Abdi playing for Zürich
|Full name||Almen Abdi|
|Date of birth||21 October 1986|
|Place of birth||Prizren, SFR Yugoslavia|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|2012–2013||→ Watford (loan)||38||(12)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:36, 30 May 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Almen Abdi (born 21 October 1986) is a Swiss footballer of Kosovar-Albanian descent who plays as a midfielder for Watford, having played for Zürich, Le Mans and Udinese. He has been capped by the Switzerland national team.
Abdi started his professional football career at Zürich, which impressed the club and signed for the club. After one-year at the club, Abdi made debut at age seventeen, coming on as a substitute for Arthur Petrosyan in the 89th minute, in a 2-1 loss against Basel. Throughout the three season at Zürich, Abdi remained a featured less, having been an unused substitute. The 2006–07 season was Abdi breakthrough season, making more appearance and since established himself in the first team. During the 2006-07 season, Abdi would make his Champions League debut in second round of qualification round against Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg after coming on as a substitute and scored his first goal on 29 July 2006, in a 2-0 win over Schaffhausen; then scored his second goal the next match, scoring two goals in two consecutive games.
Abdi was part of the 2005–06, 2006–07 and 2008–09 Swiss Championship winning Zürich squad. He was awarded an improved contract in June 2006 which would last until the summer of 2010. Having finished as the club's top goalscorer in the 2008–09 league campaign, Abdi was named not only awarded the best midfielder in the Swiss Championship, but also awarded the best player. In the 2009-10 season, Abdi was dropped to the reserve team in November 2009 along with team-mate Andrés Vasquez, with Zürich stating they were planning for the future without the duo.
In January 2010, Abdi was transferred to Le Mans on a six-month contract with the option to extend at a later date should the club remain in Ligue 1. Le Mans failed to avoid relegation to Ligue 2 at the end of the campaign, with Abdi making 13 appearances.
In April 2010, Abdi confirmed that he would be joining Udinese in the summer when he became a free agent. In Udine, he made 19 appearances in the 2010–11 season, most of them coming from the bench. In the 2011–2012 season, Abdi scored his first goal for the club on 29 September in the Europa League, after converting the penalty to equalise against Celtic at Celtic Park. Soon after, there was a rumour of Abdi making a return to Zürich. But Abdi brushed the rumour of him being linked to Zürich, insisting he is fine and settled at Udinese.
In July 2012, Abdi trained with Watford with a view to a possible loan. He featured in the Championship side's first three pre-season friendlies, and later joined the club on a season-long loan for 2012–13. Abdi scored his first goal for Watford on his league debut against Crystal Palace on 18 August 2012. In November, Abdi soon suffered an injury after having his shoulder dislocated. Abdi made it three league goals in as many games with his effort against Birmingham City on 16 February 2013, taking his goal tally to 9. Abdi had netted in the previous two games against Bolton Wanderers and Crystal Palace. Abdi netted his 10th goal of the season with a sumptuous free kick in a 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers on 1 March 2013. Abdi has reportedly stated his desire to remain at Watford on a permanent basis, having become the club's fan favourite. In early May, he picked up the Hornets’ Player of the Season award.
On 19th July 2013, Watford FC confirmed that Abdi has signed a three year deal on a permanent basis.
- "Player Details: Almen Abdi". The English National Football Archive. SoccerData. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- "Almen Abdi" (in French). L'Équipe. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "Almen Abdi". Mail Online. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- "Almen Abdi footballer and hockey Reto von Arx honored at Biel" [Le footballeur Almen Abdi et le hockeyeur Reto von Arx honorés à Bienne] (in French). RFJ. 9 July 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- "2008/09 - Swiss Golden Player Award" (in German). Golden Player. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "Zürich drop midfield duo". UEFA. 10 November 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "FC Zurich Drop Almen Abdi & Andres Vasquez". Goal.com. 11 November 2009. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "Almen Abdi au MUC 72" (in French). Le Mans FC. 3 January 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "Abdi to leave Zürich for Le Mans". UEFA. 9 December 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- D'Andrea, Rick (7 April 2010). "Former Zurich Midfielder Almen Abdi Ready To Sign For Udinese". Goal.com. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- McGuire, Annie (29 September 2011). "Celtic 1–1 Udinese". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "Almen Abdi Returns to FCZ back?" [Kehrt Almen Abdi zum FCZ zurück?] (in German). Blick. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "Udinese, Abdi: "Return to Zurich?'m Fine here"" [Udinese, Abdi: "Tornare allo Zurigo? Sto bene qui"] (in Italian). Tutto Mercato Web. 7 December 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- Smith, Frank (17 July 2012). "Loan trio expected to remain". Watford Observer. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
- "Official: Hornets delighted with a magnificent seven signings". Watford Football Club. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
- "Crystal Palace 2–3 Watford". BBC. 18 August 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- "Watford's Almen Abdi suffers shoulder dislocation". BBC Sport. 14 November 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "Almen Abdi confident Watford can secure automatic promotion". Watford Observer. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "Almen Abdi named Watford's Player of the Season and Cristian Battocchio scores top goal". Watford Observer. 5 May 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
- "Watford sign Almen Abdi, Cristian Battocchio, Gabriele Angella, Diego Fabbrini, Javier Acuna, Marco Davide Faraoni, Marco Cassetti and Daniel Pudil". Watford Observer. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
- "robbed Abdi!" [Abdi ausgeraubt!] (in German). Blick. 24 April 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "Almen Abdi: "Gokhan Inler helps me a lot in Udinese»" [Almen Abdi: "Gökhan Inler hilft mir viel in Udinese"] (in German). Blick. 28 August 2010. Retrieved 6 April 2013.