Kosovo national football team

The Kosovo national football team (Albanian: Kombëtarja e futbollit të Kosovës; Serbian: Фудбалска репрезентација Косова, romanizedFudbalska reprezentacija Kosova) represents Kosovo in international men's football. It is controlled by the Football Federation of Kosovo, the governing body for football in Kosovo.

Kosovo
Nickname(s)Dardanët (Dardanians)
AssociationFederata e Futbollit e Kosovës (FFK)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachBernard Challandes
CaptainSamir Ujkani
Most caps
Top scorerVedat Muriqi (15)
Home stadiumFadil Vokrri Stadium
FIFA codeKVX[a]
First colours
Second colours
Third colours
FIFA ranking
Current 120 Steady (27 May 2021)[1]
Highest114 (October 2019[2])
Lowest190 (July–August 2016[2])
First international
Biggest win
Biggest defeat
 Kosovo 0–6 Croatia 
(Shkodër, Albania; 6 October 2016)

History

Pre-independence

First ever match

On 29 November 1942, Kosovo for first time in its history played a friendly match as part of the celebrations for 30th Anniversary of the Independence of Albania against Tirana[b] and the match ended with a 2–0 away defeat and the starting line-up of that match was Mustafa Daci (GK), Ballanca, Ahmet Zaimi, Mazllum Xërxa, Veseli, Hajdar Hamza, Nebil Dylatahu, Ramadan Vraniqi, Dobrica Barbaroga,[c] Bajrami and Henci.[4][5][6]

Yugoslav era

"The reason of this friendly match is that we wanted to face with a team that has the same temperament and character as Albania national team."

—The reasoning of the then head coach of Yugoslavia, Rajko Mitić for the reason for organizing the Kosovo–Yugoslavia match.[6]

On 8 November 1967, Kosovo for first time as autonomous province of SFR Yugoslavia played a friendly match against Yugoslavia and the match ended with a 3–3 home draw and the starting line-up of that match was a mix between Albanian and Serbian players as Milosavlević, Stevanović, Mušikić, Abrashi, S. Džukić, V. Džukić, Brovina, Hatibi, Radović, Prekazi and Pindović, for Yugoslavia this match it was a pre-preparation before the UEFA Euro 1968 qualifying match against Albania.

As part of Yugoslavia national team

Yugoslav squads at international competitions often included players from Kosovo, such as Fadil Vokrri and Stevan Stojanović. Three other footballers from Kosovo, Fahrudin Jusufi, Milutin Šoškić and Vladimir Durković, were part of the Yugoslav team that won the gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics and silver medal at the 1960 European Nations' Cup.

After breakup of Yugoslavia

On 20 January 1993, The Football Federation of Kosovo signed a cooperation protocol with the Albanian Football Association and in the framework of this protocol it was decided to play on 14 February a friendly match between Albania and Kosovo, which was the first match of Kosovo following the breakup of Yugoslavia,[7] and this match ended with a 1–3 defeat and the starting line-up of that match was Ahmet Beselica (GK), Ardian Kozniku, Bardhec Seferi, Fadil Berisha, Gani Llapashtica, Genc Hoxha, Isa Sadriu, Kushtrim Munishi, Muharrem Sahiti, Sadullah Ajeti and Selajdin Jerliu.[8]

After Kosovo War

"I am very pleased with the team's performance even though we had predicted a stronger opponent. However, I want to emphasize that our players have been fantastic. The fact that we do not play many international matches may have inspired the players to give it their all this time."

—Opinion of the then coach Muharrem Sahiti after the match against Monaco.[9]

On 7 September 2002, Kosovo for first time after the Kosovo War played a friendly match against Albania and the match ended with a 0–1 home minimal defeat and the starting line-up of that match was Ahmet Beselica (GK), Ardian Kozniku, Arsim Abazi, Besnik Kollari, Fadil Ademi, Faruk Statovci, Ismet Munishi, Mehmet Dragusha, Sunaj Keqi, Xhevdet Llumnica and Zenun Selimi.[10]

One of the most important international matches was a 1–0 win over Saudi Arabia played on 15 June 2007. It was the first time that Kosovo played against a team that has taken part in the FIFA World Cup and the winning goal was scored by Kristian Nushi from the penalty kick on the 84th minute.[11] On 22 April 2006, Kosovo achieved their biggest win, defeating Monaco 7–1. If one included matches played before Kosovo became a FIFA member, this scoreline is their best result yet.[12]

After independence

First match

On 17 February 2010, for the first time since the declaration of independence Kosovo played a friendly match against Albania and the match ended with a 2–3 home defeat. The starting line-up of that match was Kushtrim Mushica (GK), Anel Rashkaj, Dukagjin Gashi, Enis Zabërgja, Fisnik Papuçi, Ilir Nallbani, Liridon Kukaj, Robert Gjeraj, Shpëtim Hasani and Yll Hoxha. This match had a charity character as the profits gathered from this meeting went to those affected by floods in Shkodër.[13]

