SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Sweden fan Ragit Shaqiri found it difficult to celebrate his side’s progression to a first World Cup quarter-final since 1994 with a victory over Switzerland on Tuesday, as his cousin Xherden Shaqiri played for the losing team.
The Swedes won 1-0 thanks to winger Emil Forsberg’s deflected strike, causing mixed emotions for the 18-year-old who grew up on the same Rosengard estate as retired Sweden legend Zlatan Ibahimovic.
“I watched the game in Kosovo with all my relatives, it was very exciting but at the same time very stressful,” Ragit told Reuters as Sweden set up a last-eight clash against England on Saturday.
“I was happy and sad at the same time when Forsberg scored, I thought Xherdan played very well, his crosses towards goal were very dangerous,” he added.
Xherdan’s father and Ragit’s mother are siblings, and left the poverty and conflict in Kosovo for Switzerland, with the latter then opting to settle in the Swedish city of Malmo.
A promising amateur footballer, Ragit’s agent is Xherdan’s brother Erdin and he now hopes Sweden can go on to even greater things.
“In the World Cup nothing is guaranteed, but I hope Sweden go on to win it,” he said.
Reporting by Philip O'Connor