Albert Bunjaku

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To be distinguished from Albert Bunjaki.
Albert Bunjaku
Albert Bunjaku 2010.jpg
Bunjaku at practice with 1. FC Nürnberg in 2010.
Personal information
Full name Albert Bunjaku
Date of birth (1983-11-29) 29 November 1983 (age 30)
Place of birth Gnjilane, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
1. FC Kaiserslautern
Number 10
Youth career
1996–1998 FC Schlieren
1998–2000 Grasshopper Club Zürich
2000–2003 SC Young Fellows Juventus
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2005 FC Schaffhausen 39 (3)
2006 SC Paderborn 07 10 (1)
2006–2009 FC Rot-Weiß Erfurt 74 (34)
2009–2012 1. FC Nürnberg 55 (14)
2012–2014 1. FC Kaiserslautern 30 (13)
2014- FC St. Gallen 0 (0)
National team
2004–2006 Switzerland U21 15 (7)
2009–2010 Switzerland 6 (0)
2014– Kosovo 3 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 July 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 25 May 2014

Albert Bunjaku (born 29 November 1983)[1] is a Swiss-Kosovar football player who plays for 1. FC Kaiserslautern in the German Bundesliga. He represented Switzerland at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He plays as a forward for the Kosovo national football team.

Club career[edit]

When Bunjaku was eight years old, he moved with his mother and two brothers to Switzerland, where his father was already working. Bunjaku joined his first club at 13 – unusually late for a future professional. Before starting out with FC Schlieren, he only played football in the schoolyard or on the five-a-side court. At that stage he was also very keen on basketball.

Bunjaku playing for Rot-Weiß Erfurt

"I actually always used to play right back in the early days. At some point I was transformed into a striker and that worked out very well. I feel at home up front, I think it's a good position for me and I always try to give it 100 percent", Bunjaku says in summary of his career to date.

Bunjaku's first step on the professional ladder was at FC Schaffhausen in the Challenge League, Switzerland's second division. The team won promotion to the Super League in 2003–04 and over the course of the next 18 months the young forward made 39 top-flight appearances.

In January 2006, the 23-year-old Bunjaku left Schaffhausen for 2. Bundesliga side SC Paderborn. His first staging post in Germany was destined to last just six months however, as he failed to establish himself under then-coach Jos Luhukay. "At the time I didn't have the feeling he was Bundesliga material", Luhukay says now. As a result, Bunjaku found himself unemployed in the summer of 2006.

Then however, a chance conversation turned Bunjaku's fortunes around. His wife Arieta worked in a boutique in Paderborn frequented by the wife of former Paderborn coach Pavel Dochev. They struck up a conversation and it transpired that Dotchev, now in charge of Rot-Weiß Erfurt, was on the lookout for a striker. No sooner said than done, and Bunjaku was on the move to third-division Erfurt.

He first came to the attention of the wider footballing public when Rot-Weiß Erfurt took on Bayern Munich in a DFB Cup tie on 10 August 2008. Coming on as a second-half substitute in what was Jürgen Klinsmann's competitive debut as Bayern coach, Bunjaku put two goals past the record champions, who eventually squeezed past their lower-league opponents 4–3.

International career[edit]

On 14 November 2009, Bunjaku made his international debut for Switzerland in the 0–1 home loss to Norway in a friendly match after coming on as a substitute for Alexander Frei at half time. He was part of the Swiss squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, playing the last 13 minutes of the group match against Chile after coming on for Gelson Fernandes.[2] Bunjaku played in Kosovo's first FIFA-approved match, against Haiti in a 0–0 home friendly on 5 March 2014.[3] Bunjaku played for Kosovo against Turkey on 21 May 2014 and scored its first international goal.

International goals[edit]

Scores and results table. Kosovo's goal tally first:

International goals
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 21 May 2014 Olympic Stadium Adem Jashari, Mitrovica, Kosovo  Turkey 1–2 1–6 Friendly
2. 25 May 2014 Stade de Genève, Genève, Switzerland  Senegal 1–1 1–3 Friendly

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hitzfeld: "Bunjaku ist ein Thema"" (in German). Sportal.ch. 5 November 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Chile 1-0 Switzerland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Kosovo 0-0 Haiti". FootballDatabase.eu. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 

External links[edit]