Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka has hit back at former Liverpool defender Stephane Henchoz for criticizing his Albanian heritage and leadership qualities.
Xhaka is the likely candidate to become captain of the Switzerland national team after Stephan Lichsteiner retires but Henchoz who represented Switzerland between 1993 and 2006, feels that the midfielder would be a divisive choice due to his Albanian heritage.
The ex-Blackburn defender’s comments haven’t exactly gone down well with Xhaka and he has had plenty to say about Henchoz’s opinion.
“Professional allegations don’t bother me, but it gets bad when those people accuse me of not representing Switzerland properly,” Xhaka told Swiss publication Aargauer Zeitung via Sport Witness.
“It hurts! I would be lying if I said anything else.”
“I was born and raised in Switzerland. The fact that I have two hearts in my chest is a fact, which, by the way, I cannot help either.”
“But I’ve been wearing the colours of this country, my home, for almost nine years!”
“The accusation that I’m not in favour of Switzerland is void.”
“In Gladbach or London, I am the respected Swiss who brings success, and suddenly I’m only half Swiss?”
“Yes, that hurts me, that stresses me out. It’s hard to digest.”
He added: “The captain’s armband would fill me with pride, but I don’t need this role to take responsibility in the game.”
“I talk, I scream, I take the boys and the old ones with me.”