Arsenal's Granit Xhaka: Euro 2016 penalty miss will make me stronger
New Arsenal signing Granit Xhaka says he will come back stronger from his missed penalty in the shootout against Poland at Euro 2016.
Switzerland were eliminated in the round of 16 after Xhaka was the only player to miss his spot kick, sending it well wide of the post.
The midfielder had been one of Switzerland's best players in the group stages as the team advanced to the knockout stages by finishing second behind tournament hosts France. But his miss from the spot proved decisive, and he apologised to the whole country after the game.
"I'm sorry for my teammates, for the travelling fans, for Switzerland," Xhaka said. "Anyone who knows me knows that I will make sure I come back even stronger."
Xhaka said he simply mis-hit the ball when taking the penalty, but vowed not to shy away from taking a similar responsibility in the future.
"I took the penalty the way I always do, but I didn't connect properly with the ball," he said. "I am still a young person, only 23. This just makes me stronger. And I promise I will step up at the next penalty shootout."
Arsenal signed the tough-tackling midfielder from Borussia Monchengladbach before the tournament in a deal worth about £30 million. And he lived up to that price tag by being named man of the match in the team's first two group matches -- a 1-0 win over Albania and a 1-1 draw with Romania.
Xhaka has attempted and completed the second most passes of any player in the tournament to-date according to UEFA statistics, trailing only Germany's Toni Kroos. He has completed 364 passes, with a passing accuracy of 91 percent.
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.