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Arbër Avni Zeneli (born 25 February 1995) is a professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for French club Reims and the Kosovo national team, he previously represented Sweden at youth international level.

Arbër Zeneli
Sweden national under-21 football team, Euro 2015 celebration, players 47 (Zeneli).JPG
Zeneli with Sweden U21 in July 2015
Personal information
Full name Arbër Avni Zeneli
Date of birth (1995-02-25) 25 February 1995 (age 24)
Place of birth Säter, Sweden
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Reims
Number 17
Youth career
0000–2007 Hälsinggårdens AIK
2007–2013 IF Elfsborg
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2014–2015 IF Elfsborg 46 (11)
2016–2019 Heerenveen 88 (17)
2019– Reims 5 (1)
National team
2010–2012 Sweden U17 7 (1)
2012–2014 Sweden U19 17 (5)
2014–2016 Sweden U21 11 (1)
2016– Kosovo 17 (7)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 2 March 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 25 March 2019

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Zeneli was born in Säter, Sweden from Albanian parents[1] from Selac, a village near Mitrovica,[2] but grew up in Falun, before moving to Borås with his family when he was 11 years old.[3][4] Zeneli has named his father Avni as his greatest role model in life.[5]

Club careerEdit

IF ElfsborgEdit

 
Zeneli with IF Elfsborg in July 2015.

Youth teamsEdit

Zeneli started playing football for Hälsinggården, but left as a 12-year old for IF Elfsborg's youth academy. On 29 October 2011, he scored a late winning goal in the final of Swedish Under-17 Championships against Brommapojkarna.[6] The following year he helped his team reach the final in the same competition and he scored another goal, although this time IF Elfsborg lost to Malmö.[7] On 5 November 2013, he won the Allsvenskan U21 with IF Elfsborg against Häcken after coming on as a substitute at 63rd minute in place of Arjan Mostafa.[8]

First teamEdit

"Zeneli is one of the greatest talent I have ever seen."

—Former Premier League player and teammate Anders Svensson shares his impression for Zeneli in May 2014.[9]

Having been promoted to the senior team in December 2013.[10] On 1 March 2014, he made his debut with IF Elfsborg in the group stage of 2013–14 Svenska Cupen against Östersunds after being named in the starting line-up[11] and he went on to play a total of three games in the competition which IF Elfsborg later won beating Helsingborg in the final.[12]

Zeneli made his first Allsvenskan appearance on 31 March after coming on as a substitute at 75th minute in place of injured Simon Hedlund in a 2–1 away defeat against Åtvidabergs.[13] He played 16 games during the 2014 season and finished the season by scoring his first senior goal that subsequently sealed the win for his team against Brommapojkarna and he dedicated the goal to his former coach Klas Ingesson who had died a couple of days earlier.[14]

HeerenveenEdit

On 10 November 2015, Zeneli joined Eredivisie side Heerenveen, on a three and a half year contract. Heerenveen reportedly paid a €2 million transfer fee.[15] On 16 January 2016, he made his debut in a 5–2 home win against PEC Zwolle after being named in the starting line-up.[16] On 23 January 2016, Zeneli scored his first goal for Heerenveen in a 3–1 win against Willem II in Matchday 19 of 2015–16 Eredivisie[17] and his performance earned him the man of the match award.[18]

ReimsEdit

On 25 January 2019, Heerenveen announced for the contract negotiations between Zeneli and Reims.[19] On 26 January 2019, he joined Ligue 1 side Reims, on a five-year contract.[20] Reims reportedly paid a €4 million transfer fee.[21] On 2 February 2019, he made his debut in a 2–1 home win against Marseille after coming on as a substitute at 73rd minute in place of injured Mathieu Cafaro.[22]

International careerEdit

SwedenEdit

From 2010, until 2016, Zeneli has been part of Sweden at youth international level, respectively has been part of the U17, U19 and U21 teams and he with these teams played 35 matches and scored 7 goals. On 2 June 2015, he was named as part of the Sweden U21's 23-man squad for the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Czech Republic,[23] where was declared the champion even though he was an unused bench in those matches.

KosovoEdit

On 24 August 2016, Zeneli decided to represent Kosovo at senior international level.[24] On 2 October 2016, he received a call-up from Kosovo for a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification matches against Croatia and Ukraine.[25] On 6 October 2016, Zeneli made his debut with Kosovo in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Croatia after being named in the starting line-up.[26][27]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

As of 2 February 2019[28]
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Continental[a] Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
IF Elfsborg 2014 Allsvenskan 16 1 4 1 1 0 21 2
2015 30 10 6 2 5 0 41 12
Total 46 11 10 3 6 0 62 14
Heerenveen 2015–16 Eredivisie 17 4 0 0 17 4
2016–17 32 6 4 1 2 0 38 7
2017–18 22 4 1 2 2 0 25 6
2018–19 17 3 3 1 20 4
Total 88 17 8 4 4 0 100 21
Reims 2018–19 Ligue 1 1 0 0 0 1 0
Total 1 0 0 0 1 0
Career total 135 28 18 7 10 0 163 35
  1. ^ All appearance(s) in UEFA Europa League

InternationalEdit

As of 7 June 2019[29]
National team Year Apps Goals
Kosovo 2016 3 0
2017 3 0
2018 9 6
2019 3 1
Total 18 7

International goalsEdit

As of 25 March 2019[29]
Scores and results list Kosovo's goal tally first.
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 29 May 2018 Letzigrund, Zürich, Switzerland   Albania 1–0 3–0 Friendly
2. 2–0
3. 10 September 2018 Fadil Vokrri Stadium, Pristina, Kosovo   Faroe Islands 1–0 2–0 2018–19 UEFA Nations League D
4. 20 November 2018   Azerbaijan 1–0 4–0
5. 2–0
6. 4–0
7. 25 March 2019   Bulgaria 1–1 1–1 UEFA Euro 2020 qualification

