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Life is sweet for Switzerland's Xhaka

Set to anchor Switzerland's midfield at UEFA EURO 2016 after clinching a move to Arsenal, Granit Xhaka is on top of the world – as he explained to UEFA.com's Matthew Howarth.

Granit Xhaka cannot wait to tackle Albania on Saturday
Granit Xhaka cannot wait to tackle Albania on Saturday ©AFP/Getty Images

It is almost impossible to wipe the broad grin off Granit Xhaka's face these days.

Having signed a long-term contract with Arsenal late last month, the 23-year-old former Mönchengladbach midfielder is about to embark on his second major tournament with Switzerland – and will likely face brother Taulant when Vladimir Petković's side play Albania in Lens on Saturday.

In a wide-ranging interview with UEFA.com, Xhaka spoke about the upcoming contest with his older sibling, the mood inside the Swiss camp and the Nati's objectives in France.

Everything you need to know about Switzerland

Granit Xhaka on ...

Signing for Arsenal
"I'm very happy. I'm glad the signing of the contract took place before the tournament and that I can play freely without worrying. This is my second big tournament, my first here in France, and I'm looking forward to it."

The atmosphere in the Swiss camp
"It's very good. After losing two friendly games in a row against Bosnia and the Republic of Ireland, we played very well against Belgium. Unfortunately, we lost again. When we played against Moldova it was important to get a positive result. The atmosphere is excellent and I hope, of course, that it will stay that way."

Switzerland’s EURO star: Xherdan Shaqiri

Team-mate Xherdan Shaqiri
"The two of us have always got along quite well and we still do. He's a very good player – a very important player for us, on and off the pitch, who can do things other players can't."

Switzerland's Group A opponents
"I agree with those who say France are the favourites, but we cannot underestimate Albania and Romania either. They made a lot of progress last year. Albania are taking part for the first time, while Romania are very good defensively and have not lost in years. It's an interesting group."

Watch Granit Xhaka in goalscoring action

Playing against his brother on Saturday
"My brother and I have a very good relationship. We're not just brothers but best friends. Immediately after the draw was made, we had a weird feeling about it. Both of us were a bit nervous, but we're both quite relaxed about it now."

Who his parents will be supporting in Lens
"They will both be in the stadium. Who will they support? Luckily enough, my parents both have two hands – five fingers for Switzerland, five fingers for Albania!"

Switzerland's ambitions in France
"Our first priority is definitely to make it through the group stage. After that you need to have a bit of luck with the draw, but I think with the team we have, we should be able to make it to the quarter-finals."

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