Granit Xhaka has revealed that Mikael Lustig personally apologised for his pre-match comments about the Arsenal midfielder, after Sweden’s match against Switzerland on Tuesday.
Before Tuesday’s match, Lustig was widely quoted by the media saying the Sweden players would try to get Xhaka sent off, claiming that anyone following the Premier League knows the 25-year-old has a red card in him.
Clearly Lustig realised he’d gone too far with the comments though, and Xhaka confirmed to the press after the game that he’d received an apology from his Swedish opponent.
“He came to me immediately after the game and apologised,” the Swiss international said. “That was a big gesture, and I immediately accepted it. That’s just the way football is, stirring things up in advance.”
In the end, Lustig ended up with a disciplinary issue of his own, picking up a yellow card which leaves him suspended for Sweden’s match against England at the weekend. The media tried to get Xhaka to rub it in, but he insisted he isn’t glad his opponent will miss the game.
“On the contrary, I’m really sorry for him that he can not be there,” Xhaka admitted.
It’s good to hear the pair have made up over the incident, and that Lustig accepts he was in the wrong. Xhaka’s record with red cards and suspensions is actually very good in the last year and a half, receiving none. If you exclude matches refereed by Jon Moss, he hasn’t picked any reds up with Arsenal at all.
Hopefully, now we can all move on from this tired narrative.