Albania national football team

The Albania national football team (Albanian: Kombëtarja e futbollit të Shqipërisë) represents Albania in men's international football, and is governed by the Albanian Football Association, the governing body for football in Albania.

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
CaptainEtrit Berisha
Most capsLorik Cana (93)
Top scorerErjon Bogdani (18)
Home stadiumArena Kombëtare
FIFA codeALB
First colours
Second colours
Third colours
FIFA ranking
Current 66 Increase 3 (16 September 2021)[1]
Highest22 (August 2015[2])
Lowest124 (August 1997[3])
First international
 Albania 2–3 Yugoslavia 
(Tirana, Albania; 7 October 1946)
Biggest win
Biggest defeat
 Hungary 12–0 Albania 
(Budapest, Hungary; 24 September 1950)
European Championship
Appearances1 (first in 2016)
Best resultGroup stage (2016)
Medal record

Albania competes in the three major international football tournaments; the FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championship and 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 second appearance at a major men's football tournament after 50 years.

After its completion in 2019, Arena Kombëtare (English: National Arena), known as Air Albania Stadium for sponsorship reasons, will be the home ground of the national team. Albania's highest FIFA World Ranking was 22nd in August 2015.

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.

In 2020, Albania won for the first time a group by finishing first in group 4 of UEFA Nations League C and has been promoted in UEFA Nations League B.

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.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7][8] At the end of the tournament Albania ranked 9th in Europe.[9][10][11]

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.[12][13] 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.[14] 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.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18]

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.[19] 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.[20] Albania started the qualifiers of the UEFA Euro 2016 with an emphatic 1–0 away win against Portugal,[21] which was followed by a 1–1 draw against Denmark at the newly renovated stadium Elbasan Arena.[22] After beating Armenia 3–0 in the last qualifying match, Albania made history by qualifying for the UEFA Euro 2016, its first ever appearance at a major men's football tournament.[23] 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.[24]

Following the almost successful UEFA European Championship's, Albania suffered massive setback. In 2018 World Cup qualification, Albania failed to qualify and finished in 3rd, which was, however, their best result in history. During this era, their successful manager, Gianni De Biasi, resigned and Christian Panucci, another Italian, replaced him as coach of Albania.[25] However, things were 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.[26] Panucci would be sacked after a 0–2 defeat to Turkey in the opening campaign for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying.[27] Another Italian, Edoardo Reja, was appointed to help Albania to improve in a tough group,[28] but improvement is still very little. Albania failed to qualify to UEFA Euro 2020, archiving just a disappointing 4th place.[29]

Team imageEdit

KitsEdit

 
Albania home kit at 2016–17 season.

Albania' colours are red and black, mirroring the nation's flag. The team typically wears red shirts, black shorts and red socks. Away kits are usually all-white, with red and black trim.

Home stadiumEdit

 
Construction of Arena Kombëtare 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.[30] The stadium had an Olympic Stadium shape, as idealized by Gherardo Bosio, a young fascist architect from Florence, Italy.[31] The stadium's initial capacity was 15,000, this due to the fact that Tirana at that time had only 60,000 inhabitants.[31] It was named after Qemal Stafa, a Hero of Albania in World War II.[32] The stadium was inaugurated officially on 7 October 1946 when Albania played its first competitive match against Yugoslavia.[33] Ever since then, further 130 international matches took place in the stadium, with the last being a friendly against Georgia in November 2015.[34] 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".[30] In November 2013, Qemal Stafa Stadium was shut down by FIFA for not fulfilling international standards.[35] The stadium's demolition started in June 2016, and it was announced that is going to be replaced by Arena Kombëtare.[36]

Albania sometimes has played home matches at other venues. Outside Tirana, the national team has played matches in Flamurtari Stadium in Vlorë,[37] Tomori Stadium in Berat,[38] Niko Dovana Stadium in Durrës,[39] Loro Boriçi Stadium in Shkodër[40] and Elbasan Arena in Elbasan.[41] 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.[42] 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.[43] The official inauguration occurred two days later in the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Denmark.[44]

