Albania national under-21 football team

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Albania U21
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Shpresat e Shqipërisë (Albanian Expectations/Hopes)
Association Federata Shqiptare e Futbollit (FSHF)
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Skënder Gega
Captain TBA
Most caps Elvis Prençi (12)
Imran Bunjaku
Top scorer Armando Sadiku (6)
Home stadium Qemal Stafa Stadium
FIFA code ALB
First colours
Second colours
Biggest win
Albania Albania 7–1 Romania 
(Tirana, Albania; April 12, 1978)[1]
Biggest defeat
 Germany 8–0 Albania Albania
(Cologne, Germany; March 23, 2001)
UEFA U-21 Championship
Appearances 1 (First in 1984)
Best result Quarter-finals, 1984

The Albania national under-21 football team is the national under-21 football team of Albania and is controlled by the Football Association of Albania. The team competes in the European Under-21 Football Championship, which is held every two years.

In terms of youth football, this team is very amazing and is the highest age group team in which the best young, professional footballers who have were born in Albania, or have Albanian parents or grandparents, can be selected to play in. The team's players have the hope that they can successfully play international football with some success and possibly be called up to play in the full senior Albania team.

History[edit]

Albania U-21 participated in the Balkan Youth Championships, which started in 1969 and ended in 1981 in 10 overall competitions, and won the two last, the 1978 and the 1981 ones with finals against Romania and Bulgaria. Notably in 1978 the second leg of the final match against Romania was characterized by a large Albania win (7-1), which is, until September 2014, the largest win ever recorded of Albania U-21.[2]

1984 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship[edit]

Albania Under-21's have managed to qualify only once in their history, and that came in the year of 1984 when they managed to qualify for the 1984 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, although they were competing for the first time in such tournament. They were drawn in a very tough group which included the West Germany, Turkey and Austria. The historic event in Albanian football history is the only occasion where any Albanian national team has ever managed to qualify for a major European or even World championship. To this day the team that qualified for 1984 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship are still regarded as the most successful team in Albanian football history. Albania U21 managed to qualify without losing a single game and managing two very good draws against one of the biggest and best footballing nations, West Germany.

Albania played the quarter finals against Italy, against which it lost twice 0-1, and 0-1, in Albania and Italy respectively. Italy advanced to the semifinals of Euro '84 and lost them against England, eventual champions of the tournament.

1986-1994[edit]

In the 1986 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania came last in group after Poland and Greece, and could not qualify. In the 1988 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania came again last in group after Spain, Romania nd Austria. In the 1990 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania came last in group after Sweden, England and Poland. In the 1992 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship managed to leave last in groupe Iceland, but was preceded by Czechoslovakia, France and Spain. In the qualifiers of the 1994 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania againe left at bottom the Republic of Ireland, but was preceded by Spain, Germany and Denmark.

1996-2002[edit]

In the 1996 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification Albania did not participate. In the qualifiers of the 1998 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania left behind Armenia, but had to trail in the final rankings Germany, Ukraine, and Portugal. In the qualifiers of the 2000 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania trailed Greece, Norway, Georgia, Latvia, and Slovenia and closed at the bottom of the group. In the qualifiers of the 2002 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania came again last behind England, Greece, Germany, and Finland.

2004-2007[edit]

In the qualifiers of the 2004 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania had the best result since Euro '84, when it had won the group, as it left two teams behind (Republic of Ireland and Georgia), but was preceded by Switzerland and Russia, and thus failed to qualify to the main tournament. In the qualifiers of the 2006 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania left behind itself Kazakhstan, but was preceded by Denmark, Ukraine, Greece, Turkey, and Georgia. In the qualifiers of the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, in a 3 teams group, Albania came last behind Spain and Slovakia and failed to qualify.

2009-2013[edit]

In the qualifiers of the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania was fourth out of 6 teams in the final ranking, leaving behind the Faroe Islands and Azerbaijan, but trailing behind Italy, Croatia and Greece. In the qualifiers of the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania left again behind Azerbaijan but trailed Scotland, Belarus, and Austria in the final rankings. In the qualifiers of the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania came last trailing behind Russia, Portugal, Poland, and Moldova. However, as a consolation for the first time an Albanian footballer, Armando Sadiku was the top goalscoarer of the group. Albania drew in Russia against the famous hosts during that tournament, a noticeable fact.

2015[edit]

Group stage[edit]

Team
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Spain 8 7 1 0 24 6 +18 22
 Austria 8 5 1 2 15 12 +3 16
 Hungary 8 3 0 5 12 13 –1 9
 Bosnia-Herzegovina 8 2 0 6 10 22 –12 6
 Albania 8 2 0 6 7 15 –8 6
  Albania Austria Bosnia and Herzegovina Hungary Spain
Albania  0–1 0–1 1–2 0–2
Austria  1–3 2–0 4–2 2–6
Bosnia-Herzegovina  4–1 0–2 1–4 1–6
Hungary  0–2 0–2 4–1 0–1
Spain  4–0 1–1 3–2 1–0


Squad[edit]

Current Squad[edit]

The following players have been called up to participate in the international tournament in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on 12-18 November 2014. note: Will be unable to join the U-21 national team for the following reasons these players: Dreni Hoxha (injured), Enis Gavazaj (injured), Isnik Alimi (injured), Aldo Teqja (engaged with the club), Valmir Nafiu (engaged with the club).[3]

