Connect with us


Euro 2016: Arsenal new boy Granit Xhaka set to do battle against his brother Taulant



The curious case of how two closely-knit brothers are about to make European Championship history by playing against each other for different nations is a symbol of these complex and diverse political times.

Born in Basel to a family fleeing from Kosovo, Granit and Taulant Xhaka must put their love aside as they play against one another for Switzerland and Albania respectively on Saturday.

F amily ties will be best kept off the pitch for two opponents at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis on Saturday, as Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka must participate in a nervy Euro 2016 clash against elder brother and Albania defender Taulant Xhaka.

The brotherly battle is the first of its kind on the European Championship stage, with Kevin-Prince Boateng and Jerome Boateng the only others to cross paths during the World Cup for Ghana and Germany on two occasions before.

Originally together with FC Basel and under Swiss banners in their youth, things began to change for the brothers as Granit excelled.

At the international level, the younger, taller Xhaka was indispensable for the Schweitzer pati and even more promising at the club level with his move to Borussia Monchengladbach in 2012.

For Taulant, an eventual switch to the Albanian senior national team in 2014 was the chance to rediscover his roots, something that Granit would be eventually ridiculed for failing to do.

In fact, such torment arrived during World Cup qualifying in 2012 as Albania met Switzerland and the midfielder couldn’t find the conviction to bury a shot towards an empty net.

Saturday provides not only a chance for Granit’s redemption, but the opportunity to do so with brother Taulant standing guard at the opposite end of the pitch.

For many others it will feel strange to face the Eagles, with Xherdan Shaqiri, Admir Mehmedi Shani Tarashaj, Valon Behrami and Blerim Dzemaili all sharing Albanian heritage that is united in the Swiss uniform.

Sports Picks, News and Handicapping Information from

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *