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 coachSylvinho
CaptainBerat Djimsiti
Most capsLorik Cana (93)
Top scorerErjon Bogdani (18)
Home stadiumArena Kombëtare
FIFA codeALB
First colours
Second colours
Third colours
FIFA ranking
Current 66 Decrease 2 (4 April 2024)[1]
Highest22 (August 2015[2])
Lowest124 (August 1997[3])
First international
 Albania 2–3 Yugoslavia 
(Tirana, Albania; 7 October 1946)
Biggest win
 Albania 5–0 Vietnam 
(Bastia Umbra, Italy; 12 February 2003)
 Albania 6–1 Cyprus 
(Tirana, Albania; 12 August 2009)
 Albania 5–0 San Marino 
(Elbasan, Albania; 8 September 2021)
Biggest defeat
 Hungary 12–0 Albania 
(Budapest, Hungary; 24 September 1950)
European Championship
Appearances2 (first in 2016)
Best resultGroup stage (2016)

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 debut at a major men's football tournament, scoring its first goal and recording its first victory in a major tournament against Romania on 19 June 2016.[5] They will compete in Euro 2024.

Since its completion in 2019, Arena Kombëtare (National Arena), known as Air Albania Stadium for sponsorship reasons, has been the team's home ground. Albania's highest FIFA World Ranking was 22nd in August 2015.

The team uses red, white and black colours and the Albanian double headed eagle as its symbol. Its supporters are collectively known as the Tifozët Kuq e Zi and use the same national red and black colours.

In 2020, Albania won group 4 of UEFA Nations League C and was promoted to UEFA Nations League B.

History edit

20th century edit

 
Commemorative stamp (2003) of the ninety years of the first unofficial match of the football nation of Albania
 
Loro Boriçi captained the team in winning the 1946 Balkan Cup.
 
Manifest of the Fifth Albanian Football Spartakiad (1984)

Although it never played any matches, the Albania 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 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 at the 1964 Summer Olympics in the Men's qualification tournament, and closely lost both matches against Bulgaria in the preliminary round.[13] They would participate for the second and last time at the 1972 Summer Olympics in which they faced Romania at the Men's European Qualifiers in the Playoffs. Albania would lose both matches close with 2–1 in the first leg and 1–2 at home in the second leg.[14][15]

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.[16][17] In later years, Albania did not participate in the qualifiers of the World Cup 1970, 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. In the following qualification for the World Cup 1986 Albania were able to beat famously Belgium at home in Tirana with 2–0 as well as drawing away in Mielec against Poland with 2–2 despite leading until the end of this match. Their last point were won against Greece at home. Missing out close for their first ever FIFA World Cup as they finished third in the standings. 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 century edit

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.[18] 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.[19]

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.[20] 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.[21] 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.[22]

 
The team of Albania took the field with the second shirt against Austria on 26 March 2016.

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.[23] 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.[24] Albania started the qualifiers of the UEFA Euro 2016 with an emphatic 1–0 away win against Portugal,[25] which was followed by a 1–1 draw against Denmark at the newly renovated stadium Elbasan Arena.[26] After beating Armenia 3–0 in the last qualifying match, Albania made history by qualifying for the UEFA Euro 2016, its first appearance at a major men's football tournament after 50 years and Albania's first-ever appearance at a competitive tournament in the history.[27] 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.[28]

In 2018 World Cup qualification, Albania was drawn in a group with Spain, Italy, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, and Israel. Despite the difficult draw, they placed third in the group, their best result in history without qualifying for the final tournament. During this time, manager Gianni De Biasi resigned after disputes with the FSHF and was replaced by Christian Panucci.[29] Albania played poorly in the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League, winning only once against Israel and losing the return leg as well as both matches against Scotland.[30] Panucci would be sacked after a 2–0 defeat to Turkey in the opening match of UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying.[31] Edoardo Reja replaced Panucci as Albania faced home and away series against both 2018 FIFA World Cup champions France and Iceland as well as the return leg against Turkey.[32] In the end, Albania placed fourth in the group, failing to qualify.[33]

