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 Niko Dovana Stadium
FIFA code ALB
First colours
Second colours
Biggest win
Albania Albania 5–0 Faroe Islands 
(Toftir, Faroe Islands; November 17, 2007)
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]

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 6 6 0 0 22 5 +17 18
 Austria 6 4 0 2 12 11 +1 12
 Hungary 6 2 0 4 8 11 –3 6
 Bosnia-Herzegovina 6 2 0 4 9 16 –7 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 4–2 2–6
Bosnia-Herzegovina  4–1 0–2 1–6
Hungary  0–2 0–2 4–1
Spain  4–0 3–2 1–0


Squad[edit]

Current Squad[edit]

The following players have been called up for the friendly match against Italy u21 on 6 May 2014.[1]

Caps and goals as of 5 March 2014

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Thomas Strakosha (1995-03-19) 19 March 1995 (age 19) 4 0 Italy Lazio
12 1GK Aldo Teqja (1995-05-04) 4 May 1995 (age 19) 2 0 Cyprus Anorthosis Famagusta
1GK Princ Cali (1994-08-29) 29 August 1994 (age 19) 0 0 Albania Kastrioti Krujë
3 2DF Elseid Hysaj (1994-02-20) 20 February 1994 (age 20) 4 0 Italy Empoli
18 2DF Amir Rrahmani (1994-02-24) 24 February 1994 (age 20) 5 0 Albania Partizani Tirana
2DF Arben Muskaj (1994-06-27) 27 June 1994 (age 20) 0 0 Greece PAS Giannina
2DF Mevlan Murati (1994-03-05) 5 March 1994 (age 20) 0 0 Republic of Macedonia Shkëndija Tetovo
2DF Paolo Sokoli (1995-03-29) 29 March 1995 (age 19) 0 0 Italy Barletta
2DF Bruno Lulaj (1995-04-02) 2 April 1995 (age 19) 0 0 Greece Panionios U-20
2DF Kristi Qose (1995-06-10) 10 June 1995 (age 19) 0 0 Greece Aiginaikos
2DF Amir Bilali (1994-04-15) 15 April 1994 (age 20) 0 0 Slovenia Celje
2DF Erion Hoxhallari (1995-10-15) 15 October 1995 (age 18) 0 0 Albania Teuta Durrës
15 3MF Klaudio Hyseni (1994-07-15) 15 July 1994 (age 20) 1 0 Albania Teuta Durrës
16 3MF Fabian Beqja (1994-03-15) 15 March 1994 (age 20) 1 0 Albania Teuta Durrës
17 3MF Enis Gavazaj (1995-03-21) 21 March 1995 (age 19) 4 1 Belgium Gent
3MF Klodian Gino (1994-02-13) 13 February 1994 (age 20) 5 0 Greece Olympiakos U20
3MF Maldin Ymeraj (1994-03-23) 23 March 1994 (age 20) 0 0 Greece Panathinaikos U-20
4FW Vedat Muriqi (1994-04-24) 24 April 1994 (age 20) 3 0 Turkey Eskişehirspor
4FW Valon Ahmedi (1994-10-07) 7 October 1994 (age 19) 1 0 Slovenia Celje
4FW Faton Ademi (1995-06-04) 4 June 1995 (age 19) 0 0 Germany Hertha Berlin

