The most iconic moments from the eventful career of Granit Xhaka

Granit Xhaka is not short on memorable moments in his career, and not always for the right reasons.

Granit Xhaka has been one of the unlikeliest stars of Euro 2020, with him putting in a colossal performance as they beat world champions France in the round of 16. 

With the Arsenal midfielder about to seal a move to Italian side Roma, it looks as though his five-year stay in North London might be coming to an end.

It is fair to say that his career at the Emirates Stadium and in general has been a mixed bag, so let's take a look at the Swiss midfielder's most iconic moments throughout his footballing career.

Scoring on his professional debut for Basel

From 2002 until 2010, Xhaka played in his hometown club FC Basel's youth system. He eventually broke into their first team at the beginning of the 2010/11 campaign at the age of just 17.

He was given his senior debut by manager at the time, Thorsten Fink, in Basel's Champions League third qualifying round match away to Hungarian club Debrecen. In second-half stoppage time, he scored his first goal for the club on his senior debut in a 2-0 triumph.

Borussia Monchengladbach's captain at 22

In the summer of 2012, Xhaka signed for Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach. In his fourth and final season with the club, he was named as captain at only 22 years old.

Five red cards in four Bundesliga seasons

Despite his time playing in Germany largely being successful, during his four seasons with the club he was known to be rather reckless.

Due to his questionable discipline on the pitch, he earned an unwanted number of red cards, receiving a total of five during his time with the club.

Stunning first goal for Arsenal vs Hull City

On May 25, 2016, the Swiss midfielder signed for Premier League club Arsenal where he was tipped by many to shine as the midfield menace that the Gunners had lacked for years.

His first goal for the Gunners was certainly one to remember. It came in September 2016, and it was a 25-yard screamer against Hull City.

Starring in Arsenal's 2017 FA Cup final victory against Chelsea

After a mixed first year in England, the season ended on a high for both Xhaka and Arsenal when they defeated recently-crowned Premier League champions Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley Stadium in the 2017 FA Cup final.

The Swiss midfielder played a huge part in this triumph by putting in a solid performance where he bossed his midfield battle with France World Cup winner N'Golo Kante.

It was a performance he would then go on to repeat at international level for Switzerland at Euro 2020, where his side beat the French on penalties.

Magnificent free-kick against Crystal Palace

On October 28, 2018, Unai Emery's Arsenal made the relatively short trip to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace.

The Gunners trailed 1-0 going into the interval; however, shortly after the break, Xhaka unleashed a thunderbolt of a free-kick that emphatically found the back of the net. This was undoubtedly one of the best goals of his career.

Bust-up with his own supporters

This one should probably go down as one of the more bizarre incidents ever seen on a football pitch.

With the Arsenal fans clearly unhappy with Xhaka's form, they made their feelings known by loudly booing him off the field when he was substituted in the 61st minute of a home game against Crystal Palace in October 2019.

In response to this criticism, the Swiss midfielder made various sarcastic gestures as well as using abusive language towards his own supporters. Nine days later, he was stripped of the club captaincy.

Many people understandably assumed that this would be the end of Xhaka's Arsenal career; however, he came back into the team just five weeks later and went on to play 31 more games in all competitions in the 2019/20 campaign.

Another FA Cup triumph

On August 1, 2020, Xhaka won the FA Cup with Arsenal for the second time in his career.

After what was a difficult season for Xhaka and the Gunners, this must certainly have felt like a monumental victory.

To make things even sweeter, the Swiss midfielder played in all six of their games in the competition, completing 90 minutes in five of them.

He played the entire game in the final, with the Gunners enjoying a 2-1 victory over Chelsea.

Needless red card vs Burnley (2020/21)

When your team are on a poor run of form and really need a win, the last thing you want to be doing is getting unnecessarily sent off.

Unfortunately, this is exactly what Xhaka did in Arsenal's home game against Burnley on December 13, 2020.

To make matters worse, the Gunners went on to lose the game 0-1 when Xhaka's team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored an own-goal in the 73rd minute.

Sumptuous free-kick against Chelsea

On Boxing Day 2020, the desperately out-of-form Gunners took on London rivals Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium in a game very few people thought they would win.

With Mikel Arteta's team already 1-0 up, just before half-time, the Swiss midfielder stepped over a free-kick from a rather tight angle and curled it past goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to score one of the best goals of the season.

Arsenal eventually went on to win the game 3-1 - a result that rejuvenated their season.

Starring for Switzerland

Since making his international debut as an 18-year-old back in 2011, Xhaka has played more than 90 times for his country, making him the joint-fifth most-capped player by Switzerland.

He has represented Switzerland at four major international tournaments: the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Euro 2016, the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020. He was in the starting XI for every single game at all three tournaments.

One of Xhaka's greatest moments came in the round-of-16 clash with France, in which he was a vital figure in turning around a 3-1 deficit before Switzerland knocked the defending champions out on penalties.

You can back Spain to win to nil vs Switzerland at around 7/4 with Planet Sport Bet.

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