|Full name||Blerim Džemaili|
|Date of birth||12 April 1986|
|Place of birth||
Tetovo, SR Macedonia,|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|2008–2009||→ Torino (loan)||23||(0)|
|2009–2010||→ Parma (loan)||19||(1)|
|2015–2016||→ Genoa (loan)||27||(3)|
|2017||→ Montreal Impact (loan)||22||(7)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11:05, 18 January 2019 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16:04, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Childhood and early careerEdit
Džemaili was born to Fekredin and Shemije Džemaili,[non-primary source needed] an Albanian family from Bogovinje, in SFR Yugoslavia (now North Macedonia). At age four, he and his family migrated to Zürich, Switzerland. At age nine, he joined youth club Oerlikon Zürich for one year before moving to FC Unterstrass. At age 14, Blerim moved to third league team YF Juventus as a youth player before moving to FC Zürich in 2001. While with Zürich, Džemaili rose through the ranks and made the senior team at age 17.
Džemaili began his senior career with Zürich. In his first season, he made 30 appearances for the club, scoring twice and creating three assists. Džemaili played either as a central or defensive midfielder. In the 2004–05 season, he helped the club win the Swiss Cup. Džemaili imposed a strong influence on the field as he possessed accurate passing capabilities as well as a fast and aggressive approach to the game. This led Džemaili to taking the role of captain during the 2005–06. Džemaili was 19 when he was chosen captain and is one of the youngest captains in Swiss football history. Džemaili led his team to glory as Zürich won the Swiss Super League in the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons.
Former Bolton manager Sam Allardyce was quoted as saying, "Blerim is a fantastic player, who has played for the best team in Switzerland for the past three years. For someone so young, he has a wealth of experience. At the age of 20, he is the skipper of FC Zürich and is expected to become a regular international for Switzerland in the years ahead. He has hardly missed a game for FC Zurich since he started playing for them at the age of 17. I am excited by the prospect of working with Blerim next season." Džemaili, however, sustained a rupturing cruciate knee ligaments and was out for six months. He made his debut as a substitute in the club's FA Cup defeat to Sheffield United in what proved to be his only showing of the 2007–08 campaign. He later insisted that he would not change anything about his time at Bolton following his season-long loan move to Torino.
Džemaili joined Torino on a season-long loan deal, with an option to purchase outright, on 1 September 2008, making his debut with Torino on 24 September 2008, and became a staple fixture in their side for the season. In April 2009, Torino signed him outright from Bolton for €2 million. Torino announced that deal after their relegation to Serie B in June.
After having played just once for Torino at Coppa Italia, Džemaili completed a loan move to Parma on 31 August 2009, with an option to sign the 50% registration rights of the player at the end of season. In exchange, Daniele Vantaggiato moved to Turin on loan. first and second halves of Džemaili's registration rights were then bought by Parma in the summers of 2010 and 2011 for a total fee of €7 million.
On 25 June 2011, Džemaili was signed by Napoli for €9 million with Fabiano Santacroce (loan) and Manuele Blasi (free) going the other way to Parma. Džemaili has been a consistent performer so far for Napoli. Džemaili has been well received by the fans as he has scored twice and assisted once in eleven appearances in the Serie A. His first was a right-footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner following a corner in a match against Lecce and his second was struck late to earn an equaliser as Napoli earned a point at Novara. Džemaili has also appeared six times in the UEFA Champions League group stages and helped Napoli into the final 16. At the end of his first season with Napoli, Dzemaili has made 28 appearances in the Serie A, scoring three times and providing four assists. On 25 March 2012, he scored a notable long distance goal against Catania.
On 30 March 2013, he scored a hat-trick described by Goal.com as "spectacular", in a 5–3 win away at Torino. He netted the second goal in a 2–0 win against Genoa just a week later, making it four goals in two games. He also scored Napoli's third goal in a 3–0 win against Pescara on 27 April.
On 1 September 2014, Džemaili signed a three-year contract with Turkish Süper Lig team Galatasaray for a €2.35 million transfer fee. He signed a three-year contract, worth €2.4 million, €2.1 million and €2.1 million respectively.
On 30 August 2015, Džemaili returned to Serie A to join Genoa on loan from Galatasaray. Galatasaray also bore €1.3 million of Džemaili's €2.1 million salary. On 27 September, Džemaili scored his first goal for the club with a direct free-kick that took a deflection off Giacomo Bonaventura. This was the lone goal in a 1–0 win over Milan. On 18 October, Džemaili received his first red card for the club, after getting two yellows (47th and 55th minute) in a 3–2 win over Chievo.
On 17 August 2016, Džemaili returned to Italy again for Bologna, who paid Galatasaray a €1.3 million transfer fee. He was booked in matchday 33 on 22 April, missing the match on 30 April with the club mathematically avoiding the relegation by having 13 more points than Crotone with four matches remaining. Džemaili would join his new club Montreal Impact before the end of the Serie A season (and after Bologna secured the place of next season), making their 3–2 loss against Atalanta his last match.
Montreal Impact (loan)Edit
On 9 December 2016 Montreal Impact president and Bologna chairman Joey Saputo announced that Džemaili would join the Major League Soccer (MLS) team on loan in the spring of 2017 as a Designated Player. On 9 May 2017, the loan was officially announced. On 19 January 2018, the Impact terminated the loan and Džemaili returned to Bologna. He had seven goals and 10 assists in 22 games for Montreal.
On 2 June 2014, Džemaili was named in Switzerland's 2014 World Cup squad by national coach Ottmar Hitzfeld. In the team's second match, against France, Džemaili came on at half-time for Valon Behrami and on the 81st minute, Džemaili fired a long-range, low free-kick which went through the three-man wall and beat France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. He scored the first direct free-kick of the tournament in a 5–2 loss to France.
Džemaili scored his third international goal against San Marino on 10 October 2014 in UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying, heading-in Ricardo Rodríguez's corner to give the Swiss a 3–0 lead in an eventual 4–0 victory.
Style of playEdit
During his time in Serie A, Džemaili differed from most other players in the attacking midfield position due to his box-to-box approach to the role and hard-running style. Indeed, although he is effective as a ball-winner in front of the back-line who breaks down opposing plays, he is also capable of contributing to his team's offensive plays with goals and assists in a more advanced role, courtesy of his vision and eye for goal from midfield. He is also good at timing his runs, finding space, and getting into the box unmarked by making late attacking runs into the area from behind, and is a powerful and accurate striker of the ball from both inside and outside the area; he is also an effective penalty taker. Otherwise, Džemaili is tidy in possession and also has great passing range, usually completing around 90% of passes per game; moreover, he is known for his ability to switch the play with long balls. A versatile, consistent, tenacious, and tactically intelligent right-footed player, he is capable of playing in several midfield roles, and can adapt to various systems; aside from his usual offensive and holding midfield roles, he has also been used as a central midfielder in either a two or three-man midfield, as a deep-lying playmaker, or even as a winger. In addition to his playing ability, he is also highly regarded for his leadership.
On Italian reality TV show Le Capitaine featuring WAGs of some of Italy's top players, Erjona was quizzed about her sex life before games. She stated: "Sex before matches? Footballers are not great lovers. They prefer to do it themselves." Blerim and Erjona later got divorced.
|Montreal Impact (loan)||2017||22||7||0||0||0||0||3||1||25||8|
- As of 3 July 2018
- As of 27 June 2018
Switzerland score listed first, score column indicates score after each Džemaili goal.
|1||6 September 2013||Stade de Suisse, Bern, Switzerland||27||Iceland||4–1||4–4||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|2||20 June 2014||Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, Brazil||35||France||1–5||2–5||2014 FIFA World Cup|
|3||14 October 2014||San Marino Stadium, Serravalle, San Marino||39||San Marino||3–0||4–0||UEFA Euro 2016 qualification|
|4||10 June 2015||Stockhorn Arena, Thun, Switzerland||41||Liechtenstein||1–0||3–0||Friendly|
|6||28 May 2016||Stade de Genève, Geneva, Switzerland||47||Belgium||1–0||1–2|
|7||3 September 2017||Skonto Stadium, Riga, Latvia||58||Latvia||2–0||3–0||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|8||23 March 2018||Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece||62||Greece||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
|9||27 March 2018||Swissporarena, Lucerne, Switzerland||63||Panama||1–0||6–0|
|10||27 June 2018||Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia||68||Costa Rica||1–0||2–2||2018 FIFA World Cup|
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