HonoursEdit

ClubEdit

IF Elfsborg

InternationalEdit

Sweden U21

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Europeiskt intresse för Elfsborgs Zeneli" [European interest in Elfsborg's Zeneli] (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. 15 June 2015. Arber Zeneli, född 25 februari 1995, är en svensk mittfältare med albanskt ursprung som spelar för IF Elfsborg i Allsvenskan
  2. ^ "Arbër Zeneli, djaloshi me origjinë nga Mitrovica që po bën krenarë të gjithë (FOTO)" [Arbër Zeneli, the boy with origin from Mitrovica that is making everyone proud (PHOTO)] (in Albanian). Kallxo. 21 November 2018. I lindur më 25 shkurt të vitit 1995, në qytetin Säter të Suedisë, Arbëri i ka prindërit nga Kosova, konkretisht nga Selaci i Mitrovicës
  3. ^ "Elfsborgs Arber Zeneli om Ingesson och barndomen i Falun" [Elfsborg's Arber Zeneli about Ingesson and childhood in Falun] (in Swedish). Dala-Demokraten. 8 April 2015.
  4. ^ "Zeneli – en bollkonstnär i skulpturstaden" [Zeneli – a ball artist in the sculpture town] (in Swedish). Borås Tidning. 17 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Supertalangen peppas av Anders Svensson" [The super talent is peppered by Anders Svensson] (in Swedish). Sveriges Television. 2 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Elfsborg mästare i pojk-SM" [Elfsborg, champions in boys-SM] (in Swedish). Swedish Football Association. 29 October 2011. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Målen: 1-0 (5) Viktor Nilsson, 1-1 (8) Isak Nyhlén, 2-1 (85) Arber Zeneli
  7. ^ "Malmö FF Svenska Mästare 2012" [Malmö FF, Swedish Master 2012] (in Swedish). Swedish Football Association. 28 October 2012. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Målen: 0-1 (27) Petar Petrovic, 0-2 (45) Petar Petrovic, 1-2 (48) Philip Olofsson, 2-2 (51) Arber Zeneli, 2-3 (59) Jesper Rindemo
  8. ^ "Elfsborgs U21-lag vann SM" [Elfsborg's U21 team won the SM] (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. 5 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Anders Svensson tokhyllar: "En av de största talangerna jag sett"" [Anders Svensson says: "One of the greatest talents I have seen"]. FotbollDirekt (in Swedish). 20 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Elfsborg slår rekord i "U-uppflyttning"" [Elfsborg beats the record in "U-move"] (in Swedish). Swedish Elite Football. 18 December 2013.
  11. ^ "IF Elfsborg 3–0 Östersunds FK" (in Swedish). Swedish Football Association. 1 March 2014. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Elfsborg cupmästare 2014" [Elfsborg, Cup Champion 2014] (in Swedish). Swedish Football Association. 18 May 2014. Archived from the original on 9 August 2016.
  13. ^ "Åtvidaberg vs. Elfsborg 2–1". Soccerway. 31 March 2014.
  14. ^ "Zeneli rörd efter sitt första Allsvenska mål" [Zeneli moved after her first Allsvenskan goal] (in Swedish). Borås Tidning. 1 November 2014.
  15. ^ "sc Heerenveen versterkt zich in winterstop met Arber Zeneli" [sc Heerenveen strengthens Arber Zeneli in winter break] (in Dutch). SC Heerenveen. 10 November 2015.
  16. ^ "Arbër Zeneli debuton me humbje te Heerenveeni" [Arbër Zeneli debuts with defeat at Heerenveen] (in Albanian). Telegrafi. 16 January 2016.
  17. ^ "Svensksuccé när Heerenveen vände och vann" [Swedish success when Heerenveen turned and won]. Fotbollskanalen (in Swedish). 23 January 2016.
  18. ^ SC Heerenveen [@scHeerenveen] (23 January 2016). "Man of the match is Arber Zeneli! #heewil" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  19. ^ "Arber Zeneli voor contractonderhandelingen naar Frankrijk" [Arber Zeneli for contract negotiations to France] (in Dutch). SC Heerenveen. 25 January 2019. Arber Zeneli zet zijn voetbalcarrière mogelijk voort in de Ligue 1. De 23-jarige aanvaller heeft toestemming gekregen om vrijdag af te reizen naar Frankrijk en te onderhandelen over een contract met Stade de Reims. Wanneer club en speler tot een akkoord komen, vertrekt Zeneli deze winter uit Friesland
  20. ^ "Arber Zeneli, un dynamiteur au SDR!" [Arber Zeneli, a blaster at the SDR!] (in French). Stade de Reims. 26 January 2019.
  21. ^ "Zyrtare: Zeneli i bashkohet Stade de Reims" [Official: Zeneli joins Stade de Reims] (in Albanian). Telegrafi. 26 January 2019. Besohet se klubit francez i ka kushtuar ky transferim rreth katër milionë euro, kurse lojtari ka nënshkruar kontratë pesë vjeçare
  22. ^ "Zeneli debuton për klubin e tij të ri, ja nota me të cilën u vlerësua paraqitja e tij" [Zeneli debuts for his new club, the rating with which his appearance was evaluated] (in Albanian). Gazeta Express. 2 February 2019. Ylli i Kosovës, Arbër Zeneli, debutoi sonte për klubin e tij të ri, Stade de Reims, ku për 17 minutat që i luajti, u vlerësua me notë 5.9. Zeneli e filloi ndeshjen në stol, mirëpo në minutën e 73-të, trajneri David Guion vendosi ta inkuadrojë kosovarin në ndeshje
  23. ^ "Zeneli med i Ericsons EM-trupp" [Zeneli joins Ericson's EM squad] (in Swedish). Swedish Football Association. 2 June 2015. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
  24. ^ "Zeneli väljer Kosovo - här är U21-truppen" [Zeneli chooses Kosovo - here is the U21 squad]. Fotbollskanalen (in Swedish). 24 August 2016.
  25. ^ "Përzgjedhësi Bunjaki shpalli listën për ndeshjet me Kroacinë e Ukrainën" [Bunjaki announces the list of players for the matches with Croatia and Ukraine] (in Albanian). Football Federation of Kosovo. 2 October 2016.
  26. ^ "Formacionet zyrtare: Kosovë – Kroaci" [Official line-ups: Kosovo – Croatia] (in Albanian). Klan Kosova. 6 October 2016. Kosova: Ujkani; Paqarada, Pepa, Pnishi, Përdedaj; V. Berisha, Kryeziu; B. Berisha, Zeneli, Rashica; Celina
  27. ^ "Formacionet zyrtare, Kosovë – Kroaci" [Official line-ups, Kosovo – Croatia] (in Albanian). Telegrafi. 6 October 2016. Kosova: Ujkani; Paqarada, Pepa, Pnishi, Përdedaj; V. Berisha, Kryeziu; B. Berisha, Zeneli, Rashica; Celina
  28. ^ Arbër Zeneli at Soccerway. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  29. ^ a b "Arbër Zeneli". eu-football.info. Retrieved 20 November 2018.

External linksEdit