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Granit Xhaka is a Swiss footballer who has been with Arsenal FC since 2016. In addition to FC Basel, he played for the Bundesliga club Borussia Mönchengladbach and has a permanent place in the Swiss national team. His preferred position is midfield.
Granit Xhaka was born on September 27th, 1992 to Kosovar Albanian parents in Switzerland. He grew up in Basel with his one year older brother Taulant, who is also a professional soccer player. He was already on the training ground at FC Concordia Basel at the age of four. At the age of ten he switched to the youth department of FC Basel, in 2010 he made his debut in the first team. He stayed with the club until 2012 before moving to Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Bundesliga.
Granit Xhaka achieved his first footballing successes in the youth team of FC Basel. In the squad of the first team, he was for the first time in the 2010/11 season. Already in his debut for FC Basel in an official game, the qualifier for the Champions League against VSC Debrecen on July 28, 2010, he scored a goal. He was Swiss champion twice with FC Basel. In the years 2010 – 2012 he played for FC Basel in a total of 44 games and scored two goals.
In the 2012/13 season he moved to the Bundesliga club Borussia Mönchengladbach, where he received a contract until June 2015 and immediately became a regular player. In February 2015, his contract was extended until June 2019 due to his strong performance. He was considered a leading player within the team and was elected team captain in September 2015. During his time at Borussia, he played a total of 140 competitive games and scored nine goals.
For the 2016/17 season, Xhaka switched to Arsenal FC for a transfer fee of 45 million euros. This was the highest transfer fee ever paid for a player in the history of Borussia Mönchengladbach. Xhaka is thus considered a record transfer from Borussia Mönchengladbach.
In 2017 he won the English Cup and the Supercup with Arsenal. His contract with Arsenal runs until June 2021.
Xhaka is also a regular in the Swiss national team. He made his debut for the U-17s in September 2008. With the team he became world champion at the 2009 U-17 World Cup in Nigeria. Since then he has made 125 appearances for the national team and has scored 20 goals.
In 2009 he became world champion at the U-17 World Championship in Nigeria.
In the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons he won the Swiss championship with FC Basel.
In 2017 he won the English Cup and Super Cup with Arsenal FC.
In 2017 he was honored as Swiss Footballer of the Year.
“I wouldn’t change for anyone. I am who I am, either accepted as such or not. I have my strengths and weaknesses, which of course I try to work on. Nobody is perfect.”
“I’m good at taking criticism, especially when it’s fair. My dad never gave me a lot of praise for keeping my feet on the ground.”
Xhaka is considered a hothead. In the 2015/16 season, for example, he and four other players were sent off three times in the Bundesliga to set the Bundesliga record for most dismissals in one season.
His brother Taulant Xhaka, who is one year older, plays for the Albanian national team. At Euro 2016 in France, the two met on June 11 in the group stage match between Switzerland and Albania. Switzerland won the game 0-1 and advanced to the round of 16. This was the first time two brothers played each other in a European Championship game.