Xhaka praises Leverkusen-Nigeria duo after Bundesliga title triumph

Switzerland’s appearance record holder, Granit Xhaka, has heaped praise on Victor Boniface and Nathan Tella for the role they played in Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s Bundesliga success, reports.

Just like the Nigeria duo, 31-year-old Xhaka joined Die Werkself from Arsenal last season, and played a huge role in Xabi Alonso’s midfield set-up, as everything went through him. He’s been ever-present for the one-time DFB Pokal winners this season, playing all of their 29 Bundesliga games and scoring two goals.

As the title celebrations into the night were about to get started, the former Basel man expressed his gratitude to the Nigerian fans who have supported Leverkusen all season.

“It’s difficult to find the right words but I had a very good experience in Nigeria, won the U-17 World Cup there, defeating them in the final. Jokes aside, I say thanks for the support, it is always good to have worldwide support and we gave our best for the season,” the versatile midfielder told

In the same vein, Xhaka praised the Nigerians in the Leverkusen team for what they bring to the club, on and off the pitch.

“For Boni and Nathan, they’re very good, very positive, always with a smile on their faces. With them, we have a lot of quality in the team, on and off the pitch, and it’s so nice to be a part of them and the team.”

It only seemed fitting that on the day Leverkusen were crowned German Champions for the first time in history, Xhaka’s former club, Arsenal, fell to a two-goal defeat against Arsenal, a club where he felt under-appreciated. Nonetheless, the Swiss captain hopes Mikel Arteta’s men bounce back in the race for the Premier League trophy.
“It’s still very close, I’m still in contact with many teammates and with the club, I wish them nothing but luck, and hopefully they get to win this year,” the two-time FA Cup winner added.

Xhaka celebrating after scoring Leverkusen’s second goal against Werder Bremen, assisted by Victor Boniface.

Xabi Alonso’s men are still competing for titles in the DFB Pokal and the UEFA Europa League. The Bundesliga triumph is only a step in the right direction.
“I will lie if I say no, when you have the chance to win a European tournament you do it. We know West Ham are difficult, but when you’re so close to a trophy, you want to take it, and we took the first step with a Bundesliga win, so let’s hope we can take something else,” the 1.86m tall midfielder declared.

Earlier in the season, Xhaka, alongside Edmond Tapsoba met Victor Boniface’s Grandma at the Bay Arena, and he bowed to express his respect for her, showing he has an understanding of the African culture by which elders are greeted.

 “I grew up with lots of African people. I love the culture, the mentality and how kind they are. Boni is a great guy, with a great family too. You can see the club and how special it is to have family enjoy every moment with us, you can’t see that everywhere, and big respect to the family who are supporting us,” Xhaka concluded.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen have played 43 games this season, and are yet to be defeated as they’ve only drawn five games.


N.B: We want to know your thoughts. Do you think Leverkusen can win a treble this season? Do you think they can end the season unbeaten? Let us know in the comments.



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