Granit Xhaka starred one of the most unfortunate moments in the Premier League and European football this season last Sunday. The Swiss midfielder explained he “reached boiling point” following repeated threats to his wife and daughter after an angry confrontation with fans.
As he walked off the pitch at Emirates Stadium, Arsenal fans booed the player, prompting him to cup his ear. Now, in an emotional statement shared on social media, Xhaka made it clear he feels “hurt deeply” by comments on social media and recent matches.
Some of these comments included condemnable lines like ‘Kill your wife’ and ‘Wish that your daughter gets cancer’.
Xhaka finally opened up on his altercation with fans, stating he got “carried away” and reacted “disrespectfully” to fans.
“The scenes that took place around my substitution have moved me deeply,” Xhaka said in a statement on Instagram on Thursday. “I love this club and always give 100% on and off the pitch.
“My feeling of not being understood by fans, and repeated abusive comments at matches and in social media over the last weeks and months have hurt me deeply.
“People have said things like, ‘We will break your legs’, ‘Kill your wife’ and ‘Wish that your daughter gets cancer’. That has stirred me up and I reached boiling point when I felt the rejection in the stadium on Sunday.
“In this situation, I let myself be carried away and reacted in a way that disrespected the group of fans that support our club, our team and myself with positive energy. That has not been my intention and I’m sorry if that’s what people thought.
“My wish is that we get back to a place of mutual respect, remembering why we fell in love with this game in the first place. Let’s move forward positively together.”
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It’s mandatory to say this was not the first time Xhaka was involved in these incidents. Last month Unai Emery publicly defended the midfielder after a game against Aston Villa.
Xhaka’s relationship with the fans didn’t prevent the Spanish boss to appoint him as the club’s captain, but now he has refused to confirm whether Xhaka will remain captain after Sunday’s incident.