Efforts for internationalization

On 6 May 2008, after the declaration of independence from Serbia, Kosovo applied for FIFA membership. On 24 October 2008, Kosovo's application was discussed at the FIFA Congress in Zürich, when Kosovo was rejected membership in FIFA and could not play friendly matches as it was deemed it did not comply with article 10 of the FIFA statutes, that only "an independent state recognised by the international community" may be admitted into FIFA.[14] On 22 May 2012. FIFA reversed that decision stating that Kosovo may play other countries in international friendlies according to Article 79 of the FIFA Statutes.[15]

In September 2012, Albania international Lorik Cana, along with Swiss internationals Granit Xhaka, Valon Behrami and Xherdan Shaqiri, all of them with Kosovo Albanian origin, wrote a declaration to FIFA President Sepp Blatter, asking him to allow the Kosovo national team to be allowed to play friendly matches. The declaration was also signed by eight other Albanian footballers, hailing from Kosovo as Ahmed Januzi, Alban Meha, Armend Dallku, Burim Kukeli, Etrit Berisha, Fatmire Bajramaj, Lorik Cana, Mërgim Mavraj and Samir Ujkani.[16] In May 2012. In a meeting held, FIFA decided to allow friendly matches to be played a decision it later revoked following a protest issued by Football Association of Serbia. Some players, especially Kosovo Serbs as Milan Biševac and Miloš Krasić, continued to play for the Serbia. A new meeting was held at FIFA, on 27 and 28 September in which the Kosovo issue was again planned to be discussed, which was then postponed until December.[17][18]

Permitting by FIFA to play friendlies
Kosovo starting line-up in first international friendly against Haiti
(4–3–3)[19][20]

On 6 February 2013, FIFA gave the permission to play international friendly games against other member associations.[21] Whereas, on 13 January 2014, there was a change of this permit that forbade Kosovo to play against the national teams of the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Club teams were also allowed to play friendlies and this happened after a FIFA Emergency Committee meeting. However, it was stipulated that clubs and representative teams of the Football Federation of Kosovo may not display national symbols as flags, emblems, etc. or play national anthems. The go-ahead was given after meetings between the Football Association of Serbia and Sepp Blatter.

On 5 March 2014, following FIFA's ruling. Kosovo played its first international friendly against Haiti and the match ended in a 0–0 draw.[22][23] Before the match, some players of Kosovo posed with guns at a shooting range, causing a stir in Serbia.[24] On the eve of the match, supporters of Kosovo burned the flag of Serbia.[25] This incident prompted the Football Association of Serbia to request that FIFA revoke Kosovo's right to play international friendlies.[26]

After the match against Haiti, five more matches were held as against Turkey, Senegal, Oman, Equatorial Guinea and in the end with Albania. The first win in these friendlies was against Oman with a 1–0 home minimal win,[27] while the biggest defeat that was simultaneously also the first defeat was a 1–6 home defeat against Turkey.[28]

Membership in UEFA and FIFA

In September 2015 at an UEFA Executive Committee meeting in Malta was approved the request from the federation to the admission in UEFA to the next Ordinary Congress to be held in Budapest.[29] On 3 May 2016, at the Ordinary Congress. Kosovo were accepted into UEFA after members voted 28–24 in favor of Kosovo.[30][31] Ten days later, Kosovo was accepted in FIFA during their 66th congress in Mexico with 141 votes in favour and 23 against.[32]

First tournament

Debut in World Cup qualification and nearly successful first Euro attempt

Kosovo began to make their debut in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification, where Kosovo was drawn with Croatia, Finland, Iceland, Turkey and Ukraine.[33][34] The Kosovars created its first major surprise, holding host Finland to a 1–1 draw,[35] but it turned to be the lone point of Kosovo in the qualification, as the team lost the remaining games and finished last.

Following the failure to qualify for 2018 FIFA World Cup, Kosovo participated in the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League D sharing group with Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands and Malta,[36][37] where the Kosovars topped their group undefeated to reach the country's first-ever play-offs in its attempt to qualify for UEFA Euro 2020.[38] After the successful Nations League, Kosovo entered the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying, where they shared group A with Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Montenegro and 2018 World Cup fourth place finisher England.[39] As the dark horse of the qualification, Kosovo however created a major phenomenon, managed to beat Bulgaria, Montenegro and especially, a shock home win over the Czechs to take the second place behind England, being 15 matches and on that time nearly two years without defeat winning 11 of these 15 matches. The game against England away even saw the Kosovars took an early lead in the surprise, even though they were unable to protect it and fell 3–5 away, ending the longest unbeaten run in the football history of Kosovo.[40] In the decisive match against the Czechs away, which Kosovo needed a win to directly qualify for the first time, Kosovo gained a shock lead, but failed to protect it again as they lost 1–2 and could only participate in the play-off,[41] but this remained to be Kosovo's greatest success up to date.

Setback

After successfully obtained a play-off position, Kosovo headed to the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League C, being drawn with Greece, Moldova and Slovenia.[42] After impressive performance in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying, Kosovo was tipped favorably to promote to League B. Yet, Kosovo began the Nations League with a disappointing 1–1 away draw to Moldova,[43] before the team which was halved due to the absences of key players suffered a 1–2 home loss against Greece.[44]

In Kosovo's first ever competitive UEFA Euro play-offs, Kosovo was drawn against North Macedonia.[41] However, Kosovo was eliminated after losing 1–2 to the Macedonians in Skopje.[45] After the elimination in the play-off's semifinals, the Kosovo's setback continues and the year 2020 was ended six losses, two draws and a victory in the last match of the year against Moldova, a victory which secured the attitude even for another season in the League C of the UEFA Nations League.[46]

Team image

Nicknames

The Kosovo national football team has been known or nicknamed as the "Dardanët (Dardanians)", while after the good results it had during the 2018–19 period, it was also nicknamed even as the "Brazili i Ballkanit (Brazil of the Balkans)".[47][48]

Kits and crest

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kosovo kit in the first competitive match against Finland in September 2016.

The Kosovo kit has been mostly red and black before declaration of independence with few changes throughout the years and after the independence the kits are mostly blue and yellow. On 5 October 2016, Kosovo signed with Spanish sportswear company Kelme to a four-year contract and was the first official kit suppliers of Kosovo after membership in UEFA and FIFA.[49] On 16 June 2018, Kosovo signed with Swiss sportswear company Fourteen to a four-year contract and becomes the current kit suppliers of Kosovo.[50][51]

Kit deals

Kit supplier Period Contract
Announcement Duration
  Legea 2014 March 2014
  Puma 2014 May 2014
  Legea 2014 September 2014
  Umbro 2015 October 2015 November 2015
  Puma 2016 June 2016
  Kelme 2016–2018 5 October 2016 2016–2020 (4 years)
  Fourteen 2018–present 16 June 2018 2018–2022 (4 years)

Home stadium

Kosovo's home stadium is the Fadil Vokrri Stadium. The stadium capacity is 13,500, which makes it the second largest national stadium in Kosovo. Kosovo's previous national stadium was the Adem Jashari Olympic Stadium which is currently under renovation. Kosovo also used Loro Boriçi Stadium during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign,[52][53] and this happened after the two stadiums in Pristina and Mitrovica at that time were under renovation and do not meet UEFA standards.[54] On 12 July 2019, the construction of Kosovo National Stadium began,[55] and two days later the project of this stadium was presented which would have a capacity of 30,000 seats,[56] but after the presentation, the construction was suspended for political reasons related to the location.[57]

As of 28 March 2021[58]
Kosovo national football team home stadiums
Pld Image Stadium Capacity Location First match Last match Ref
21   Fadil Vokrri Stadium 13,500 Pristina, Kosovo v.   Yugoslavia, 8 November 1967 v.   San Marino, 1 June 2021 [59]
5   Loro Boriçi Stadium 16,000 Shkodër, Albania v.   Croatia, 6 October 2016 v.   Ukraine, 6 October 2017 [60]
3   Adem Jashari Olympic Stadium 18,500 Mitrovica, Kosovo v.   Haiti, 5 March 2014 v.   Latvia, 13 November 2017 [61]

Media coverage

Kosovo's qualifying and friendly matches are televised by state-owned Radio Television of Kosovo and by privately-owned SuperSport Albania.

Broadcaster Television channel Period Televised
Radio Television of Kosovo
RTK 1 2014–present Qualifying and friendly matches
RTK 2 2016–present Qualifying matches
SuperSport Albania
  SuperSport 1 2014–present Qualifying and friendly matches
  SuperSport 3

Fixtures and results

For all past match results of the national team, see single-season articles and the team's results page.

