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Albania national football team

The Albania national football team (Albanian: Kombëtarja e futbollit të Shqipërisë) is the men's football team that has represented Albania in international competition since 1946 by Fatjon Doda and is controlled by the Albanian Football Association which is headquartered in the city of Tirana. The team is affiliated with UEFA and competes in the three major professional tournaments, the FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championship and the UEFA Nations League. Albania was the winner of the 1946 Balkan Cup and the 2000 Malta Rothmans International Tournament. At Euro 2016, Albania made its debut at a major men's football tournament after 50 years. After its completion in 2019, Air Albania Stadium, also known as Arena Kombëtare (English: National Arena) will be the home ground of the national team. Albania's highest FIFA World Ranking was 22nd in August 2015.

Albania
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Kuq e Zinjtë (The Red and Blacks)
Shqiponjat (The Eagles)
AssociationFederata Shqiptare e Futbollit (FSHF)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachEdoardo Reja
CaptainElseid Hysaj
Most capsLorik Cana (93)
Top scorerErjon Bogdani (18)
Home stadiumAir Albania Stadium
FIFA codeALB
First colours
Second colours
Third colours
FIFA ranking
Current 65 Decrease 1 (24 October 2019)[1]
Highest22 (August 2015[2])
Lowest124 (August 1997[3])
Elo ranking
Current 68 Increase 6 (18 October 2019)[4]
Highest32 (1946[4])
Lowest118 (14 & 18 December 1994[4])
First international
 Albania 2–3 Yugoslavia 
(Tirana, Albania; 7 October 1946)[5]
Biggest win
 Albania 6–1 Cyprus 
(Tirana, Albania; 12 August 2009)[5]
Biggest defeat
 Hungary 12–0 Albania 
(Budapest, Hungary; 24 September 1950)[5]
European Championship
Appearances1 (first in 2016)
Best resultGroup stage (2016)

The colours of the team are red, white and black, and the double headed eagle its symbol. Its supporters are collectively known as the Tifozët Kuq e Zi and display as well as the country's national flag colours, red and black.

HistoryEdit

20th centuryEdit

 
Loro Boriçi captained the team in winning the 1946 Balkan Cup.

Although it never played any matches, the Albanian national football team existed before the Albanian Football Association (Federata Shqiptare e Futbollit; FSHF) was created on 6 June 1930. Albania joined FIFA during a congress held between 12 June and 16 June. Albania played its first international match against Yugoslavia in 1946, which ended in a 3–2 home defeat at Qemal Stafa Stadium.[6] In 1946, Albania also participated for the first time in the Balkan Cup in which Albania won by beating Romania 1–0 in the final.[7] In 1954, Albania was one of the founding members of UEFA. Albania waited until 1962 to compete in a Euro Cup competition and the only time Albania was between the best 16 teams of the Continent, the reason being Albania got past the first leg as Greece, for political reasons forfeited the game.[8][9] At the end of the tournament Albania ranked 9th in Europe.[10][11][12]

Albania participated for the first time in a qualifying phrase of a World Cup in the qualifiers of the 1966 edition in England. The team was drawn in the Group 5 which finished in the last position with only one point from six matches. In the qualifiers, of the UEFA Euro 1968 Albania had a draw 0–0 against West Germany that denied the Germans the participation to the UEFA Euro 1968 finals.[13][14] In later years, Albania did not participate in the qualifiers of the World Cup 1970, UEFA Euro 1972, UEFA Euro 1976, World Cup 1978 and UEFA Euro 1980 for unknown political reasons. After six years without playing any international matches, Albania entered in the qualifiers of the World Cup 1982, managing to finish in a place other than last for the first time in a qualifying match, with Finland getting last place instead. The qualifiers of the World Cup 1990 were probably the worst qualifier in Albania's history as there were 6 losses in as many games with no memorable matches.

21st centuryEdit

 
Lorik Cana is Albania's most capped player of all time. He captained the French Olympique de Marseille as well as the team.

