Hamdi Salihi

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Hamdi Salihi
Hamdi Salihi.JPG
Personal information
Full name Hamdi Salihi
Date of birth (1984-01-19) 19 January 1984 (age 30)
Place of birth Shkodër, Albania
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Hapoel Ironi Acre F.C.
Number 9
Youth career
2000-2002 KS Vllaznia
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2004 KS Vllaznia 55 (30)
2004–2005 Panionios 6 (0)
2005–2007 KF Tirana 52 (42)
2007–2009 SV Ried 82 (34)
2009–2012 Rapid Wien 67 (36)
2012–2013 D.C. United 22 (6)
2013 Jiangsu Sainty 28 (9)
2014- Hapoel Acre 13 (6)
National team
2002-2003 Albania U-19 2 (0)
2003-2005 Albania U-21 12 (1)
2006– Albania 48 (11)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 10 May 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 31 May 2014

Hamdi Salihi (born 19 January 1984 in Shkodër, Albania) is an Albanian football player who currently plays as a striker for Hapoel Ironi Acre F.C. and the Albanian national team. Nicknamed 'The Bomber' by his former international coach Otto Barić who would compare him to Gerd Müller,[1] 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.

Club career[edit]

Vllaznia Shkodër[edit]

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.

Panionios[edit]

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.

KF Tirana[edit]

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 35 goals in 39 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 16 goals in 20 games.

SV Ried[edit]

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.

Rapid Wien[edit]

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.

D.C. United[edit]

On 2 February 2012, Salihi signed with Major League Soccer side D.C. United as a designated player.[2] On February 25, 2012, he scored his first goal with D.C. United in a preseason match.

Jiangsu Sainty[edit]

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.[3] 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.[4] 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 score 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.

Hapoel Ironi Acre F.C.[edit]

In January 2014 Salihi became part of Hapoel Ironi Acre F.C..[5] He made his first debut on 10 February 2014, by getting included in the starting line-up in match against Hapoel Tel Aviv, finished on win 2-1 and he substituted off on 77th minute.[6] He scored twice on 15 February 2014 against Ironi Ramat Hasharon finished in the victory 4–3 coming from behind 1–3 in the first half, were Salihi scored goal of 2-3 in the 53rd minute and an equalizing goal to make it 3-3 in 57th minute.[7] Salihi scored a wondergoal on 1 March 2014 against Maccabi Haifa, finished in the draw 1–1.[8] After being criticized by Israel's media for his 6 matches scoreless routine,[9] on 26 April 2014 Salihi scored against Hapoel Haifa giving his team the victory 1–0.[10] Salihi scored a penalty goal on 3 May 2014 against Beitar Jerusalem finished in an away victory 0–2, where he scored the opening goal.[11] Salihi scored another penalty goal for the second consecutive match on 10 May 2014 in the home loss 1–2 against Ironi Ramat Hasharon.[12]

International career[edit]

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.[13][14]

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.[15][16][17]

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Results Competition
1. 22 August 2007 Qemal Stafa Stadium, Tirana, Albania  Malta 2–0 3–0 Win Friendly
2. 13 May 2009 Qemal Stafa Stadium, Tirana, Albania Milan 3–2 3–3 Draw Non official Friendly
3. 14 October 2009 Råsunda Stadium, Stockholm, Sweden  Sweden 1–4 1–4 Loss 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
4. 25 May 2010 Podgorica City Stadium, Podgorica, Montenegro  Montenegro 1–0 1–0 Win Friendly
5. 2 June 2010 Qemal Stafa Stadium, Tirana, Albania  Andorra 1–0 1–0 Win Friendly
6. 11 August 2010 Niko Dovana Stadium, Durres, Albania  Uzbekistan 1–0 1–0 Win Friendly
7. 7 September 2010 Qemal Stafa Stadium, Tirana, Albania  Luxembourg 1–0 1–0 Win UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifying
8. 26 March 2011 Qemal Stafa Stadium, Tirana, Albania  Belarus 1–0 1–0 Win UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifying
9. 10 August 2011 Loro Boriçi Stadium, Shkoder, Albania  Montenegro 3–2 3–2 Win Friendly
10 11 October 2011 Qemal Stafa Stadium, Tirana, Albania  Romania 1–0 1–1 Draw UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifying
11 22 March 2013 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo, Norway  Norway 1–0 1–0 Win 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
12 11 October 2013 Qemal Stafa Stadium, Tirana, Albania  Switzerland 1–2 1–2 Loss 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification

Career statistics[edit]

As of 19 August 2014
Club Season League Cup Europe/Asia Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Vllaznia Shkodër 2002–03 2 0 1 0 0 0 - - 3 0
2003–04 33 14 3 2 2 0 - - 38 16
2004–05 20 16 2 1 4 2 - - 26 19
Total 55 30 6 3 6 2 - - 67 35
Panionios Athens 2004–05 6 0 1 1 0 0 - - 7 1
Total 6 0 1 1 0 0 - - 7 1
KF Tirana 2005–06 35 29 5 2 4 1 - - 44 32
2006–07 17 13 3 2 4 2 - - 24 17
Total 52 42 8 4 8 3 - - 68 49
SV Ried 2006–07 15 6 2 0 0 0 - - 17 6
2007–08 33 12 2 2 4 2 - - 39 16
2008–09 28 14 3 2 0 0 - - 31 16
2009–10 6 2 1 2 0 0 - - 7 4
Total 82 34 8 6 4 2 - - 94 42
Rapid Wien 2009–10 23 15 3 1 5 1 - - 31 17
2010–11 32 18 5 6 7 1 5 4 49 29
2011–12 12 3 3 8 - - - - 15 11
Total 67 36 11 15 12 2 5 4 95 57
D.C. United 2012 23 6 2 1 0 0 - - 25 7
Total 23 6 2 1 0 0 - - 25 7
Jiangsu Sainty 2013 28 9 2 1 5 2 1 0 36 12
Total 28 9 2 1 5 2 1 0 36 12
Hapoel Acre 2013–14 13 6 - - - - - - 13 6
2014–15 0 0 2 1 - - - - 2 1
Total 13 6 2 1 0 0 0 0 15 7
Career total 326 163 40 32 35 11 7 5 408 211

National team statistics[edit]

Albania national team
Year Apps Goals
2006 1 0
2007 5 1
2008 4 0
2009 8 1
2010 9 4
2011 10 3
2012 4 0
2013 6 2
2014 1 0
Total 48 11

Honours[edit]

Jiangsu Sainty[edit]

SV Ried[edit]

KF Tirana[edit]

Vllaznia[edit]

Individual[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]