Every great adventure has a journey. And every journey has a story behind it. Nowhere is that more true than in football.
From fans who follow their side across the country to the clubs themselves whose season can definitely be described as a journey. Europcar, Arsenal’s official car and van rental partner, understands that the journey is just important as the destination. They have been exploring the ‘Footballing journey’ this season to discover the stories behind some great and meaningful journeys.
They recently managed to sit down with three Arsenal players to find out about their footballing journeys throughout their careers…
Professional footballers are privileged enough to have the opportunity to travel the world during their careers.
There is a a great deal of travelling involved, especially for those playing for the biggest clubs across Europe, who regularly compete in the Champions League.
Arsenal have been competing in European competitions for 24 consecutive years now, so their players will have been no strangers to travelling on a regular basis over the years.
Given the amount of time players spend on the road, it comes as no surprise to hear that three of Arsenal’s top players have some interesting stories about their travels, as well as preferred ways to be on the move.
New Gunners signing Granit Xhaka told Europcar, Arsenal’s official car and van rental partner, that the most memorable journey of his career to date is actually his first trip Emirates Stadium, but also blames London traffic for his worst, which led to him spending an hour and 30 minutes in a car on his way to Arsenal’s home stadium before a game.
Xhaka also admits he much prefers to be in the driver’s seat so that he is 100% certain he’s safe, and that there is one essential item he must always be in possession of when on his travels.
Here’s what the midfielder has to say about his travelling habits…
Worst journey to a game…
From home to Emirates Stadium on one occasion. It was my first journey. I was told that it would take 40 minutes, but it ended up taking 1 hour and 30 minutes! My first taste of London Traffic!
Aside from the Emirates, which is your favourite ground to travel to?
Aside from Arsenal? Borussia Monchengladbach and Basel. They are both very special to me, for both the atmosphere and for how the supporters treated me. I couldn’t choose between them and they hold a special place for me.
Which is your favourite ground to play at?
It has to be Emirates Stadium. The atmosphere against Tottenham was fantastic; it is an amazing stadium to play in and one that we hope to create many great memories in.
Most memorable journey to a game…
First trip to the see Emirates Stadium.
Name one item you can’t travel without…
It would have to be my phone because I have special people so far away and without it I couldn’t speak with them. I call my friends and family.
Are you early, late or on time?
Always on time. This is because in Switzerland they make the cuckoo clocks, so I have no excuse to not know what the time is!
Do you prefer to be the driver or the passenger?
Always the driver!! This way I can be sure I am 100% safe!
Do you prefer the city or the countryside?
This is a tough one. I would say the City because there is more to do and it is more exciting, but I like to relax in the countryside. I would say both, but City is where I would spend most of my time.
What is your car journey anthem?
It would have to be a song by Noizy – It is Albanian hip hop. I love it!
Favourite country to road trip in?
Switzerland, Kosovo and Albania. All beautiful.
Who is your favourite companion on a long journey?
Any of my family.