There were bizarre scenes at a charity football match on Monday as a pitch invader ran up to Granit Xhaka, went down on all fours, and kissed his boot.
The game was celebrating the 20th anniversary of Kosovo’s liberation, and Xhaka captained one side as his parents were born in the country.
It was likely a show of respect from the over-eager fan, however others joked that he perhaps had other motives.
Granit Xhaka played in a match celebrating the 20th anniversary of Kosovo’s liberation
‘Must be a rival fan,’ said one on Twitter, while another commented: ‘Propagander.’
Others questioned whether the pitch invader was actually a surprise to Xhaka, who appeared to have no objections to the boot-kissing.
‘Xhaka? Is this even real?’ Asked one Twitter user. Someone else joked ‘he paid for him to do this.’
Xhaka has been linked with a move away from Arsenal to Inter Milan, however he has insisted that he is happy at the club.
After the match, Xhaka said it was an ‘honour and a privilege’ to play for the team.
‘I was really excited as never before, since I was playing the match at the stadium bearing the legend of Fadil Vokrri.’
Vokrri was president of the Football Federation of Kosovo from 2008 until his death in 2018.
‘Also the support I get from my Kosovo fans gives me the motive and strength to work,’ Xhaka continued.
Granit Xhaka was at one time linked with switching his international allegiance from Switzerland to Kosovo, which was accepted as a full member of FIFA in 2016 and allowed to play official competitive matches for the first time.
However, his appearances for Switzerland at Euro 2016 disqualified him from appearing for Kosovo.