Granit Xhaka reveals he jokingly warned he will ‘smash’ Arsenal team-mates Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli when Switzerland play Brazil at the World Cup… as the midfielder claims they are ‘WORRIED’ about facing him
Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka has jokingly warned he will ‘smash’ Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli at the World Cup, and quipped his Brazilian Arsenal teammates will be ‘worried’ ahead of their clash on Monday.
The 30-year-old has been in excellent form for the Gunners this season, playing in all 14 of their league games and scoring three goals.
Brazil and Switzerland both won their opening games of the tournament, as they took the top two spots in Group G.
Switzerland’s Granit Xhaka has issued a joke warning to his Brazilian Arsenal teammates
The Swiss captain warned Gabriel Martinelli (pictured) he will ‘smash him’ in the World Cup
Both sides will likely feature Arsenal stars when they meet, with Xhaka a key player for the Swiss while Martinelli and Jesus should provide cameos from the bench at least for Brazil.
The Swiss captain joked about facing his club teammates before the game, saying: ‘I told Gabby Martinelli and Gabby Jesus if you are running one against one against our goalkeeper I will smash you!’
‘It doesn’t matter that we are playing in the same team. This is the Word Cup. You play for your own team, you play for your own country and you want to win.
Xhaka also praised Jesus for ‘making the difference’ at Arsenal this season
‘Of course, they were worried. They know me. If I smash you, it will be very very hard.’
Xhaka went on to praise Jesus’s influence at At the Emirates since joining over the summer, adding: ‘First of all he is a lovely person, very humble and the quality he has is unbelievable.
‘Of course, with Man City he was playing and sometimes not playing, you are not in this rhythm, but you can see with us he is making the difference and that is why we are where we are at the moment.’
Brazil began the tournament as favourites and impressed in their first game against Serbia
The midfielder admitted their next group game would be tough, but did not rule his side out.
He said: ‘Brazil have world class players. Big, big quality, the favourites in the tournament and the favourites in our group but it is one game. Anything can happen.’
‘Of course we will have to be much more careful against Brazil than we were against Cameroon. If you lose the ball against Brazil you pay for it. They have great, great quality.’