|Full name||Hamdi Salihi|
|Date of birth||19 January 1984|
|Place of birth||Shkodër, Albania|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Current club||Jiangsu Sainty|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 5 November 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Hamdi Salihi (born 19 January 1984 in Shkodër, Albania) is an Albanian football player who currently plays as a striker for Jiangsu Sainty in the Chinese Super League and the Albanian national team. Nicknamed 'The Bomber' by his former international coach Otto Barić who would compare him to Gerd Müller, Salihi is known for being a prolific goalscorer both in Albania and Austria, the two countries where he has spent the majority of his career. He has been a member of the Albanian national team since making his debut in 2006.
- 1 Club career
- 2 International career
- 3 Career statistics
- 4 National team statistics
- 5 Honours
- 6 International goals
- 7 External links
- 8 References
Salihi started his footballing career at his home town club KS Vllaznia Shkodër. In the 2002–2003 Salihi featured for the club only two times in his first professional year. In 2003–2004 Salihi was given a chance to show his qualities as a young player which he managed to score 14 goals in 33 games. In his third season with the club he played just half of the season of 2004–2005 which he managed to score 16 goals in only 20 matches and then after an impressive season in Albania's top division he moved to Greece.
In 2004, Salihi moved to Panionios in the top division of Greece. The young Albanian striker only managed to play in 6 games, mostly coming on as a substitute in the last few minutes. After the season was over he decided to go back to his country to play for KF Tirana.
Salihi moved back to Albania and played for KF Tirana starting from the 2005–2006 season. He had a very successful season winning the National Cup and the golden boot as the highest scorer of the Albanian Superliga. He continued with KS Tirana for another half season, again being the highest scorer in the league before he left to play in the Austrian Bundesliga. In his time with KF Tirana Salihi became known all over the world for his goalscoring abilities. He finished 8th in The IFFHS World's best Top Division Goal Scorer 2006. In one season with KF Tirana he managed to score 29 goals in 33 games altogether. Also Salihi played half of the season in 2006–2007 right before getting sold to SV Ried from KF Tirana which he managed to score 13 goals in 17 games.
In the 2007 January transfer window Salihi joined SV Ried of the Austrian Bundesliga. He completed his first half season at SV Ried with 6 goals, helping his club to become vice-champions of the Austrian Football Bundesliga. Salihi also scored 2 goals on the first round Uefa Cup qualifiers against Neftchi, one of which was scored on the second leg match in the 85th minute. Until the 85th minute the score was 2–0 for Neftchi and if the score was kept they were going to qualify for the second round on the away goals rule 3–3 as SV Ried had won 3–1 at home. Thanks to Salihi's goal the overall score was 4–3 and SV Ried safely went through to the next round.
In the 2007–08 season, Salihi enjoyed a decent season at the club, becoming the league's joint 4th top scorer along with Carsten Jancker of SV Mattersburg with 12 league goals. Despite this, SV Ried only finished 7th out of 10 in the league. In the 2008–09 season Salihi improved himself to 14 league goals at Ried, scoring one fourth of his team's goals. Ried placed fifth at the end of the season. On the 2009–2010 season Salihi played 6 games which he score twist for his club but couple weeks later he was sold to Rapid Wien.
On 31 August 2009 Salihi signed with Austrian giants SK Rapid Wien on a 3 years contract. On his first match with Rapid Salihi entered into the match in second half as a substitute and scored on the 83rd minute his first goal with Rapid. The goal drew the score with Salzburg, 2–2, and saved Rapid from a loss.
At the end of the season Salihi scored 17 goals, 2 of which were from the previous club SV Ried making him the 5th leading goalscorer behind two of his team mates Steffen Hofmann, who was in first, and Nikica Jelavić who was tied in third. At the end of the season Rapid Wien was in third place three points behind champions Red Bull Salzburg and two points behind Austria Wien. Rapid Wien qualified for the 2010–11 UEFA Europa League Second qualifying round.
