Why Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri's goal celebrations enraged Serbia

Yahoo Sport UK
Granit Xhaka of Switzerland celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group E match between Serbia and Switzerland at Kaliningrad Stadium on June 22, 2018 in Kaliningrad, Russia. (Getty Images)
Granit Xhaka of Switzerland celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group E match between Serbia and Switzerland at Kaliningrad Stadium on June 22, 2018 in Kaliningrad, Russia. (Getty Images)

Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri both scored in Switzerland’s 2-1 win over Serbia – before they each celebrated their goals with the same controversial gesture.

The Arsenal midfielder scored Switzerland’s first goal with a thumping long-range effort before celebrating vigorously with a ‘double eagle’ gesture – the symbol of Albania.

Now to say that celebration is controversial would be polite. Shaqiri replicated it as well after his winning goal in the 90th minute, but not as intensely as Xhaka.

Xhaka was born to Kosovo-Albanian parents who were forced to flee the fall of Yugoslavia in 1990. Xhaka’s father was even imprisoned for more than three years for demonstrating against the Communist regime in the late 1980s.


Shaqiri was born in present-day Kosovo but emigrated with his family to Switzerland when he was a baby.

The Kosovo War that ended in 1999, and the territory remains a contentious territory for both Serbia and Albania, declared independence in 2008, and has its own Fifa-recognised team.





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