Sunday, 12 June 2016

Xhaka brothers make history after facing each other at Euro 2016 in France

LENS, France (AP) — For the first time in European Championship history, two brothers played for opposing sides when Switzerland beat Albania 1-0 on Saturday in their opening Group A match.

EPA FRANCE SOCCER UEFA EURO 2016 SPO SOCCER FRAGranit Xhaka helped the Swiss to victory over an Albania side that included his older brother Taulant, in their first international encounter on different teams.

"It was a very special moment for our family having two sons playing on opposite sides," said Granit, who was recently signed by Arsenal after captainingBorussia Monchengladbach to fourth place in theBundesliga last season. "It was rather bizarre.

"I think we played very well, very professional, we gave everything for our country, both of us. We're both very happy, me a bit more because we won."

The Xhaka brothers were born in Basel, Switzerland to a Kosovar-Albanian family. They both played for Swiss national youth teams before Taulant decided to represent Albania at senior level. Granit opted to stay with Switzerland.

After the national anthems were played on Saturday, the two added a brotherly hug to the usual handshakes between the two teams.