Salihi score his first goal of 2010–2011 season on August 22, 2010 against SV Mattersburg in 2 – 0 win. On 25 September 2010 he score 2 goals and helped his team to win 3 – 2 against Kapfenberger SV. Salihi scored one goal for Rapid Vienna on November 4, 2010 aginast CSKA Sofia in UEFA Europa League. On 11 November 2010, Salihi find the net 2 times against TSV Hartberg in Austrian Cup. The Bomber on 20 November 2010 against LASK Linz scored four goals in a 5 – 0 victory. One week later Salihi added one more goal against the previous champions Austria Vienna in a 1–0 win. His 9th and 10th goals of the season came against Innsbruck on 11 December 2010. Anther double came against his former club SV Ried on March 6, 2011, which ended 2-0 for Rapid. These were his first goals of 2011. One week later on March 13, 2011, he scored in the 72nd minute the only goal of the derby against Austria Vienna in a 1-0 win.
On 3 February 2013, Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Sainty official announced that they has signed Hamdi Salihi from D.C. United to replace injured Cristian Dănălache. On 26 February, he scored his first goal in his debut for Jiangsu, in a 5–1 away defeat against K League champions FC Seoul in the first round of 2013 AFC Champions League group stage match. On 3 March, Salihi won his first title in China in the 2013 Chinese FA Super Cup which Jiangsu Sainty beat Super League and FA Cup winners Guangzhou Evergrande 2–1. He forced Guangzhou's Zhang Linpeng to scored an own goal in the 18th minute. He then squeezed in his first goal in the league in another 2-1 win against the newly promoted Wuhan Zall with a low-fly header. He scored twice (a penalty kick and a last-minute equalizer) in the following home fixture, who witnessed a tough 2-2 tie of his team against Shanghai Shenxin. Hamdi Salihi scored again in 2013 AFC Champions League group stage against Japan team Vegalta Sendai in last match in Group E.
Salihi scored his first goal for the Albanian National team in a 3–0 win over Malta on 23 August 2007. He was sent in the game on the 22nd minute replacing Erjon Bogdani. Only after 12 minutes played, The Bomber took advantage of a mistake made by the Maltese goalie and scored. Salihi scored the important 3–2 goal in a friendly for Albania B against AC Milan, The thriller match ended 3–3.
The second international goal of Salihi came in Sweden, when he scored for Albania in the last match of the FIFA 2010 World Cup Qualifiers. Albania lost 4–1. Neither Sweden nor Albania qualified for the FIFA 2010 World Cup.
For the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, new coach Gianni De Biasi had introduced young forwards into the senior national team to create more competition for places in the first team. Young players forwards such as Edgar Çani, Armando Sadiku and Bekim Balaj provided competition for the established and mature internationals which were Salihi and Erjon Bogdani. In opening group game of the qualifiers, Albania took on Cyprus at the Qemal Stafa Stadium in Tirana, Salihi started the game upfront alongside 21-year-old Armando Sadiku who was making his competitive debut, having featured in 3 friendly games prior to the game against Cyprus. The pair combined well in the early stages and Salihi had a good chance to score in the first half, before Sadiku opened the scoring in the 36th minute. The game ended in a 3-1 win for Albania following goals from substitutes Edgar Çani and Erjon Bogdani.
On 23 March 2013 Albania played against Norway away at a freezing Ullevaal Stadion in a crucial encounter for both sides. Salihi started the game upfront with Çani and immediately created problems for the Norwegians with a shot on target from an overhead kick in the 3rd minute. He scored the only goal of the game in the 67th minute following a clever run inside the box to put the ball in the right hand corner of the net. The win stunned the hosts to the delight of the away fans who almost outnumbered the home fans. This moved Albania into joint 2nd place in the group 9 points, ahead of Norway who were left on 7 points.
National team statistics
|Albania national team|
- Chinese FA Super Cup (1): 2013
- Austrian Bundesliga runner-up (1): 2006-07
- Albanian Superliga (1): 2006–07
- Albanian Superliga runner-up (1): 2005-06
- Albanian Cup (1): 2005–06
- Albanian Supercup (2): 2005, 2006
- Albanian Superliga runner-up (1): 2002-03
- Albanian Golden Boot (1): 2005-06
- Albanian Footballer of the Year (1): 2010
- Hamdi Salihi Statistics UEFA.com
- MLS Player Profile
-  Football Database
- Hamdi Salihi at National-Football-Teams.com
- Profile at Rapidarchiv.at
- Salihi: People think we can make it
- 舜天官方宣布国脚级外援加盟 顶替达10出战亚冠 (Chinese)
- FC Seoul 5-1 Jiangsu Sainty
- Albania leave it late against Cyprus
- WCQ Group E round-up
- Norway stunned by Albania
- Ice-cold Albanians stun ‘Drillos’
- Albania beat the freeze in Norway