Džemaili playing for Switzerland in 2012
|Full name||Blerim Džemaili|
|Date of birth||12 April 1986|
|Place of birth||Tetovo, Macedonia|
|Height||1.77 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16 January 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Childhood and early career
Blerim was born to Fekredin and Shemije Xhemaili, an Albanian family from Bogovinje, Macedonia. At the age of 4, Blerim and his family migrated to Zürich, Switzerland. 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.
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. 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.
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".
However things did not go as planned for the pair; Džemaili sustained a rupturing cruciate knee ligaments and was out for six months. 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.
Xhemaili 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.
After having played just once for Torino at Coppa Italia, Džemaili completed a loan move to Parma on 31 August 2009. In exchange, Daniele Vantaggiato moved to Turin. His first and second halves were then bought by Parma in the summers of 2010 and 2011 for a total fee of €7 million.
On 25 June 2011, he was signed by S.S.C. Napoli for €9 million with Fabiano Santacroce (loan) and Manuele Blasi (free) 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. His first was a right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner following a corner in a match against Lecce and his second was struck late to earn an equaliser as Napoli earned a point at Novara. Džemaili has also appeared six times in the UEFA Champions League group stages and helped Napoli into the final 16. 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. On 25 March 2012, he scored a notable long distance goal against Catania.
Xhemaili had appeared regularly for the side in the Coppa Italia and helped Napoli with the cup.
On 30 March 2013, he scored a hat-trick of superb finishes in a 3–5 win away at Torino, followed by two strikes by Napoli striker Edinson Cavani. This match keeps the team in contention for UEFA Champions League qualification. He netted the second goal in a 2–0 win against Genoa just a week later, making it four goals in two games for the midfielder. Džemaili kept up his scoring streak by netting Napoli's third goal against Pescara on 27 April 2013.
On 6 September 2013, Džemaili scored his first goal in a 4–4 home draw against Iceland.
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- "Blerim Dzemaili". Goal.com. 26 December 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
- "Bolton swoop for Džemaili and Cid". BBC Sport. 9 February 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2009.
- "Bolton swoop for Džemaili and Cid". FIFA. AFP. 9 February 2007. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- "Dzemaili suffers bad blow". SkySports. British Sky Broadcasting. 9 February 2007. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
- "Dzemaili has no regrets". SkySports. British Sky Broadcasting. 9 February 2007. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
- "Džemaili quits Bolton for Torino". BBC Sport. 15 June 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2009.
- "Džemaili signs for Torino". Sky Sports. 15 June 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2009.
- "Torino vs Figline 1–0" (in Italian). Torino FC. 9 August 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
- Nadia Carminati (31 August 2009). "Parma pounce for Dzemaili". Sky Sports. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
- "Movimenti di mercato e compartecipazioni" [Market movements and co-ownerships]. Parma F.C. (fcparma.com). 24 June 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
- Parma FC Report and Accounts on 30 June 2011 (Italian)
- "Blerim Dzemaili Stats". ESPN soccernet. 26 December 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
- "Cavani at the double". ESPN soccernet. 3 December 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
- "Dzemaili levels late on". ESPN soccernet. 11 December 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
- Goal against Catania
- "Thunderbolt! Blerim Džemaili (Napoli) vs Pescara". inside World Soccer. 28 April 2013.
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