Twitter user captures incredible moment that Granit Xhaka taunts Serbia with crotch-grabbing gesture

Granit Xhaka of Switzerland Goal celebration, cheers after Remo Freuler of Switzerland scores 2:3 during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group G match between Serbia and Switzerland at Stadium 974 on December 2, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.
(Image credit: Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Granit Xhaka vs Serbia is one of the all-time great World Cup match-ups, with the Switzerland captain always box office when he faces them. 

Four years ago in Russia, the Arsenal midfielder scored against the Serbians and celebrated with an eagle-handed gesture in reference to his Albanian ancestry. He was fined 10,000 francs for the action.

This time, he's stopped short of repeating the act: but he has done this…

See more

With talk of political tension between the two sides dominating the build-up to this one, the first-half didn’t disappoint, with the score 2-2 heading into the break. Former Liverpool and Stoke City star Xherdan Shaqiri opened the scoring and chose not to celebrate with an eagle-handed gesture again – an act that got him fined by FIFA in 2018 – instead holding a finger to his lips to silence the opposing fans whistling and booing him. 

Things quickly turned, however, with Serbia looking like they could pip Switzerland out of the group at one point. Fulham marksman Aleksandar Mitrovic – another goalscorer in this clash four years ago – scored a wonderful glancing header into the far corner of Kobel’s net after an excellent cross from Dusan Tadic and just 10 minutes later, Dusan Vlahovic capitalised on a defensive error from the Swiss to put his side 2-1 up. The Juventus starlet put a finger to his lips in celebration, too. 

The Serbian glory didn’t last long, though – and the Swiss managed to draw level before half-time via a Breel Embolo tap-in before Nottingham Forest’s Remo Freuler capped off a breathtaking team move to make it 3-2. While Vargas’ backheeled assist will live long in the memory for Swiss fans, Forest fans will be pleased to see one of their players score at a World Cup for the first time in 24 years – the last being Pierre van Hooijdonk for the Netherlands in 1998. 

Switzerland will face Portugal in the last-16.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.