Caps and goals as of 16 November 2014

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Thomas Strakosha (1995-03-19) 19 March 1995 (age 19) 7 0 Italy Lazio
1GK Marsel Çaka (1995-03-31) 31 March 1995 (age 19) 0 0 Albania KS Dinamo Tirana
2DF Paolo Sokoli (1995-03-29) 29 March 1995 (age 19) 2 0 Italy Barletta
2DF Kristi Marku (1995-04-13) 13 April 1995 (age 19) 2 0 Hungary Budapest Honvéd
2DF Bruno Lulaj (1995-04-02) 2 April 1995 (age 19) 3 0 Albania Skënderbeu Korçë
2DF Kristi Qose (1995-06-10) 10 June 1995 (age 19) 3 0 Greece Apollon 1926
2DF Erion Hoxhallari (1995-10-15) 15 October 1995 (age 19) 3 0 Albania Teuta Durrës
2DF Amir Rrahmani (1994-02-24) 24 February 1994 (age 20) 7 1 Albania Partizani Tirana
2DF Mërgim Vojvoda (1995-02-01) 1 February 1995 (age 19) 3 0 Belgium Sint-Truiden
3MF Klodian Gino (1994-02-13) 13 February 1994 (age 20) 8 0 Greece Aris Thessaloniki
3MF Neti Meçe (1995-08-11) 11 August 1995 (age 19) 2 0 Greece Niki Volos
4FW Vedat Muriqi (1994-04-24) 24 April 1994 (age 20) 6 1 Turkey Giresunspor
4FW Valon Ahmedi (1994-10-07) 7 October 1994 (age 20) 4 1 Slovenia Celje
4FW Albion Avdijaj (1994-01-12) 12 January 1994 (age 20) 1 0 Germany Wolfsburg
4FW Jurgen Vatnikaj (1995-08-08) 8 August 1995 (age 19) 2 1 Albania Partizani Tirana

Recent call-ups[edit]

Following players have been called up in the previous 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Aldo Teqja (1995-05-04) 4 May 1995 (age 19) 3 0 Cyprus Elpida Xylofagou v.  United Arab Emirates, 7 November 2014
GK Entonjo Elezaj (1996-07-14) 14 July 1996 (age 18) 1 0 Italy Juventus v.  Italy, 6 May 2014
GK Princ Cali (1994-08-29) 29 August 1994 (age 20) 0 0 Albania Kastrioti Krujë v.  Italy, 6 May 2014
DF Tom Syku (1995-09-21) 21 September 1995 (age 19) 1 0 Italy Reggina v.  Romania, 8 October 2014
DF Arben Muskaj (1994-06-27) 27 June 1994 (age 20) 1 0 Albania Partizani Tirana v.  Romania, 8 October 2014
DF Leart Paqarada (1994-10-08) 8 October 1994 (age 20) 1 0 Germany SV Sandhausen v.  Romania, 1 October 2014
DF Elseid Hysaj (1994-02-20) 20 February 1994 (age 20) 4 0 Italy Empoli v.  Italy, 6 May 2014
DF Amir Bilali (1994-04-15) 15 April 1994 (age 20) 0 0 Slovenia Celje v.  Italy, 6 May 2014
DF Mevlan Murati (1994-03-05) 5 March 1994 (age 20) 0 0 Republic of Macedonia Shkëndija Tetovo v.  Italy, 6 May 2014
MF Enis Gavazaj Injured (1995-03-21) 21 March 1995 (age 19) 4 1 Belgium Gent v.  United Arab Emirates, 7 November 2014
MF Dreni Hoxha Injured (1994-03-27) 27 March 1994 (age 20) 0 0 Germany Schalke 04 II v.  United Arab Emirates, 7 November 2014
MF Eros Grezda (1995-04-15) 15 April 1995 (age 19) 1 0 Slovenia NK Aluminij v.  Romania, 8 October 2014
MF Endri Çekiçi (1996-11-23) 23 November 1996 (age 18) 1 0 Croatia Dinamo Zagreb v.  Romania, 8 October 2014
MF Klaudio Hyseni (1994-07-15) 15 July 1994 (age 20) 1 0 Albania Teuta Durrës v.  Romania, 8 October 2014
MF Valmir Sulejmani (1996-02-01) 1 February 1996 (age 18) 0 0 Germany Hannover 96 v.  Romania, 1 October 2014
MF Fabian Beqja (1994-03-15) 15 March 1994 (age 20) 1 0 Albania Teuta Durrës v.  Italy, 6 May 2014
MF Maldin Ymeraj (1994-03-23) 23 March 1994 (age 20) 0 0 Greece Panathinaikos U-20 v.  Italy, 6 May 2014
FW Isnik Alimi Injured (1994-02-02) 2 February 1994 (age 20) 1 0 Italy Lumezzane v.  United Arab Emirates, 7 November 2014
FW Valmir Nafiu (1994-04-23) 23 April 1994 (age 20) 0 0 Germany Hamburger v.  United Arab Emirates, 7 November 2014
FW Esad Morina (1997-01-17) 17 January 1997 (age 17) 1 0 Germany Schalke 04 v.  Romania, 8 October 2014
FW Faton Ademi (1995-06-04) 4 June 1995 (age 19) 0 0 Germany Nürnberg II v.  Italy, 6 May 2014
  • Injured = Not called-up due to injury

Coaching staff[edit]

Current coaching staff:

Head Coach Albania Skënder Gega
Assistant Coach Albania Genti Mahmutaj
Athletic Coach Albania Iris Selimi
Goalkeeping Coach Albania Gut Tafaj
Fitness Coach Albania Xhaferr Koçi
Physiotherapists Albania Perli Rusi
Team Doctor Albania Alban Merepeza

Honours[edit]

Balkan Youth Championship
  • Winners (2): 1978, 1981

References[edit]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]