In the qualifiers of the World Cup 2002, Albania recorded a 2–0 win over Greece which was the only team that they beat during the qualifiers. Albania was able to make some impact in the qualifying of the UEFA Euro 2004 by beating 3–1 Russia at Loro Boriçi Stadium.[15] This match was also the debut of the German coach Hans-Peter Briegel who led Albania to an undefeated run at home matches. Despite the good results, Albania finished the group in the penultimate spot with only eight points. In the qualifiers of the World Cup 2006 Albania recorded some historical results. Two months after Greece beat Portugal to win the European Championship, Albania defeated Greece 2–1.[16]

In the qualifiers of the UEFA Euro 2008 Albania won twice in both matches against Luxembourg. Albania also drew 2–2 with Belarus and 0–0 away with Bulgaria. Albania's Euro campaign ended with a 6–1 loss away to Romania which resulted in the resignation of the coach Otto Barić and his assistant.[17] In December 2007, Arie Haan was named Albania's head coach by signing a two-year contract for the qualifiers of the World Cup 2010, where Albania made a very negative performance by winning only one match. Albania won only seven points from ten matches and Haan was replaced by Josip Kuže in May 2009 following the end of the campaign.[18] However, Kuže couldn't lead Albania to the better results as the team ended the qualifiers of the UEFA Euro 2012 with only nine points from ten matches. With Kuže in charge, Albania recorded its second biggest win the history by defeating Cyprus 6–1 at home, equal with Albania's 5–0 victory over Vietnam in 2003.[19]

Josip Kuže parted ways with Albania three and a half years after he started the job, and in December 2011, Italian coach Gianni de Biasi replaced him.[20] Albania started the qualifiers and was, at one point, 2nd in group with six matches played and four to spare, but failed to be successful in the last four, losing away in Slovenia and Iceland, as well as at home against Switzerland, and drawing in Cyprus.[21] Albania started the qualifiers of the UEFA Euro 2016 with an emphatic 1–0 away win against Portugal,[22] which was followed by a 1–1 draw against Denmark at the newly renovated stadium Elbasan Arena.[23] After beating Armenia 3–0 in the last qualifying match, Albania made history by qualifying for the UEFA Euro 2016, its second ever appearance at a major men's football tournament.[24] In the tournament itself, Albania lost 0–1 to Switzerland and 0–2 to hosts France. While they beat Romania 1–0 (their first win against Romania since 1947), the team finished last among the third-placed teams and didn't progress beyond the group stage.[25]

Despite the UEFA European Championship's almost successful debut, Albania suffered massive setback. In 2018 World Cup qualification, Albania had been thrown into a tough group composing Spain and Italy. Albania, despite its passionate play, failed to reach the World Cup, falling to both Italy and Spain as well as a shocking 0–3 loss to Israel at home.[26] During this era, their successful manager, Gianni De Biasi, resigned and Christian Panucci, another Italian, replaced him as coach of Albania.[27] However, thing got little improved. Albania played poorly in the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League, winning only to Israel 1–0 and lost the remaining three, especially the devastating 0–4 defeat to Scotland at home.[28] Panucci would be sacked after a 0–2 defeat to Turkey in the opening campaign for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying.[29] Another Italian, Edoardo Reja, was appointed to help Albania to improve in a tough group,[30] but improvement is still very little. The Albanian side continued to slump, suffering a 0–1 loss away to Iceland[31] before managed to gain its second win against Moldova 2–0.[32] Reja would lead Albania in their encounter against world champions France in Paris, where the Albanians suffered a devastating 1–4 loss, the match was also marred with controversy after Andorran anthem was mistakenly played instead of Albanian one.[33] After the defeat, Albania managed one of its biggest feat in their qualification, beating 2018 World Cup participant Iceland 4–2 at home soil to keep the team on track.[34] Despite this outcome, Albania's trip to Turkey became a nightmare, when the Albanians, despite its passionate display, lost 0–1 in final minutes because of defensive mistake, thus losing every chance to qualify for the UEFA Euro 2020.[35] Eventually, Albania defeated Moldova 4–0 away, but with Turkey held France in a 1–1 draw and Iceland beat Andorra 2–0, Albania was officially eliminated from the competition.[36]

Team imageEdit

SupportersEdit

 
A choreography of Tifozat Kuq e Zi in the national team's first match at Elbasan Arena against Denmark in October 2014.

