Elis Bakaj

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Elis Bakaj
Elis Bakaj.jpeg
Personal information
Full name Elis Ermal Bakaj
Date of birth (1987-06-25) 25 June 1987 (age 27)
Place of birth Tirana, Albania
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Striker
Club information
Current team
KF Skënderbeu Korçë
Number 21
Youth career
1996 KF Kristali
1997–2002 Partizani Tirana
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2009 Partizani Tirana 136 (23)
2009–2011 Dinamo Tirana 58 (30)
2011–2012 Dinamo Bucureşti 27 (5)
2012–2014 Chornomorets Odessa 33 (9)
2014– KF Skënderbeu Korçë 0 (0)
National team
2005 Albania U19 3 (0)
2005–2007 Albania U21 8 (2)
2008– Albania 25 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 28 September 2013.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 26 May 2012

Elis Flamur Bakaj (born 25 June 1987 in Tirana) is an Albanian footballer who plays for KF Skënderbeu Korçë in the Albanian Superliga and the Albanian national team.

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Bakaj joined his first club KF Kristali in May 1996 at the age of just eight, where he would only remain until October. Despite only playing for the club less than six months, he still managed to be named the player of the year in the youth league.[1]

For the next six months, Elis was trained personally by former Albanian international and Dinamo Tirana player Andrea Marko. In June 1997 he joined Partizani Tirana under the guidance of coach Gazmend Kraja, where he worked his way up the ranks of the club, where he amazed the club, including its president Albert Xhani, who in January 2002 sent Bakaj into the club's senior side.[1]

Partizani Tirana[edit]

He joined Partizani's first team at the age of just 15 in January 2002 on a seven-year contract with a minimal wage of just 150,000 Lekë a season. His official Partizani debut came in the 2003 Intertoto Cup against Israeli side Maccabi Netanya, where coach Perlat Musta played Bakaj in the final seven minutes of the game.[1]

In September 2003, Partizani's new coach Ilir Spahiu sendt Bakaj on loan to FC Nacionali, a Partizani feeder team playing in the Albanian Second Division. The Nacionali coach Genci Tomorri gave Bakaj the opportunity of regular first team football, allowing the youngster to show his talent and score goals. In January 2004 his loan was ended and he returned to Partizani where the previous coach Spahiu had left and Sulejman Mema had now took charge.[1]

Bakaj's first senior Partizani goal came on 24 March 2004 in the Albanian Cup quarter finals against KF Elbasani, where he scored the winning goal in the 74th minute to send his side through to the semi finals in a season where Partizani eventually won the Albanian Cup.

Dinamo Bucureşti[edit]

In January 2011, in the last hours just before the expiration of the winter transfer window, Bakaj moved to Dinamo Bucureşti.[2] He signed a contract for five years with the Romanian team. The Albanian squad accepted the offer of €200,000[3] because he entered the final six months of his contract. He was recommended to Dinamo Bucureşti by their former glory, the Albanian star Sulejman Demollari, who played for the Bucharest team between 1991 and 1995 and scored 36 goals in 100 games.

He made his debut for Dinamo on 26 February 2011, when he played for 16 minutes in a Liga I game against Sportul Studenţesc.

His first goal for Dinamo was scored on 12 April 2011, in a game against Unirea Urziceni.

During the 2011 Cupa României Final Bakaj had a firecracker thrown at him by a Steaua București fan, which he managed to dodge.[4]

Chornomorets Odessa[edit]

On 27 February 2012, he joined Ukrainian club Chornomorets Odessa on loan.[5] He then signed for Chornomorets Odessa outright on a three-year contract in May.

KF Skënderbeu Korçë[edit]

Due to the civil unrest caused by the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, Bakaj agreed to be released from his contract with Chornomorets Odessa as he looked for a return to Albania. He was reportedly close to signing with his first club Partizani Tirana but a deal was not agreed so he joined KF Skënderbeu Korçë on 09 June 2014, pending FIFA clearance.[6]

International career[edit]

He is also playing for the Albania national football team after making his full debut on 21 November 2007 against Romania in a Euro 2008 Qualifier. Bakaj came on as a substitute on the 83rd minute for Erjon Bogdani.

He scored his first senior international goal against Qatar on 22 May 2012 at Campo de Fútbol de Vallecas, Madrid, Spain.[7]

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 22 May 2012 Madrid  Qatar 1–0 2–1 (Win) Friendly

Career stats[edit]

As of 12 March 2014

Club Season League Cup Supercup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Partizani Tirana 2003–04 8 0 ? ? 0 0 0 0 8 0
2004–05 32 1 ? ? 1 0 2 0 35 1
2005–06 26 3 ? ? 0 0 0 0 26 3
2006–07 29 5 ? ? 0 0 2 1 31 6
2007–08 29 12 ? ? 0 0 0 0 29 12
2008–09 12 2 2 1 0 0 2 0 16 3
Total 136 23 2 1 1 0 6 1 145 25
Dinamo Tirana 2008–09 13 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 14 4
2009–10 27 13 2 0 0 0 2 0 31 13
2010–11 16 11 2 4 1 1 1 0 20 16
Total 56 28 5 4 1 1 3 0 65 33
Dinamo Bucureşti 2010–11 16 4 3 0 0 0 0 0 19 4
2011–12 11 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 14 1
Total 27 5 5 0 0 0 1 0 33 5
Chornomorets Odessa 2011–12 10 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 11 4
2012–13 19 5 2 1 0 0 0 0 10 3
2013–14 4 1 1 1 1 0 3 0 10 3
Total 33 9 4 3 1 0 3 0 41 12
Skenderbeu Korce 2014–15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career total 252 65 16 8 3 1 13 1 268 75

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Partizani Tirana
Dinamo Tirana

Individual[edit]

  • Albanian Superleague Footballer of the Year (2): 2009, 2010
  • Dinamo Tirana Player of the Season (1): 2009–10
  • Dinamo Tirana Goal of the Season (2): 2009–10, 2010–11

References[edit]