KF Vllaznia Shkodër
Klubi I Futbollit Vllaznia Shkodër, commonly known as Vllaznia is an Albanian football club based in the city of Shkodër. It is the association football branch of the Vllaznia Sports Club, which was founded on 16 February 1919. It is also the oldest club in Albania which means it is the first club created in Albania. The club have competed in every edition of Kategoria Superiore since 1930, which is the top tier of football in Albania, besides in the 1956-57, 1961-62 and 2018-19 football seasons.
|Full name||Klubi i Futbollit Vllaznia|
|Nickname(s)||Kuq e Blutë (Red & Blues)|
Djepi i Futbollit Shqiptar (Cradle of Albanian football)
|Founded||16 February 1919|
as Shoqëria Sportive Vllaznia (Vllaznia Sports Society)
|Ground||Loro Boriçi Stadium,|
|2019–20||Kategoria Superiore, 8th|
Vllaznia is one of the most successful football clubs in Albania, having won nine Kategoria Superiore titles, six Albanian Cups and two Albanian Supercups. They have only been relegated from the Kategoria Superiore three times in 1956 due to a disqualification, in 1961, and for the last time in decades in 2018.
The club's ground has been the Loro Boriçi Stadium since it was built in 1952, which is named after former Vllaznia and Albania national team captain. In 2016, the stadium was rebuilt into modern all-seater at the cost of €17 million, and it now has a capacity of 16,022, making it the largest stadium in Albania and the current home of the national team.
Football was introduced to the city of Shkodër in 1908, when a Maltese priest, Father Gut Ruter, brought a football into the city, which is considered to be the first time football was played in the country. The first football club formed in Albania was Indipendenca Shkodër, which began operating in 1912 under the guidance of founder Palokë Nika, who was also the captain of the team. The first football game organised in city took place in October 1913 between Indipendenca Shkodër and the occupying Austro-Hungarian Imperial Navy. It was the first time a football team composed of Albanians had played foreigners, making it the first international game to ever take place involving an Albanian team, as well as being the first 90-minute football game to be played with two 45 minute halves in the country. Indipendenca Shkodër lost the game 2–1, with the captain Palokë Nika scoring the only goal for the home side.
Following the rise in popularity of football in the city, this prompted Palokë Nika along with other sportspeople in the city to form a club that would cater for many sports including football and on 16 February 1919 the Vllaznia Sports Society was formed. They played games against other Albanian teams, notably playing KF Tirana in their first ever game in October 1920. The club also played international games, the first of which was against the occupying Italian troops on 23 May, who beat Vllaznia 1–0. Later in the year for Albanian Independence Day on 28 November Vllaznia organised another football game against an Italian selection again, this time losing 5–1. The club's first game outside of Albania was played on 31 August 1922 in Montenegro against FK Lovćen Cetinje, a match which they lost 4–0. The club would continue to play domestic friendly games until the creation of the Albanian Football Association in 1930 and the start of the Kategoria e Parë in the same year.
Championships of World War IIEdit
During the peak of World War II, between the years 1939 and 1942, Albanian Football Association organized three championships, in 1939, 1940 and 1942. According to all information gathered in years from Albanian and foreign historians, players and veterans who lived these events, clear evidence proves the existence of these championships at that time, as well as the existence of three trophies given from Albanian Football Association officials themselves. One must not forget that 1942 Albanian Superliga had a nationwide participation – the first and the only one so far involving teams from both countries as Albania and Kosovo. KS Vllaznia won one such championship whilst KF Tirana won the other two championships in 1939 & 1942. This would update the championship trophies won by these clubs to respectively 10 and 26 at the present time.
After years of silence, Albanian Football Association have appointed a dedicated commission with 5 members, which is involved in gathering enough evidence in this regard. And finally, after a significant amount of evidence has been produced, it has been given an official date, when Albanian Football Association intend to officially recognize these 3 championships in their next General Assembly, to be held in February 2013.
In 1958 the club was renamed "KS Vllaznia". In the European Cup for Champions 1978/79 they beat Austrian team Austria Wien (who went on to the semifinals) 2–0 at home but lost 3–4 on aggregate. In the Cup Winners Cup of 1987/88 they reached the Round of 16 after beating Sliema Wanderes from Malta in both games (aggregate 6–0). In the 2001/2002 UEFA Champions league qualifying they beat KR Reykjavik from Iceland 2–1 in Reykjavik and 1–0 in Tirana with two goals from Klodian Duro. In next round KF Vllaznia were eliminated by the Turkish club Galatasaray 2–0 in Istanbul and 1–4 in Tirana. German Uli Schulze, a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup winner with 1. FC Magdeburg in 1974, was appointed as new coach in summer 2006. He was later replaced by Mirel Josa who is currently at his third spell coaching the team.
In the 2000s. Vllaznia went through changes, in 2003 the President of Vllaznia, Myftar Cela was shot in Montenegro. The President was loved by every Vllaznia fan, because of his generosity and he loved the team. After Cela died, a group of businessmen gathered to help the team.
In 2006. Albanian businessman, Valter Fushaj, became Vllaznia President. Since then he has been criticized by the fans for corruption and not wanting the best for the team.
In the 2009–2010. Vllaznia went through some rough changes; having to change 3 coaches and also replacing players. Vllaznia went to the bottom of the table, and having been criticized by the fans, Vllaznia went through some bad times.
On 17 April 2010. Vllaznia won 3–2 against Skënderbeu Korçë but the result was changed to a 2–0 loss for Vllaznia. This was because the player Ansi Nika wasn't on the team roster but was picked for the team anyway. This led to protests by the fans, making accusations that the Vllaznia staff and the President Valter Fushaj specifically did it for bribing reasons.
GEA Sport EraEdit
Roberto Nava, the president of GEA Sport SA. Bought 50% of shares of KF Vllaznia and in July, Nava negotiates with Napoli to loan Sebastián Sosa for one year in Shkodër. After successful negotiations with Napoli, Nava transfers Sebastián Rodríguez and Giorginho Aguirre.
Vllaznia have been relegated from the Albanian Superliga in a dramatic situation for an elite club with a hundred years of history in the top flight of Albanian football in the 17/18 season, a team that suffered their last demotion almost six decades ago in the early 1960s. However, during the 18/19 season the team managed to promote to the Superliga.
The home ground of the club is called "Loro Borici". The name comes from one of the club's and Albania's greatest footballer to ever play, Loro played with some of the biggest teams at that time, with Roma and Lazio. The striker was known for his goalscoring abilities which he displayed in the Serie A after he left Vllaznia in the 1930s.
Loro Boriçi stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Shkodër, Albania. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home ground of Vllaznia Shkodër. The stadium holds about 16,000 spectators and was reconstructed in 2001. It is named in honour of Loro Boriçi, famous player in the 1940s and 1950s. It is also the second largest stadium in Albania behind the Qemal Stafa Stadium in Tirana which seats 19,600.
In October 2014, Edi Rama, prime minister of Albania, promised the reconstruction of the stadium, which was last renovated in 2001. He said that the stadium will be with a renewed capacity of about 20,000 spectators.
On 3 May 2015, construction works officially started, bringing the stadium to a renewed capacity of 17,500 seats.
During the 2015–16 Albanian Superliga season, Loro Boriçi Stadium was under re-construction, therefore Vllaznia used Ismail Xhemali Stadium in Pukë at the beginning of the season and then switched to Reshit Rusi Stadium in Shkodër for much of the season.
|Motto||Një jetë, dy ngjyra, një skuader.|
Vllaznia is one of the most popular and recognised teams amongst Albanian football fans in Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia. The Ultras group of Vllaznia are known as 'Vllaznit Ultras' and were the first official ultras fan base in Albania who were created in 2005. They have strong ties with other Albanian Ultra groups such as the Ultras Guerrils who support KF Partizani Tirana and Armata E Veriut of FK Kukësi. It is known that Vllaznit Ultras meet up with opposition fans to greet each other before and after a game. Vllaznit Ultras are not just present in the football scene, they also attend Vllaznia's basketball matches to show their full support and love for Vllaznia at any sporting level. Fans of Vllaznia have always attended matches in high quantities, but in recent years the number of fans attending games has decreased due to the poor management and loss of confidence in the team. They have ties with Ultras Beveren, the supporters of Belgian team Waasland-Beveren
Despite the low number of fans at Vllaznia's football games, they have recently turned up in strong numbers for the clubs basketball team, BC Vllaznia, due to their outstanding form in the past few years, having won the 3 Albanian Basketball League championships from 2014 to 2016.
Vllaznia's all time rivals are KF Tirana who are the most successful side in Albanian football. Both teams had been the only two in Albania to not have been relegated from the top tier of Albanian football, until on the final match day of 2017, where both sides fought out who would survive and go down in front of a full crowd (Vllaznia 0–0 Tirana), Tirana were relegated. This rivalry is known as the "All-time Albanian derby". The rivalry is mainly in existence because both sides were the first two football teams to be found in Albania, where Vllaznia was found in 1919, whilst KF Tirana was found in 1920. Another reason why this rivalry potentially exists is due to the historic popularity between these two sides. Vllaznia and Tirana were the only sides in Albania to have never been relegated in the Albanian Superliga, they both hold 78 official seasons and 81 unofficial seasons (including three unofficial championships during World War II) in Albanian top flight football going into the 2016-17 Albanian Superliga season.
Both ultra groups, the Vllaznit Ultras and Tirona Fanatics are known for their fierce rivalry in the stands and off the pitch, which was shown in a match played in Loro Boriçi Stadium in Shkodër on 11 September 2014. During this game there was a lot of tension which began in the second half of the game. The game was interrupted when Tirana's fans started throwing bottles and other objects to show their anger towards the referee's decisions. Late on, Tirana grabbed an equaliser through Ervin Bulku to level 1–1, and this sparked a huge brawl between the fans. Tirana fans ran onto the pitch and seemingly started throwing chairs and bottles at Vllaznia fans. From then on Vllaznia fans started attacking Tirana fans inside and outside of the stadium. Vllaznia's fans gave an official statement on Vllaznia's official Facebook page where they stated that what Tirana fans did was seen as an embarrassment and an insult to people of Shkodra and Albanian football, therefore action was needed. Amongst some of the injured people was Tirana's president, Refik Halili who was hit by a fan of Tirana with a stone. Vllaznia fans were given a 10 match ban from attending home games, whilst Tirana were given 15.
Vllaznia are also rivals with Flamurtari Vlorë, but fans of both teams have good relations. Other derbies include the North Albanian derbies against Laçi and Kukësi. Laçi fans insist that the North Albanian derby is between Laçi and Vllaznia, whereas fans of Kukësi believe it is between Kukësi and Vllaznia. However history suggests that Besëlidhja Lezhë and Vllaznia were the most popular Northern Albanian sides decades ago.
- Winners (9): 1945, 1946, 1971–72, 1973–74, 1977–78, 1982–83, 1991–92, 1997–98, 2000–01
- Runners-up (11): 1932, 1933, 1936, 1937, 1947, 1949, 1974–75, 1996–97, 1998–99, 2002–03, 2008–09
- Winners (2): 1957; 1961–62
- Winners (6): 1964–65, 1971–72, 1978–79, 1980–81, 1986–87, 2007–08
- Runners-up (8): 1938–39, 1965–66, 1967–68, 1969–70, 1985–86, 1998–99, 2005–06, 2009–10
- Biggest ever home league victory: Vllaznia Shkodër 8–0 Flamurtari Vlorë – 6 February 1999
- Biggest ever home league defeat: Vllaznia Shkodër 0–4 Dinamo Tirana – 25 September 2010
- Biggest ever away league victory: KF Laçi 1–7 Vllaznia Shkodër – 18 December 2004 / KF Tirana 0–6 Vllaznia Shkodër - (1947)
- Biggest ever away league defeat: KF Tirana 5–1 Vllaznia Shkodër – 28 February 2004
- Biggest ever European home victory: Vllaznia Shkodër 2–0 Austria Vienna – 13 September 1978/Vllaznia Shkodër 3–1 Dinamo Tbilisi - 29 July 1998
- Biggest ever European home defeat: Vllaznia Shkodër 0–4 Trabzonspor – 14 July 2007
- Biggest ever European away victory: Sliema Wanderers 0–4 Vllaznia Shkodër – 30 September 1987
- Biggest ever European away defeat: Trabzonspor 6–0 Vllaznia Shkodër – 8 July 2007
Albanian records from September 1997
KF Vllaznia in EuropeEdit
As of 22 July 2011.
|1978–79||UEFA European Cup||1R||Austria Wien||2–0||1–4|
|1987–88||UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||1R||Sliema Wanderers||2–0||4–0|
|1991–92||UEFA Cup||1R||AEK Athens||0–1||0–2|
|1998–99||UEFA Champions League||QR||FC Dinamo Tbilisi||3–1||0–3 (awarded)|
|1999–00||UEFA Cup||QR||Spartak Trnava||1–1||0–2|
|2000||UEFA Intertoto Cup||1R||Nea Salamis FC||1–2||1–4|
|2001–02||UEFA Champions League||1QR||KR Reykjavik||1–0||1–2|
|2003–04||UEFA Cup||QR||Dundee FC||0–2||0–4|
|2004||UEFA Intertoto Cup||1R||Hapoel Beer Sheva||1–2||3–0|
|2R||NK Slaven Belupo||1–0||0–2|
|2007||UEFA Intertoto Cup||1R||NK Zagreb||1–0||1–2|
|2008–09||UEFA Cup||1QR||FC Koper||0–0||2–1|
|2009–10||UEFA Europa League||1QR||Sligo Rovers||1–1||2–1|
|2011–12||UEFA Europa League||1QR||Birkirkara F.C.||1–1||1–0|
- QR = Qualifying Round
- 1R = 1st Round
- 2R = 2nd Round
World & European RankingsEdit
(As of 1 June 2017)
UEFA club coefficient rankingEdit
|398||FC Metalurgi Rustavi||1.775|
|165||KF Vllaznia Shkodër||3.825|
|405||S.P. Tre Penne||1.566|
|407||Drogheda United F.C.||1.565|
- As of 12 February 2020
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Historical list of coachesEdit
Title winning ManagersEdit
|Ibrahim Dizdari||1945||National Championship|
|Ernest Halepiani||1946||National Championship|
|Xhevdet Shaqiri||1971–1978||3 National Championships|
|Ramazan Rragami||1982–1983||National Championship|
|Astrit Hafizi||1991–1992||National Championship|
|Hysen Dedja||1997–1998||Albanian Superliga|
|Derviš Hadžiosmanović||2000–2006||Albanian Superliga|
|Agim Canaj||2008–2009||Albanian Cup|
Notable former youth playersEdit
- Hamdi Salihi
- Xhevahir Sukaj
- Vioresin Sinani
- Armando Vajushi
- Bekim Balaj
- Elseid Hysaj
- Rudi Vata
- Loro Boriçi
- Admir Teli
- Gilman Lika
- Erjon Vucaj
- Edon Hasani
- Dodë Tahiri
- Armando Cungu
- Palokë Nika
- Edi Martini
- Luan Zmijani
- Armir Grimaj
- Ramazan Rragami
- Elvin Beqiri
- Paulin Ndoja
- Amarildo Belisha
- Suad Lici
- Medin Zhega
A women's team was created in 2013. When three time Albanian champion KF Ada Velipojë disestablished their women's team, the whole team moved to Vllaznia and formed a new women's section. The team then won the 2013–14 Albanian women's football championship and competed in the 2014–15 UEFA Women's Champions League. Vllaznia was the first Albanian team draw or win a match when they beat Faroes side KI 2–1. UEFA considers them as a successor team and credits Ada's results to them.
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- "Nisin punimet në "Loro Boriçi". Rama: Gati për ndeshjen me Serbinë – Lajme – Top Channel". top-channel.tv.
- "RIOTS: Vllaznia Shkodër – Tirana 11.09.2014". ultras-tifo.net. 11 September 2014.
- "Vllaznia dhe Tirana, ja sa kushton dhuna". albeu.com. 17 September 2014.
- ""Dora e Hekurt" e UEFA-s ndër vite për klubet shqiptare – SuperSport – Pakete Televizive Sportive – Lajme Sportive". supersport.al. 4 August 2015.
- "Member associations - UEFA rankings - Club coefficients – UEFA.com". UEFA.com.
- Vllaznia prezantohet nesër, bashkia do Nikajn zv.trajner - Panorama (in Albanian)
- "Vllaznia is winter champion" (in Albanian). albaniansport.net. 14 November 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
Team Shkodra, which in fact is the Ada Velipojë last season
- "Surprises as qualifying round opens season". UEFA. 9 August 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
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