Tifozat Kuq e Zi (English: Red and Black Fans, also known as the Albania National Football Team Supporters Club) is a non-profit football supporters' association for the Albania national football team and various national team sportive activities.[37] It was founded on 25 December 2003.[37] In cooperation with FSHF, it organises trips for football fans to visit games, and develops and sells merchandise to support itself and fund sporting related projects.

Tifozat Kuq e Zi stands firm in the political view that Albanians should share only one national team and have continuous aspirations to join in one state (Një Komb, Një Kombëtare), i.e. unification of Albania, Kosovo, etc.[38][39] In this sense, TKZ is joined by different supporters' associations throughout Albanian-speaking regions mainly in Kosovo (Shqiponjat of Peja, Kuqezinjet e Jakoves of Gjakova, Plisat of Pristina, Torcida of Mitrovica, etc.), North Macedonia (Ballistët of Tetovo, Ilirët of Kumanovo, Shvercerat of Skopje, etc.) and in Albania itself (Ultras Guerrils of Partizani Tirana, Tirona Fanatics of KF Tirana, Vllaznit Ultras of Vllaznia Shkodër, Ujqërit e Deborës of Skënderbeu Korçë, Shqiponjat of KF Besa Pejë and many other different Albanian fans).[37]

The ongoing dispute between the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and the Football Association of Albania has been seen as a political intrusion by FIFA and UEFA, which led to the banning of Albania from international sportive activities. FSHF president Armand Duka is highly unwanted by the TKZ who have numerously asked for his resignation believing he is responsible for internal corruption in the Albanian Football Association.[40][41][42][43]

The TKZ have been praised by many different football players and managers, whom were not just Albanian. One example is with Switzerland's former coach, Ottmar Hitzfeld, who was astonished by how many Albanian fans turned up and how enthusiastic they were in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Switzerland and Albania where the Swiss won 2–0 thanks to goals from Gökhan Inler and Kosovo-born Xherdan Shaqiri. He didn't believe that there was 12,000 Albanian fans in the stands which was more than how many Swiss fans turned up for the game. He stated that "Albanian fans are fantastic and the most passionate fans I have ever seen".[44] During that campaign, TKZ attended all games Albania played apart from a match against Cyprus in Nicosia and were also large in numbers in the away games to Slovenia in Maribor and Norway in Oslo.[45][46][47]

StadiumsEdit

 
Construction of Air Albania Stadium in the city center, 2019

Albania's main stadium for most part of the history was Qemal Stafa Stadium located in Tirana. The work started in April 1939 during the Italy regime. The construction lasted for three years but it stopped briefly in August 1943 following the fall of fascist regime.[48] The stadium had an Olympic Stadium shape, as idealized by Gherardo Bosio, a young fascist architect from Florence, Italy.[49] The stadium's initial capacity was 15,000, this due to the fact that Tirana at that time had only 60,000 inhabitants.[49] It was named after Qemal Stafa, a Hero of Albania in World War II.[50] The stadium was inaugurated officially on 7 October 1946 when Albania played its first competitive match against Yugoslavia.[51] Ever since then, further 130 international matches took place in the stadium, with the last being a friendly against Georgia in November 2015.[52] In 2005, Cecilia de Marco and Elisabetta Lorusso, two young Italian students, called the stadium as "one of the strongest symbols of Italian impact in Albania".[48] In November 2013, Qemal Stafa Stadium was shut down by FIFA for not fulfilling international standards.[53] The stadium's demolition started in June 2016, and it was announced that is going to be replaced by Air Albania Stadium.[54]

Albania sometimes has played home matches at other venues. Outside Tirana, the national team has played matches in Flamurtari Stadium in Vlorë,[55] Tomori Stadium in Berat,[56] Niko Dovana Stadium in Durrës,[57] Loro Boriçi Stadium in Shkodër[58] and Elbasan Arena in Elbasan.[59] In February 2014, due to Albania not having a stadium that fulfills international standards set by FIFA, the work for renovation of Elbasan Arena (at the time Ruzhdi Bizhuta Stadium) started.[60] The work lasted for 7 months, and the stadium was inaugurated on 9 October when Albania played a friendly match against KF Elbasani under-19 squad; Albania won the match 17–0.[61] The official inauguration occurred two days later in the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Denmark.[62]

The first international match at Loro Boriçi Stadium was played on 29 March 2003 against Russia, with Albania winning 3–1.[15] In October 2014, Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, promised the reconstruction of the stadium.[63] The stadium's construction started in May 2015 and finished in August 2016.[64] In 2016–17, the stadium served temporary as the home of Kosovo national team, due to stadiums in Mitrovica and Pristina were under renovation and did not meet UEFA standards.[65]

Albania national football team home stadiums
Nr. of
matches
Image Stadium Capacity Location First match Last match Ref
131   Qemal Stafa Stadium 25,000 Tirana, Albania v.   Yugoslavia, 7 October 1946 v.   Georgia, 16 November 2015 [51]
10   Elbasan Arena 13,800 Elbasan, Albania v.   Denmark, 11 October 2014 v.   Iceland, 10 September 2019 [59]
8   Loro Boriçi Stadium 20,200 Shkodër, Albania v.   Russia, 29 March 2003 v.   Italy, 9 October 2017 [58]
6   Niko Dovana Stadium 12,040 Durrës, Albania v.   Uzbekistan, 11 August 2010 v.   Malta, 5 March 2014 [57]
2   Tomori Stadium 17,890 Berat, Albania v.   Cuba, 6 August 1988 [56]
1   Flamurtari Stadium 10,500 Vlorë, Albania v.   Romania, 28 October 1987 [55]

Competitive recordEdit

FIFA World CupEdit

FIFA World Cup record Qualifications record
Year Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA Squad Year Pos Pld W D L GF GA
  1930 to   1962 Did not participate
  1966 Did not qualify   1966 4th 6 0 1 5 2 12
  1970 Entry not accepted[66]
  1974 Did not qualify   1974 4th 6 1 0 5 3 13
  1978 Did not participate
  1982 Did not qualify   1982 4th 8 1 0 7 4 22
  1986   1986 3rd 6 1 2 3 6 9
  1990   1990 4th 6 0 0 6 3 15
  1994   1994 7th 12 1 2 9 6 26
  1998   1998 6th 10 1 1 8 7 20
   2002    2002 5th 8 1 0 7 5 14
  2006   2006 5th 12 4 1 7 11 20
  2010   2010 5th 10 1 4 5 6 13
  2014   2014 5th 10 3 2 5 9 11
  2018   2018 3rd 10 4 1 5 10 13
  2022 To be determined To be determined
    2026
Total 0/23 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 12/22 104 18 14 72 72 188

UEFA European ChampionshipEdit

UEFA European Championship record Qualifications record
Year Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA Squad Year Pos Pld W D L GF GA
  1960 Did not participate
  1964 Did not qualify   1964 1Q 4 3 0 1 7 4
  1968   1968 3rd 4 0 1 3 0 12
  1972   1972 4th 6 1 1 4 5 9
  1976 Did not participate
  1980
  1984 Did not qualify   1984 5th 8 0 2 6 4 14
  1988   1988 4th 6 0 0 6 2 17
  1992   1992 5th 7 1 0 6 2 21
  1996   1996 5th 10 2 2 6 10 16
   2000    2000 5th 10 1 4 5 8 14
  2004   2004 4th 8 2 2 4 11 15
   2008    2008 5th 12 2 5 5 12 18
   2012    2012 5th 10 2 3 5 7 14
  2016 Group stage 18th 3 1 0 2 1 3 Squad   2016 2nd 8 4 2 2 10 5
  2020 Did not qualify   2020 3rd 9 4 1 4 16 12
  2024 To be determined To be determined
Total Best: Group stage 1/17 3 1 0 2 1 3 Total 13/17 102 22 23 57 94 171

UEFA Nations LeagueEdit

UEFA Nations League record
Season Division Group Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA P/R
2018–19 C 1 Group stage 3rd 4 1 0 3 1 8  
2020–21 C To be determined N/A
Total Best: Group stage 1/2 4 1 0 3 1 8

Fixtures and resultsEdit

2018Edit

2019Edit

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

The following players have been called up for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying matches against   Andorra and   France, on 14 and 17 November 2019.[67]
All caps and goals as of 14 November 2019 after the match against   Andorra.[68]

