Blerim Džemaili

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Blerim Xhemajli
Blerim Dzemaili.jpg
Džemaili playing for Switzerland in 2012
Personal information
Full name Blerim Xhemajli[1]
Date of birth (1986-04-12) 12 April 1986 (age 28)
Place of birth Tetovo, SR Macedonia, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Napoli
Number 20
Youth career
1995–1996 Oerlikon Zürich
1996–2000 FC Unterstrass
2000–2001 YF Juventus
2001–2003 FC Zürich
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2007 FC Zürich 111 (9)
2007–2009 Bolton Wanderers 0 (0)
2008–2009 Torino (loan) 30 (0)
2009–2011 Parma 49 (1)
2011– Napoli 85 (16)
National team
2004–2008 Switzerland U-21 16 (4)
2006– Switzerland 35 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 May 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 20 June 2014

Blerim Džemaili (Albanian: Blerim Xhemaili) (born 12 April 1986) is a Swiss football midfielder who plays for Serie A club Napoli.

He made his debut for the Swiss national team in March 2006 and was selected for their squads at the World Cup in 2006 and 2014.

Club career[edit]

Childhood and early career[edit]

Blerim was born to Fekredin and Shemije Xhemaili,[2] an Albanian family from Bogovinje, Macedonia.[3] At the age of 4, Blerim and his family migrated to Zürich, Switzerland.[3] At the age of 9, Blerim joined youth club Oerlikon Zürich for one year before moving to FC Unterstrass. At the age of 14, Blerim moved to third league team YF Juventus as a youth player before moving to FC Zürich in 2001. While at FC Zürich, Džemaili rose through the ranks and made the senior team at the age of 17.

FC Zürich[edit]

Xhemaili started his senior career at Swiss side FC Zürich. In his first season for Zürich, he made thirty appearances, scored twice and had three assists. Džemaili played either as a central or defensive midfielder. In the 2004–05 season, Džemaili helped the club win the Swiss Cup. Džemaili imposed a strong influence on the field as he possessed accurate passing capabilities as well as a fast and aggressive approach to the game.[4] This led Xhemaili to taking the role of captain in the 2005–06. Džemaili was 19 when he was chosen captain and is one of the youngest captains in Swiss football history. Džemaili led his team to glory as FC Zürich won the Swiss Super League in the 2005–06 and 2006–2007 seasons.

After winning the Swiss cup and league, Džemaili moved to the English Premier League side Bolton Wanderers.

Bolton[edit]

Xhemaili signed a preliminary contract agreement with Bolton Wanderers on 9 February 2007, meaning that he would sign for the Premier League outfit once his contract ran out in the summer of 2007.[5]

Former Bolton manager Sam Allardyce was quoted as saying: "Xhemaili is a fantastic player, who has played for the best team in Switzerland for the past three years. For someone so young, he has a wealth of experience. At the tender age of 20, he is the skipper of FC Zurich and is expected to become a regular international for Switzerland in the years ahead. He has hardly missed a game for FC Zurich since he started playing for them at the age of 17. I am excited by the prospect of working with Blerim next season".[6]

However things did not go as planned for the pair; Džemaili sustained a rupturing cruciate knee ligaments and was out for six months.[7] Džemaili made his debut as a substitute in the club's FA Cup defeat to Sheffield United in what proved to be his only showing of the 2007–08 campaign. Džemaili insists he would not change anything about his time at Bolton following his season-long loan move to Torino.[8]

Torino/Parma[edit]

Džemaili joined Torino on a season-long loan deal, on 1 September 2008, making his debut with Torino on 24 September 2008, and became a staple fixture in their side for the season. Despite their relegation to Serie B, Torino confirmed they had signed him on a permanent basis after they agreed an undisclosed fee with Bolton.[9][10]

After having played just once for Torino at Coppa Italia,[11] Džemaili completed a loan move to Parma on 31 August 2009. In exchange, Daniele Vantaggiato moved to Turin.[12] His first and second halves were then bought by Parma in the summers of 2010 and 2011[13] for a total fee of €7 million.[14]

Napoli[edit]

On 25 June 2011, he was signed by Napoli for €9 million[14] with Fabiano Santacroce (loan) and Manuele Blasi (free)[14] going the other way to Parma. Džemaili has been a consistent performer so far for Napoli. Džemaili has been well received by the fans as he has scored twice and assisted once in eleven appearances in the Serie A.[15] His first was a right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner following a corner in a match against Lecce[16] and his second was struck late to earn an equaliser as Napoli earned a point at Novara.[17] Džemaili has also appeared six times in the UEFA Champions League group stages and helped Napoli into the final 16.[15] At the end of his first season with Napoli, Dzemaili has made 28 appearances in the Serie A, scoring three times and providing four assists.[15] On 25 March 2012, he scored a notable long distance goal against Catania.[18]

