 percent behind my way."
Supporters swarmed them both when they commenced their autograph session, security guards and Bayern representatives surrounding them on all sides. It was one of three autograph sessions Bayern was holding, with Robert Lewandowski and Claudio Pizarro visiting a T-mobile store and the Adidas store housing David Alaba, Javi Martínez, and Julian Green.
Bayern will leave for Portland on Friday to prepare for the MLS All-Star Game. They will hold two practices, one on Sunday and one on Tuesday, before the summer soccer showcase on Wednesday.