Arsenal's captain Granit Xhaka says fans threatened to break his legs, told him to kill his wife, and wished his 'daughter gets cancer'

XhakaGetty/Alex MortonGranit Xhaka was booed off the field on Sunday by angry Arsenal fans.Getty/Alex Morton

  • Granit Xhaka says Arsenal fans threatened to break his legs, told him to kill his wife, and wished his "daughter gets cancer."
  • The Swiss midfielder reacted angrily to being booed off the pitch during Sunday's draw with Crystal Palace, cupping his ear and appearing to tell supporters to "f--- off," according to The Guardian.
  • He has since apologized but says months of abuse on social media led him to "boiling point". 
  • "People have said things like, 'We will break your legs,' 'Kill your wife,' and, 'Wish that your daughter gets cancer,'" he said on Instagram.
  • "I reached boiling point when I felt the rejection in the stadium on Sunday."
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Granit Xhaka says Arsenal fans threatened to break his legs, told him to kill his wife, and said they wished his "daughter gets cancer."

The Swiss midfielder was booed off the pitch on Sunday during the Gunners' 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace, prompting him to react angrily by cupping his ear and appearing to tell fans to "f--- off", according to The Guardian.

He has since apologized for the outburst, but says it was a result of months of abuse on social media by club supporters. 

"The scenes that took place around my substitution have moved me deeply," Xhaka said in statement on Instagram on Thursday.. "I love this club and always give 100% on and off the pitch.

"My feeling of not being understood by fans, and repeated abusive comments at matches and in social media over the last weeks and months have hurt me deeply.

"People have said things like, 'We will break your legs,' 'Kill your wife,' and, 'Wish that your daughter gets cancer.' That has stirred me up and I reached boiling point when I felt the rejection in the stadium on Sunday.

"In this situation, I let myself be carried away and reacted in a way that disrespected the group of fans that support our club, our team, and myself with positive energy. That has not been my intention and I'm sorry if that's what people thought.

"My wish is that we get back to a place of mutual respect, remembering why we fell in love with this game in the first place. Let's move forward positively together."

One former Arsenal player has little sympathy 

Charlie Nicholas, who made 184 appearances for Arsenal between 1983 and 1988, says Xhaka's behaviour on the night was "unacceptable" and that such abuse is "part and parcel" of being a Premier League footballer.

"There's a certain amount of sympathy and I feel for him, with what he's having to go through because, let's be honest, every footballer makes mistakes," said Nicholas, a Sky Sports pundit.

"[Arsenal fans have] hammered people like [Dennis] Bergkamp, and many greater players than Granit Xhaka in the past - and that is part and parcel ultimately of being a footballer at the top level."

He added: "I still think there's too much anger in there. I don't know if he'll ever play again, if I'm being honest."

Xhaka was left out of Wednesday's 5-5 thriller against Liverpool FC at Anfield, with full back Hector Bellerin taking over as captain from the 27-year-old.

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has refused to comment on whether the Switzerland international will regain his armband for future matches, according to the BBC.

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