Football clubs give more than a chance to players to prove themselves on the field. They give players identity. This identity will stay with the player and his biography for the rest of the player’s life. This is the case for Granit Xhaka Biography and you would hear “Arsenal” a lot in the following article.
In 2016, Granit joined Arsenal, and from that very moment, his life has been weaved deeply with the Gunners. Many overlook the fact that before joining Arsenal, Xhaka was playing in Bundesliga. Likewise, fans also ignore the fact that Xhaka has played for his nation for more than a decade. If you didn’t know these facts, then you are in for a treat since we would also talk about Granit Xhaka’s personal life in great detail in Granit Xhaka Biography.
Footbalium version of Granit Xhaka Biography
So, we don’t want to keep you waiting. Thus, let’s immediately hop into Granit Xhaka biography and learn more about this 30-year-old midfielder.
Granit Xhaka introduction
Before we start to narrate our story, we want you to be completely ready to comprehend the article fully. Because of that, here are a few Granit Xhaka stats so you can update your knowledge about him before moving to the biography.
- Name: Granit Xhaka
- Age: 30
- Nationality: Swiss/ Switzerland
- Height: 1.86 m
- Current team: Arsenal
- Number: 34
Now that you know this player’s most basic information, let us move on to Granit Xhaka biography.
Granit Xhaka’s early life and childhood
Xhaka has been playing for the senior team of Switzerland since 2011, so we all know him and his nationality well, but the thing that we don’t know is how he grew up and chose football as his career. But worry not, as we all will soon learn Granit Xhaka life story and where he came from.
In Basel, Switzerland, on September 27, 1992, a famous footballer called Granit Xhaka was born. Granit Xhaka real name is Granit Ragip Xhaka.
Elmaze and Ragip Xhaka, his mother and father, were not natives but rather moved to Switzerland from Podujevo, Kosovo. He didn’t come from a wealthy family, and his immigrant family had a lot to deal with aside from adapting to the ways and traditions of the new country.
The youngster’s climb to the top began with the most difficult of beginnings, and it was initially preceded by his parents’ flight to safety from a nation on the verge of civil war.
In 1990, Xhaka’s parents moved to Switzerland because they realized they wanted a new beginning. Taulant, their first child, was born in Basel in 1991, and Granit came to this world 18 months later.
All that Xhaka has is due to Switzerland and the opportunity he was given there. Similar to playing for their national football squad, which includes Yann Sommer, among others.
More significantly, Xhaka can’t and won’t forget his Kosovo-Albanian roots because they still have an impact on him today.
Let’s start narrating everything about Granit Xhaka. Here’s how this player entered football and rose through the ranks to reach where he is right now.
Xhaka initially signed for a small club where he experienced professional football for the first time. Xhaka began playing football as a youngster with Concordia Basel before transferring to FC Basel in 2002. He was doing amazing things at FC Basel and, despite his age, was moving up the ranks.
Granit participated in several Basel youth teams before joining the U-21 team in 2008. He participated in 37 games and 11 goals for the U-21 squad between 2008 and 2010. Thorsten Fink, a former Basel coach, once remarked that Xherdan Shaqiri was the best player in Switzerland, after Granit Xhaka.
Xhaka has been a member of the Basel first and senior team since the start of the 2010–11 campaign. His senior career had officially begun with his first appearance on the senior side of the team.
He made his first team debut against Debrecen in the Szusza Ferenc Stadium during the third qualifying round of the 2010–11 UEFA Champions League. Xhaka won the Super League Championship title with Basel at the conclusion of the 2010–11 season. At the end of the next season, he won the League Championship title and the Swiss Cup with the club.
Contrary to popular opinion, Xhaka didn’t find his shine in the Premier League. Xhaka was given the chance to shine on the field for the Bundesliga with one of the most renowned teams for producing young athletes and mega stars years before entering what is undoubtedly one of the best leagues in the world.
Basel confirmed on their website on May 18, 2012, that Xhaka had reached a contract agreement with Lucien Favre’s Borussia Mönchengladbach. Xhaka signed a five-year contract with the team following the conclusion of his medical examinations.
The hero of our Granit Xhaka biography failed to achieve any significant trophies with M’Gladbach. Yet, his presence in Bundesliga was all that he needed.
Even in his final season with Borussia Mönchengladbach, before moving to his present club, he was honored to serve as team captain for a few games. He played for the team for four years.
For about £30-35 million, on May 25, 2016, Arsenal acquired Xhaka from Borussia Mönchengladbach. Xhaka made his professional debut for Arsenal in the team’s 2016–17 Premier League season opener.
Since joining the club seven years ago, Xhaka has been a consistent member of the team, starting most matches in the heart of the field.
We should also point out that Xhaka was debating leaving the squad before Arteta took over as manager. But he stayed because of Arteta’s entrance and the manager’s belief that he had a beneficial impact on the team’s performance.
Granit Xhaka owed this turnaround to Arteta, saying:
“He turned me around and gave me a second chance and he showed me he trusted me, and I tried to give him everything back.”
Xhaka has competed for the Switzerland U-17 youth team. In 2009, he took part in the Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria. The U-17 World Cup of 2009 was won by the Swiss squad.
He also played a few games for the U-18 national team. On May 25, 2010, he participated in his first game for the Swiss national under-19 football team.