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Etrit Berisha (Vice-captain) (1989-03-10) 10 March 1989 (age 30) 58 0   SPAL
23 1GK Thomas Strakosha (1995-03-19) 19 March 1995 (age 24) 12 0   Lazio
12 1GK Alban Hoxha (1987-11-23) 23 November 1987 (age 31) 3 0   Partizani Tirana

4 2DF Elseid Hysaj (1994-02-20) 20 February 1994 (age 25) 51 1   Napoli
3 2DF Ermir Lenjani (1989-08-05) 5 August 1989 (age 30) 32 3   Sion
6 2DF Berat Gjimshiti (1993-02-19) 19 February 1993 (age 26) 28 1   Atalanta
5 2DF Freddie Veseli (1992-11-20) 20 November 1992 (age 26) 25 0   Empoli
18 2DF Ardian Ismajli (1996-09-30) 30 September 1996 (age 23) 11 0   Hajduk Split
17 2DF Kastriot Dermaku (1992-01-15) 15 January 1992 (age 27) 6 1   Parma
2 2DF Hysen Memolla (1992-07-03) 3 July 1992 (age 27) 3 0   KPV
13 2DF Enea Mihaj (1998-07-05) 5 July 1998 (age 21) 2 0   PAOK

21 3MF Odise Roshi (1991-05-21) 21 May 1991 (age 28) 56 5   Akhmat Grozny
9 3MF Ledian Memushaj (Captain) (1986-12-07) 7 December 1986 (age 32) 39 1   Pescara
20 3MF Ylber Ramadani (1996-04-12) 12 April 1996 (age 23) 7 1   Vejle
16 3MF Emanuele Ndoj (1996-11-20) 20 November 1996 (age 22) 6 1   Brescia
7 3MF Keidi Bare (1997-08-28) 28 August 1997 (age 22) 6 1   Málaga
15 3MF Kristi Qose (1995-06-10) 10 June 1995 (age 24) 2 0   Ružomberok
22 3MF Lorenc Trashi (1992-05-19) 19 May 1992 (age 27) 2 1   Partizani Tirana
11 3MF Lindon Selahi (1999-02-26) 26 February 1999 (age 20) 1 0   Twente

19 4FW Bekim Balaj (1991-01-11) 11 January 1991 (age 28) 36 7   Sturm Graz
10 4FW Rey Manaj (1997-02-24) 24 February 1997 (age 22) 12 3   Albacete
14 4FW Myrto Uzuni (1995-05-31) 31 May 1995 (age 24) 8 0   Lokomotiva
8 4FW Taulant Seferi (1996-11-15) 15 November 1996 (age 23) 1 0   Neuchâtel Xamax

Recent call-upsEdit

The following players have also been called up for the team within the last 12 months and are still available for selection.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Gentian Selmani (1998-03-09) 9 March 1998 (age 21) 0 0   Menemenspor v.   Andorra, 14 November 2019PRE
GK Andrea Hoxha (1999-09-28) 28 September 1999 (age 20) 0 0   FC 08 Villingen Durrës Training Camp, 21–26 May 2019U21
GK Elhan Kastrati (1997-02-02) 2 February 1997 (age 22) 0 0   Pescara v.   Wales, 20 November 2018

DF Naser Aliji (1993-12-27) 27 December 1993 (age 25) 13 0   Budapest Honvéd v.   Andorra, 14 November 2019PRE
DF Iván Balliu (1992-01-01) 1 January 1992 (age 27) 2 0   Almería v.   Andorra, 14 November 2019PRE
DF Marash Kumbulla (2000-02-08) 8 February 2000 (age 19) 1 0   Hellas Verona v.   Moldova, 14 October 2019INJ
DF Mërgim Mavraj (1986-06-09) 9 June 1986 (age 33) 50 3   Greuther Fürth v.   Iceland, 10 September 2019INJ
DF Egzon Binaku (1995-08-27) 27 August 1995 (age 24) 5 0   Norrköping v.   Iceland, 10 September 2019
DF Arlind Ajeti (1993-09-25) 25 September 1993 (age 26) 20 1 Unattached v.   Moldova, 11 June 2019
DF Drilon Kryeziu (1997-07-01) 1 July 1997 (age 22) 0 0   Dekani Durrës Training Camp, 21–26 May 2019INJ/U21
DF Leonardo Maloku (1998-05-18) 18 May 1998 (age 21) 0 0   San Roque de Lepe Durrës Training Camp, 21–26 May 2019U21
DF Sergio Kalaj (2000-01-28) 28 January 2000 (age 19) 0 0   Lazio Durrës Training Camp, 21–26 May 2019U21
DF Blerton Sheji (2000-10-21) 21 October 2000 (age 19) 0 0   Struga Durrës Training Camp, 21–26 May 2019U21
DF Herdi Prenga (1994-08-31) 31 August 1994 (age 25) 2 0   Riga v.   Israel, 14 October 2018

MF Taulant Xhaka (1991-03-28) 28 March 1991 (age 28) 31 1   Basel v.   Andorra, 14 November 2019
MF Ergys Kaçe (1993-07-08) 8 July 1993 (age 26) 25 2   Larissa v.   Andorra, 14 November 2019PRE
MF Klaus Gjasula (1989-12-14) 14 December 1989 (age 29) 4 0   SC Paderborn 07 v.   Andorra, 14 November 2019
MF Endri Çekiçi (1996-11-23) 23 November 1996 (age 22) 0 0   Olimpija Ljubljana v.   Andorra, 14 November 2019PRE
MF Enis Çokaj (1999-02-23) 23 February 1999 (age 20) 0 0   Lokomotiva v.   Andorra, 14 November 2019PRE
MF Amir Abrashi (1990-03-27) 27 March 1990 (age 29) 35 1   SC Freiburg v.   Moldova, 14 October 2019INJ
MF Eros Grezda (1995-04-15) 15 April 1995 (age 24) 13 1   Rangers v.   Iceland, 8 June 2019WD
MF Bruno Telushi (1990-11-14) 14 November 1990 (age 29) 0 0   Partizani Tirana Durrës Training Camp, 21–26 May 2019
MF Shefit Shefiti (1998-02-19) 19 February 1998 (age 21) 0 0   Shkëndija Durrës Training Camp, 21–26 May 2019U21
MF Agim Zeka (1998-09-06) 6 September 1998 (age 21) 0 0   Fortuna Sittard Durrës Training Camp, 21–26 May 2019U21
MF Esat Mala (1998-10-18) 18 October 1998 (age 21) 0 0   Partizani Tirana Durrës Training Camp, 21–26 May 2019U21
MF Kleandro Lleshi (1999-01-09) 9 January 1999 (age 20) 0 0   Fuenlabrada Durrës Training Camp, 21–26 May 2019U21
MF Arbin Zejnullai (1999-02-15) 15 February 1999 (age 20) 0 0   Shkëndija Durrës Training Camp, 21–26 May 2019U21
MF Omar Imeri (1999-12-13) 13 December 1999 (age 19) 0 0   Shkëndija Durrës Training Camp, 21–26 May 2019U21
MF Jurgen Çelhaka (2000-12-06) 6 December 2000 (age 18) 0 0   Tirana Durrës Training Camp, 21–26 May 2019
MF Kristal Abazaj (1996-07-06) 6 July 1996 (age 23) 1 0   Kukësi v.   Andorra, 25 March 2019
MF Andi Lila (1986-02-12) 12 February 1986 (age 33) 70 0   Tirana v.   Turkey, 22 March 2019INJ
MF Sabien Lilaj (1989-02-10) 10 February 1989 (age 30) 19 0   Sektzia Nes Tziona v.   Wales, 20 November 2018
MF Loret Sadiku (1991-07-28) 28 July 1991 (age 28) 0 0   Kasımpaşa v.   Scotland, 17 November 2018WD

FW Giacomo Vrioni (1998-10-15) 15 October 1998 (age 21) 1 0   Cittadella v.   Andorra, 14 November 2019PRE
FW Florian Kamberi (1995-03-08) 8 March 1995 (age 24) 0 0   Hibernian v.   Andorra, 14 November 2019FIFA/INJ
FW Armando Broja (2001-09-10) 10 September 2001 (age 18) 0 0   Chelsea v.   Andorra, 14 November 2019PRE
FW Sokol Cikalleshi (1990-07-27) 27 July 1990 (age 29) 34 6   Akhisar Belediyespor v.   Moldova, 14 October 2019INJ
FW Armando Sadiku (1991-05-27) 27 May 1991 (age 28) 37 12   Málaga v.   France, 7 September 2019PRE/INJ
FW Din Sula (1998-03-02) 2 March 1998 (age 21) 0 0   Waasland-Beveren Durrës Training Camp, 21–26 May 2019U21
FW Egli Kaja (1997-07-26) 26 July 1997 (age 22) 0 0   AFC Wimbledon v.   Wales, 20 November 2018
FW Albion Ademi (1999-02-19) 19 February 1999 (age 20) 0 0   Inter Turku v.   Wales, 20 November 2018
Notes
  • PRE = Preliminary squad.
  • U21 = Was called up from U21 squad.
  • INJ = Not part of the current squad due to injury.
  • WD = Player withdrew due to private reasons.
  • FIFA = Is not available after FIFA did not permit him to play for Albania due to problems with documentation.

PersonnelEdit

Current technical staffEdit

Position Name
Head coach   Edoardo Reja
Assistant coach(es)
  Sergio Porrini
  Ervin Bulku
  Hamdi Salihi
Athletic coach(es)   Luca Laurenti
  Luigi Febbrari
Goalkeeping coach   Ilir Bozhiqi
Physiotherapist(s)
  Altin Haxhia
  Ylli Mihali
Doctor   Gianluca Stesina
Masseur   Arzen Voci
Material base(s)
  Fatos Kademi
  Osman Bulku
Osteopat   Arjan Llaperi
Team manager   Dritan Babamusta
Video analyst   Alarico Marco Rossi

Individual all-time recordsEdit

 
Stamps of Albania in 2006. The 60th Anniversary of Victory at the Balkan Cup.

Below are two lists of the top 10 players with the most caps and goals for Albania.

As of 13 November 2017.[69]
  Players that are still active
  Part of the squad that won the 1946 Balkan Cup [70]
  Part of the squad that won the 2000 Rothmans International Tournament [71]

Appearances recordsEdit

 
Lorik Cana is the most capped player in the history of Albania with 93 caps.
 
Panajot Pano was selected between 52 UEFA Golden Players and was rated by the Football Association of Albania as the most outstanding player of the past 50 years.
Rank Position Name Career Caps Goals
1 DF
Lorik Cana
2003–2016 93 1
2 MF
Altin Lala
1998–2011 79 3
3 MF
Klodian Duro
2001–2011 77 6
4
MF
Ervin Skela
2000–2011 75 13
5 FW
Erjon Bogdani
1996–2013 75 18
6 GK
Foto Strakosha
1990–2004 73 0
DF
Ansi Agolli
2005–2018 73 3
8 FW
Andi Lila
2007–2019 70 0
9 MF
Altin Haxhi
1995–2009 68 3
FW
Igli Tare
1997–2007 68 10
10 FW
Alban Bushi
1995–2007 67 14

Top goalscorersEdit

 
Hamdi Salihi is the fourth-top goalscorer in the history of Albania with 11 goals.
Rank Position Name Career Goals Caps
1 FW
Erjon Bogdani
1996–2013 18 75
2 FW
Alban Bushi
1995–2007 14 67
3 MF
Ervin Skela
2000–2011 13 75
4 FW
Armando Sadiku
2012– 12 35
5 FW
Altin Rraklli
1992–2005 11 63
FW
Hamdi Salihi
2006–2015 11 50
7 FW
Sokol Kushta
1987–1996 10 31
FW
Igli Tare
1997–2007 10 68
9 DF
Adrian Aliaj
2002–2006 8 29
10
FW
Bekim Balaj
2012– 7 35

CaptainsEdit

List of captaincy periods of the various captains throughout the years.[72]

