Ervin Bulku

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Ervin Bulku
Ervin Bulku.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth (1981-03-03) 3 March 1981 (age 33)
Place of birth Tirana, Albania
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Midfielder / Right Back
Club information
Current team
Tirana
Number 8 (Capitain)
Youth career
1998 Tirana
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2007 Tirana 201 (14)
2007–2010 Kryvbas 58 (2)
2010–2011 Hajduk Split 15 (0)
2011–2012 AZAL Baku 22 (3)
2012–2014 Sepahan 47 (1)
2014– Tirana 17 (1)
National team
1998–1999 Albania U18 6 (1)
1999–2002 Albania U21 15 (1)
2002– Albania 56 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 December 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14 November 2014

Ervin Bulku (born 3 March 1981) is a Albanian professional footballer who plays as a Midfielder for Albanian club Tirana and the Albanian national team. He is a Utility player and is able to play in many positions such as Central midfielder, Defensive midfielder, Right Midfielder and even Right Defender. He is also the younger brother of former KF Tirana's footballer Sokol Bulku.

Club career[edit]

KF Tirana[edit]

Ervin Bulku with KF Tirana against KF Elbasani in October 2005.

Bulku started his career as a youngster in the KF Tirana youth teams. At the age of 18 he was put into the first team by coach Sulejman Mema and was given a chance to break into the first team and compete with the likes of Sokol Prenga and Ardian Mema for a spot in the first team. in his first season with the club and in professional football he managed to feature in 13 games during the season.[1] During the 1999–2000 season with Tirana, Bulku found it easier to make an impact in the first team with the club's new manager Shkëlqim Muça having faith in the promosing youngster and fellow midfielders Eldorado Merkoçi, Devis Mukaj, Klodian Duro and Sokol Prenga all leaving the club. These departures meant that Bulku would feature more frequently in the first team and he did so making an impressive 21 appearances in his second season in which he won his first trophie of his career, the Albanian Superliga title.[2] After a very good season he tried to repeat it for the 2000–2001 season, this did not happen as both injury and some mediocre displays meant that Bulku spent most of the season on the side lines. He did however manage to win the Albanian Supercup at the start of the season but his side Tirana narrowly lost the race for the title to Vllaznia.[3] During the next few seasons of his career Bulku managed to make a name for himself in the squad and in the league, he was receiving a lot of attention from the media and the fans because he was destined for a successful career. He began to feature in almost every game when fit and became a key member in the squad and a key figure in all the trophy winning sides that the club produced over the next few years. Bulku was also a key player in Tirana's European games and featured against teams such as Dinamo Tbilisi, Ferencváros, CSKA Sofia and Kayserispor.[4] He also played in 6 Albanian Supercup finals during his time with Tirana, winning 5 of them, including the famous 6–0 win over city rivals Dinamo Tirana in which Bulku managed to score in.[5] In his final season with SK Tirana, Bulku was once again a key member in the team that won the league, the cup and the supercup. He played 30 games and scored one goal in the league,[6] played in the 2–0 supercup win over KS Elbasani[7] and he also played in 1–0 win over Vllaznia in the final of the Albanian Cup.[8]

Kryvbas[edit]

In the summer transfers 2007 Bulku signed with Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih in the Ukrainian Premier League. He played among fellow Albanian compatriots Dorian Bylykbashi, Isli Hidi and also Ansi Agolli who joined the club two years later. He made it his debut on 28 July 2007 against Karpaty Lviv in the loss 3–0. He finished 2007–08 season with a total of 19 appearances, where 14 in the starting line up.

He started the 2008–09 season on 19 July 2008, playing 90-minutes in the victory 1–0 against Metalurh Zaporizhya.[9] Bulku scored his first goal with Kryvbas on 22 March 2009 against Kharkiv, giving his team the victory 0–1.[10] He managed to score the second goal in the season 2008–09, on 4 April 2009 against Zorya Luhansk finished in the victory 2–1, were Bulku scored the opening goal of the match in the 7th minute.[11] He finished the 2008–09 season with a total of 24 appearances, when 21 times were as a starter.

Bulku started the 2009–10 season with the match against Shakhtar Donetsk on 18 July 2009, finished in the loss 3–0.[12] Bulku played in the last match of the year 2009, on 13 December 2009 in the loss 1–3 against Metalurh Zaporizhya.[13] This was the last match for the club, as he interrupted his contract with Kryvbas. On the first half of the 2009–10 season, he made a total of 14 appearances.