Džemaili had appeared regularly for the side in the Coppa Italia, and played the entire match in the final in which they defeated Juventus 2–0.[19]

On 30 March 2013, he scored a hat-trick described by Goal.com as "spectacular", in a 5–3 win away at Torino.[20] He netted the second goal in a 2–0 win against Genoa just a week later, making it four goals in two games. He also scored Napoli's third goal in a 3–0 win against Pescara on 27 April.[15]

Džemaili was an unused substitute as Napoli won the 2014 Coppa Italia Final 3–1 against Fiorentina.[21]

International career[edit]

Džemaili marking Lionel Messi in a friendly against Argentina in 2012

Džemaili made his debut for the Switzerland national football team in a friendly match against Scotland on 1 March 2006.[22]

He was a member of the Swiss squad at the 2006 FIFA World Cup without making an appearance.[22]

On 6 September 2013, Džemaili scored his first international goal from a penalty kick in a 4–4 home draw in a World Cup qualifier against Iceland.[23]

On 2 June 2014, Džemaili was named in Switzerland's 2014 FIFA World Cup squad by national coach Ottmar Hitzfeld.[24] In the team's second match, Džemaili came on at half time for Valon Behrami and on the 81st minute, Dzemaili fired a long range low free-kick which went through the three-man wall and beat French caption Hugo Lloris.[25] He scored the first direct free kick of the tournament in a 5–2 loss to France.[26][27]

International goals[edit]

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 6 September 2013 Stade de Suisse, Bern, Switzerland  Iceland 4–1 4–4 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
2. 20 June 2014 Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, Brazil  France 1–5 2–5 2014 FIFA World Cup

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

FC Zürich
Napoli

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil: List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. 11 June 2014. p. 30. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Dzemaili.com
  3. ^ a b "Die Schönen und das Biest" (in German). schweizer-illustrierte. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Blerim Dzemaili". Goal.com. 26 December 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "Bolton swoop for Džemaili and Cid". BBC Sport. 9 February 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2009. 
  6. ^ "Bolton swoop for Džemaili and Cid". FIFA. AFP. 9 February 2007. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "Dzemaili suffers bad blow". SkySports. British Sky Broadcasting. 9 February 2007. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Dzemaili has no regrets". SkySports. British Sky Broadcasting. 9 February 2007. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  9. ^ "Džemaili quits Bolton for Torino". BBC Sport. 15 June 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2009. 
  10. ^ "Džemaili signs for Torino". Sky Sports. 15 June 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2009. 
  11. ^ "Torino vs Figline 1–0" (in Italian). Torino FC. 9 August 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2009. 
  12. ^ Nadia Carminati (31 August 2009). "Parma pounce for Dzemaili". Sky Sports. Retrieved 22 April 2010. 
  13. ^ "Movimenti di mercato e compartecipazioni" [Market movements and co-ownerships]. Parma F.C. (fcparma.com). 24 June 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
  14. ^ a b c Parma FC Report and Accounts on 30 June 2011 (Italian)
  15. ^ a b c d "Blerim Dzemaili Stats". ESPN soccernet. 26 December 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  16. ^ "Cavani at the double". ESPN soccernet. 3 December 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  17. ^ "Dzemaili levels late on". ESPN soccernet. 11 December 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  18. ^ Goal against Catania
  19. ^ Graffeo, Vito (20 May 2012). "Coppa Italia, finale Juventus-Napoli: tabellino, risultato, video". Sport Live. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  20. ^ Caferoglu, Livio (30 March 2013). "Serie A Round 30 Results: Lazio prosper on Klose return as Roma & Fiorentina fall flat in top-three race". Goal.com. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  21. ^ "Partenopei come out on top in Coppa Italia final". Goal.com. 3 May 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  22. ^ a b "Blerim DZEMAILI". FIFA. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  23. ^ "Switzerland 4-4 Iceland". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  24. ^ "Switzerland World Cup 2014 squad". The Telegraph. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  25. ^ "(Roundup) Costa Rica beat Italy to advance, England eliminated". globalpost. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  26. ^ "Switzerland 2-5 France". BBC. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  27. ^ "Blerim Džemaili scores the first direct free kick of the World Cup". SBNation. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 

External links[edit]