2020

3 September 2020–21 UEFA
Nations League
Moldova   1–1   Kosovo Parma, Italy[d]
20:45 (CEST; UTC+02:00) Nicolaescu   20' Report Kololli   71' Stadium: Stadio Ennio Tardini
Attendance: 0
Referee: Kai Erik Steen (Norway)
6 September 2020–21 UEFA
Nations League
Kosovo   1–2   Greece Pristina, Kosovo
20:45 (CEST; UTC+02:00) B. Berisha   82' Report Limnios   2'
Siovas   51'
Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Pavel Královec (Czech Republic)
8 October[e] UEFA Euro 2020
qualifying play-offs
North Macedonia   2–1   Kosovo Skopje, North Macedonia
20:45 (CEST; UTC+02:00) Kololli   16' (o.g.)
Velkovski   33'
Report Hadergjonaj   29' Stadium: Toše Proeski Arena
Attendance: 0
Referee: Danny Makkelie (Netherlands)
11 October 2020–21 UEFA
Nations League
Kosovo   0–1   Slovenia Pristina, Kosovo
20:45 (CEST; UTC+02:00) Report Vučkić   22' Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Andrew Madley (England)
14 October 2020–21 UEFA
Nations League
Greece   0–0   Kosovo Athens, Grecce
20:45 (CEST; UTC+03:00) Report Stadium: Athens Olympic Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Roi Reinshreiber (Israel)
11 November Friendly
(Brotherly derby)
Albania   2–1   Kosovo Elbasan, Albania
16:00 (CET; UTC+01:00) Balaj   31'
Uzuni   65'
Report
Report (UEFA)
Muriqi   85' (pen.) Stadium: Elbasan Arena
Attendance: 0
Referee: Hüseyin Göçek (Turkey)
15 November 2020–21 UEFA
Nations League
Slovenia   2–1   Kosovo Ljubljana, Slovenia
20:45 (CET; UTC+01:00) Kurtić   63'
Iličić   90+4' (pen.)
Report Muriqi   58' Stadium: Stožice Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Bartosz Frankowski (Poland)
18 November 2020–21 UEFA
Nations League
Kosovo   1–0   Moldova Pristina, Kosovo
20:45 (CET; UTC+01:00) Kastrati   31' Report Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Roomer Tarajev (Estonia)

2021

24 March Friendly Kosovo   4–0   Lithuania Pristina, Kosovo
20:45 UTC+2 Zeneli   27'71'
Muriqi   63'
Halimi   79'
Report
Report (UEFA)
Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Enea Jorgji (Albania)
28 March 2022 FIFA World
Cup qualification
Kosovo   0–3   Sweden Pristina, Kosovo
20:45 UTC+2 Report (FIFA)
Report (UEFA)
Augustinsson   12'
Isak   35'
Larsson   70' (pen.)
Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Tamás Bognár (Hungary)
31 March 2022 FIFA World
Cup qualification
Spain   3–1   Kosovo Seville, Spain
20:45 UTC+2 Olmo   34'
Torres   36'
Moreno   75'
Report (FIFA)
Report (UEFA)
Halimi   70' Stadium: Estadio de La Cartuja
Attendance: 0
Referee: Jakob Kehlet (Denmark)
1 June Friendly Kosovo   4–1   San Marino Pristina, Kosovo
18:00 UTC+2 Muriqi   28'45+1'46'76' (pen.) Report D. Tomassini   85' Stadium: Fadil Vokrri Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Yaşar Kemal Uğurlu (Turkey)
4 June Friendly Malta   1–2   Kosovo Klagenfurt, Austria
18:00 UTC+2 Dimech   45+2' Report Rashica   19'84' Stadium: Wörtherseestadion
Attendance: 0
Referee: Christopher Jäger (Austria)
8 June Friendly Kosovo   1–2   Guinea Manavgat, Turkey
16:00 UTC+2 Manaj   90+3' Report Kouyaté   60'
Kanté   66' (pen.)
Stadium: Arslan Zeki Demirci Sports Complex
Attendance: 0
Referee: Sarper Barış Saka (Turkey)
11 June Friendly Kosovo   1–0   Gambia Manavgat, Turkey
19:00 UTC+2 Hoxha   80' Report Stadium: Arslan Zeki Demirci Sports Complex
Attendance: 0
Referee: Arda Kardeşler (Turkey)
9 October 2022 FIFA World
Cup qualification
Sweden   v   Kosovo Solna, Sweden
18:00 Report (FIFA)
Report (UEFA)
Stadium: Friends Arena
Referee: $

Personnel

 
Bernard Challandes, the current head coach of Kosovo national football team.

