Amir Abrashi

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Amir Abrashi
Amir Abrashi.jpg
Abrashi playing for Switzerland U21 at the UEFA Euro U21 2011
Personal information
Date of birth (1990-03-27) 27 March 1990 (age 24)
Place of birth Bischofszell, Switzerland
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Grasshopper
Number 8
Youth career
2002–2003 FC Bischofszell
2003–2005 FC Weinfelden-Bürglen
2005 FC Bischofszell
2005–2007 Winterthur
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2008 Winterthur II 16 (2)
2008–2011 Winterthur 58 (4)
2010–2011 Grasshopper (loan) 27 (1)
2011– Grasshopper 89 (4)
National team
2007–2008 Switzerland U17 2 (0)
2008–2009 Switzerland U19 20 (2)
2010–2012 Switzerland U21 18 (0)
2012 Switzerland Olympic 4 (0)
2013– Albania 11[1] (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13 January 2015.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 18 November 2014

Amir Abrashi (born 27 March 1990), is an Albanian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Swiss club Grasshopper and the Albanian national team.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Abrashi was born in Bischofszell, Switzerland to Albanian parents who had emigrated from Kosovo before Amir was born and grew up in the Canton of Thurgau region. He began his career at the age of 12 with his hometown club FC Bischofszell. A year later in 2003 he moved to FC Weinfelden-Bürglen, where he spent 2 years before returning to his hometown club FC Bischofszell. However, just a month after his return, Abrashi moved to Winterthur along with his family, where he joined local side FC Winterthur, the club where he would remain for the remainder of his youth career.

Winterthur[edit]

Following impressive performances with the youth teams, Abrashi was first called up to the reserve side towards the end of the 2006–07 season, making his debut on 16 May 2007 in a goalless draw against GC Biaschesi, coming on in the 81st minute for Micha Iseli. 10 days later he was in the starting formation for the 3-2 away win against FC Chur 97. The following season he started in the youth team, but was promoted permanently a few months into the season and on 11 November 2007 he came on as a late substitute in a 4-3 loss against FC St. Gallen II. The following game he started in midfield against FC Herisau in a game which ended in a 4-1 win, and where Abrashi scored his first competitive goal in the 90th minute of the game. He became a regular in the squad's starting line up for the second half of the season, even scoring again against FC Baden. His performances in the reserve side caught the attention of the first team coach Mathias Walther, who included the 18 year old in his squad for the Challenge League class against FC La Chaux-de-Fonds on 27 April 2008. Abrashi came on as a 67th minute substitute for fellow Ethnic Albanian Sehar Fejzulahi in the 1-0 away loss. He made 2 more appearances off the bench for the senior side against FC Lugano and SR Delémont respectively.

Grasshopper[edit]

In July 2010, Abrashi was loaned for a year to Grasshopper Club Zürich. After the loan contract ended in 2011, he was bought from Grasshopper for a fee of €600.000. He played together with other Albanian descents compatriots with origin from Kosovo, such as Shkëlzen Gashi, Shani Tarashaj, Imran Bunjaku, Albion Avdijaj and Mërgim Brahimi.

International career[edit]

Switzerland's youth national teams[edit]

Amir Abrashi was an important player of Swiss youth national teams earning more than 40 caps in total. The highlights of his career for Switzerland were the achievement of runner-up at the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, coming on as a second-half substitute in the final against Spain (0-2), and the subsequent participation in the 2012 Summer Olympics as a regular player where Switzerland lost in the group games against the later Gold Medalist Mexico (0-1) and Bronze Medal winner South Korea (1-2), while achieving a 1-1 draw against Gabun.[2][3][4]

Abrashi who was serving for the Swiss Army,[5] repeatedly stated his wish to play for the Swiss national team in the future: "That's no question for me. I grew up here and I feel like a Swiss." [6] However, the big competition for a spot in the Swiss national team on his position of central midfield by players like Valon Behrami, team captain Gökhan Inler, Granit Xhaka, Blerim Dzemaili, Pajtim Kasami, Gelson Fernandes, Fabian Frei or Pirmin Schwegler made him reconsider his decision. In a long talk with Ottmar Hitzfeld in May 2013, the Swiss national team coach told Abrashi that he is following his development closely and would like Abrashi to play for Switzerland in the future, but did not hide the fact that considering the competition on his position, he would need patience in order to catch a regular spot in the team. After this talk, Abrashi, decided to play for the Albanian football association in the future, stating: "It hurts that I can't play for Switzerland which would have been my first choice, but the step to become a national team player is important in this stage of my career as a footballer. I cannot wait until I'm 26."[7] In order to become a national team player of Albania, not only Abrashi himself, but also his parents who hail from Kosovo, had to apply for an Albanian passport. [8]

Albania national football team[edit]

He played his first match for Albania on 14 August 2013 by playing as a starter against Armenia in a friendly match, which ended as a 2–0 victory for Albania.[9] On 3 June 2013, FIFA gave the go ahead for Abrashi to play for Albania also in international official matches, such as the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification.[10] He made it his international official debut on 6 September 2013 against Slovenia, match valid for the Group E of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, in which Abrashi came in as a substitute in the 80th minute in place of Migjen Basha.[11]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 6 December 2014 [12][13]
Season Club League country League League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2007–08 Winterthur Swiss Challenge League 3 0 0 0 - - 3 0
2008–09 27 1 0 0 - - 27 1
2009–10 28 3 0 0 - - 28 3
Total 58 4 0 0 0 0 58 4
2010–11 Grasshopper Swiss Super League 27 1 2 2 2 0 31 3
2011–12 15 0 1 0 - - 16 0
2012–13 27 3 4 0 - - 31 3
2013–14 32 0 3 1 4 0 39 1
2014–15 15 1 1 0 2 1 18 2
Total 116 5 11 3 6 1 133 9
Career total 174 9 11 3 6 1 191 13

International[edit]

As of 18 November 2014
Albania national team[13][14]
Year Apps Goals
2013 4 0
2014 7 0
Total 11 0

Honours[edit]

Grasshopper

References[edit]

External links[edit]