Ibraimi dribbling past Andrei Arshavin while playing for Macedonia (left)
|Full name||Agim Ibraimi|
|Date of birth||29 August 1988|
|Place of birth||Tetovo, SFR Yugoslavia|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|2006–2008||Red Bull Salzburg Juniors||11||(7)|
|2013–2014||→ Cagliari (loan)||25||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 30 August 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Agim Ibraimi (Macedonian: Агим Ибраими) (born 29 August 1988) is a professional Macedonian footballer who plays as a midfielder for Maribor in the Slovenian PrvaLiga. He is also a member of the Macedonia national football team.
Childhood and early career
Ibraimi was born in Tetovo, SR Macedonia, SFR Yugoslavia, to Macedonian Albanian parents. While growing up in Tetovo, Agim joined the Shkendija youth team and eventually broke through into the senior squad at the age of 17.
Shkendija and Red Bull Salzburg
Agim debuted for Shkendija 79 in 2005 and was a crucial member of the team. He made forty nine appearances and scored three goals, helping Shkendija reach fifth place in the Prva Liga. Making a significant impact on the club at such a young age, Agim was picked up by Red Bull Salzburg and moved abroad.
At Red Bull Salzburg, Ibraimi developed further under their tutelage. For the two years with Salzburg, Ibraimi made three appearances for the senior team.
Agim joined Olimpija who were at that time playing in Slovenian second division. His first season in the Slovenian capital was very successful, as Olimpija finished as league winners and Ibraimi helped with 11 goals and 10 assists.
The start of his second season in Ljubljana was not as smooth. After Miran Pavlin, the director of football who brought him to the club, departed for Koper, Ibraimi wanted to join him. But Olimpija's board had none of it, as the player still had a valid contract with the club. The start of his first season in Slovenian PrvaLiga was difficult, his form was not up to standard, but it did pick up eventually and Ibraimi regained his place in Olimpija's first eleven. He scored his first goal in the Slovenian PrvaLiga on 28 August against Koper.
Ibraimi terminated his contract with Olimpija in the summer of 2010 and signed a three-year deal with Turkish team Eskişehirspor on 3 September 2010. He made his debut for Eskisehirspor on 25 September 2010 when he came off the bench in the 77th minute, but his team lost 1–0. Ibraimi failed to adjust to the Turkish league so he and the club agreed to mutually terminate the contract and Ibraimi joined Nafta Lendava during the 2011 January transfer window.
On 10 June 2011 it was announced, that Ibraimi has signed a three-year contract with the Slovenian club Maribor.He made his debut for Maribor against Dudelange in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League where he also scored his first goal and assist for the club. Ibraimi has been a regular starter for Maribor and has been having a tremendous season in the Slovenian PrvaLiga. Despite not qualifying past the third round of qualifications, Maribor had a chance in the play offs for the UEFA Europa League against Scottish club, Rangers F.C.. Ibraimi helped Maribor reach the group stages of the Europa League after scoring a goal from just inside the box in the first leg. Despite Maribor getting last place in their group, Ibraimi scored against Portugal club, SC Braga, in the only match of the group stage where Maribor secured a point. In May 2012, Ibraimi signed a new contract with the club until May 2015. In the same month, he scored directly from a corner kick in an 8–0 win against Triglav Kranj and won the league title with Maribor. In December 2012, he won the Macedonian footballer of the year award. He was voted as one of the best midfield players in the 2012–13 Slovenian PrvaLiga alongside his teammate Goran Cvijanović and Nik Omladič. He was also selected as the overall best player in the 2012–13 PrvaLiga season.
On the 31st of August, 2013, Agim Ibraimi moved to Cagliari on loan in exchange for Pablo Ceppelini and money. In his second game for Cagliari, he provided an assist against Inter Milan. On March 2 2014, Ibraimi scored his first goal for Cagliari against Udinese and providing an assist eight minutes earlier. Only maintaining five starting appearances for Cagliari, he did not receive much playing time in Italy.