Current technical staff

Position Name
Head coach   Bernard Challandes
Assistant coach(es)
  Sébastien Bichard
  Primož Gliha
  Ramush Gashi
  Genc Hoxha
Fitness coach   Thomas Richard
Goalkeeping coach   Ahmet Beselica
Physiotherapist(s)
  Ismet Shalaj
  Zheralldin Durguti
Doctor   Murat Berisha
Device manager   Sahit Salihi
Team manager   Bajram Shala
Technical director   Muharrem Sahiti

Players

Current squad

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Visar Bekaj (captain) (1997-05-24) 24 May 1997 (age 24) 4 0   Tirana
12 1GK Betim Halimi (1996-02-28) 28 February 1996 (age 25) 1 0   Olimpik Donetsk

5 2DF Bajram Jashanica (1990-09-25) 25 September 1990 (age 30) 8 0   Ballkani
4 2DF Armend Thaqi (1992-10-10) 10 October 1992 (age 28) 5 0   Ballkani
2 2DF Destan Bajselmani (1999-05-13) 13 May 1999 (age 22) 4 0   PEC Zwolle
13 2DF David Domgjoni (1997-05-21) 21 May 1997 (age 24) 2 0   Menemenspor
14 2DF Lavdrim Hajrullahu (1998-03-07) 7 March 1998 (age 23) 2 0   Stade Lausanne Ouchy

8 3MF Eroll Zejnullahu (1994-10-19) 19 October 1994 (age 26) 4 0   Nitra
10 3MF Florian Loshaj (vice-captain) (1996-08-13) 13 August 1996 (age 24) 4 0   Cracovia
6 3MF Rron Broja (1996-04-09) 9 April 1996 (age 25) 3 0   Partizani Tirana
20 3MF Blendi Baftiu (1998-02-17) 17 February 1998 (age 23) 2 0   Ballkani
21 3MF Donat Rrudhani (1999-05-02) 2 May 1999 (age 22) 2 0   Aarau
17 3MF Mersim Asllani (1999-06-07) 7 June 1999 (age 22) 2 0   Stade Lausanne Ouchy
22 3MF Liridon Balaj (1999-08-15) 15 August 1999 (age 21) 2 0   Aarau
15 3MF Muharrem Jashari (1998-02-21) 21 February 1998 (age 23) 1 0   Trepça '89

19 4FW Mirlind Daku (1998-01-01) 1 January 1998 (age 23) 5 0   Ballkani
11 4FW Arb Manaj (1998-07-23) 23 July 1998 (age 22) 3 1   Balıkesirspor
9 4FW Arbër Hoxha (1998-10-06) 6 October 1998 (age 22) 3 1   Ballkani
7 4FW Jetmir Topalli (1998-02-07) 7 February 1998 (age 23) 3 0   Yeni Malatyaspor

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up for the team within the last 12 months and are still available for selection.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Samir Ujkani (1988-07-05) 5 July 1988 (age 32) 32 0   Torino v.   Malta, 4 June 2021WD
GK Arijanet Muric (1998-11-07) 7 November 1998 (age 22) 16 0   Willem II v.   San Marino, 1 June 2021INJ

DF Gledi Mici (1991-02-06) 6 February 1991 (age 30) 0 0   Prishtina v.   Guinea, 8 June 2021CLUB
DF Jetmir Haliti (1996-09-14) 14 September 1996 (age 24) 0 0   AIK v.   Guinea, 8 June 2021INJ
DF Lumbardh Dellova (1999-01-01) 1 January 1999 (age 22) 0 0   Prishtina v.   Guinea, 8 June 2021CLUB
DF Amir Rrahmani (1994-02-24) 24 February 1994 (age 27) 36 5   Napoli v.   Malta, 4 June 2021
DF Mërgim Vojvoda (1995-02-01) 1 February 1995 (age 26) 36 1   Torino v.   Malta, 4 June 2021
DF Fidan Aliti (1993-10-03) 3 October 1993 (age 27) 33 0   Zürich v.   Malta, 4 June 2021
DF Betim Fazliji (1999-04-25) 25 April 1999 (age 22) 3 0   St. Gallen v.   Malta, 4 June 2021
DF Bashkim Ajdini (1992-12-10) 10 December 1992 (age 28) 0 0   VfL Osnabrück v.   Malta, 4 June 2021
DF Ibrahim Drešević (1997-01-24) 24 January 1997 (age 24) 9 0   Heerenveen v.   San Marino, 1 June 2021INJ
DF Florent Hadergjonaj (1994-07-31) 31 July 1994 (age 26) 18 1   Kasımpaşa v.   Spain, 31 March 2021
DF Lirim R. Kastrati (1999-02-02) 2 February 1999 (age 22) 3 0   Újpest v.   Spain, 31 March 2021
DF Arbenit Xhemajli (1998-04-23) 23 April 1998 (age 23) 1 0   Sunderland v.   Moldova, 3 September 2020INJ
DF Mirlind Kryeziu (1997-01-26) 26 January 1997 (age 24) 0 0   Kriens v.   Moldova, 3 September 2020