On 17 November 2023, Albania qualified for UEFA Euro 2024.[34] They were drawn in Group B, which is considered the group of death by many fans, containing three-time Euro winners Spain, two-time Euro winners and defending champions Italy, as well as Croatia, which came third in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Team image edit

Nicknames edit

The team's nicknames are the "Kuq e Zinjtë" ("The Red and Blacks") and "Shqiponjat" ("The Eagles"). It is also known, among supporters, as "Kosova B" ("Kosovo B"). During the period before 2016, the national teams of Albania and Kosovo exchanged players with each other due to the complexities of descent brought on by Kosovo's independence, leading supporters to refer to each team as the other team's "reserve" side.[35]

Kits edit

 
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. In the 2000s, Albania signed with German sportswear company Puma and was the first kit supplier of Albania in the 21st century. On 29 January 2016, Albania signed Italian sportswear company Macron, which continues to be Albania's kit.[36]

Kit sponsorship edit

Kit supplier Period Contract
Announcement Duration
  Adidas 1981–1992
  Umbro 1992–1993
  Uhlsport 1994–1995
  Puma 1996–2005
  Nike 2005–2010
  Adidas 2010–2016
  Macron 2016–present 26 January 2016[36] 2016–2022[36]
9 June 2022[37] 2022–2027[37]

Home stadium edit

 
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.[38] The stadium had an Olympic Stadium shape, as idealized by Gherardo Bosio, a young fascist architect from Florence, Italy.[39] The stadium's initial capacity was 15,000, this due to the fact that Tirana at that time had only 60,000 inhabitants.[39] It was named after Qemal Stafa, a Hero of Albania in World War II.[40] The stadium was inaugurated officially on 7 October 1946 when Albania played its first competitive match against Yugoslavia.[41] Ever since then, further 130 international matches took place in the stadium, with the last being a friendly against Georgia in November 2015.[42] 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".[38] In November 2013, Qemal Stafa Stadium was shut down by FIFA for not fulfilling international standards.[43] The stadium's demolition started in June 2016, and it was announced that is going to be replaced by Arena Kombëtare.[44]

Albania sometimes has played home matches at other venues. Outside Tirana, the national team has played matches in Flamurtari Stadium in Vlorë,[45] Tomori Stadium in Berat,[46] Niko Dovana Stadium in Durrës,[47] Loro Boriçi Stadium in Shkodër[48] and Elbasan Arena in Elbasan.[49] 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.[50] 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.[51] The official inauguration occurred two days later in the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Denmark.[52]

The first international match at Loro Boriçi Stadium was played on 29 March 2003 against Russia, with Albania winning 3–1.[18] In October 2014, Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, promised the reconstruction of the stadium.[53] The stadium's construction started in May 2015 and finished in August 2016.[54] 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.[55]

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 [41]
19   Arena Kombëtare 22,500 Tirana, Albania v.   France, 17 November 2019 v.   Faroe Islands, 20 October 2023 [56]
18   Elbasan Arena 13,800 Elbasan, Albania v.   Denmark, 11 October 2014 v.   San Marino, 8 September 2021 [49]
9   Loro Boriçi Stadium 20,200 Shkodër, Albania v.   Russia, 29 March 2003 v.   Turkey, 22 March 2019 [48]
6   Niko Dovana Stadium 12,040 Durrës, Albania v.   Uzbekistan, 11 August 2010 v.   Malta, 5 March 2014 [47]
2   Nuevo Estadio de Los Cármenes 19,336 Granada, Spain v.   Ukraine, 29 March 1997 v.   Germany, 2 April 1997 [57]
1   Skënderbeu Stadium 12,343 Korçë, Albania v.   North Macedonia, 17 November 2010 [45]
1   Hardturm 16,600 Zürich, Switzerland v.   Northern Ireland, 10 September 1997 [58]
1   Tomori Stadium 17,890 Berat, Albania v.   Cuba, 6 August 1988 [46]
1   Flamurtari Stadium 10,500 Vlorë, Albania v.   Romania, 28 October 1987 [45]

Rivalries edit

Kosovo edit

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][60][61] 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,[62] and this match ended with a 3–1 win for Albania.[63]

Serbia edit

This football rivalry between Albania and Serbia is mainly due to historical tensions between the two countries. It has been described as "one of the fiercest rivalries in the world". During the Euro 2016 qualifying phase, the Serbian crowd were chanting "Kill, kill Albanians"[64] and were throwing flares at the Albania team, after which there was a clash between the Serbia and Albania teams.[65]

Supporters edit

 
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 (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.[66][67] It was founded on 25 December 2003.[66] 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.[68][69] 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 Prishtina, Torcida of Mitrovica, etc.), North Macedonia (Ballistët of Tetovë, Ilirët of Kumanovë, Shvercerat of Shkupi, 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).[66]

There are sports twinnings with some amateur football teams of the historic Albanian communities of Italy (Arbëreshë): in 2017, on the occasion of the Italy – Albania match played in Palermo (Sicily, Italy) for the World Cup qualifiers, the local team and the Municipality of Piana degli Albanesi welcomed the ambassador of the Republic of Albania, the official delegation of the Albanian football federation and numerous Albanian fans who also came from the Balkans, in a fraternal and sporting twinning Arbëreshë-Shqiptarë.

 
Albanian and Arbëreshë fans in Palermo, for the Italy-Albania 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier match on 24 March 2017

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.[70][71][72][73]

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".[74] 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.[75][76][77]

Media coverage edit

Results and fixtures edit

The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

  Win   Draw   Loss   Fixture

2023 edit

27 March Euro 2024 qualifying Poland   1–0   Albania Warsaw, Poland
20:45 Świderski   41' Report Stadium: Stadion Narodowy
Attendance: 56,227
Referee: Slavko Vinčić (Slovenia)
17 June Euro 2024 qualifying Albania   2–0   Moldova Tirana, Albania
20:45
Report Stadium: Arena Kombëtare
Attendance: 20,944
Referee: Dennis Higler (Netherlands)
20 June Euro 2024 qualifying Faroe Islands   1–3   Albania Tórshavn, Faroe Islands
20:45 (19:45 UTC+1) Færø   45+1' Report
Stadium: Tórsvøllur
Attendance: 2,507
Referee: Chrysovalantis Theouli (Cyprus)
7 September Euro 2024 qualifying Czech Republic   1–1   Albania Prague, Czech Republic
20:45 Černý   56' Report Bajrami   66' Stadium: Eden Arena
Attendance: 18,641
Referee: Anthony Taylor (England)
10 September Euro 2024 qualifying Albania   2–0   Poland Tirana, Albania
20:45
Report Stadium: Arena Kombëtare
Attendance: 21,900
Referee: José María Sánchez (Spain)
12 October Euro 2024 qualifying Albania   3–0   Czech Republic Tirana, Albania
20:45
Report Stadium: Arena Kombëtare
Attendance: 20,917
Referee: Danny Makkelie (Netherlands)
17 October Friendly Albania   2–0   Bulgaria Tirana, Albania
16:30
Report Stadium: Arena Kombëtare
Attendance: 17,232
Referee: Mervan Bejtullahu (Kosovo)
17 November Euro 2024 qualifying Moldova   1–1   Albania Chişinău, Moldova
20:45 (21:45 UTC+2) Baboglo   87' Report Cikalleshi   25' (pen.) Stadium: Zimbru Stadium
Attendance: 9,537
Referee: Willie Collum (Scotland)
20 November Euro 2024 qualifying Albania   0–0   Faroe Islands Tirana, Albania
20:45 Report Stadium: Arena Kombëtare
Attendance: 21,456
Referee: Sven Jablonski (Germany)

2024 edit

22 March Friendly Albania   0–3   Chile Parma, Italy
20:45 UTC+1 Report
Stadium: Stadio Ennio Tardini
Attendance: 15,000
Referee: Luca Pairetto (Italy)
25 March Friendly Sweden   1–0   Albania Solna, Sweden
19:00 UTC+1 Nilsson   62' Report Stadium: Friends Arena
Referee: Marcel Bîrsan (Romania)
7 June Friendly Albania   v   Azerbaijan TBD
Report
15 June Euro 2024 Italy   v   Albania Dortmund, Germany
21:00 CEST Report Stadium: Westfalenstadion
19 June Euro 2024 Croatia   v   Albania Hamburg, Germany
15:00 CEST Report Stadium: Volksparkstadion
24 June Euro 2024 Albania   v   Spain Düsseldorf, Germany
21:00 CEST Report Stadium: Merkur Spiel-Arena
7 September 2024–25 Nations League Ukraine   v   Albania TBD[b]
20:45 Report
10 September 2024–25 Nations League Albania   v   Georgia Tirana, Albania
20:45 Report Stadium: Arena Kombëtare
14 October 2024–25 Nations League Georgia   v   Albania Georgia
18:00 (20:00 UTC+4) Report
19 November 2024–25 Nations League Albania   v   Ukraine Tirana, Albania
20:45 Report Stadium: Arena Kombëtare

Coaching staff edit

Current coaching staff edit

 
Albania's current manager Sylvinho
Role Name
Head coach   Sylvinho
Assistant coach(es)   Pablo Zabaleta
  Dorival Guidoni
  Ervin Bulku
Athletic coach(es)   Taulant Stërmasi
  Elton Kodra
Goalkeeping coach   Ilir Bozhiqi
Physiotherapist   Altin Haxhia
Doctor   Gianluca Stesina
Masseur   Arzen Voçi
Material base(s)   Eduard Salillari
  Osman Bulku
Osteopath   Arjan Llaperi
Team manager   Dritan Babamusta
Video analyst   Alarico Marco Rossi

Players edit

Current squad edit

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Alen Sherri (1997-12-15) 15 December 1997 (age 26) 1 0   Egnatia
12 1GK Elhan Kastrati (1997-02-02) 2 February 1997 (age 27) 2 0   Cittadella
23 1GK Thomas Strakosha (3rd captain) (1995-03-19) 19 March 1995 (age 29) 27 0   Brentford

2 2DF Iván Balliu (1992-01-01) 1 January 1992 (age 32) 12 0   Rayo Vallecano
3 2DF Mario Mitaj (2003-08-06) 6 August 2003 (age 20) 12 0   Lokomotiv Moscow
4 2DF Elseid Hysaj (vice-captain) (1994-02-02) 2 February 1994 (age 30) 83 2   Lazio
5 2DF Frédéric Veseli (1992-11-20) 20 November 1992 (age 31) 45 0   Fatih Karagümrük
6 2DF Berat Gjimshiti (captain) (1993-02-19) 19 February 1993 (age 31) 57 1   Atalanta
13 2DF Enea Mihaj (1998-07-05) 5 July 1998 (age 25) 17 0   Famalicão
18 2DF Jon Mersinaj (1999-02-08) 8 February 1999 (age 25) 1 0   Lokomotiva
24 2DF Marash Kumbulla (2000-02-08) 8 February 2000 (age 24) 18 0   Sassuolo
25 2DF Naser Aliji (1993-12-27) 27 December 1993 (age 30) 13 0   Voluntari

7 3MF Keidi Bare (1997-08-28) 28 August 1997 (age 26) 29 2   Espanyol
10 3MF Nedim Bajrami (1999-02-28) 28 February 1999 (age 25) 21 3   Sassuolo
14 3MF Qazim Laçi (1996-01-19) 19 January 1996 (age 28) 25 2   Sparta Prague
20 3MF Ylber Ramadani (1996-04-12) 12 April 1996 (age 28) 34 1   Lecce
21 3MF Kristjan Asllani (2002-03-09) 9 March 2002 (age 22) 18 2   Inter Milan

8 4FW Rey Manaj (1997-02-24) 24 February 1997 (age 27) 32 7   Sivasspor
9 4FW Jasir Asani (1995-05-19) 19 May 1995 (age 28) 11 3   Gwangju FC
15 4FW Taulant Seferi (1996-11-15) 15 November 1996 (age 27) 18 3   Baniyas
16 4FW Sokol Cikalleshi (1990-07-27) 27 July 1990 (age 33) 60 13   Konyaspor
17 4FW Ernest Muçi (2001-03-19) 19 March 2001 (age 23) 9 2   Beşiktaş
19 4FW Arbnor Muçolli (1999-09-15) 15 September 1999 (age 24) 6 0   IFK Göteborg
22 4FW Armando Broja (2001-09-10) 10 September 2001 (age 22) 19 4   Fulham
26 4FW Arbër Hoxha (1998-10-06) 6 October 1998 (age 25) 2 0   Dinamo Zagreb

Recent call-ups edit

The following players have 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 Etrit Berisha (1989-03-10) 10 March 1989 (age 35) 80 0   Empoli v.   Chile, 22 March 2024INJ
GK Simon Simoni (2004-07-14) 14 July 2004 (age 19) 0 0   Eintracht Frankfurt v.   Moldova, 17 June 2023U21

DF Ardian Ismajli (1996-09-30) 30 September 1996 (age 27) 36 2   Empoli v.   Faroe Islands, 20 November 2023INJ
DF Arlind Ajeti (1993-09-25) 25 September 1993 (age 30) 24 1   CFR Cluj v.   Moldova, 17 November 2023INJ
DF Andi Hadroj (1999-02-22) 22 February 1999 (age 25) 3 0   Partizani v.   Moldova, 17 June 2023
DF Adrian Bajrami (2002-04-05) 5 April 2002 (age 22) 3 0   Benfica v.   Moldova, 17 June 2023U21

MF Klaus Gjasula (1989-12-14) 14 December 1989 (age 34) 27 0   Darmstadt 98 v.   Faroe Islands, 20 November 2023
MF Odise Roshi (1991-05-21) 21 May 1991 (age 32) 71 5   Sakaryaspor v.   Poland, 10 September 2023
MF Amir Abrashi (1990-03-27) 27 March 1990 (age 34) 50 1   Grasshoppers v.   Faroe Islands, 20 June 2023
MF Anis Mehmeti (2001-01-09) 9 January 2001 (age 23) 3 0   Bristol City v.   Faroe Islands, 20 June 2023

FW Myrto Uzuni (1995-05-31) 31 May 1995 (age 28) 35 5   Granada v.   Chile, 22 March 2024INJ
FW Mirlind Daku (1998-01-01) 1 January 1998 (age 26) 5 1   Rubin Kazan v.   Faroe Islands, 20 November 2023
FW Arbnor Muja (1998-11-29) 29 November 1998 (age 25) 5 0   Samsunspor v.   Faroe Islands, 20 November 2023
FW Marvin Çuni (2001-07-10) 10 July 2001 (age 22) 1 0   Frosinone v.   Bulgaria, 17 October 2023
FW Armando Sadiku (1991-05-27) 27 May 1991 (age 32) 39 12   Mohun Bagan v.   Faroe Islands, 20 June 2023

Notes
  • INJ = It is not part of the current squad due to injury.
  • PRE = Preliminary squad/standby.
  • U21, U19 = Was called up from national U21 or U19 squad.

Records edit

As of 20 November 2023.[82]
Players in bold are still active with Albania.

Most appearances edit

 
Panajot Pano, awarded "The Player of the Century" by UEFA and rated by the Albanian Football Federation as the most outstanding national player of the last 50 years
 
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 Elseid Hysaj 83 2 2013–present
3 Etrit Berisha 80 0 2012–present
4 Altin Lala 79 3 1998–2011
5 Klodian Duro 77 4 2001–2011
6 Erjon Bogdani 75 18 1996–2013
Ervin Skela 75 13 2000–2011
8 Ansi Agolli 73 3 2005–2017
Foto Strakosha 73 0 1990–2004
10 Odise Roshi 71 5 2011–present

Top goalscorers edit

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 Sokol Cikalleshi 13 60 0.22 2014–present
Ervin Skela 13 75 0.17 2000–2011
5 Armando Sadiku 12 39 0.31 2012–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
Igli Tare 10 68 0.15 1997–2007
10 Bekim Balaj 9 48 0.19 2012–2022

Competitive record edit

FIFA World Cup edit

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
Year Round Pos. Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pos. Pld W D L GF GA
  1930 Not a FIFA member Not a FIFA member
  1934 to   1962 Did not participate Did not participate
  1966 Did not qualify 4th 6 0 1 5 2 12
  1970 Entry not accepted[83] Entry not accepted
  1974 Did not qualify 4th 6 1 0 5 3 13
  1978 Did not participate Did not participate
  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 3rd 10 6 0 4 12 12
      2026 To be determined To be determined
      2030
  2034
Total 0/21 0 0 0 0 0 0 13/21 114 24 14 76 84 200

UEFA European Championship edit

UEFA European Championship record Qualifying record
Year Round Pos. Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pos. Pld W D L GF GA
  1960 Did not participate Did not participate
  1964 Did not qualify Round of 16 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 participate Did not participate
  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 6th 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 Qualified 1st 8 4 3 1 12 4
    2028 To be determined To be determined
    2032
Total Group stage 2/17 3 1 0 2 1 3 14/17 111 26 26 59 100 177

UEFA Nations League edit

UEFA Nations League record
League phase** Finals
Season LG Grp Pos. Pld W D L GF GA P/R RK Year Pos. Pld W D* L GF GA Squad
2018–19 C 1 3rd 4 1 0 3 1 8   34th   2019 Did not qualify
2020–21 C 4 1st 6 3 2 1 8 4   35th   2021
2022–23 B 2 3rd 4 0 2 2 4 6   27th   2023
2024–25 B 1 To be determined   2025
Total 14 4 4 6 13 18 27th Total
*Draws include knockout matches decided via penalty shoot-out.
**League stage played home and away. Flag shown represents host nation for the finals stage.

Summer Olympic Games edit

Olympic Games record Qualification record
Year Result Pos. Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pos. Pld W D L GF GA
  1908 to   1936 Team did not exist Team did not exist
  1948 to   1960 Did not participate Did not participate
  1964 Did not qualify PR 2 0 0 2 0 2
  1968 Did not participate Did not participate
  1972 Did not qualify PO 2 0 0 2 2 4
  1976 to   1988 Did not participate Did not participate
Since   1992 See Albania national under-23 team See Albania national under-23 team
Total 0/2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2/2 4 0 0 4 2 6

Other tournaments edit

Year Round Pos. Pld W D L GF GA Squad
Balkan Cup
  1946 Champions 1st 3 2 0 1 6 4 Squad
1947 Fifth place 5th 4 0 0 4 2 13
1948 Fifth place 5th 3 1 2 0 1 0
  Malta International Tournament
1998 Third place 3rd 3 0 2 1 3 6
2000 Champions 1st 3 3 0 0 5 0
Total Best: Champions 5/5 16 6 4 6 17 23

FIFA rankings edit

As of December 2022 Source:[84]

  Best Ranking    Worst Ranking    Best Mover    Worst Mover  

Albania's FIFA world rankings
Rank Year Pld Best Worst
Rank Move Rank Move
66 2022 11 65   1 69   1
66 2021 12 63   3 69   3
66 2020 7 66   3 69   3
66 2019 16 61   2 66   4
60 2018 9 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
86 1992 86 86

Honours edit

 
2007 Postage stamp of Albania, commemorating the 60th Anniversary of Victory at the Balkan Cup

Head-to-head record edit

As of 25 March 2024 after the match against Sweden.
Key
Positive balance (more Wins)
Neutral balance (Wins = Losses)
Negative balance (more Losses)
Opponent Pld W D L GF GA GD Win % Reference
  Algeria[A] 2 1 1 0 4 1 +3 50% H2H results
  Andorra 7 5 1 1 11 4 +7 71% H2H results
  Argentina 1 0 0 1 0 4 −4 0% H2H results
  Armenia 6 4 1 1 10 5 +5 66% H2H results
  Austria 7 0 0 7 2 19 −17 0% H2H results
  Azerbaijan 5 3 1 1 5 3 +2 60% H2H results
  Bahrain 1 0 0 1 0 3 −3 0% H2H results
  Belarus 7 3 2 2 10 10 0 42% H2H results
  Belgium 2 1 0 1 3 3 0 50% H2H results
  Bosnia and Herzegovina 5 1 2 2 4 5 −1 20% H2H results
  Bulgaria 14 3 4 7 10 17 −7 21% H2H results
  Cameroon 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0% H2H results
  China 2 0 1 1 3 4 −1 0% H2H results
  Chile 1 0 0 1 0 3 −3 0% H2H results
  Cuba 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0% H2H results
  Cyprus 6 2 2 2 12 7 +5 33% H2H results
  Czech Republic[B] 8 3 1 4 11 14 −5 33% H2H results
  Denmark 10 1 3 6 4 19 −15 10% H2H results
  East Germany 3 0 1 2 2 7 −5 0% H2H results
  England 6 0 0 6 1 19 −18 0% H2H results
  Estonia 4 1 3 0 3 1 +2 25% H2H results
  Faroe Islands 2 1 1 0 3 1 +2 50% H2H results
  Finland 7 2 1 4 6 8 −2 28% H2H results
  France 9 1 1 7 4 20 −16 11% H2H results
  Georgia 15 3 4 8 13 23 −10 20% H2H results
  Germany[C] 14 0 1 13 10 38 −28 0% H2H results
  Greece[D] 15 6 3 6 16 13 +3 50% H2H results
  Hungary 8 2 1 5 2 19 −17 25% H2H results
  Iceland 9 3 2 4 11 12 −1 33% H2H results
  Iran 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100% H2H results
  Israel 6 2 0 4 6 9 −3 33% H2H results
  Italy 4 0 0 4 1 7 −4 0% H2H results
  Jordan 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0% H2H results
  Kazakhstan 4 3 1 0 6 2 +4 75% H2H results
  Kosovo 7 5 1 1 13 9 +1 71% H2H results[61][87][88]
  Latvia 5 0 5 0 6 6 0 0% H2H results
  Liechtenstein 3 3 0 0 6 0 +6 100% H2H results
  Lithuania 6 2 1 3 7 7 0 33% H2H results
  Luxembourg 7 3 1 3 8 7 +1 42% H2H results
  North Macedonia 10 2 4 4 7 12 −5 20% H2H results
  Malta 8 5 2 1 14 3 +11 62% H2H results
  Mexico 1 0 0 1 0 4 −4 0% H2H results
  Moldova 8 6 2 0 17 3 +14 75% H2H results
  Montenegro 3 3 0 0 9 2 +7 100% H2H results
H2H results*
  Morocco 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0% H2H results
  Netherlands 4 0 0 4 1 7 −6 0% H2H results
  Northern Ireland 9 2 2 5 5 13 −8 22% H2H results
  Norway 5 1 2 2 5 6 −1 20% H2H results
  Poland 15 2 3 10 10 20 −10 7% H2H results
  Portugal 7 1 1 5 5 13 −8 14% H2H results
  Qatar 3 2 0 1 5 3 +2 66% H2H results
  Republic of Ireland 4 0 1 3 2 6 −4 0% H2H results
  Romania[E] 19 3 3 13 12 45 −33 15% H2H results
H2H results*
  Russia 2 1 0 1 4 5 −1 50% H2H results
  Scotland 2 0 0 2 0 6 −6 0% H2H results
  San Marino 4 4 0 0 13 0 +13 100% H2H results
  Saudi Arabia 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0% H2H results
  Serbia[F] 7 1 1 5 7 15 −8 14% H2H results
  Slovenia 7 1 2 4 2 6 −4 14% H2H results
  Spain 8 0 0 8 3 31 −28 0% H2H results
  Sweden 6 1 1 4 5 11 −6 20% H2H results
   Switzerland 7 0 1 6 4 12 −8 0% H2H results
  Turkey 12 4 2 6 14 13 +1 33% H2H results
  Ukraine 6 0 1 5 4 13 −9 0% H2H results
  Uzbekistan 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100% H2H results
  Vietnam 1 1 0 0 5 0 +5 100% H2H results
  Wales 4 1 2 1 2 3 −1 25% H2H results
67 nations 384 105 80 199 369 582 −213 27% All H2H results
Notes
  1. ^ Includes match against   Algeria Olympic.
  2. ^ Includes matches against   Czechoslovakia.
  3. ^ Includes matches against   West Germany.
  4. ^ Includes awarded matches at the Euro 1964 qualifying.[86]
  5. ^ Includes matches against   Romania Olympic at 1971 Mediterranean Games qualifying.
  6. ^ Includes matches against   Yugoslavia.

See also edit

Notes and references edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ The alternative name of the Albania national team that was used during this match.[59]
  2. ^ Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ukraine are required to play their home matches at neutral venues until further notice.[79]

References edit

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