Granit Xhaka stated to the Albanian sports media that the FSHF (Albanian Football Association) was neglecting him while the Swiss Football Association was showing considerably more interest before making his international debut for Switzerland. At the time, Xhaka was still debating playing for his birth country or his home nation, Albania.
On June 4, 2011, in a 2-2 UEFA Euro 2012 qualification tie with England at Wembley Stadium, Xhaka made his international debut for Switzerland.
He has taken part in a lot of competitions for his national team, but one, in particular, caused him problems.
He and fellow goalscorer Xherdan Shaqiri, who is also of Kosovan heritage, celebrated their goals during the 2018 FIFA World Cup by eagle-flapping in a manner reminiscent of the double-headed eagle on the Albanian flag. For ” unsporting behavior contrary to the principles of fair play” FIFA penalized each player 10,000 Swiss francs.
In either of his most recent competitions, the 2022 FIFA World Cup or the Euro 2020, he was unable to win a trophy.
Granit has attractive looks and an even hotter physique. This leaves many wondering whose that one lucky girl who managed to find her way into Granit’s heart. Thus we should dedicate this part of Granit Xhaka biography to talk about his girlfriend.
Leonita Lekaj is the name of Granit Xhaka’s significant other. She is Granit Xhaka’s attractive wife. Lekaj is from a Kosovo Albanian family, like Xhaka. While still representing his old team, Borussia Monchengladbach, Xhaka first met Leonita.
The Switzerland international was drawn to her because she was working for the Bundesliga team.
Apart from liking ice cream, both lovers like spending their summer vacations in Miami. Granit Xhaka once put on a stylish brown suit in April 2017 and got down on one knee to propose to his girlfriend. When Leonita Lekaj said yes, her Instagram fans congratulated her. Granit Xhaka took his time getting married to his longtime partner Leonita Lekaj during the off-season.
The international from Switzerland shared the exciting news by uploading a photo of himself and his wife as “Mr. and Mrs.” on Instagram. Their wedding took place in July 2017. The result of this marriage is two daughters, Laneya and Ayana Xhaka.
Let us talk about Granit Xhaka’s parents in this section of Granit Xhaka biography. Granit’s father, Ragip Xhaka, was a proud Kosovar who once expressed his rights and protested against the Communist Yugoslavia authority in Kosovo.
He fought for his rights, which included fundamental democratic freedoms and necessities like the ability to vote. It was only political in nature. Later on, Ragip Xhaka was detained by the government.
He wasn’t the only one. Several others were detained, including his uncle, who had served time in prison previously. He received 15 years.
Ragip received a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence. The offense committed by Xhaka Sr. was his participation in Belgrade protests against the communist central government.
He was a 22-year-old student at the University of Pristina in Kosovo in 1986, which was still an independent Yugoslav territory at the time. The fact that Xhaka’s mother had just met her husband three months prior to his arrest and incarceration is one of the interesting facts about her.
Elmaze Xhaka was wearing a jersey that read “Half-and-Half Switzerland/Albania” as she watched Granit play in the field with her daughters-in-law in the stands. She is a neutral supporter despite being from Switzerland because her two sons play for different nations. She is close to her daughters-in-law.
You may remember that we briefly mentioned Granit’s siblings and now we are going to talk about them in this section of Granit Xhaka biography.
Granit Ragip Xhaka’s older brother Taulant Ragip Xhaka was born on March 28, 1991.
Taulant Xhaka, a current member of Grasshopper (on loan from Basel) and a former member of the Albanian national team, is also a professional football player.
He has over 200 appearances for Basel, the club where Granit started his football career. The fun fact about Taulant is that he played for all the age levels of the Swiss national team except the senior side and chose to make his debut on the national team for Albania.
Granit also has a sister named Agnesa Xhaka.
Granit and Agnesa are far more closely than they are with their other brother. For each other’s birthdays and other significant occasions, the two have been seen uploading images on social media, but Taulant hasn’t received the same treatment.
Granit Xhaka’s honors and achievements
As always, we would wrap things up in this section of Granit Xhaka biography by presenting his honors and awards and providing a full list of his achievements.
Don’t let the term “full” fool you. Despite being a great performer on the field and dubbed the best Swiss midfielder, Granit hasn’t won that many awards to this day. The 30-year-old seems to be nearing the end of his career sooner or later, but we really hope that he would add a lot to his honors list before reaching the end.
He has won his first club trophy with Basel, winning two league titles in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. Moreover, he added the Swiss Cup of the 2011-12 season to the teams’ awards.
Moving to his Arsenal trophies, we should note that the team hasn’t won any league titles while having Xhaka in the squad. But, it has achieved FA Cup twice and FA Community Shield two times with Xhaka.
Granit had no luck with the senior side of the national team and has only won the FIFA U-17 World Cup of 2009 to this day.
The midfielder has been praised as the best Swiss footballer with the Swiss Footballer of the Year award twice in 2017 and 2022. Younger Xhaka also managed to win the same title for young athletes named Swiss Youth Footballer of the Year in 2012.
We have brought Granit Xhaka biography to an end, but his career is still on and we sincerely hope to see this player achieve far more than just a few minor trophies. We know his potential and what he can do with the ball to bring glory to his team and the people of Switzerland.