Almen Abdi (born 21 October 1986) is a Swiss footballer who last played as an attacking midfielder for English club Sheffield Wednesday. He has previously played for Zürich, Le Mans, Udinese and Watford. He has also been capped by the Switzerland national team.
Abdi at Watford, April 2015
|Full name||Almen Abdi|
|Date of birth||21 October 1986|
|Place of birth||Prizren, SAP of Kosovo, Yugoslavia|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|2012–2013||→ Watford (loan)||38||(12)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 08:56, 6 May 2019 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17:36, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
Abdi started his football career at Zürich, where he came through the ranks of the FC Zürich youth academy. After one year at the club, Abdi made his professional debut at age seventeen in the 2003–04 season, coming on as a substitute for Arthur Petrosyan in the 89th minute, in a 2–1 loss against Basel. Throughout his first three seasons at Zürich, Abdi featured little, and mostly remained a bench player. However, the 2006–07 season was Abdi's breakthrough season, making more appearances than ever and establishing himself as a first team starter. During the 2006–07 season, Abdi would make his Champions League debut in the second qualification round against Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg, after coming on as a substitute. He scored his first league goal on 29 July 2006, in a 2–0 win over Schaffhausen.
Abdi was part of the 2005–06, 2006–07 and 2008–09 Swiss Championship winning Zürich squad. He was awarded an improved contract in June 2006 which would last until the summer of 2010. Having finished as the club's top goalscorer in the 2008–09 league campaign with 19 goals and adding an impressive 12 assists, Abdi was not only named the best midfielder in the Swiss Super League, but also presented with the season's Best Swiss Player Award. In the 2009–10 season, Abdi was dropped to the FC Zürich reserve team in November 2009, alongside teammate Andrés Vasquez, with FC Zürich stating they were planning for the future without the duo.
In January 2010, Abdi was transferred to Le Mans on a six-month contract with the option to extend it at a later date, should the club remain in Ligue 1. However, Le Mans failed to avoid relegation to Ligue 2 at the end of the campaign, with Abdi making a total of 13 appearances.
In April 2010, Abdi confirmed that he would be joining Udinese in the summer once he became a free agent. In Udine, he made 19 appearances during the 2010–11 season, most of them coming from the bench. The following campaign saw Abdi score his first goal for the Friulian club in the Europa League on 29 September 2011, converting the penalty to equalise against Celtic at Celtic Park. Shortly after, there was a rumour of Abdi making a return to Zürich. But Abdi denied any rumour of him being linked to Zürich, insisting he felt fine and settled at Udinese.
In July 2012, Abdi trained with Watford with a view to a possible loan. He featured in the Championship side's first three pre-season friendlies, and later joined the club on a season-long loan for the 2012–13. Abdi scored his first goal for Watford on his league debut against Crystal Palaceon 18 August 2012. In November 2012, Abdi soon injured his shoulder, dislocating it in the process. Following four weeks of regeneration, he returned to the bench and came on as a substitute during the 2–1 home loss against Hull City on 8 December 2012. Abdi made it three league goals in as many games with his effort against Birmingham City on 16 February 2013, taking his total goal tally to 9. Abdi had netted in the previous two games against Bolton Wanderers and Crystal Palace. Abdi then scored his 10th goal of the season with a sumptuous free kick in a 1–1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers on 1 March 2013. Towards the end of the season, Abdi reportedly stated his desire to remain at Watford on a permanent basis, having become the club's fan favorite. In early May 2013, he picked up the Hornets' Player of the Season award.
On 19 July 2013, Watford confirmed that Abdi had signed a three-year deal on a permanent basis. In August 2014, he developed a severe case of plantar fasciitis (a foot disease), which kept him out of action for several months. Abdi made his long-awaited comeback as a 75th-minute substitute in a 2–0 FA Cup third round replay victory over Bristol City on 14 January 2014. Abdi then made his league return four days later, as a first-half substitute against Bournemouth on 18 January 2014, coming on for the injured Iriney.
Making his first league start for seven months, Abdi scored for Watford in a 3–0 home win over Leeds United on 8 April 2014.
On 30 August 2014, Abdi scored his first ever brace for the club at Vicarage Road as Watford beat Huddersfield Town 4–2, with Abdi providing the goals to make it 2–1 and 4–2 respectively as well as registering an assist in the same game.
He was released by Sheffield Wednesday at the end of the 2018–19 season.
- As of match played15 May 2016
|Zürich||2003–04||Swiss Super League||12||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||12||0|
|2004–05||Swiss Super League||9||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||11||0|
|2005–06||Swiss Super League||10||0||1||1||0||0||2||0||13||1|
|2006–07||Swiss Super League||30||5||5||4||0||0||1||0||36||9|
|2007–08||Swiss Super League||31||7||2||1||0||0||2||0||35||7|
|2008–09||Swiss Super League||32||19||2||1||0||0||4||1||37||21|
|2009–10||Swiss Super League||8||0||2||1||0||0||4||1||15||2|
|Le Mans||2009–10||Ligue 1||13||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||14||0|
- "Player Details: Almen Abdi". The English National Football Archive. SoccerData. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- "Almen Abdi". 11v11.com. AFS Enterprises. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- "Almen Abdi". Mail Online. Associated Newspapers. Archived from the original on 30 June 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- "Almen Abdi" (in French). L'Équipe. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "Owls release six". Sheff Wed Official Site. 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
- "Almen Abdi footballer and hockey Reto von Arx honored at Biel" [Le footballeur Almen Abdi et le hockeyeur Reto von Arx honorés à Bienne] (in French). RFJ. 9 July 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- "2008/09 – Swiss Golden Player Award" (in German). Golden Player. Archived from the original on 3 May 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "Zürich drop midfield duo". UEFA. 10 November 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "FC Zurich Drop Almen Abdi & Andres Vasquez". Goal.com. 11 November 2009. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "Almen Abdi au MUC 72" (in French). Le Mans FC. 3 January 2010. Archived from the original on 7 January 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "Abdi to leave Zürich for Le Mans". UEFA. 9 December 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- D'Andrea, Rick (7 April 2010). "Former Zurich Midfielder Almen Abdi Ready To Sign For Udinese". Goal.com. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- McGuire, Annie (29 September 2011). "Celtic 1–1 Udinese". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "Almen Abdi Returns to FCZ back?" [Kehrt Almen Abdi zum FCZ zurück?] (in German). Blick. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "Udinese, Abdi: "Return to Zurich?'m Fine here"" [Udinese, Abdi: "Tornare allo Zurigo? Sto bene qui"] (in Italian). Tutto Mercato Web. 7 December 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- Smith, Frank (17 July 2012). "Loan trio expected to remain". Watford Observer. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
- "Official: Hornets delighted with a magnificent seven signings" Archived 2 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Watford Football Club. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
- "Crystal Palace 2–3 Watford". BBC. 18 August 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- "Watford's Almen Abdi suffers shoulder dislocation". BBC Sport. 14 November 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "Almen Abdi confident Watford can secure automatic promotion". Watford Observer. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "Almen Abdi named Watford's Player of the Season and Cristian Battocchio scores top goal". Watford Observer. 5 May 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
- "Watford sign Almen Abdi, Cristian Battocchio, Gabriele Angella, Diego Fabbrini, Javier Acuna, Marco Davide Faraoni, Marco Cassetti and Daniel Pudil". Watford Observer. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
- "Watford's head of medical says there is no time frame on Almen Abdi's return". Watford Observer. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Almen Abdi & Daniel Pudil: Sheffield Wednesday sign Watford pair". BBC Sport. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
- "Sheffield Wednesday: George Boyd & Gary Hooper among six players released". BBC Sport. 5 May 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
- "robbed Abdi!" [Abdi ausgeraubt!] (in German). Blick. 24 April 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "Almen Abdi: "Gokhan Inler helps me a lot in Udinese»" [Almen Abdi: "Gökhan Inler hilft mir viel in Udinese"] (in German). Blick. 28 August 2010. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- "Almen Abdi". Soccerbase. Retrieved 9 March 2016.