Granite Xhaka had enough. The former Mönchengladbach football professional sat on the podium to talk about the first European Cup final of his career. But then again came mainly questions to Henrich Mchitarjan.
"Of course we are disappointed that he is not here," the Swiss said then: "But we've talked a lot in the last few days about Micki and about politics. Now it's time to talk about football again. We want to win the cup, of course for him. »
The discussions surrounding ex-Dortmunder Mchitarjan have pushed the sport before the European League final between English Premier League rivals Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC on Wednesday (21.00 CEST / RTL, Nitro and DAZN) in the background , Mchitarjan has renounced the trip to Baku because of political tensions between his native Armenia and host Azerbaijan.
That's what many English fans did. First, the fan groups lamented the only about 6,000 tickets per club as "ridiculous", then sent back about half of the cards. Because the journey to the Caucasus was too arduous and too expensive for most people. For example, some empty seats are in danger in the Olympic Stadium, which seats around 68,000 spectators.
The game offers a lot of exciting sport: Arsenal could save with his first European Cup title for 25 years, the Champions League participation, which has already assured Chelsea. For the first time the video evidence is used in the Europa League. For the first time, two clubs from one city will meet in this competition.
Arsenal's team manager Unai Emery has won the trophy three times with Sevilla FC. And Arsenal keeper Petr Cech is one of the best goalkeepers in the last two decades before his last game. That he possibly spends on the bench, because it is rumored that he should be sports director – just at Chelsea. Not playing Cech, replaces him as in the league national goalkeeper Bernd Leno, next to Mesut Özil and Shkodran Mustafi one of three Germans at Arsenal. Chelsea's Antonio Rüdiger is missing injured.
So enough explosiveness is also taken care of off the political discussions. And maybe at least starting at 9:00 pm on Wednesday, Xhaka's wish will come true and, above all, football will be talked about again.