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 Marsel Çaka (1995-03-31) March 31, 1995 (age 19) 0 0 Albania KS Dinamo Tirana v.  Spain, 18 November 2013
GK Oresti Menka (1992-06-27) June 27, 1992 (age 22) 3 0 Greece Doxa Drama v.  Bosnia-Herzegovina, 11 June 2013
GK Shkëlzen Ruçi (1992-07-01) July 1, 1992 (age 22) 0 0 Albania KF Bylis Ballsh v.  Bosnia-Herzegovina, 11 June 2013
DF Elvis Prençi (1993-06-26) June 26, 1993 (age 21) 12 1 Albania Teuta Durrës v.  Austria, 5 March 2014
DF Valentin Gjokaj (1993-08-23) August 23, 1993 (age 20) 9 0 Unattached v.  Austria, 5 March 2014
DF Blerim Kotobelli (1992-08-10) August 10, 1992 (age 22) 2 0 Albania Teuta Durrës v.  Spain, 18 November 2013
DF Harallamb Qaqi (1993-09-17) September 17, 1993 (age 20) 1 0 Italy Barletta v.  Spain, 18 November 2013
DF Arbnor Fejzullahu (1993-04-08) April 8, 1993 (age 21) 5 0 Albania Partizani Tirana v.  Austria, 5 March 2014
DF Shpend Matoshi (1992-02-18) February 18, 1992 (age 22) 6 0 Switzerland Chiasso v.  Bosnia-Herzegovina, 15 October 2013
DF Bruno Dita (1993-02-18) February 18, 1993 (age 21) 2 0 Albania Besa Kavajë v.  Bosnia-Herzegovina, 11 June 2013
DF Jurgen Vogli (1993-06-12) June 12, 1993 (age 21) 1 0 Albania Shkumbini Peqin v.  Bosnia-Herzegovina, 11 June 2013
MF Arsid Kruja (1993-06-08) June 8, 1993 (age 21) 3 0 Albania Vllaznia Shkodër v.  Austria, 5 March 2014
MF Herolind Shala (1992-02-01) February 1, 1992 (age 22) 7 2 Norway Odds BK v.  Austria, 5 March 2014
MF Gjelbrim Taipi (1992-12-13) December 13, 1992 (age 21) 5 0 Switzerland Wil v.  Austria, 5 March 2014
MF Idriz Batha (1992-03-28) March 28, 1992 (age 22) 7 0 Albania Partizani Tirana v.  Austria, 5 March 2014
MF Emiljano Musta (1992-01-31) January 31, 1992 (age 22) 0 0 Albania Partizani Tirana v.  Austria, 5 March 2014
MF Eni Imami (1992-12-19) December 19, 1992 (age 21) 2 0 Albania Teuta Durrës v.  Austria, 5 March 2014
MF Florind Bardulla (1992-11-19) November 19, 1992 (age 21) 2 0 Albania Vllaznia Shkodër v.  Austria, 5 March 2014
MF Imran Bunjaku (1992-10-18) October 18, 1992 (age 21) 12 0 Switzerland Grasshopper v.  Spain, 18 November 2013
MF Ergys Kaçe (1993-07-08) July 8, 1993 (age 21) 5 0 Greece PAOK v.  Spain, 18 November 2013
MF Haxhi Neziraj (1993-03-16) March 16, 1993 (age 21) 5 0 Switzerland Luzern v.  Bosnia-Herzegovina, 15 October 2013
MF Leonit Abazi (1993-07-05) July 5, 1993 (age 21) 2 0 Albania Skënderbeu Korçë v.  Spain, 9 September 2013
MF Edon Hasani (1992-01-09) January 9, 1992 (age 22) 1 0 Albania Kukësi v.  Spain, 9 September 2013
MF Alfred Deliallisi (1993-03-28) March 28, 1993 (age 21) 1 0 Albania Besa Kavajë v.  Bosnia-Herzegovina, 11 June 2013
MF Dorian Kërçiku (1993-07-30) July 30, 1993 (age 21) 3 0 Albania Tirana v.  Bosnia-Herzegovina, 11 June 2013
FW Vasil Shkurti (1992-02-27) February 27, 1992 (age 22) 12 2 Greece Niki Volos v.  Austria, 5 March 2014
FW Mario Morina (1992-10-16) October 16, 1992 (age 21) 3 0 Albania Tirana v.  Austria, 5 March 2014
FW Fabio Hoxha (1993-05-07) May 7, 1993 (age 21) 8 1 Switzerland FC Lugano v.  Bosnia-Herzegovina, 15 October 2013

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]

Twice Balkan Youth Championship winners (1978 and 1981).

References[edit]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]