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Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka produced a quite stunning Man of the Match performance against world champions France to help his side reach the quarter-final stage of a major tournament for the first time in 67 years.
The Arsenal man, known perhaps for being more defensive than offensive, was sensational from start to finish. He not only completed the most forward passes in the game but he also delivered the most successful long passes and through balls.
He also played a major part in Switzerland's equaliser, pinging a wonderful through ball to Mario Gavranovic in the 89th minute to give the Dinamo Zagreb forward a chance to make history. And he did just that. Just check out that moment again.
WOW. #FRASUI ' #ITVFootball ' #Euro2020 pic.twitter.com/5r8X5PNJsO
- ITV Football (@itvfootball) June 28, 2021
Xhaka continued to dominate in midfield areas, despite coming up against two of the world's best midfielders in Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante, and rallied his team to an unforgettable penalty shoot-out win at the National Arena in Bucharest.
Many fans are praising his performance as one of the all-time best in European Championship history and it's hard to argue with that statement. You can check out the 28-year-old's outstanding individual highlights below. Take a bow, Granit Xhaka.
After the final whistle, Xhaka, who has been heavily linked with a transfer to AS Roma this summer, gave a brilliant post-match interview after being handed the Man of the Match award. "Sorry to take this word but, it's f***ing amazing man!"
Granit Xhaka's reaction to Switzerland beating France on penalties to advance to the #EURO2020 quarter-finals tonight. :joy::joy: #afc pic.twitter.com/uF8axb91IL
- afcstuff (@afcstuff) June 28, 2021
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who brought Xhaka to North London from Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2016 for a reported £30 million, was also impressed by the Swiss midfielder's dominant performance against Didier Deschamps' side.
He pointed out how Xhaka reacted towards his teammates before the penalty shoot-out began. "He was exceptional, all his choices were good," the Frenchman told bEIN Sports. "He was the one who rallied the troops before the penalties."
Wenger wasn't the only man to praise his performance.
Granit Xhaka's game by numbers for #SUI vs. #FRA:
92% passing accuracy
17 final ⅓ entries
8/8 long balls
5 ball recoveries
3 chances created
3 fouls won
2 aerials won
Simply sensational. pic.twitter.com/Ae8uV2ROvj
- Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 28, 2021
We need to talk about that Xhaka masterclass pic.twitter.com/FSADzCWFDL
- Jay (@JaySW6_) June 28, 2021
Granit Xhaka has been phenomenal tonight.He deserved it. pic.twitter.com/FJJKkP8fc1
- No Cap Arsenal (@NoCapArsenal) June 28, 2021
Granit Xhaka with one of the best individual performances i've seen for a country in a while, absolutely flawlessly.
- :tangerine: (@IeeSZN) June 28, 2021
Is this Xhaka performance the best individual performance by a player at the Euros so far?
- :flag_it: (@loupirolo) June 28, 2021
Thoughts on Xhaka's memorable display against France on Monday night?
Let us know in the comments.
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