Agim Ibraimi has reached an agreement with Maribor to extend his contract until May of 2017.
Returning to Maribor, Ibraimi helped the club reach the UEFA Champions League group stage by scoring in the qualifying rounds against Zrinjski Mostar and Maccabi Tel Aviv. The last time Maribor were in the Champions League was in 1999. On 5 November 2014, Maribor drew against Chelsea F.C. in the Champions League. Ibraimi scored on the 50th minute with a brilliant curling effort from the edge of the box.
Ibraimi was capped for Macedonia U21 several times. He made a significant impact in the under-21 football team during the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification. When playing against the England U21 team in Macedonia, Ibraimi scored from 32 yards out. Also when playing against the England U21 team in England, Ibraimi scored a goal and took the corner kick that resulted in Kieran Gibbs scoring an own goal.
He received his first call-up to the Macedonia national football team in a friendly match against Spain, which took place on 12 August 2009. On his debut, he came on as a substitute for Goran Pandev in 79th minute of the game. On 12 October 2012, he scored his first goal for Macedonia in a 1–2 home defeat against Croatia in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifications. He scored another goal just three days later against Serbia for a historic 1–0 win for Macedonia.
- Scores and results list Macedonia's goal tally first.
|1.||12 October 2012||Philip II Arena, Skopje||Croatia||
||2014 World Cup qualifier|
|2.||16 October 2012||Philip II Arena, Skopje||Serbia||
||2014 World Cup qualifier|
|3.||14 November 2012||Philip II Arena, Skopje||Slovenia||
|4.||6 February 2013||Philip II Arena, Skopje||Denmark||
|5.||14 August 2013||Philip II Arena, Skopje||Bulgaria||
|6.||5 March 2014||Philip II Arena, Skopje||Latvia||
|7.||8 September 2014||Estadi Ciutat de València, Valencia||Spain||
- Slovenian PrvaLiga (3): 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14
- Slovenian Cup (2): 2011–12, 2012–13
- Slovenian Supercup (3): 2012, 2013, 2014
- PrvaLiga Player of the season: 2012–13
- PrvaLiga Team of the Year: 2013
- Macedonian Footballer of the Year: 2013, 2014
Ibraimi is multilingual, speaking six languages fluently: Albanian, English, German, Macedonian, Serbo-Croatian and Slovene. He also understands and is taking lessons for Spanish. Ibraimi is a cousin of professional football player Arijan Ademi.
- Maribor take two-goal lead to Luxembourg
- Ibraimi's goal against Rangers
- NK Maribor. "Ibraimi nogometaš leta" (in Slovenian). NK Maribor official website. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Ibraimi najboljši v Makedoniji" (in Slovenian). Nogomania. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Olimpija po 26 letih slavila v Kopru, Aluminij že izpadel" (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- "Agim Ibraimi najboljši igralec v Prvi ligi" (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. 24 May 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- "Agim Ibraimi to move to Cagliari". MacedonianFootball. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "Calciomercato Cagliari: il colpo dell'ultim'ora, Agim Ibraimi" (in Italian). Corriere Dello Sport. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "Agim Ibraimi agrees to extension with Maribor". MacedonianFootball. 18 August 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- "Šimundža revels in Maribor's 'phenomenal feeling'". UEFA official website. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
- Ibraimi's goal in Prilep
- Agim Ibraimi against England
- NK Maribor. "Premiera Cvijanovića, gol Ibraimija" (in Slovenian). NK Maribor official website. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- NK Maribor. "Ibraimi spet strelec, Mertlju vseh 90" (in Slovenian). NK Maribor official website. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
- "Na delu v tujini - Agim Ibraimi" (in Slovenian). EKIPA.org. 7 July 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
- Žiga Ikič, Marko Miklavič (26 October 2012). "VIDEO: "Proti Tottenhamu je točka ogromna stvar"" (in Slovenian). Šport TV. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- Damjan Tratnik (25 July 2012). "Heerenveen ali Dinamo?" (in Slovenian). Nogomania. Retrieved 24 August 2012.