Special Report: 2016 European Championship: Putting Brotherly Love to the Test


Granit Xhaka, left, playing for the German club Borussia Mönchengladbach in April. He will be in Switzerland’s midfield on Saturday for the team’s first group game, against Albania, in Lens, France.

Patrik Stollarz/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

All men may be brothers under the skin. But the soccer players Granit and Taulant Xhaka are blood brothers, born and raised in the same family. And both will be playing at the 2016 European Championship in France.

They are not the only brothers who will be at the tournament. There will also be Romelu and Jordan Lukaku of Belgium, the identical twins Vasili and Aleksei Berezutski of Russia, and Jonny and Corry Evans of Northern Ireland.

But what sets the Xhaka brothers apart is that Granit plays for Switzerland, while Taulant plays for Albania. And fate has pitted those two nations against each other in their first group game on Saturday in Lens, France.

Their parents, Ragip and Eli Xhaka, might find it difficult to know which way to turn and which country to support this weekend. Taulant, 25, is the elder brother…

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