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Sokol Kushta (born 17 April 1964) is an Albanian retired football player, who was arguably one of his country's best players in the second half of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s and one of the first to be allowed by the communist party to play abroad.

Sokol Kushta
Personal information
Full name Sokol Kushta
Date of birth (1964-04-17) 17 April 1964 (age 55)
Place of birth Vlore, Albania
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1981–1984 Flamurtari 40 (14)
1984–1987 Partizani 70 (31)
1987–1991 Flamurtari 81 (41)
1991–1993 Iraklis Saloniki 36 (2)
1993–1994 Apollon Kalamarias 24 (10)
1994–1995 Olympiakos Nicosia 26 (13)
1995–1996 Ethnikos Achna 19 (3)
National team
1987–1996 Albania 31 (10)
Teams managed
2000–2001 Flamurtari
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 October 2009
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 7 October 2009

Kushta was a striker and was ranked 30th in the 1987 European Footballer of the Year, matching in the ranking players such as Alessandro Altobelli, Glenn Hoddle, and Rudi Völler.[1]

Contents

Club careerEdit

Born in Vlorë, Kushta spent the large part of his Albanian league career with hometown club Flamurtari during the 1980s, the club's golden years alongside fellow international players like Alfred Zijai, Kreshnik Çipi, Petro Ruçi, Alfred Ferko and Rrapo Taho.[2] In the 1987–88 season, he and his Flamurtari teammates managed to knock-out Partizan Belgrade and Wismut Aue, before losing for a second successive year to Spanish giants FC Barcelona in the UEFA Cup.[3] He also had three seasons with army club Partizani Tirana.

One of the most high-profile Albanian players at the time, Kushta moved abroad following the fall of communism and joined Greek side Iraklis Saloniki alongside fellow international and Flamurtari goalkeeper Anesti Arapi and later played for Apollon Kalamarias and in Cyprus for Ethnikos Achnas and Olympiakos Nicosia.

Kushta is the current joint-top goalscorer of Albanian Supercup along with KF Tirana's Mahir Halili, having scored a hat-trick in the 1990 edition against Dinamo Tirana.[4][5]

International careerEdit

Kushta made his debut for Albania in a March 1987 European Championship qualification match away at Romania and earned a total of 31 caps, scoring a then national record 10 goals.[6] His final international was an October 1996 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Portugal.[7]

HonoursEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "European Footballer of the Year ("Ballon d'Or") 1987". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.
  2. ^ Rrapo Taho: Jam me rregulloren, por FSHF e di se pa Flamurtarin nuk ka kampionat - Sot News (in Albanian)
  3. ^ Alfrd Zijai: “Ishim një brez i artë” - Telegraf (in Albanian)
  4. ^ "Albania - List of Super Cup Finals". RSSSF.com. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Supekupa, tripleta e famshme e Sokol Kushtës" [Supercup, the famous hat-trick of Sokol Kushta]. Arkiva Lajmeve. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  6. ^ Hoxha, Florent (16 July 2009). "Albania - Record International Players". RSSSF. Retrieved 20 July 2009.
  7. ^ "Sokol Kushta - national football team player". EU-Football.info. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Albania - Championship Winning Teams". RSSSF.com. Retrieved 27 October 2018.

External linksEdit