  1. 1946–1953 Loro Boriçi
  2. 1946 Bahri Kavaja (Vice-captain)
  3. 1958 Besim Fagu
  4. 1963–1964 Fatbardh Deliallisi
  5. 1964–1970 Lin Shllaku
  6. 1967 Mikel Janku (Vice-captain)
  7. 1970–1973 Panajot Pano
  8. 1971 Bashkim Muhedini (Vice-captain)
  9. 1973 Ramazan Rragami (Vice-captain)
  10. 1976 Sabah Bizi
  11. 1980–1981 Safet Berisha
  12. 1982 Ilir Luarasi
  13. 1982–1985 Muhedin Targaj
  14. 1983 Haxhi Ballgjini (Vice-captain)
  15. 1986–1989 Arben Minga
  16. 1987 Perlat Musta (Vice-captain)
  17. 1987 Shkëlqim Muça (Vice-captain)
  18. 1989–1990 Skënder Hodja
  19. 1990–1995 Sulejman Demollari
  20. 1990–1991 Hysen Zmijani (Vice-captain)
  21. 1992 Agustin Kola (Vice-captain)
  22. 1993 Sokol Kushta (Vice-captain)
  23. 1995 Foto Strakosha (Vice-captain)
  24. 1995 Ilir Shulku (Vice-captain)
  25. 1995–1996 Sokol Kushta
  26. 1996 Foto Strakosha (Vice-captain)
  27. 1997–2002 Rudi Vata
  28. 2000 Edvin Murati (Vice-captain)
  29. 2001 Foto Strakosha (Vice-captain)
  30. 2002 Indrit Fortuzi (Vice-captain)
  31. 2002–2004 Foto Strakosha
  32. 2004 Besnik Hasi (Vice-captain)
  33. 2005–2007 Igli Tare
  34. 2005 Altin Haxhi (Vice-captain)
  35. 2005–2006 Altin Lala (Vice-captain)
  36. 2005 Alban Bushi (Vice-captain)
  37. 2005 Besnik Hasi (Vice-captain)
  38. 2007–2009 Altin Lala
  39. 2007 Klodian Duro (Vice-captain)
  40. 2007 Altin Haxhi (Vice-captain)
  41. 2007–2009 Ervin Skela (Vice-captain)
  42. 2009–2011 Ervin Skela
  43. 2009 Elvin Beqiri (Vice-captain)
  44. 2010–2011 Altin Lala (Vice-captain)
  45. 2010 Lorik Cana (Vice-captain)
  46. 2011 Altin Lala
  47. 2011 Lorik Cana (Vice-captain)
  48. 2011 Arjan Beqaj (Vice-captain)
  49. 2011–2016 Lorik Cana
  50. 2012–2013 Ervin Bulku (Vice-captain)
  51. 2013 Erjon Bogdani (Vice-captain)
  52. 2014 Etrit Berisha (Vice-captain)
  53. 2015–2016 Ansi Agolli (Vice-captain)
  54. 2016 Ledian Memushaj (Vice-captain)
  55. 2016 Elseid Hysaj (Vice-captain)
  56. 2016–0000 Ansi Agolli
  57. 2016–2017 Mërgim Mavraj (Vice-captain)
  58. 2017 Elseid Hysaj (Vice-captain)
  59. 2017–0000Etrit Berisha (Vice-captain)

HonoursEdit

 
Stamps of Albania, 2007. 60th Anniversary of Victory at the Balkan Cup

Media coverageEdit

Albania's qualifying matches and friendlies are currently televised by RTSH and SuperSport Albania, a trademark of Digitalb.

Head-to-Head records against other countriesEdit

As of 13 November 2017
  1. ^ The Serbia v Albania match was abandoned with the score at 0–0 shortly before halftime after "various incidents", which resulted in the Albania players refusing to return to the field. UEFA ruled that Albania had forfeited the match and awarded a 3–0 win to Serbia, but also deducted three points from Serbia for their involvement in the events. Serbia must also play their next two home qualifying games behind closed doors, and both the Serbian and Albanian FAs were fined €100,000.[75] Both the Serbian and Albanian football associations were looking to have the decision revisited,[76][77] but the decision was upheld by UEFA.[78] Both associations then filed further appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport,[79] and on 10 July 2015 the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected the appeal filed by the Serbian FA, and upholds in part the appeal filed by the Albanian FA, meaning the match is deemed to have been forfeited by Serbia with 0–3 and they are still deducted three points.[80] Serbian FA announced appeal at the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland.[81]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  9. ^ Besnik Dizdari (2007). "Ballkaniada 1946: Shqipëria – kampione e Ballkanit ne startin e "Luftës së ftohtë" në Evropë" (in Albanian). Rozafat. pp. 2–10. ISBN 978-99943-979-0-7. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
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External linksEdit