MF Leonit Abazi (1993-07-05) 5 July 1993 (age 27) 1 0   Prishtina v.   Guinea, 8 June 2021CLUB
MF Endrit Krasniqi (1994-10-26) 26 October 1994 (age 26) 0 0   Prishtina v.   Guinea, 8 June 2021CLUB
MF Milot Rashica (1996-06-28) 28 June 1996 (age 24) 32 6   Werder Bremen v.   Malta, 4 June 2021
MF Besar Halimi (1994-12-12) 12 December 1994 (age 26) 29 3   SV Sandhausen v.   Malta, 4 June 2021
MF Hekuran Kryeziu (1993-02-12) 12 February 1993 (age 28) 28 0   Zürich v.   Malta, 4 June 2021
MF Arbër Zeneli (1995-02-25) 25 February 1995 (age 26) 27 9   Reims v.   Malta, 4 June 2021
MF Herolind Shala (1992-01-02) 2 January 1992 (age 29) 24 0   Stabæk v.   Malta, 4 June 2021
MF Idriz Voca (1997-05-15) 15 May 1997 (age 24) 15 0   Ankaragücü v.   Malta, 4 June 2021
MF Zymer Bytyqi (1996-09-11) 11 September 1996 (age 24) 4 0   Konyaspor v.   Malta, 4 June 2021
MF Blendi Idrizi (1998-05-02) 2 May 1998 (age 23) 2 0   Schalke 04 v.   Malta, 4 June 2021
MF Lorik Emini (1999-08-29) 29 August 1999 (age 21) 1 0   Luzern v.   Malta, 4 June 2021INJ
MF Bersant Celina (1996-09-09) 9 September 1996 (age 24) 30 2   Dijon v.   Spain, 31 March 2021
MF Benjamin Kololli (1992-05-15) 15 May 1992 (age 29) 23 4   Zürich v.   Spain, 31 March 2021
MF Edon Zhegrova (1999-03-31) 31 March 1999 (age 22) 22 2   Basel v.   Spain, 31 March 2021
MF Bernard Berisha (1991-10-21) 21 October 1991 (age 29) 20 1   Akhmat Grozny v.   Spain, 31 March 2021SUS
MF Florent Hasani (1997-03-30) 30 March 1997 (age 24) 8 1   Hapoel Kfar Saba v.   Spain, 31 March 2021
MF Valon Berisha (1993-02-07) 7 February 1993 (age 28) 27 3   Reims v.   Sweden, 28 March 2021INJ
MF Florent Muslija (1998-07-06) 6 July 1998 (age 22) 4 0   Hannover 96 v.   Albania, 11 November 2020

FW Vedat Muriqi (1994-04-24) 24 April 1994 (age 27) 30 15   Lazio v.   Malta, 4 June 2021WD
FW Lirim M. Kastrati (1999-01-16) 16 January 1999 (age 22) 14 1   Dinamo Zagreb v.   Malta, 4 June 2021
FW Valmir Sulejmani (1996-02-01) 1 February 1996 (age 25) 4 0   Hannover 96 v.   Malta, 4 June 2021
FW Astrit Selmani (1997-05-13) 13 May 1997 (age 24) 0 0   Hammarby v.   Malta, 4 June 2021INJ
FW Elba Rashani (1993-05-09) 9 May 1993 (age 28) 18 4   BB Erzurumspor v.   Spain, 31 March 2021

  • WD = Player withdrew from the current squad due to non-injury issue.
  • INJ = It is not part of the current squad due to injury.
  • CLUB = It is not part of the current squad after the club has not allowed him to join.
  • SUSP = It is not available in next match due to red card suspension.

Records

As of 4 June 2021[64][65]
Players in bold are still active with Kosovo.

Most capped players

 
Mërgim Vojvoda is the second most capped player in the history of Kosovo with 34 caps.
Rank Name Caps Goals Pos. Career
1 Amir Rrahmani 36 5 DF 2014–present
Mërgim Vojvoda 36 1 DF 2017–present
3 Fidan Aliti 33 0 DF 2017–present
4 Milot Rashica 32 4 MF 2016–present
Samir Ujkani 32 0 GK 2014–present
6 Bersant Celina 30 2 MF 2014–present
Vedat Muriqi 30 15 FW 2016–present
8 Besar Halimi 29 3 MF 2015–present
9 Hekuran Kryeziu 28 0 MF 2015–present
10 Arbër Zeneli 27 9 MF 2016–present

Top goalscorers

 
Arbër Zeneli is the second top scorer and hat-tricker in the history of Kosovo with nine goals and one hat-trick.
Rank Name Goals Caps Ratio Career
1 Vedat Muriqi 15 30 0.5 2016–present
2 Arbër Zeneli 9 27 0.33 2016–present
3 Milot Rashica 6 32 0.19 2016–present
4 Amir Rrahmani 5 36 0.14 2014–present
5 Elba Rashani 4 18 0.22 2015–present
Benjamin Kololli 4 23 0.17 2016–present
7 Albert Bunjaku 3 6 0.5 2014–2016
Atdhe Nuhiu 3 19 0.16 2017–2020
Valon Berisha 3 27 0.11 2016–present
Besar Halimi 3 28 0.11 2015–present

Hat-tricks

Rank Name Hat-tricks Goals Caps Ratio Career
1 Vedat Muriqi 1 15 30 0.5 2016–present
Arbër Zeneli 1 9 26 0.35 2016–present

Captains

Samir Ujkani (left) is the most capped player as captain in the history of Kosovo with 28 caps and Anel Rashkaj (right) is the first captain who led Kosovo in the first international match against Haiti.
Rank Pos. Name As Captain Total
Career Caps Career Caps
1 GK Samir Ujkani 2015–present 29 2014–present 32
2 DF Amir Rrahmani 2019–present 11 2014–present 36
3 MF Valon Berisha 2018–present 3 2016–present 27
MF Anel Rashkaj 2014 3 2014–2020 14
5 MF Herolind Shala 2019–present 2 2016–present 23
6 DF Fidan Aliti 2020–present 1 2017–present 32
MF Hekuran Kryeziu 2019–present 1 2015–present 26
MF Enis Alushi 2014 1 2014–2017 10
GK Visar Bekaj 2021–present 1 2015–present 4
MF Besnik Hasi 2007 1 2007 1
MF Genc Hoxha 1993 1 1993 1

Competitive record

FIFA World Cup

On 9 June 2016, the UEFA Emergency Panel decided that Kosovo would join Croatia, Finland, Iceland, Turkey and Ukraine in the Group I; and also decided that Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia should not play against Kosovo for security reasons.[33][34] On 5 September 2016, Kosovo made its debut in the FIFA World Cup qualifications with a 1–1 away draw against Finland, with Kosovo's equalizing goal being scored by the newcomer Valon Berisha from a penalty-kick in the 60th minute.[35]

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup qualification record
Year Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pos Pld W D L GF GA
  1930 Part of   Kingdom of Yugoslavia
  1934
  1938
  1950 Part of   SFR Yugoslavia
  1954
  1958
  1962
  1966
  1970
  1974
  1978
  1982
  1986
  1990
  1994 Part of   FR Yugoslavia
  1998
    2002
  2006 Part of   Serbia and Montenegro
  2010 Not a FIFA member
  2014
  2018 Did not qualify 6th 10 0 1 9 3 24
  2022 To be determined 5th 2 0 0 2 1 6
      2026 To be determined
Total 0/2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2/2 12 0 1 11 4 30
  • Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks; correct as of 28 March 2021 after the match against   Sweden.[66]

UEFA European Championship

On 2 December 2018, in Dublin, it was decided that Kosovo should be part in Group A of the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying, together with Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Montenegro and 2018 World Cup fourth place finisher England.[39] On 25 March 2019, Kosovo made their debut on UEFA European Championship qualifying with a 1–1 home draw against Bulgaria and the draw goal was scored by Arbër Zeneli on the 61st minute.[67] On 11 June 2019, Kosovo won their first ever qualifying match for a major tournament by defeating Bulgaria 3–2.[68]

UEFA European Championship record UEFA European Championship qualifying
Year Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pos Pld W D L GF GA
  1960 Part of   SFR Yugoslavia
  1964
  1968
  1972
  1976
  1980
  1984
  1988
  1992
  1996 Part of   FR Yugoslavia
    2000
  2004 Part of   Serbia and Montenegro
    2008
    2012 Not a UEFA member
  2016
  2020 Did not qualify 3rd 9 3 2 4 14 18
  2024 To be determined To be determined
Total 0/1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1/1 9 3 2 4 14 18

UEFA Nations League

On 24 January 2018, in Lausanne, it was decided that Kosovo should be part of League D in Group 3 of the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League, together with Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands and Malta.[36][37] On 7 September 2018, Kosovo made their debut in the UEFA Nations League with a 0–0 away draw against Azerbaijan.[70] On 10 September 2018, Kosovo achieved their first win in the UEFA Nations League, which was also the team's first-ever competitive win, a 2–0 home win against the Faroe Islands.[71] Kosovo finished the league unbeaten (with four wins and two draws) and will be promoted to the next tier (C league) for the next edition.[38]

UEFA Nations League record
Season LG GP Pld W D L GF GA P/R RK
  2018–19 D 3 6 4 2 0 15 2   42nd
  2020–21 C 3 6 1 2 3 4 6   44th
  2022–23 C To be determined
Total 12 5 4 3 19 8 42nd
  • Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks; correct as of 18 November 2020 after the match against   Moldova.[72]

Non-FIFA Tournament

Kosovo for first time after the Kosovo War participated in a tournament held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cyprus Turkish Football Association. Kosovo lost against the host with result 1–0 and won against Sàpmi with result 4–1.[73]

