Arben Minga

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Arben Minga
Arben Minga.jpg
Personal information
Full name Arben Minga
Date of birth 16 March 1959
Place of birth Tirana, Albania
Date of death 31 January 2007(2007-01-31) (aged 47)
Place of death Windsor, Canada
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1973-1975 17 Nëntori Tirana
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1975-1991 17 Nëntori Tirana ? (102)
1991-1992 FC Braşov 17 (1)
1992-1993 Dacia Unirea Brăila 25 (3)
1993-1994 Acvila Giurgiu
1994-1996 KF Tirana 55 (3)
National team
1980-1989 Albania 28 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Arben Minga (16 March 1959 in Tirana – 31 January 2007 in Windsor, Canada) was an Albanian footballer, who played as a centre-forward and a central defender.

He was known as Beni i madh (Big Ben). He was a six-time Albanian title winner.

Career[edit]

Club[edit]

He began his career in Albanian Championship with KF Tirana, then known as 17 Nëntori, becoming well established by the 1977/78 season. Along with Agustin Kola, Mirel Josa, Sulejman Mema, Shkelqim Muca, Bedri Omuri and Millan Baçi, Minga was a member of the Tirana side of the 1980s that won four national championships and three national cups. In the early 1990s, Minga moved abroad to play in Romania in the 1992-1994, but came back to KF Tirana in the last two years.

International[edit]

Capped 28 times by Albania,[1] he played 20 games in European competition. He had represented his country in 12 FIFA World Cup qualification matches [2]

Personal life and death[edit]

He subsequently went to Canada with his wife Nora Goxhaj, a former professional basketballer, where they raised two sons, Gridi and Joni. It was there that he was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Minga died on 31 January 2007 of pancreatic cancer. Players in the 18th round of the 2006-2007 Albanian Superliga games wore black armbands in his memory.

Ben Minga in memoriam video on YouTube

Memories of colleagues and coaches[edit]

His friend and fellow footballer Mirel Josa remembered that he had his Tirana debut in 1981 because Minga was suspended. Josa discovered he had no boots to play in, but recalled that "Beni gave me his boots and said 'put them on and be careful because they never stop running'."[3]

Shyqyri Rreli, his coach at KF Tirana called Minga: "The best captain and leader I ever had."[4] Team-mate Millan Baçi added: "His shot was like a bullet."[5] Meanwhile, his former colleague on the national side, Skënder Gega, labelled him "the hardest forward to defend against and the best person to have in your team". His one-time youth coach Fatmir Frasheri said: "I never heard him say 'I'm tired'. He would always be the first in for training and would give everything he had in every game."[6]

Honours[edit]

Albania Champion: 6 times.[7]

Winner of Albania Cup: 5 times

Romanian Cup finalist : once (1992-93)

Goals in Albanian Championship[edit]

Season Team Goals
1976-77 KF Tirana 1
1977-78 KF Tirana 1
1978-79 KF Tirana 3
1979-80 KF Tirana 1
1980-81 KF Tirana 7
1981-82 KF Tirana 3
1982-83 KF Tirana 4
1983-84 KF Tirana 8
1984-85 KF Tirana 13
1985-86 KF Tirana 16
1986-87 KF Tirana 11
1987-88 KF Tirana 16
1988-89 KF Tirana 9
1989-90 KF Tirana 6
1990-91 KF Tirana 3
1990-91 FC Braşov
1992-93 Dacia Unirea Brăila
1993-94 ASA Acvila Giurgiu
1994-95 KF Tirana 2
1995-96 KF Tirana 1
TOTAL 105

References[edit]

External links[edit]