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Shaqiri honoured at football gala

Basel FC winger Xherdan Shaqiri has been named Swiss Footballer of the Year for his performance in the Swiss national team.

The award is a big honour for the diminutive 19-year-old, who has already been capped 11 times. His Basel teammate Alex Frei won the best league player of the year award.

The announcements were made on Monday evening at the 14th Football Night, which celebrates Swiss footballing achievements.

The award for Shaqiri, who is just 169 centimetres tall and known for his explosive style of play, follows on from his best newcomer accolade of last year.

“I am honoured. It crowns off a season in which Basel won the league title and we had a successful under 21 European Championships,” said the player, who also plays for the under 21 national team, which reached the final of the championships in Denmark earlier this year.

Massimo Busacca, who recently announced he was moving to world football governing body Fifa as head of refereeing to prepare match officials for international tournaments, won Referee of the Year. The best female player went to Lara Dickenmann.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR