Kristal Abazaj

Kristal Abazaj (born 6 July 1996) is an Albanian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Turkish club İstanbulspor and the Albania national team.[2]

Kristal Abazaj
Personal information
Date of birth (1996-07-06) 6 July 1996 (age 24)
Place of birth Elbasan, Albania
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Position(s) Right winger[1]
Club information
Current team
İstanbulspor
Number 70
Youth career
2011–2013 Dinamo Tirana
2013–2015 Partizani Tirana
2015 Elbasani
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2015–2016 Elbasani 13 (7)
2016–2018 Luftëtari Gjirokastër 66 (16)
2018–2020 Anderlecht 1 (0)
2019Osijek (loan) 9 (1)
2019–2020Kukësi (loan) 34 (10)
2020– İstanbulspor 0 (0)
National team
2017– Albania U21 10 (3)
2018– Albania 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 29 July 2020
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14:44, 27 May 2019 (UTC)

Club careerEdit

Luftëtari GjirokastërEdit

In July 2016, Abazaj went on trial with top flight side Luftëtari Gjirokastër,[3] a trail which he successfully passed,[3] and in August 2016 signed the contract. He made his competitive debut as well as his first Albanian Superliga appearance in the opening matchday of 2016–17 season against Partizani Tirana which finished in a 0–1 loss.[4] He finished his first season with Luftëtari by making 35 appearances, including 33 in league, 30 of them as starter, collecting 2507 minutes and scoring 3 goals as Lufëtari finished 4th in the championship. Abazaj was distinguished for his performances throughout the season and at the end of the campaign he was named one of the talents of the season.[5][6]

During the summer transfer window, Lufëtari declined several offers for Abazaj from in and outside the country.[7][8] He started the second season on strong form, netting his team's only goal in the 2–1 defeat to Teuta Durrës in the opening week of championship.[9] This was followed by another one which turned out to be the winner as Lufëtari defeated Laçi for the first three points of the season.[10]

On 17 December, Abazaj scored in the matchday 15 versus Partizani Tirana after collecting the ball on the right side near the halfway line, running 70 metres (229 ft), nutmegging Labinot Ibrahimi before beating Alban Hoxha with a right-footed shoot in an eventual 5–0 home win.[11] He was named Albanian Superliga Player of the Month for December after bagging three goals in four matches, helping the team in their bid to escape relegation.[12]

At the end of the 2017–18, Abazaj was named Albanian Superliga Talent of the Season,[13] becoming the second ever Luftëtari player to win it.

Skënderbeu KorçëEdit

On 5 January 2018, Skënderbeu Korçë announced to have signed a pre-contract with Abazaj for €300,000.[14] The player continued to represent Luftëtari as loanee until the end of the season.[14]

AnderlechtEdit

On 16 April 2018, it was announced that Abazaj has signed a three-year contract with Belgian side Anderlecht.[15] The transfer fee reportedly was €750,000 and the player will join the club on 1 July 2018.[15][16]

International careerEdit

YouthEdit

After a good run of form with Luftëtari, on 17 March 2017 Abazaj was named by manager Alban Bushi in the Albania under-21 squad to face Moldova in a double friendly match.[17][18] He made his first appearance on 25 March by playing 66 minutes as the first match finished in a goalless draw.[19] Abazaj scored his first goal two days later to lead Albania into a 2–0 win.[20]

Abazaj continued to be part of the under-21 squad as he was called up in June for the friendly against France and the opening qualifying match of 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship against Estonia.[21] He made his competitive debut on 12 June against Estonia playing 86 minutes in the goalless draw.[22] Abazaj scored his first goals of the campaign in the matchday 3 against Iceland on 4 September 2017 where he scored twice to help Albania take an away 2–3 win, the first in Group 2.[23]

SeniorEdit

Abazaj received his first Albania senior call-up by manager Christian Panucci on 16 March 2018 for the friendly match versus Norway[24] and he became the first Luftëtari player in 30 years to be called-up at senior side.[25] On 29 May 2018. Abazaj made his debut with Albania in friendly match against Kosovo after coming on as a substitute at 69th minute in place of Emanuele Ndoj.[26]

Personal lifeEdit

Abazaj has cited his role model and favourite footballer the Brazilian striker Ronaldo.[27] In an interview in December 2018, Abazaj unveiled that he is a longtime fan of KF Tirana, adding that he used to go with his family to watch their games in stadium when he was young.[28]

Career statisticsEdit

As of 16 December 2018[29]
Club statistics
Club Season League Cup Europe[a] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Elbasani 2015–16 Albanian First Division 13 7 13 7
Luftëtari Gjirokastër 2016–17 Albanian Superliga 33 3 2 0 35 3
2017–18 29 8 3 0 35 13
Total 62 12 5 0 67 16
Anderlecht 2018–19 Belgian First Division A 1 0 1 0
Career total 75 19 5 0 80 19
  1. ^ Including continental competitions, such as UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League

InternationalEdit

As of 29 May 2018[30]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Albania 2018 1 0
Total 1 0

