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Albania national under-21 football team

The Albania national under-21 football team is the national under-21 football team of Albania and is controlled by the Football Association of Albania. The team competes in the European Under-21 Football Championship, which is held every two years.

Albania U21
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Kuq e Zinjtë (The Red and Blacks)
Shqiponjat (The Eagles)
Shpresat e Shqipërisë (Albanian Hopes)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachAlban Bushi
CaptainKeidi Bare
Most capsAmarildo Belisha (16)
Top scorerOdise Roshi (7)
Home stadiumElbasan Arena
Loro Boriçi Stadium
FIFA codeALB
First colours
Second colours
Third colours
First international
 Yugoslavia 1–0 Albania 
(Thessaloniki, Greece; 25 June 1976)[1]
Biggest win
 Albania 7–1 Romania 
(Tirana, Albania; April 12, 1978)[2]
Biggest defeat
 Germany 8–0 Albania 
(Cologne, Germany; March 23, 2001)
UEFA U-21 Championship
Appearances1 (first in 1984)
Best resultQuarter-finals, 1984

Following the realignment of UEFA's youth competitions in 1976, the Albanian under-21 team was formed.

HistoryEdit

Balkan Youth ChampionshipEdit

Albania Under-21 participated in the Balkan Youth Championship as a succeder of Under-23 team, in the 1976–78 and 1981 competitions, winning both with finals against Romania and Bulgaria. Notably in 1978, the second leg of the final match against Romania was characterized by a large Albania's win 7–1, which is the largest win ever recorded by Albania U-21.[3]

1984 UEFA European Under-21 Football ChampionshipEdit

Albania Under-21s have managed to qualify only once in their history, and that came in the year of 1984 when they managed to qualify for the 1984 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, although they were competing for the first time in such tournament. They were drawn in a very tough group which included the West Germany, Turkey and Austria. The historic event was the first time any Albanian squad qualified for a Europe or World Championship, and is only the second time any Albanian squad qualified for the major championships. To this day the team that qualified for 1984 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship are still regarded as the most successful team in Albanian football history. Albania U21 managed to qualify without losing a single game and managing two very good draws against one of the biggest and best footballing nations, West Germany.

Albania played the quarter finals against Italy, against which it lost twice 0–1, and 0–1, in Albania and Italy respectively. Italy advanced to the semifinals of Euro '84 and lost them against England, eventual champions of the tournament.

1986–1994Edit

In the 1986 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania came last in group after Poland and Greece, and could not qualify. In the 1988 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania came again last in group after Spain, Romania and Austria. In the 1990 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania came last in group after Sweden, England and Poland. In the 1992 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship managed to precede Iceland as last in the group, but was preceded by Czechoslovakia, France and Spain. In the qualifiers of the 1994 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania preceded bottom team Republic of Ireland, but was preceded by Spain, Germany and Denmark.

1996–2002Edit

In the 1996 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification Albania did not participate. In the qualifiers of the 1998 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania left behind Armenia, but had to trail in the final rankings Germany, Ukraine, and Portugal. In the qualifiers of the 2000 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania trailed Greece, Norway, Georgia, Latvia, and Slovenia and closed at the bottom of the group. In the qualifiers of the 2002 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania came again last behind England, Greece, Germany, and Finland.

2004–2007Edit

In the qualifiers of the 2004 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania had the best result since Euro '84, when it had won the group, as it left two teams behind (Republic of Ireland and Georgia), but was preceded by Switzerland and Russia, and thus failed to qualify to the main tournament. In the qualifiers of the 2006 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania left behind itself Kazakhstan, but was preceded by Denmark, Ukraine, Greece, Turkey, and Georgia. In the qualifiers of the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, in a 3 teams group, Albania came last behind Spain and Slovakia and failed to qualify.

2009–2013Edit

In the qualifiers of the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania was fourth out of 6 teams in the final ranking, leaving behind the Faroe Islands and Azerbaijan, but trailing behind Italy, Croatia and Greece. In the qualifiers of the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania left again behind Azerbaijan but trailed Scotland, Belarus, and Austria in the final rankings. In the qualifiers of the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania came last trailing behind Russia, Portugal, Poland, and Moldova. However, as a consolation for the first time an Albanian footballer, Armando Sadiku was the top goalscorer of the group. Albania drew in Russia against the famous hosts during that tournament, a noticeable fact.

2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualificationEdit

Group stageEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification          
1   Spain 8 7 1 0 24 6 +18 22 Play-offs 1–1 1–0 3–2 4–0
2   Austria 8 5 1 2 15 12 +3 16 2–6 4–2 2–0 1–3
3   Hungary 8 3 0 5 12 13 −1 9 0–1 0–2 4–1 0–2
4   Bosnia and Herzegovina 8 2 0 6 10 22 −12 6 1–6 0–2 1–4 4–1
5   Albania 8 2 0 6 7 15 −8 6 0–2 0–1 1–2 0–1
Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers

2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualificationEdit

Group 4Edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification            
1   Portugal 10 8 2 0 34 5 +29 26 Final tournament 0–0 1–0 4–0 2–0 4–0
2   Israel 10 6 3 1 21 4 +17 21 0–3 4–0 4–0 3–0 4–0
3   Greece 10 4 1 5 13 14 −1 13 0–4 0–1 2–1 3–1 5–0
4   Albania 10 3 3 4 11 20 −9 12 1–6 1–1 0–0 2–1 2–0
5   Hungary 10 3 3 4 19 16 +3 12 3–3 0–0 2–1 2–2 4–0
6   Liechtenstein 10 0 0 10 1 40 −39 0 1–7 0–4 0–2 0–2 0–6
Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualificationEdit

Group 2Edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification            
1   Spain 10 9 0 1 31 10 +21 27 Final tournament 1–2 5–1 1–0 3–0 3–1
2   Northern Ireland 10 6 2 2 15 11 +4 20 3–5 1–0 0–0 1–0 4–2
3   Slovakia 10 6 0 4 17 18 −1 18 1–4 1–0 0–2 4–1 2–0
4   Iceland 10 3 2 5 16 19 −3 11 2–7 0–1 2–3 2–3 5–2
5   Albania 10 1 4 5 9 17 −8 7 0–1 1–1 2–3 0–0 0–0
6   Estonia 10 0 2 8 11 24 −13 2 0–1 1–2 1–2 2–3 2–2
Updated to match(es) played on unknown. Source: UEFA

Fixtures and resultsEdit

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

COACH:   Alban Bushi

The following players were called up for a friendly against France and a 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification match against Austria on 5 and 9 September 2019, respectively.[4][5]

Caps and goals as of 4 September 2019.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Gentian Selmani (1998-03-09) 9 March 1998 (age 21) 11 1   Menemenspor
1GK Mario Dajsinani (1998-12-23) 23 December 1998 (age 20) 4 0   Skënderbeu Korçë
1GK Andrea Hoxha (1999-09-28) 28 September 1999 (age 20) 1 0   FC 08 Villingen
1GK Romeo Harizaj (1998-09-26) 26 September 1998 (age 21) 0 0   Apolonia Fier

2DF Leonardo Maloku (1998-05-18) 18 May 1998 (age 21) 13 1   San Roque de Lepe
2DF Geraldo Bajrami (1999-09-24) 24 September 1999 (age 20) 2 0   Birmingham City
2DF Jon Mersinaj (1998-02-08) 8 February 1998 (age 21) 1 0   Lokomotiva
2DF Angelo Ndreka (2001-09-24) 24 September 2001 (age 18) 1 0   Lazio
2DF Elion Sota (1998-05-24) 24 May 1998 (age 21) 0 0   Apolonia Fier

3MF Emir Sahiti (1998-11-29) 29 November 1998 (age 20) 8 2   Hajduk Split
3MF Arbnor Mucolli (1999-09-15) 15 September 1999 (age 20) 6 0   Vejle Boldklub
3MF Omar Imeri (1999-12-13) 13 December 1999 (age 19) 4 2   Shkëndija
3MF Esat Mala (1998-10-19) 19 October 1998 (age 20) 4 0   Partizani Tirana
3MF Arbin Zejnullai (1999-02-15) 15 February 1999 (age 20) 2 0   Shkëndija
3MF Juljan Shehu (1999-09-06) 6 September 1999 (age 20) 2 0   Laçi
3MF Aristidi Kolaj (1999-04-09) 9 April 1999 (age 20) 1 0   Pro Patria
3MF Kleandro Lleshi (1999-10-09) 9 October 1999 (age 20) 1 0   Fuenlabrada
3MF Albion Ademi (1999-02-19) 19 February 1999 (age 20) 1 0   Inter Turku

4FW Giacomo Vrioni (1998-10-15) 15 October 1998 (age 21) 4 1   Cittadella
4FW Armando Broja (2001-09-10) 10 September 2001 (age 18) 2 3   Chelsea
4FW Emiliano Bullari (2001-04-06) 6 April 2001 (age 18) 1 1   Olympiacos
4FW Redon Xhixha (1998-07-14) 14 July 1998 (age 21) 1 0   Laçi

Recent call-upsEdit

Following players have been called up in the previous 12 months and are still eligible to represent Under 21 team.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up

DF Enea Mihaj (1998-07-05) 5 July 1998 (age 21) 1 0   Panetolikos v.   Iceland, 10 October 2017
DF Amer Duka (1999-01-21) 21 January 1999 (age 20) 0 0   Laçi v.   Iceland, 10 October 2017 PRE
DF Marlind Nuriu (1997-07-05) 5 July 1997 (age 22) 0 0   Dinamo Tirana v.   Iceland, 10 October 2017 PRE
DF Kristian Bushaj (1999-04-06) 6 April 1999 (age 20) 0 0   Panionios v.   Iceland, 4 September 2017

MF Lindon Selahi (1999-02-26) 26 February 1999 (age 20) 5 0   Twente v.   France, 5 September 2019 INJ
MF Sherif Kallaku (1998-03-01) 1 March 1998 (age 21) 1 0   Laçi v.   Iceland, 10 November 2017 PRE
MF Marlon Marishta (2000-06-11) 11 June 2000 (age 19) 0 0   Home Farm v.   Iceland, 10 November 2017 PRE
MF Jurgen Bardhi (1997-11-06) 6 November 1997 (age 21) 3 0   Partizani Tirana v.   Iceland, 10 October 2017 PRE
MF Elvir Maloku (1996-05-14) 14 May 1996 (age 23) 0 0   AEK Larnaca v.   Iceland, 4 September 2017

FW Fiorin Durmishaj (1996-11-14) 14 November 1996 (age 22) 5 1   Panionios v.   Iceland, 10 October 2017 INJ
FW Grent Halili (1998-05-24) 24 May 1998 (age 21) 0 0   Tirana v.   Iceland, 10 October 2017 PRE
Notes
  • INJ = Withdrew due to the injury.
  • KOS = Withdrew to play for Kosovo U21.

Coaching staffEdit

Current coaching staff:[6]

Position Name
Head Coach   Alban Bushi
Assistant Coach   Arjan Bellaj
Goalkeeping Coach   Alfred Osmani
Athletic Coach   Iris Selimi
Team Doctor   Erald Derveni
Physiotherapists   Gledi Rexha
Physiotherapists   Edison Koçi
Base materials   Roland Rarani

Competitive recordEdit

UEFA European Under-23 ChampionshipEdit

The event was classified as a U-23 tournament where at time were played three competitions, 1972, 1974 & 1976.

UEFA U-21 Championship RecordEdit

UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship record UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Qualification record
Year Round Pld W D * L GF GA Position Pld W D * L GF GA
1978 Did Not Participate
1980
1982
1984 Quarter-finals 2 0 0 2 0 2 Qualifying stage 1/4 6 4 2 0 9 3
1986 Did not qualify Qualifying Stage 3/3 4 1 0 3 3 7
1988 Qualifying Stage 4/4 6 0 2 4 4 10
1990 Qualifying Stage 4/4 6 0 1 5 1 8
1992 Qualifying Stage 4/5 7 1 2 4 3 13
  1994 Qualifying round 4/5 8 1 2 5 5 18
  1996 Did Not Participate
  1998 Did not qualify Qualifying round 4/5 8 1 1 6 6 19
  2000 Qualifying round 6/6 10 1 4 5 8 21
  2002 Qualifying round 5/5 8 1 1 6 3 19
  2004 Qualifying round 3/5 8 3 1 4 10 10
  2006 Qualifying round 6/7 12 2 3 7 9 27
  2007 Qualifying round 3/3 2 0 1 1 0 3
  2009 Qualifying round 4/6 10 3 3 4 10 13
  2011 Qualifying round 4/5 8 1 1 6 11 20
  2013 Qualifying round 5/5 8 1 2 5 11 18
  2015 Qualifying round 5/5 8 2 0 6 7 15
  2017 Qualifying round 4/6 10 3 3 4 11 20
    2019 Qualifying round 5/6 10 1 4 5 9 17
Total: 1/22 Best: Quarter-finals 2 0 0 2 0 2 Total 139 26 33 80 121 266

*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

*The 2019 Competition in Italic is currently playing

Balkan Youth Championship RecordEdit

Balkan Youth Championship record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA
1976–1978 Champions 1st 6 3 2 1 12 6
  1981 Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 6 2
Total 2 Titles 2/2 8 5 2 1 18 8
*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty shoot-out.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.

HonoursEdit

Balkan Youth Championship
  • Winners (2): 1978, 1981

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit