Klubi i Futbollit Laçi is an Albanian professional football club based in Laç that competes in the Kategoria Superiore, the top flight of Albanian football. Founded in 1960 as Industriali Laç, it became KS Laçi in 1991 and KF Laçi in 1997. The club's home ground is the Laçi Stadium which has a seated capacity of 2,300

KF Laçi
Full nameKlubi i Futbollit Laçi
Founded1960; 64 years ago (1960)
GroundLaçi Stadium
OwnersPashk Laska (75%)
Municipality of Laç (25%)
PresidentPashk Laska
CoachMirel Josa
LeagueKategoria Superiore
2022–23Kategoria Superiore, 5th of 10

Under the ownership of local businessman and club president Pashk Laska Laçi has established itself as a top-half Kategoria Superiore side since being promoted back to the division in 2009, with their highest-ever finish coming in the 2013–14 Kategoria Superiore season where they finished third. The club have also won the Albanian Cup on two occasions during this period, in 2013 and 2015, they have qualified for the Europa League seven times, reaching the second qualifying round on three occasions, and they have qualified for the Europa Conference League one times, reaching the third qualifying round in 2021.

History edit

Early years edit

The club was founded in 1960 under the name Industriali Laç, and they competed in the Albanian Second Division, the third tier, for the majority of their early years. They reached the championship final of the 1974–75 Second Division, but lost to Vetëtima Himarë and were subsequently not promoted to the First Division. The name was changed to KS Laçi in 1991 when the club first participated in the Kategoria Superiore, the name was changed for the last time to KF Laçi in 1997. The first trophy won by the club was the 2008–09 Albanian First Division.

Altin Cuko is the only Laçi player to have won the Kategoria Superiore Golden Boot whilst still playing for the club.[1] This was achieved in the 1995–96 season where KF Laçi finished in 12th place, out of 18. Cuko had already scored 5 goals for Tomori Berat before moving to KF Laçi in January 1996, where he netted another 16 times to give him the Golden boot with a total of 21 goals throughout the entire season with both Tomori and Laçi.[2]

Kategoria Superiore era edit

The club played their first season at the top tier, the Kategoria Superiore, in the 2004-05 season. They relegated back to the First Division after just one season, setting many records along the way. They returned to the Kategoria Superiore in 2009 and brought in new players such as Erjon Vucaj, Arlind Nora, Julian Brahja, Emiliano Çela, Emiliano Veliaj and Ervin Llani. They narrowly lost their first game of the campaign to Skënderbeu Korçë 4–3[3] and they only won one of their first seven games, which was win against Apolonia Fier. After spending the early stages of the season in the relegation zone, the club hit form and finished in fourth place head of more established clubs such as Flamurtari Vlorë and Vllaznia Shkodër, which also meant they qualified for Europe for the first time in the club's history.

Ahead of the 2010–11 season the club brought in new players in order to build upon their fourth-place finish the previous season as well attempt to go through to the next round of the UEFA Europa League. They were drawn against Belarusian side Dnepr Mogilev in the first qualifying round of the 2010–11 Europa League, and they played their first ever European game on 1 July 2010 at the Niko Dovana Stadium due to the Laçi Stadium not meeting the UEFA criteria to host European games. Bledar Marashi opened the scoring just before half time, scoring the club's first ever goal in a European competition, but his goal was cancelled out in added time as the game ended in a 1–1 draw.[4] However, the second leg proved to be a failure as the club was sent crashing out of the competition following a 7–1 loss, with Valdan Nimani scoring the only goal for the club.[5] Following their exit from Europe, the club brought in players such as Elton Doku, Vangjel Mile and Stipe Buljan ahead of the Kategoria Superiore campaign in order to build upon their fourth-place finish the previous season.

The club defeated FK Kukësi 2–1 in the 2015 Albanian Cup Final to win the Albanian Cup for a second time, meaning they qualified for the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League.[6]

KF Laçi statistics in Kategoria Superiore edit

Since the Kategoria Superiore began in 1930, KF Laçi have played 675 Superliga matches, scored 733 goals and conceded 839. The club has collected so far 848 points, won 251 games, drawn 153 and lost 271. The club's goal difference is -106 and the winning difference is -106.

Historical Goals Wins Draws Losses +/-Goals +/- Wins Points Matches
TOTAL 733–839 251 153 271 -106 -20 675 844

Recent seasons edit

Season Division Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA P Cup Supercup Europe Top Scorer
2009–10 Kategoria Superiore 4th 33 14 9 10 35 28 51 SR   Arlind Nora 10
2010–11 Kategoria Superiore 4th 33 14 5 14 44 44 47 QF UEL 1Q   Vilfor Hysa 13
2011–12 Kategoria Superiore 8th 26 11 7 8 26 28 34 SR   Vilfor Hysa 10
2012–13 Kategoria Superiore 7th 26 11 5 10 32 31 38 W   Erjon Vuçaj 8
2013–14 Kategoria Superiore 3rd 33 16 6 11 41 28 54 QF RU UEL 1Q   Erjon Vuçaj 8
2014–15 Kategoria Superiore 5th 36 20 9 6 46 19 69 W UEL 2Q   Segun Adeniyi 10
2015–16 Kategoria Superiore 7th 36 8 12 16 30 48 36 RU W UEL 1Q   Valdan Nimani 10
2016–17 Kategoria Superiore 6th 36 10 10 16 23 35 40 QF   Emmanuel Mensah 5
2017–18 Kategoria Superiore 4th 36 16 8 12 45 39 56 RU   Reginaldo 18
2018–19 Kategoria Superiore 6th 36 12 13 11 33 30 49 QF UEL 2Q   Ndriçim Shtubina 10
2019–20 Kategoria Superiore 3rd 36 19 7 10 61 34 69 SR UEL 1Q   Kyrian Nwabueze 23
2020–21 Kategoria Superiore 4th 36 16 13 7 41 26 61 SF UEL 2Q   Kyrian Nwabueze 7
  Mentor Mazrekaj 7
2021–22 Kategoria Superiore 2nd 36 18 9 9 52 33 63 RU UCO 3Q   Saliou Guindo 19
2022–23 Kategoria Superiore 5th 36 14 6 16 45 46 48 QF UCO 2Q   Saliou Guindo 11
2023–24 Kategoria Superiore

Management edit

The club appointed current manager Stavri Nica on 7 July 2006, ahead of the 2006–07 season in the Albanian First Division. The owner of the club Pashk Laska revealed the new manager at the club's Stadiumi Laçi in front of a considerable number of fans.[7] Nica has guided the club to promotion to the top tier of Albanian football and won the Albanian First Division title in the 2008–09 season. Laçi made their best finish in the Kategoria Superiore in the 2009–10 season; where they finished 4th and qualified for the UEFA Europa League.

Stadium edit

The club plays its home games at the purpose built Laçi Stadium located in the centre of Laç, which has an official seated capacity of 2,300, but attendances have reached 4,000 in recent years. The stadium was renovated following the club's promotion to the Kategoria Superiore and further work was carried out when in the summer of 2010 as they qualified for Europe for the first time in their history. Laçi had hoped that they would be able to host their home Europa League at their own stadium, but they were not able to complete the reconstruction in time, meaning their first home European tie against Dnepr Mogilev of Belarus was held at the Niko Dovana Stadium in Durrës. During the reconstruction, the three stands surrounding the playing field were renovated and around 2,300 blue plastic seats were installed to turn the stadium into an all seater. The newly renovated stadium was inaugurated in a home league game against Shkumbini Peqin on 30 August 2010 in front of 1,500 spectators, where Laçi won 2–0.[8][9] During the summer of 2015 the stadium's turf was replaced for the first time since 2006, and minor cosmetic renovation was carried out throughout the rest of the stadium.[10]

European competitions record edit

Laçi first qualified for European play after a very good 2009–10 domestic campaign in which they finished 4th to earn a place in the Europa League. The club's first ever European game was played on 1 July 2010 at the Stadiumi Niko Dovana in Durrës. They played Dnepr Mogilev of Belarus in the Europa League 1st qualifying round and their first ever match finished 1–1. Although Laçi had the lesser of the chances and only had 2 goal attempts in the match, they still led for much of the second half through a goal by youngster Bledar Marashi in injury time in the first half. However Dnepro equalised in the 92nd minute through Dmitri Turlin which ruined a dream European debut for Laçi.[11]

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
2010–11 UEFA Europa League 1Q   Dnepr Mogilev 1–1 1–7 2–8  
2013–14 UEFA Europa League 1Q   Differdange 03 0–1 1–2 1–3  
2014–15 UEFA Europa League 1Q   Rudar Velenje 1–1 1–1 2–2 (p 3:2)  
2Q   Zorya Luhansk 0–3 1–2 1–5  
2015–16 UEFA Europa League 1Q   Inter Baku 1–1 0–0 1–1 (a)  
2018–19 UEFA Europa League 1Q   Anorthosis Famagusta 1−0 1−2 2−2 (a)  
2Q   Molde 0−2 0−3 0−5  
2019–20 UEFA Europa League 1Q   Hapoel Be'er Sheva 1–1 0−1 1−2  
2020–21 UEFA Europa League 1Q   Keşla 0–0 (p 5:4)  
2Q   Hapoel Be'er Sheva 1−2  
2021–22 UEFA Europa Conference League 1Q   Podgorica 3−0 (a.e.t.) 0−1 3–1  
2Q   Universitatea Craiova 1−0 0–0 1−0  
3Q   Anderlecht 0−3 1−2 1−5  
2022–23 UEFA Europa Conference League 1Q   Iskra 0–0 1−0 1–0  
2Q   Petrocub Hîncești 1−4 0–0 1−4  
  • 1Q: First qualifying round
  • 2Q: Second qualifying round
  • 3Q: Third qualifying round

Honours edit

Records edit

  • Biggest ever home league victory: KF Laçi 7–0 Albpetrol Patos – Sept 27, 1997
  • Biggest ever home league defeat: KF Laçi 1–7 Vllaznia Shkodër – Dec 18, 2004
  • Biggest ever away league victory: Shkumbini Peqin 2–5 KF Laçi – March 11, 2011
  • Biggest ever away league defeat: KF Skënderbeu Korçë 6–1 KF Laçi – March 4, 2016
  • Biggest ever European away defeat:   Dnepr Mogilev 7–1 KF Laçi – July 8, 2010

Albanian records from September 1997

Players edit

Current squad edit

As of 1 February 2024

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   ALB Ortelio Biba
3 DF   ALB Khalil Thaleb
4 DF   BRA Paulo Junior
5 DF   ALB Arlind Kurti
6 MF   ALB Orgi Cena
8 MF   ALB Klinti Qato
9 FW   ENG Ronald Sobowale
11 FW   ALB Eldis Kraja
15 DF   ALB Frenc Valteri
16 MF   ALB Stiven Bibo
17 MF   KOS Altin Kryeziu
20 MF   ALB Isi Manellari
No. Pos. Nation Player
24 DF   ALB Indrit Prodani
25 MF   ALB Ledjo Tresa
26 MF   BRA William Cordeiro
27 MF   ALB Mario Barjamaj
33 MF   KOS Toni Salihu
36 MF   ALB Serxho Ujka (captain)
40 MF   ALB Olsi Myrta
43 DF   ALB Agan Mjaki
44 MF   ALB Ajdi Dajko
77 DF   BRA Christian
80 MF   ALB Ersi Syla
98 GK   ALB Mario Dajsinani

Records edit

Below is the list with top ten players with most appearances in all competitions for KF Laçi.

Most appearances
    Player Apps
1   Stipe Buljan 182
2   Regi Lushkja 181
3   Taulant Sefgjinaj 180
4   Erjon Vuçaj 161
5   Valdan Nimani 153
6   Alfred Zefi 141
7   Saimir Kastrati 139
8   Emiljano Veliaj 114
9   Elton Doku 110
10   Emiliano Çela 108

Historical list of coaches edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Kepucet Arta" (in Albanian). Albania-Sport. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2010.
  2. ^ Giovanni Armillotta (15 July 2009). "Albanian Football Season 1995–1996". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 27 September 2018. Retrieved 2 June 2010.
  3. ^ "Skënderbeu 4–3 Laçi". Archived from the original on 13 November 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  4. ^ "Laç 1–1 Dnepr". Archived from the original on 5 August 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Dnepr 7–1 Laçi". Archived from the original on 12 April 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Kukësi 1–2 Laçi". Archived from the original on 9 November 2022. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  7. ^ "Stavri Nica, pankina e re e Laçit" (in Albanian). Albania-Sport. 7 July 2006. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2010.
  8. ^ "Laçi 2–0 Shkumbini". Archived from the original on 19 March 2023. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  9. ^ Mario Nikolla (20 May 2010). "Stadiumi Lacit pajiset me stola plastik" (in Albanian). Albania Soccer. Archived from the original on 8 April 2018. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  10. ^ Stadiumi i Lacit, së shpejti me tapet të ri Archived 10 May 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Laci 1–1 Dnepro Match statistics". UEFA. 1 July 2010. Archived from the original on 4 July 2010. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
  12. ^ Mërgjyshi largohet nga Laçi, e zëvendëson Memelli Archived 18 August 2019 at the Wayback Machine - Top Channel (in Albanian)
  13. ^ Lëvizja e radhës në stolin e Laçit, kthehet Besnik Prenga Archived 18 August 2019 at the Wayback Machine - Gazeta Si (in Albanian)
  14. ^ Ndryshime te Laçi, ikën Prenga dhe vjen Starova Archived 18 August 2019 at the Wayback Machine - Gazeta Si (in Albanian)

External links edit