Switzerland's hero from their round of 16 loss to Poland in the European Championships in France on Saturday, 25 June, Xherdan Shaqiri, has backed Arsenal's latest recruit Granit Xhaka to come good following his penalty miss which resulted in the Swiss crashing out of the tournament. Xhaka was second in line from the spot but blasted his shot wide and was the only one among the other players to miss, which allowed Poland a route into the quarter-finals.
Earlier, Shaqiri had scored a magnificent goal to get the Swiss level and into extra time after Poland's Jakub Błaszczykowski had scored the opener for the Poles in the first half. The Swiss pressed and probed but it was a moment of magic from the Stoke City man which allowed them back in the game. Meanwhile, former Arsenal star Lukasz Fabianski made an absolutely brilliant stop in the dying embers of extra time to take the game to penalties.
"Granit is very professional so he can cope with this," Shaqiri said, as quoted by the Mirror. "Of course we're all very disappointed. Anyone can make mistakes, they happen. Sometimes it's your turn to be the saddest player. Granit will get up and move on. I hope in the World Cup, in the round of 16, he will score and I hope he will."
Switzerland boss Vladimir Petkovic was extremely downbeat after the game but refused to blame Xhaka for his miss. The Swiss had some great opportunities in the second half to score and possibly take the lead but were upended by their profligacy in front of the goal, which has been their problem throughout the tournament.
"Yes, I'm very sad for him but it's not just about Xhaka. Switzerland lost an that's what is most disappointing. In the lottery of a penalty shootout, when you miss one it can ultimately be crucial," Petkovic said.
"They showed that by enjoying themselves they can produce on the pitch but unfortunately we weren't clinical enough and we paid for that," he added.