Football, family and fate: the shaping of Granit Xhaka

The year was 1993. Across Britain, radio stations juggled the eclectic sounds of Meat Loaf, Haddaway, Pet Shop Boys, and UB40, cult comedy Groundhog Day arrived in cinemas, Irvine Welsh’s breakthrough novel Trainspotting flew from the bookshelves,, and in the north of Switzerland, in the thriving metropolitan city of Basel, a nine-month-old future football star…

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Günter Netzer: the rebellious loner who became a hero

It was a warm summers day in Düsseldorf on June 23, 1973. The DFB-Pokal final had entered extra time as old adversaries Borussia Mönchengladbach and FC Köln refused to be separated. Gladbach supporters bellowed the name “Netzer, Netzer, Netzer!” and the television commentators seemingly only mentioned him. Gladbach players looked around for their star man to…

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The reawakening of Borussia Mönchengladbach

IT IS PROBABLY FAIR TO SAY that wealthy Bayern Munich’s recent, all-encompassing domination of German football has wrongly eclipsed the achievements of some of the Bundesliga’s other, less well-known sides. Indeed, over the course of the 2014-15 season, the likes of Bavarian side Augsburg and former heavyweights Borussia Mönchengladbach both experienced levels of success that may,…

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