The first international match at Loro Boriçi Stadium was played on 29 March 2003 against Russia, with Albania winning 3–1.[14] In October 2014, Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, promised the reconstruction of the stadium.[45] The stadium's construction started in May 2015 and finished in August 2016.[46] 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.[47]

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 [33]
10   Elbasan Arena 13,800 Elbasan, Albania v.   Denmark, 11 October 2014 v.   Iceland, 10 September 2019 [41]
8   Loro Boriçi Stadium 20,200 Shkodër, Albania v.   Russia, 29 March 2003 v.   Italy, 9 October 2017 [40]
6   Niko Dovana Stadium 12,040 Durrës, Albania v.   Uzbekistan, 11 August 2010 v.   Malta, 5 March 2014 [39]
5   Arena Kombëtare 22,500 Tirana, Albania v.   France, 17 November 2019 v.   England, 28 March 2021 [48]
1   Tomori Stadium 17,890 Berat, Albania v.   Cuba, 6 August 1988 [38]
1   Flamurtari Stadium 10,500 Vlorë, Albania v.   Romania, 28 October 1987 [37]

RivalriesEdit

KosovoEdit

This derby is otherwise known as Brotherly derby (Albanian: Derbi vëllazëror), also known as the Brotherly (Albanian: Vëllazërorja). The documented beginnings of this derby date back to the time during the World War II, respectively on 29 November 1942, where they played a friendly match as part of the celebrations for 30th Anniversary of the Independence of Albania and the match ended with a 2–0 win for Tirana,[a][49][50][51] this derby is back 50 years after the first match, when the Football Federation of Kosovo signed a cooperation protocol with the Albanian Football Association and in the framework of this protocol it was decided to play on 14 February a friendly match between these two national teams,[52] and this match ended with a 3–1 win for Albania.[53]

During the period before 2016, these two national teams have exchanged players with each other, which influenced these two teams to be called reserve (B) teams of each other, Kosovo national team was called Albania B due to many players coming to play for Kosovo as they had no space to play for Albania, while Albania national team was called Kosovo B due to of the large number of players of Kosovo Albanian descent in its composition.[54] These exchanges began to be called acts of treason after Kosovo's membership in UEFA and FIFA, where some Albania players of Kosovo Albanian descent such as Amir Rrahmani, Herolind Shala and Milot Rashica who were part of the plans for the future of the Albania, moved to Kosovo.[55]

SerbiaEdit

This football rivalry between Albania and Serbia is mainly due to historical tensions between the two countries. It has been described "one of the fiercest rivalries in the world". During the Euro 2016 qualifying phase, the Serbian crowd were chanting "Kill, kill Albanians"[56] and were throwing flares at the Albanian team, after which there was a clash between the Serbian and Albanian teams.[57]

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.[58][59] It was founded on 25 December 2003.[58] 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.[60][61] 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).[58]

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.[62][63][64][65]

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".[66] 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.[67][68][69]

Media coverageEdit

Albania's qualifying and friendly matches are televised by state-owned Albanian Radio Television and by privately owned SuperSport Albania. Also these matches are broadcast by Kosovo's state-owned Radio Television of Kosovo.

Broadcaster Television channel Televised
  Albanian Radio Television Qualifying and friendly matches
  Radio Television of Kosovo   RTK 1
   SuperSport Albania

Results and fixturesEdit

  Win   Draw   Loss

2020Edit

14 October 2020–21 UEFA
Nations League
Lithuania   0–0   Albania Vilnius, Lithuania
18:00 (CEST; UTC+03:00) Report Stadium: LFF Stadium
Referee: Karim Abed (France)
11 November Friendly
(Brotherly derby)
Albania   2–1   Kosovo Elbasan, Albania
16:00 (CET; UTC+01:00) Balaj   31'
Uzuni   65'
Report
Report (UEFA)
Muriqi   85' (pen.) Stadium: Elbasan Arena
Attendance: 0
Referee: Hüseyin Göçek (Turkey)
15 November 2020–21 UEFA
Nations League
Albania   3–1   Kazakhstan Tirana, Albania
18:00 (CET; UTC+01:00) Cikalleshi   16'
Ismajli   23'
Manaj   63' (pen.)
Report Abiken   25' Stadium: Arena Kombëtare
Referee: Xavier Estrada Fernández (Spain)
18 November 2020–21 UEFA
Nations League
Albania   3–2   Belarus Tirana, Albania
16:00 (CET; UTC+01:00) Cikalleshi   20'27' (pen.)
Manaj   44'
Report Skavysh   35'
Ebong   80'
Stadium: Arena Kombëtare
Referee: Radu Petrescu (Romania)

2021Edit

25 March 2022 FIFA World
Cup qualification
Andorra   0–1   Albania Andorra la Vella, Andorra
20:45 Report (FIFA)
Report (UEFA)
Lenjani   41' Stadium: Estadi Nacional
Attendance: 0
Referee: Volen Chinkov (Bulgaria)
28 March 2022 FIFA World
Cup qualification
Albania   0–2   England Tirana, Albania
18:00 Report (FIFA)
Report (UEFA)
Kane   38'
Mount   63'
Stadium: Arena Kombëtare
Attendance: 0
Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel)
31 March 2022 FIFA World
Cup qualification
San Marino   0–2   Albania Serravalle, San Marino
20:45 Report (FIFA)
Report (UEFA)
Manaj   63'
Uzuni   85'
Stadium: San Marino Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Kai Erik Steen (Norway)
5 June Friendly Wales   0–0   Albania Cardiff, Wales
18:00 Report Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
Attendance: 6,500
Referee: Neil Doyle (Republic of Ireland)
8 June Friendly Czech Republic   3–1   Albania Prague, Czech Republic
20:15 UTC+2 Schick   18'
Masopust   68'
Čelůstka   89'
Report Cikalleshi   42' Stadium: Stadion Letná
Attendance: 1,351
Referee: Peter Kralović (Slovakia)
2 September 2022 FIFA World
Cup qualification
Poland   4–1   Albania Warsaw, Poland
20:45 Lewandowski   12'
Buksa   44'
Krychowiak   54'
Linetty   89'
Report (FIFA)
Report (UEFA)
Cikalleshi   25' Stadium: Stadion Narodowy
Attendance: 38,254
Referee: Maurizio Mariani (Italy)
5 September 2022 FIFA World
Cup qualification
Albania   1–0   Hungary Elbasan, Albania
18:00 Broja   87' Report (FIFA)
Report (UEFA)
Stadium: Elbasan Arena
Attendance: 4,135
Referee: Danny Makkelie (Netherlands)
8 September 2022 FIFA World
Cup qualification
Albania   5–0   San Marino Elbasan, Albania
20:45 Manaj   32'
Laçi   58'
Broja   61'
Hysaj   68'
Uzuni   80'
Report (FIFA)
Report (UEFA)
Stadium: Elbasan Arena
Referee: Lukas Fähndrich (Switzerland)

Coaching staffEdit

 
Edoardo Reja, the current manager of the Albania national football team.

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
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

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Etrit Berisha (Captain) (1989-03-10) 10 March 1989 (age 32) 70 0   Torino
23 1GK Thomas Strakosha (1995-03-19) 19 March 1995 (age 26) 16 0   Lazio
12 1GK Gentian Selmani (1998-03-09) 9 March 1998 (age 23) 2 0   Boluspor

4 2DF Elseid Hysaj (Vice-captain) (1994-02-20) 20 February 1994 (age 27) 63 2   Lazio
3 2DF Ermir Lenjani (1989-08-05) 5 August 1989 (age 32) 40 4   Grasshoppers
5 2DF Frédéric Veseli (1992-11-20) 20 November 1992 (age 28) 38 0   Salernitana
18 2DF Ardian Ismajli (1996-09-30) 30 September 1996 (age 25) 22 1   Empoli
20 2DF Lorenc Trashi (1992-05-19) 19 May 1992 (age 29) 14 1   Qadsia
14 2DF Kastriot Dermaku (1992-01-15) 15 January 1992 (age 29) 11 1   Lecce
15 2DF Marash Kumbulla (2000-02-08) 8 February 2000 (age 21) 11 0   Roma
13 2DF Enea Mihaj (1998-07-05) 5 July 1998 (age 23) 6 0   PAOK

21 3MF Odise Roshi (1991-05-21) 21 May 1991 (age 30) 65 5   Boluspor
7 3MF Keidi Bare (1997-08-28) 28 August 1997 (age 24) 19 2   Espanyol
19 3MF Ylber Ramadani (1996-04-12) 12 April 1996 (age 25) 13 1   MTK Budapest
22 3MF Nedim Bajrami (1999-02-28) 28 February 1999 (age 22) 4 0   Empoli
9 3MF Enis Çokaj (1999-02-23) 23 February 1999 (age 22) 2 0   Lokomotiva

10 4FW Rey Manaj (1997-02-24) 24 February 1997 (age 24) 29 7   Spezia
11 4FW Myrto Uzuni (1995-05-31) 31 May 1995 (age 26) 20 3   Ferencváros
17 4FW Armando Broja (2001-09-10) 10 September 2001 (age 20) 10 3   Southampton

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 Romeo Harizaj (1998-09-26) 26 September 1998 (age 23) 0 0   Dinamo Tirana v.   Czech Republic, 8 June 2021
GK Alen Sherri (1997-12-15) 15 December 1997 (age 23) 0 0   Laçi v.   Czech Republic, 8 June 2021
GK Alban Hoxha (1987-11-23) 23 November 1987 (age 33) 4 0   Partizani Tirana v.   Belarus, 18 November 2020
GK Marco Molla (2002-06-19) 19 June 2002 (age 19) 0 0   Bologna v.   Kazakhstan, 15 November 2020U21 / INJ

DF Berat Djimsiti (1993-02-19) 19 February 1993 (age 28) 44 1   Atalanta v.   Poland, 12 October 2021INJ
DF Iván Balliu (1992-01-01) 1 January 1992 (age 29) 3 0   Rayo Vallecano v.   Poland, 12 October 2021COVID
DF Erion Hoxhallari (1995-10-15) 15 October 1995 (age 26) 2 0   Tirana v.   Hungary, 9 October 2021COVID
DF Albi Doka (1997-06-26) 26 June 1997 (age 24) 7 0   Gorica v.   San Marino, 8 September 2021
DF Ramën Çepele (2003-03-21) 21 March 2003 (age 18) 1 0   Hannover 96 v.   San Marino, 8 September 2021U21 / INJ
DF Mario Mitaj (2003-08-06) 6 August 2003 (age 18) 1 0   AEK Athens v.   Poland, 2 September 2021U21
DF Arlind Ajeti (1993-09-25) 25 September 1993 (age 28) 21 1 Unattached v.   Czech Republic, 8 June 2021
DF Hysen Memolla (1992-07-03) 3 July 1992 (age 29) 6 0 Unattached v.   San Marino, 31 March 2021
DF Marsel Ismailgeci (2000-03-14) 14 March 2000 (age 21) 1 0   Tirana v.   Belarus, 18 November 2020U21
DF Jon Mersinaj (1999-02-08) 8 February 1999 (age 22) 0 0   Lokomotiva v.   Kazakhstan, 11 October 2020INJ

MF Klaus Gjasula (1989-12-14) 14 December 1989 (age 31) 14 0   SV Darmstadt 98 v.   Poland, 12 October 2021COVID
MF Endri Çekiçi (1996-11-23) 23 November 1996 (age 24) 6 0   Konyaspor v.   Poland, 12 October 2021SUS
MF Qazim Laçi (1996-01-19) 19 January 1996 (age 25) 12 1   Ajaccio v.   San Marino, 8 September 2021INJ
MF Amir Abrashi (1990-03-27) 27 March 1990 (age 31) 44 1   Grasshoppers v.   San Marino, 8 September 2021INJ
MF Sherif Kallaku (1998-03-01) 1 March 1998 (age 23) 5 0   Teuta Durrës v.   Czech Republic, 8 June 2021
MF Ledian Memushaj (1986-12-07) 7 December 1986 (age 34) 44 1   Pescara v.   San Marino, 31 March 2021
MF Lindon Selahi (1999-02-26) 26 February 1999 (age 22) 4 0   Rijeka v.   Belarus, 18 November 2020

FW Sokol Cikalleshi (1990-07-27) 27 July 1990 (age 31) 44 12   Konyaspor v.   Poland, 12 October 2021COVID
FW Bekim Balaj (1991-01-11) 11 January 1991 (age 30) 45 8   Nizhny Novgorod v.   Hungary, 9 October 2021INJ
FW Ernest Muçi (2001-03-19) 19 March 2001 (age 20) 0 0   Legia Warsaw v.   Poland, 2 September 2021U21
FW Taulant Seferi (1996-11-15) 15 November 1996 (age 24) 7 0   Tirana v.   Czech Republic, 8 June 2021
FW Florian Kamberi (1995-03-08) 8 March 1995 (age 26) 0 0   Sheffield Wednesday v.   San Marino, 31 March 2021INJ
FW Emiliano Bullari (2001-04-06) 6 April 2001 (age 20) 0 0 Unattached v.   Kazakhstan, 15 November 2020U21
FW Giacomo Vrioni (1998-10-15) 15 October 1998 (age 23) 2 0   WSG Tirol v.   Kosovo, 11 November 2020INJ

Notes
  • U21 = Was called up from national U21 squad.
  • INJ = It is not part of the current squad due to injury.
  • PRE = Preliminary squad/standby.
  • COVID = The player is not part of the current squad due to has been tested positive for COVID-19.
  • SUS = It is not available in next match due to red card suspension.

Player recordsEdit

As of 8 September 2021.[72]
Players in bold are still active with Albania.

Most appearancesEdit

 
Lorik Cana is the most capped player in the history of Albania with 93 caps.
Rank Player Caps Goals Period
1 Lorik Cana 93 1 2003–2016
2 Altin Lala 78 3 1998–2011
3 Klodian Duro 77 4 2001–2011
4 Erjon Bogdani 75 18 1996–2013
Ervin Skela 75 13 2000–2011
6 Ansi Agolli 73 3 2005–2017
Foto Strakosha 73 0 1990–2004
8 Andi Lila 70 0 2007–2018
9 Etrit Berisha 69 0 2012–
10 Igli Tare 68 10 1997–2007

Top goalscorersEdit

Rank Player Goals Caps Average Period
1 Erjon Bogdani 18 75 0.24 1996–2013
2 Alban Bushi 14 67 0.21 1995–2007
3 Ervin Skela 13 75 0.17 2000–2011
4 Armando Sadiku 12 37 0.32 2012–present
Sokol Cikalleshi 12 44 0.27 2014–present
6 Hamdi Salihi 11 50 0.22 2006–2015
Altin Rraklli 11 63 0.17 1992–2005
8 Sokol Kushta 10 31 0.32 1987–1996
9 Igli Tare 10 68 0.15 1997–2007
10 Adrian Aliaj 8 29 0.28 2002–2006
Bekim Balaj 8 45 0.18 2012–present

Competitive recordEdit

FIFA World CupEdit

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA Pos Pld W D L GF GA
  1930 Not a FIFA member Not a FIFA member
  1934 Did not enter Did not enter
  1938
  1950
  1954
  1958
  1962
  1966 Did not qualify 4th 6 0 1 5 2 12
  1970 Did not enter Did not enter
  1974 Did not qualify 4th 6 1 0 5 3 13
  1978 Did not enter Did not enter
  1982 Did not qualify 4th 8 1 0 7 4 22
  1986 3rd 6 1 2 3 6 9
  1990 4th 6 0 0 6 3 15
  1994 7th 12 1 2 9 6 26
  1998 6th 10 1 1 8 7 20
    2002 5th 8 1 0 7 5 14
  2006 5th 12 4 1 7 11 20
  2010 5th 10 1 4 5 6 13
  2014 5th 10 3 2 5 9 11
  2018 3rd 10 4 1 5 10 13
  2022 To be determined TBD In progress
      2026 To be determined
Total - 0/21 - - - - - - 104 18 14 72 72 188

UEFA European ChampionshipEdit

UEFA European Championship record Qualifying record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pos Pld W D L GF GA
  1960 Did not enter Did not enter
  1964 Did not qualify R16 4 3 0 1 7 4
  1968 3rd 4 0 1 3 0 12
  1972 4th 6 1 1 4 5 9
  1976 Did not enter Did not enter
  1980
  1984 Did not qualify 5th 8 0 2 6 4 14
  1988 4th 6 0 0 6 2 17
  1992 5th 7 1 0 6 2 21
  1996 5th 10 2 2 6 10 16
    2000 5th 10 1 4 5 8 14
  2004 4th 8 2 2 4 11 15
    2008 5th 12 2 5 5 12 18
    2012 5th 10 2 3 5 7 14
  2016 Group stage 18th 3 1 0 2 1 3 Squad 2nd 8 4 2 2 10 5
  2020 Did not qualify 4th 10 4 1 5 16 14
  2024 To be determined To be determined
Total Group stage 1/16 3 1 0 2 1 3 101 22 23 58 94 173

UEFA Nations LeagueEdit

UEFA Nations League record
Season Division Group Pos Pld W D L GF GA P/R RK
  2018–19 C 1 3rd 4 1 0 3 1 8   34th
  2020–21 C 4 1st 6 3 2 1 8 4   35th
  2022–23 B To be determined
Total 10 4 2 4 9 12 34th

FIFA RankingsEdit

Last update was on 26 July 2020. Source:[73]

  Best Ranking    Worst Ranking    Best Mover    Worst Mover  

Albania's FIFA world rankings
Rank Year Pld Best Worst
Rank Move Rank Move
66 2020 23 66   3 69   3
66 2019 16 61   2 66   4
60 2018 6 56   2 60   3
62 2017 9 51   9 71   12
49 2016 12 35   5 49   10
  38 2015 7 22   15 63   7
  58 2014 9 45   25 70   16
57 2013 8 37   16 71   13
63 2012 9 58   17 97   10
74 2011 11 50   23 75   14
65 2010 9 58   13 97   7
96 2009 9 78   3 98   11
  81 2008 7 73   19 102   18
80 2007 11 66   11 88   12
87 2006 6 62   20 88   13
82 2005 10 82   7 93   4
86 2004 8 86   5 94   5
89 2003 11 86   13 101   5
93 2002 9 92   4 97   5
96 2001 7 74   1 96   6
72 2000 8 72   13 94   6
83 1999 8 83   15 95   2
106 1998 8 97   14 109   8
  116 1997 7 113   8 124   4
  116 1996 5 90   6 116   12
91 1995 8 87   13 106   6
100 1994 5 93   9 113   11
92 1993 7 91   1 93   6

HonoursEdit

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

Head-to-head recordEdit

As of 8 September 2021
  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.[76] Both the Serbian and Albanian football associations were looking to have the decision revisited,[77][78] but the decision was upheld by UEFA.[79] Both associations then filed further appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport,[80] 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.[81] Serbian FA announced appeal at the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland.[82]

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^
    The alternative name of the Albania national team that was used during this match.[51]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 16 September 2021. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  2. ^ FIFA World Ranking August 2015
  3. ^ FIFA World Ranking August 1997
  4. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 14 October 2021. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  5. ^ "International football match Albania vs Yugoslavia report". EU-Football.info. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Ballkaniada 1946, kur Shqipëria u shpall kampione e Ballkanit" [Balkan Cup 1946, when Albania was named champion of Balkan]. Sot.com.al. 9 October 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  7. ^ ""Euro 1964" / Greqia refuzoi nga "ligji i luftës", u kualifikua Shqipëria" [“Euro 1964” / Greece refused due to “war law”, Albania qualified] (in Albanian). Ekskluzive.al. 30 October 2018. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ a b "Shqipëria në fazën finale? Nuk është hera e parë!" [Albania in finale phase, its not the first time] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 14 October 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  10. ^ a b UEFA. "Victories of Albania until Euro2016 qualifiers". Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  11. ^ Besnik Dizdari (15 October 2015). "Dr. Armillotta ka të drejtë" (in Albanian). Panorama-Sport. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Euro 1968/ Kur Kombëtarja e Shqipërisë eliminonte Gjermaninë" [Euro 1968/ When Albania national team eliminated Germany] (in Albanian). Opinion.al. 13 May 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  13. ^ "1967: Risitë e të vërtetave të Shqipëria-Gjermania 0-0…" [1967: The innovations of the truths of Albania-Germany 0-0…] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 19 December 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Flying start for Briegel". UEFA.com. 30 March 2003. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
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  21. ^ ""Bekim" kuqezi në Aveiro, Shqipëria shokon Portugalinë" (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 7 September 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  22. ^ ""Flirtuam" me fitoren, por bashkëkryesojmë me Danimarkën" (in Albanian). Albdreams.net. 11 October 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  23. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/34501117
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  25. ^ "Panucci named Albania coach". AS. 17 July 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  26. ^ Andrew Southwick (17 November 2018). "Albania 0–4 Scotland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  27. ^ Carlos Volcano. "SACKED! Christian Panucci dumped by Albania". Tribal Football. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  28. ^ "Albania hires Edoardo Reja to coach its national team". USA TODAY.
  29. ^ "Moldova's national team was also outclassed by Albania". ipn.md. 15 October 2019. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  30. ^ a b ""Qemal Stafa", historia 70-vjeçare e Stadiumit Kombëtar (Pjesa 1)" [“Qemal Stafa”, the 70-year history of the national stadium (Part 1)] (in Albanian). Gazeta Panorama. 10 May 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  31. ^ a b "Historia e ndërtimit të stadiumit "Qemal Stafa"" [History of Stadium “Qemal Stafa” construction] (in Albanian). Standard.al. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  32. ^ "Kush ishte Qemal Stafa? 99-vjetori i lindjes" [Who was Qemal Stafa? 99th anniversary of birth] (in Albanian). Gazeta Mapo. 20 March 2019. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  33. ^ a b "Stadiumi Kombëtar Qemal Stafa, Tiranë". eu-football.info.
  34. ^ "Kombëtarja luan ndeshjen e fundit në "Qemal Stafa"" [The national team plays the last match in “Qemal Stafa”] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 16 November 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  35. ^ "UEFA "djeg" edhe "Ruzhdi Bizhutën" e "Niko Dovanën"" (in Albanian). Sport.albeu.com. 21 November 2013. Archived from the original on 26 May 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  36. ^ "Nis prishja e stadiumit "Qemal Stafa"" [The demolition of “Qemal Stafa” Stadium starts] (in Albanian). TV Klan. 9 June 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  37. ^ a b "Stadiumi Flamurtari, Vlorë". eu-football.info.
  38. ^ a b "Stadiumi Tomori, Berat". eu-football.info.
  39. ^ a b "Stadiumi Niko Dovana, Durrës". eu-football.info.
  40. ^ a b "Loro Boriçi Stadium, Shkodër". eu-football.info.
  41. ^ a b "Elbasan Arena, Elbasan". eu-football.info.
  42. ^ "Nis rindërtimi i stadiumit "Ruzhdi Bizhuta" (FOTO LAJM)" [The recontruction of "Ruzhdi Buzhuta" stadium starts (Photo News)] (in Albanian). Sport.albeu.com. 17 February 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  43. ^ "Goleadë e Kombëtares në inaugurimin e stadiumit" [Goal-fest of national team in the stadium's inauguration] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 9 October 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  44. ^ "Shqipëri- Danimarkë, ndeshja e parë në "Elbasan Arena". Ja çmimi i biletave" [Albania-Denmark, the first match in “Elbasan Arena”. Here are the ticket's prizes] (in Albanian). Gazeta Panorama. 22 September 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  45. ^ "Rama: Së shpejti nis ndërtimi i stadiumit 'Loro Borici'" [Rama: Construction of ‘Loro Borici’ Stadium Coming Soon] (in Albanian). City News Albania. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  46. ^ "Stadiumi "Loro Boriçi" është gati për Kombëtaren, si t'i gjeni biletat" [“Loro Boriçi” stadium is ready for the national team, how to find the tickets] (in Albanian). TV Klan. 30 August 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  47. ^ Alfred Lleshi (11 August 2016). "E konfirmon kryeministri: Kosova do të luajë në "Loro Boriçi"" [The Prime Minister confirms: Kosovo will play in “Loro Boriçi”] (in Albanian). Telesport.al. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  48. ^ "Arena Kombëtare, Tirana". eu-football.info.
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  54. ^ Besnik Dizdari (18 November 2015). "Kosova A – "Kosova B" 2–2 ose Kosova – Shqipëria 30–6!" [Kosovo A – "Kosovo B" 2–2 or Kosovo – Albania 30–6!] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport.
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  59. ^ "16 vjet krenari dhe kontribut për kombëtaren tonë, ditë historike për "Tifozat Kuq e Zi"" [16 years pride and contribution for our national team, historical day for "Tifozat Kuq e Zi"] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 23 December 2019. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  60. ^ Ermal Kuka (21 January 2014). "Tifozët, bojkot ndaj Kosovës: "Një komb, një kombëtare!"" [The fans, boycott towards Kosovo: “One nation, one national team!”] (in Albanian). Gazeta Shqip. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  61. ^ Alfred Lleshi (20 August 2016). ""Tifozat Kuqezi": Një komb, na duhet një kombëtare! Zotohemi të ndodhë sa më shpejt!" [“Red and Black fans”: One nation, we need one national team! We pledge to happen as soon as possible!] (in Albanian). Telesport.al. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  62. ^ "Tifozët Kuq e Zi sërish kundër Dukës (Foto)" [Red and black fans again against Duka (Photo)] (in Albanian). Botapress.info. 31 March 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  63. ^ "Tifozët 'Kuq e Zi' fyejnë rëndë Armand Dukën" [Red and black fans heavily insult Armand Duka] (in Albanian). Javanews.al. 13 November 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  64. ^ "Ekskluzive / Armand Duka: Tifozat kuq e zi, "fushate" kunder meje" [Exclusive/ Armand Duka: Red&black fans, a "campaign" against me] (in Albanian). Albania Soccer. 9 November 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  65. ^ "Tifozët krenarë për De Biasin…ovacione kundër Dukës (Video)" [The fans proud for De Biasi…ovations against Duka (Video)] (in Albanian). Botasot.info. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  66. ^ "Hitzfeld: Tifozët shqiptarë janë fantastikë" [Hitzfeld: Albanian fans are fantastic] (in Albanian). Bota Sot. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
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  68. ^ "Norvegji-Shqipëri, 3 mijë tifozë kuqezi në Oslo" [Norway-Albania, 3 thousand red&black fans in Oslo] (in Albanian). Portalb.mk. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  69. ^ Fation Shehu (24 March 2013). "Oslo kuqezi, De Biazi: Ja si i "mashtruam" norvegjezët…" [Oslo red&black, De Biasi: Here's how we “deceived” the Norwegians…] (in Albanian). Oslo: Panorama Sport. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  70. ^ "Botërori "Katar 2022"/Trajneri Reja shpall listën e Kombëtares për ndeshjet me Hungarinë & Poloninë" [World Cup "Qatar 2022"/Coach Reja announces the list of the National Team for the matches with Hungary & Poland] (in Albanian). Albanian Football Association. 3 October 2021.
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  81. ^ "FOOTBALL: The CAS rejects the appeal filed by the Serbian FA, upholds in part the appeal filed by the Albanian FA: the match Serbia-Albania is deemed to have been forfeited by Serbia (0–3)". Tribunal Arbitral du Sport / Court of Arbitration for Sport. 10 July 2015. Archived from the original on 11 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
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External linksEdit