Mirel Josa (born 1 June 1963) is an Albanian former football player and current coach of Kukësi. As a player, he played in the Greek Alpha Ethniki for Nea Kavala and Aris, as well as making 27 international appearances for the Albania national football team between 1984 and 1992.
|Full name||Mirel Josa|
|Date of birth||1 June 1963|
|Place of birth||Tirana, Albania|
|Height||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Josa started his club career with his boyhood club 17 Nëntori where he would play for ten years, winning three league titles alongside fellow internationals and Albanian legends Arbën Minga, Shkëlqim Muça and Agustin Kola. He will be long remembered by the fans for his last-minute goal against the Romanian side Dinamo București in the 1986–87 edition of European Cup Winners' Cup, which brought his team in the best 16 of the competition, where they got eliminated by Malmö.
Later, Josa left the country for the first time and moved abroad, signing a one-year contract with Greek side Aris. He played only one season with the club, then moved to AO Kavala. He ended his playing career with Greek lower league side ILTEX Lykoi, Alexandroupoli and Neapoli.
In his youth years Josa distinguished himself both as a defensive and attacking midfielder. During the 1982 UEFA European Under-18 Championship, played in Finland, Josa managed to score a goal against Netherlands, in a 1–3 loss, which disqualified Netherlands, where Marco van Basten was present.
During the 1984 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship his goal made Albania draw against West Germany in Trier, and was a determining factor in qualifying Albania in the quarter-finals of the championship, eliminating West Germany, Turkey, and Austria. After that game Josa was awarded the Master of Sports title.
He made his senior debut for Albania in an October 1984 FIFA World Cup qualification match away at Belgium and earned a total of 27 caps, scoring 1 goal. In the national team during the qualifiers of Mexico 1986 campaign he scored the first goal in the famous December 1984 home win over Belgium. His final international was an April 1992 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Spain.
On 26 October 2010, Josa become the new coach of Vllaznia, replacing the Montenegrin coach Mojas Radonjić who was sacked following a run of negative results. He returned for the first time in the club since 2008. He was presented to the media in the very same day.
On 18 May 2016, after winning the club's six consecutive league title and his fourth personal, Josa become the most successful coach in the history of Albanian football.
Josa was appointed the new coach of Tirana on 2 November 2016 only a day following the sacking of Ilir Daja. It was his second return to Tirana, the first since 2006. During the presentation, club president Refik Halili stated that he sacrificed Daja for the returning of Josa. On 27 May 2017, Tirana suffered relegation for the first time in history after not going more than a goalless in the last matchday against Vllaznia in Shkodër, which saw the club finish the season in 9th place which relegated them. Four days later, Tirana won the Albanian Cup for the 16th in history, beating Skënderbeu 3–1 in the final. On 15 June, Josa left the club after terminating the contract by mutual consent.
- Albanian National Championship (4): 1981–82, 1984–85, 1987–88, 1988–89
- Albanian Cup (3): 1982–83, 1983–84, 1985–86
- Mirel Josa at National-Football-Teams.com
- Mastrogiannopoulos, Alexander (11 May 2005). "Foreign Players in Greece since 1959/60". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 10 December 2008. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
- Hoxha, Florent & Mamrud, Roberto (16 July 2009). "Albania – Record International Players". RSSSF. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
- "Cikli Dossier/ Mirel Josa, "makthi i të huajve"" (in Albanian). Sport Ekspres. 9 January 2014. Archived from the original on 24 March 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- Profil, Mirel Josa / Nga Shpresa e mrekullive, te titulli i artë… – Sports Ekspres (in Albanian)
- Panorama Sport (2 December 2013). "Ndeshjet e pashlyeshme që çuan te "Drama e Trier-it"…". Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
- Albania – Record International Players – RSSSF
- "Player Database". eu-football.info. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
- "Mirel Josa trajneri i ri i Vllaznisë" (in Albanian). Arkiva Lajmeve. 26 October 2010. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "Vllaznia/ Iken Radonjiç Josa pret zyrtarizmin" (in Albanian). Arkiva Lajmeve. 25 October 2010. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "Mirel Josa rivesh tutat e Vllaznisë" (in Albanian). Arkiva Lajmeve. 26 October 2010. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "Skënderbeu / Firmos Pejiç, zyrtarizohet Mirel Josa" (in Albanian). Arkiva Lajmeve. 4 August 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "Skënderbeu/ Trajneri më i titulluar, Mirel Josa bën historinë" (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 19 May 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- Erald Kodheli (2 November 2016). "Prezantohet Josa: Tirana një përgjegjësi" [Josa presented: Tirana a responsibility] (in Albanian). SuperSport Albania. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
- "Tragjike, Tirana bie nga kategoria" [Tragical, Tirana relegated from superliga] (in Albanian). SuperSport Albania. 27 May 2017. Archived from the original on 13 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- "Tirana fiton Kupën e Shqipërisë, sezoni 2016–2017" [Tirana wins Albanian Cup, 2016–2017 season] (in Albanian). FSHF.org. 31 May 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
- "Mirel Josa ikën nga Tirana, trajneri nuk pati besim tek ringjitja!" [Mirel Josa leaves Tirana, the coach didn't have faith at rebuilding] (in Albanian). Sfidanti.al. 15 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- Mirel Josa coach profile at Soccerway