Year Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA Squad
  KTFF 50th Anniversary Cup Runners-up 2nd 2 1 0 1 4 2 Squad
Total Runners-up 1/1 2 1 0 1 4 2

FIFA ranking history

As of 4 June 2021[2]

  Best Ranking   Worst Ranking   Best Mover   Worst Mover

Rank Year Pld W D L Win % Ranking Move
Best Worst Best (+) Worst (−)
117 2021 5 3 0 2 060.00 To be determined
115 2020 9 1 2 6 011.11 115 117 0 (February) 1 (October)
  114 2019 10 4 3 3 040.00 114 130 6 (June) 1 (November)
  131 2018 9 7 2 0 077.78 131 178 24 (August) 1 (January)
177 2017 7 1 0 6 014.29 164 184 9 (November) 6 (April)
   165 2016 5 1 1 3 020.00 164 190 22 (September) 190 (July)

Head-to-head record

As of 11 June 2021[74]
Opponent Pld W D L GF GA GD Win % Reference
1993–present
  Albania 6 1 1 4 9 11 −2 016.67 H2H results
  Azerbaijan 2 1 1 0 4 0 +4 050.00 H2H results
  Bulgaria 2 1 1 0 4 3 +1 050.00 H2H results
  Burkina Faso 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 100.00 H2H results
  Croatia 2 0 0 2 0 7 −7 000.00 H2H results
  Czech Republic 2 1 0 1 3 3 +0 050.00 H2H results
  Denmark 1 0 1 0 2 2 +0 000.00 H2H results
  England 2 0 0 2 3 9 −6 000.00 H2H results
  Equatorial Guinea 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 100.00 H2H results
  Faroe Islands 3 2 1 0 5 1 +4 066.67 H2H results
  Finland 2 0 1 1 1 2 −1 000.00 H2H results
  Gambia 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100.00 H2H results
  Gibraltar 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100.00 H2H results
  Greece 2 0 1 1 1 2 −1 000.00 H2H results
  Guinea 1 0 0 1 1 2 −1 000.00 H2H results
  Haiti 1 0 1 0 0 0 +0 000.00 H2H results
  Iceland 2 0 0 2 1 4 −3 000.00 H2H results
  Latvia 1 1 0 0 4 3 +1 100.00 H2H results
  Lithuania 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 100.00 H2H results
  Madagascar 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100.00 H2H results
  Malta 3 3 0 0 10 2 +8 100.00 H2H results
  Moldova 2 1 1 0 2 1 +1 050.00 H2H results
  Monaco 1 1 0 0 7 1 +6 100.00 N/A
  Montenegro 2 1 1 0 3 1 +2 050.00 H2H results
  North Macedonia 1 0 0 1 1 2 −1 000.00 H2H results
  Northern Cyprus 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1 000.00 N/A
  Oman 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100.00 H2H results
  San Marino 1 1 0 0 4 1 +3 100.00 H2H results
  Sápmi 1 1 0 0 4 1 +3 100.00 N/A
  Saudi Arabia 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100.00
  Senegal 1 0 0 1 1 3 −2 000.00 H2H results
  Slovenia 2 0 0 2 1 3 −2 000.00 H2H results
  Spain 1 0 0 1 1 3 −2 000.00 H2H results
  Sweden 2 0 0 2 0 4 −4 000.00 H2H results
  Turkey 3 0 0 3 2 12 −10 000.00 H2H results
H2H results*
  Ukraine 2 0 0 2 0 5 −5 000.00 H2H results
36 Countries 66 27 11 28 97 95 +2 040.91 All H2H results

See also

Men's
Women's

Notes and references

Notes

  1. ^
    The international governing body of football, FIFA uses the trigramme 'KVX' for Kosovo,[75] while the European governing body of football, UEFA uses the trigramme 'KOS' for Kosovo.[76]
  2. ^
    The alternative name of the Albania national team that was used during this match.[6]
  3. ^
    Dobrica Barbaroga was the Albanianized full name of Dobrica Barbarogić by the media of that time, which seems to be expression of peaceful coexistence with national minorities even in Kosovo at that time.[4]
  4. ^
    The match between Moldova and Kosovo was played in Stadio Ennio Tardini, Parma due to the lack of diplomatic relations between the two countries and COVID-19 pandemic in Moldova.[77]
  5. ^
    The North Macedonia v Kosovo match, originally scheduled for 26 March 2020, 20:45 (UTC+1) at the Toše Proeski Arena, Skopje was postponed on 17 March due to the coronavirus pandemic.[78] The match was later rescheduled to 8 October 2020.[79]

References

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  5. ^ Besnik Dizdari (15 September 2019). ""Armiqtë" e vërtetë dhe "miqtë" e rremë të Kosovës" [The real "enemies" and false "friends" of Kosovo] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport.
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External links