Having spent nine years at Basel, Arsenal’s first home Champions League fixture of this season promises to be particularly special for Granit Xhaka.
The Switzerland midfielder began his career at the Swiss club - for whom his brother still plays - and says that facing his former side on Wednesday night will be “really, really special”.
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“I was born and grew up in Basel and played for Basel for nine years,” Xhaka told Arsenal Player. “It was where I made the first step in my career
"I didn’t actually watch the draw live but found out pretty soon afterwards because I got hundreds of messages through, including one from Basel’s president"
“I didn’t actually watch the draw live but found out pretty soon afterwards because I got hundreds of messages through, including one from Basel’s president.
“I think he said before that he was hoping to draw Arsenal because the teams have never played against each other before. For the fans it’s something special too.
“Then of course there’s the fact that Mo Elneny and I have both played at Basel before and will have the chance to go back, so it’s really special.
“I had two and a half years there as a professional and had a really nice time there. We won the Swiss league twice and the cup once.
“The massive highlight for everyone in Basel - the city as well as the club - was qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League and knocking out Manchester United in the process.”
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