Hajduk Split[edit]

After 6 months as Free agent, on August 2010 he signed for Croatian side Hajduk Split in the Prva HNL. He made it his first debut with the team on 16 September 2010 in a match valid for UEFA Europa League 2010–11 group stage against AEK Athens, were Bulku played in the starting line up and substituted off after 81 minutes for Dinko Trebotić, as the match finished in the loss 3–1.[14] He made it his league debut on 19 September 2010 against HNK Rijeka,were the match finished in the away victory 0–1 and Bulku played 83 minutes, as he got substituted off for Mirko Oremuš in the 83rd minute.[15] He played second match in the UEFA Europa League 2010–11 group stage on 30 September 2010, in the victory 1–0 over Anderlecht.[16] Bulku played full 90-minutes on 4 November 2010 in the home defeat 2–3 against Zenit St. Petersburg, valid for the UEFA Europa League 2010–11 group stage.[17] At the club he was important part of the starting line up in the league matches, as he played in total of 15 matches were 12 as a starter and only 3 as a substitute, also got substituted off 6 times.[18] In the Uefa Europa League he made in total 4 appearances. In the end of the 2010–11 season, Hajduk finished as runners-up.[19]

AZAL[edit]

At the end of June 2011 Bulku signed with AZAL of the Azerbaijan Premier League.[20] Bulku made his debut for AZAL on 7 August 2011 against Simurq,[21] going on to score his first goal for the club 3 games later against Neftchi Baku on 27 August 2011.[22] In total Bulku made 22 league appearances for the club scoring three goals.[23]

Sepahan[edit]

On 21 July 2012, Bulku signed a one-year contract with Iranian champions Sepahan F.C., joining there another fellow Albanian player Xhevahir Sukaj, who had come in the team early on January.[24]

He made it his first debut on 29 August 2012, playing the full 90-minutes in the home victory 1–0 against Fajr Sepasi.[25] Bulku scored his first goal for Sepahan on 6 April 2013 against Naft Tehran winning the match within the 3–1 result, were his goal was the opening of the match, scored in the 12th minute, also Bulku was sent off in the 41st minute after receiving his second yellow card as the first was received in the 12th minute for taking his shirt off after scored the goal.[26] In his first season with Sepahan, he made twenty-one league appearances, scoring once. He also appeared five AFC Champions League matches.

In his second season with Sepahan, he made twenty six league appearances, failing to score. He did score once in the AFC Champions League, but Sepahan failed to get out of the group stage phase. In the 2012–13 Hazfi Cup Bulku scored once in the 1/4-finals on 9 January 2013 against Sanat Naft to open the way towards qualifying for the semifinals as the match finished in the 2–0 victory.[27]

In May 2014, Bulku declared that he left the club after the end of the 2-year contract.[28]

KF Tirana return[edit]

Being an Free agent footballer, on 5 June 2014 KF Tirana announced to have convinced Bulku to sign for the club and to made an return in his base after 7 year, as KF Tirana was his hometown club where he started his career as a youth.[29] On 14 June 2014 Bulku decided to sign with KF Tirana, a 2-years contract among with fellow players such as Mario Morina and Erando Karabeci, where these two made it a renew of their contract with the club and on the other side Bulku was made the first transfer of the KF Tirana for the Winodow Summer Transfers 2014 and starting from 1 July 2014 they will join the club wich managed by the coach Gugash Magani.[30]

He made it his debut after the return, on 24 August 2014, where he played the full 90-minutes match against Apolonia Fier, valid for the opening of the 2014–15 season and finished in the 3–0 victory.[31] He scored his first goal on 11 September 2014 in the 3rd match for Tirana and the 3rd week as well, to give his team the 1–1 draw against Vllaznia Shkodër in the last seconds of the match, in the 90+4' minute.[32]

International career[edit]

Albania U18[edit]

Bulku made it his first international debut, with Albania national under-18 football team in the 1999 UEFA European Under-18 Championship qualifying, playing in the opening match on 24 November 1998 against Liechtenstein, match finished as a 0–1 loss.[33]

Albania U21[edit]

Bulku played for Albania national under-21 football team 15 matches and scored 1 goal in the 2000 & 2002 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification between years from 1999 to 2002.[34][33]

Albania senior team[edit]

Bulku is part of Albania national football team since 2002 when he made it his first debut on 17 April 2002 against Andorra, coming on as a substitute in place of Altin Rraklli in the 54th minute, where the match finished in the loss 2–0. After mading also another 2 matches, he didn't made any appearance for national team until 2007 where he returned playing on 7 February 2007 against Macedonia, finished in the loss 0–1. He scored first goal on 9 February 2011 in the friendly match against Slovenia finished in the loss 1–2, where Bulku scored the equalising goal of 1–1 in the 62nd minute.[35]

Club career statistics[edit]

As of 21 December 2014 [36][37][18][33]
Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1998–99 Tirana Albanian Superliga 13 0 - - 13 0
1999–00 21 0 2 0 23 0
2000–01 12 0 1 0 - - 13 0
2001–02 22 2 1 0 2 0 25 1
2002–03 22 1 1 1 2 0 25 2
2003–04 24 2 2 0 26 2
2004–05 33 7 1 0 4 0 38 7
2005–06 24 1 1 0 4 0 29 1
2006–07 30 1 1 0 4 0 36 1
Total part 1 Tirana 201 14 6 1 20 0 227 15
2007–08 Kryvbas Ukrainian Premier League 19 0 - - 19 0
2008–09 25 2 - - 25 2
2009–10 14 0 - - 14 0
Total 58 2 0 0 58 2
2010–11 Hajduk Split Prva HNL 15 0 4 0 19 0
Total 15 0 4 0 19 0
2011–12[23] AZAL Azerbaijan Premier League 22 3 2 0 - - 24 3
Total 22 3 2 0 0 0 24 3
2012–13 Sepahan Iran Pro League 21 1 5 1 5 0 31 2
2013–14 26 0 1 0 5 1 32 1
Total 47 1 6 1 10 1 63 3
2014–15 Tirana Albanian Superliga 17 1 2 0 - - 19 1
Total Tirana 218 15 8 1 20 0 246 16
Career total 360 21 16 2 34 1 410 24

International[edit]

As of 14 November 2014 [36][38]
Albania national team
Year Apps Goals
2002 3 0
2003–2006 0 0
2007 7 0
2008 6 0
2009 7 0
2010 9 0
2011 7 1
2012 9 0
2013 7 0
2014 1 0
Total 56 1

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Albania's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 9 February 2011 Qemal Stafa, Tirana, Albania  Slovenia 1–1 1–2 Friendly
Scores and results list Albania U-21's goal tally first.
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 31 August 2001, 16:30 (CET) Qemal Stafa, Tirana, Albania  Finland 3–0 3–0 [39] 2002 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

KF Tirana
Sepahan

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1998–99". Footballdatabase.eu. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "1999-00". Footballdatabase.eu. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "2000–01". Footballdatabase.eu. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Ligue des Champions&lieu=Europe&datedebut=0&datefin=0&type=0 Champions League encounters". Footballdatabase.eu. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "Albanian Supercup encounters". Footballdatabase.eu. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "Albanian Superliga 2006–2007". Footballdatabase.eu. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "Matches List". Footballdatabase.eu. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Albanian Cup 2006". Rsssf.com. 25 August 2006. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  9. ^ Kryvbas vs. Metalurh Zaporizhya - 19 July 2008 - Soccerway
  10. ^ Kharkiv vs. Kryvbas - 22 March 2009 - Soccerway
  11. ^ Kryvbas vs. Zorya - 4 April 2009 - Soccerway
  12. ^ Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Kryvbas - 18 July 2009 - Soccerway
  13. ^ Kryvbas vs. Metalurh Zaporizhya - 13 December 2009 - Soccerway
  14. ^ AEK Athens vs. Hajduk Split - 16 September 2010 - Soccerway
  15. ^ Rijeka vs. Hajduk Split - 19 September 2010 - Soccerway
  16. ^ Hajduk Split vs. Anderlecht - 30 September 2010 - Soccerway
  17. ^ Hajduk Split vs. Zenit - 4 November 2010 - Soccerway
  18. ^ a b "E. BULKU". Soccerway. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  19. ^ Summary - 1. HNL - Croatia - Results, fixtures, tables and news - Soccerway
  20. ^ "Marin Ljubicic goes to the Ukrainian Tavra and Ervin Bulka in Baku!" (in Croatian). http://www.dalmacijanews.com/. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  21. ^ "Simurq 0-3 AZAL". Soccerway. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  22. ^ "AZAL 3-1 Neftchi". Soccerway. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  23. ^ a b "2011/12 Stats". http://www.pfl.az/. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  24. ^ Zyrtare: Ervin Bulku firmos me Sepahan-in në Iran | aSport.info - Albania Sport
  25. ^ Sepahan vs. Fajr Sepasi - 29 August 2012 - Soccerway
  26. ^ Sepahan vs. Naft Tehran - 6 April 2013 - Soccerway
  27. ^ Ervin Bulku shënon në kupë për Sepahanin - Sporti Shqiptar Online - Sporti Shqiptar Online
  28. ^ Ervin Bulku: Tirana mbetet zgjedhja ime e parë në Shqipëri. Do të vendos më 1 korrik
  29. ^ Binden Karabeci dhe Bulku, gati firma me bardheblutë
  30. ^ Vijnë firmat e para te bardheblutë, rinovojnë Morina e Karabeci, firmos edhe Ervin Bulku
  31. ^ Tirana vs. Apolonia Fier - 24 August 2014 - Soccerway
  32. ^ Vllaznia Shkodër vs. Tirana - 11 September 2014 - Soccerway
  33. ^ a b c Ervin BulkuUEFA competition record
  34. ^ uefa.com - UEFA European U-21 C'ship
  35. ^ Albania vs. Slovenia - 9 February 2011 - Soccerway
  36. ^ a b Ervin Bulku at National-Football-Teams.com
  37. ^ Ervin Bulku career data
  38. ^ Ervin Bulku - national football team player EU-Football.info
  39. ^ uefa.com - Albania 3-0 Finland - UEFA European U-21 C'ship

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Erando Karabeci
Tirana captain
2014–
Succeeded by