Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka’s Kosovo roots emotions come alive in victory goal celebration against Serbia
Football is all about emotions and it was on full display in Switzerland 2-1 victory over Serbia. Switzerland’s two of the best players; Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka have Kosovo roots. And after scoring the goals against Serbia, both players couldn’t stop to show their love for Kosovo (Albanian heritage) with their “Two Eagles” celebration, which represents Albania national flag.
Independent Republic of Kosovo people are majorly of Albanian roots. The Albanian ethnic represents the country and there has always been internal war and struggle for independence. Albanian ethnic and Serbian communities living in the Kosovo region had always fight before independence in 2008.
Terrific match between Switzerland and Serbia. One of best so far. And a wonderful demonstration of why country can be much better than club. Shaqiri? Inspired. While Xhaka did more with one shot than in all last season. Clubs pay money but – praise be! – country hits the heart.
— Patrick Barclay (@paddybarclay) June 22, 2018
Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia in February 2008 as the Republic of Kosovo. It has since gained diplomatic recognition as a sovereign state by 113 UN member states, but Serbia refuses to recognize Kosovo as a state. It was with the Brussels Agreement of 2013, Serbia accepted the legitimacy of its institution. But tensions continue to brew between the nations and ‘Balkan Politics’ has once again got the air with Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka’s goal celebration in victory over Serbia.
Shaqiri is very emotional about his Albanian roots. He was born in Kosovo and he displays Kosovo flag on one of his boot whenever he plays for Switzerland national team. He has refused to sing Switzerland’s national anthem in past as well. His goal celebration might have something to do with Albanian ethnics’ long struggle for Kosovo independence from Serbian province, but it shouldn’t be dragged into politics.
Granit Xhaka doing the “duart e kryqëzuara” (Albanian eagle gesture) during his goal celebration. Xhaka’s father was a political prisoner before emigrating from the former Yugoslavia to Switzerland in 1990. pic.twitter.com/g4igcAPf2m
— Mootaz Chehade (@MHChehade) June 22, 2018
Xhaka has similar relation with Kosovo as well. his parents belonged to Kosovo with Albanian roots. His father was imprisoned in Yugoslavia for campaigning in favour of Kosovoan independence. It was natural for player to have emotions in his heart for a country and his every goal celebration against Serbia may be celebrated in this fashion. It shouldn’t be dragged into politics, it’s pure emotions.
Players themselves have rubbished any such association; they said it was pure emotion. Shaqiri in his post match comment said, “I think in football you always have emotions. You can see what I did and I think it’s just emotion. I’m very happy to score this goal. It’s not more. I think we don’t have to speak about this now”, as The Guardian reports.
Switzerland’s coach Vladimir Petkovic also added, “You should never mix politics and football. It’s clear that emotions show up and that’s how things happen. I think we all together need to steer away from politics in football and we should focus on this sport as a beautiful game and something that brings people together.”