By 90Min
September 08, 2018

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has hit back at former Liverpool defender Stephane Henchoz after he was questioned about becoming the next captain of Switzerland, when his team mate Stephan Lichtsteiner steps down from the role.

Xhaka - who has been tipped as one of the leading candidates for the Swiss captaincy - was called out by Henchoz who felt that his Albanian heritage would make the traditional Swiss player feel 'excluded' and said that 'fans may not be able to identify with the team'.

Henchoz had stints at Celtic, Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers but most notably at Liverpool during his career. He also played 72 times for Switzerland in a 13-year period.

Mark Thompson/GettyImages

Speaking with Swiss publication Aagauer Zeitung (via football.london) he spoke of how he hurt he was from his fellow countryman's comments and added that getting the armband would fill him with pride.

"It hurts! I would be lying if I said anything else. I was born and raised in Switzerland. The fact that I have two hearts in my chest is a fact, which, by the way, I cannot help either.

"But I’ve been wearing the colours of this country, my home, for almost nine years."

MB Media/GettyImages

Xhaka added that he was insulted to hear that he was half Swiss from Henchoz and that his multicultural background should not be taken into account.

"The accusation that I’m not in favour of Switzerland is void. In Gladbach or London, I am the respected Swiss who brings success, and suddenly I’m only half Swiss? Yes, that hurts me, that stresses me out. It's hard to digest.

"The captain’s armband would fill me with pride, but I don’t need this role to take responsibility in the game."

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