HonoursEdit

IndividualEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Kristal Abazaj at WorldFootball.net
  2. ^ http://top-channel.tv/2018/04/16/zbulohet-shuma-qe-pagoi-anderlechti-per-abazajn/
  3. ^ a b "Luftëtari nis largimet, qendron vetëm Abazaj" [Luftëtari starts departures, only Abazaj stays] (in Albanian). Newsport.al. 21 July 2016. Archived from the original on 8 November 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Luftëtari Gjirokastër vs. Partizani Tirana 0 – 1". Soccerway. 7 September 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Sotir Kora (17 February 2017). "Abazaj, zbulimi i bukur i Luftëtarit" [Abazaj, nice discovery of Luftëtari] (in Albanian). SuperSport Albania. Retrieved 11 October 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Dejvi Bregu shpallet Talenti i Vitit!" [Dejvi Bregu is named Talent of the Year!] (in Albanian). Sport Ekspres. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Asare del në stërvitje, Tirana në sulm për Kristal Abazajn" [Asare out in training, Tirana forward for Kristal Abazaj] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 17 June 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ ""Sirena" holandeze për Abazajn, u ka pëlqyer agjentëve të Herenvenit" [Dutch sirens for Abazaj, has been liked by Heerenveen agents] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 25 June 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Andi Deçka (9 September 2017). "Teuta e nis me fitore, thyen 2-1 Luftëtarin" [Teuta starts with a win, breaks Lufëtari 2-1] (in Albanian). SuperSport Albania. Retrieved 9 September 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Laçi vs. Luftëtari Gjirokastër 0 – 1". Soccerway. 17 September 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "70 metra sprint, për golin e vitit, ja magjia e Abazajt(Video)" [70 metres sprint, for goal of the year, here's the Abazaj's magic (Video)] (in Albanian). SuperSport Albania. 17 December 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ a b "Kristal Abazaj, më i miri i dhjetorit" [Kristal Abazaj, the best of december] (in Albanian). Sport Ekspres. 21 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ a b "Abazaj merr çmimin "Talenti i sezonit", Mala i Partizanit pas tij, ja renditja" [Abazaj receives “Talent of the season” award, here's the ranking] (in Albanian). Vip Sport. 21 May 2019. Retrieved 16 June 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ a b "Zyrtare/ Abazaj i Skënderbeut: Shkoj në qershor, ja pse zgjodha korçarët" [Official / Abazaj is of Skënderbeu's: I go to June, that's why I chose the korçars] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 5 January 2018. Retrieved 5 January 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ a b "E bujshme/ Kristal Abazaj firmos për gjigantët belgë!" [Sensational/ Kristal Abazaj signed for Belgian giants] (in Albanian). Sport Ekspres. 16 April 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Zbulohet shuma që pagoi Anderlechti për Abazajn" [The sum Anderlecht paid for Abazaj is discovered] (in Albanian). Top-Channel.tv. 16 April 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ "Nga Luftëtari, te Kombëtarja" [From Lufëtari to the national team] (in Albanian). Sportal.al. 17 March 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "Kombëtarja U-21, pak risi në miqësoret ndaj Moldavisë" [Under-21 national team, less innovation against Modova] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 18 March 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ "Kombëtarja U-21 barazon me Moldavinë, debutim pa shkëlqim për Bushin (VIDEO)" [Under-21 national team draw with Moldova, a shineless debut for Bushi (VIDEO)] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 25 March 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ "Shqipëria U-21 mposht Moldavinë" [Albania U21 defeats Moldova] (in Albanian). Telegrafi.com. 27 March 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^ "Alban Bushi shpall listën e U21 për Francën dhe Estoninë" [Alban Bushi announces the under-21 list for France and Estonia] (in Albanian). FSHF.org. 1 June 2017. Archived from the original on 5 July 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ "Under-21 - Albania-Estonia". UEFA.com. 12 June 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  23. ^ "Under-21 - Iceland-Albania - Line-ups". UEFA.com. 4 September 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  24. ^ "TRAJNERI CHRISTIAN PANUCCI SHPALL LISTËN E LOJTARËVE PËR MIQËSOREN ME NORVEGJINË" [Manager Christian Panucci announces the players list for the friendly with Norway] (in Albanian). FSHF.org. 16 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  25. ^ "LISTA/ Abazaj në kombëtare, ka edhe dy surpriza në mbrojtje" [LIST/ Abazaj in the national team, there are two surprises in defence] (in Albanian). Sport Ekspres. 16 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  26. ^ "Kosova e fiton me spektakël miqësoren kundër Shqipërisë" (in Albanian). Football Federation of Kosovo. 29 May 2018. Archived from the original on 6 August 2018. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  27. ^ "Frymëzohet nga "Fenomeni" Ronaldo, Kristal Abazaj: Ketë vit, kaloj 15 golat" [Inspired by "The Phenomenon" Ronaldo, Kristal Abazaj: This year I surpass 15 goals] (in Albanian). BalkanWeb.com. 19 September 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  28. ^ "Rrëfehet Abazaj: Kam vuajtur, por Andërlehti më ka mësuar. Po mendoj huazimin. Në Superiore tifoz me…" [Abazaj confesses: I've suffered, but Anderlecht has taught me. I'm thinking the loan. In Superliga I'm fan with…] (in Albanian). Telegrafi.com. 29 December 2018. Retrieved 29 December 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  29. ^ Kristal Abazaj at Soccerway. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  30. ^ "Kristal Abazaj - national football team player". EU-Football.info. Retrieved 29 December 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit