KF Tirana

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KF Tirana
KF Tirana Logo
Full name Klubi i Futbollit Tirana
Nickname(s) Tirona
Founded August 16, 1920; 94 years ago (1920-08-16)
as Shoqata Sportive Agimi
Ground Selman Stermasi Stadium
Tirana, Albania
Ground Capacity 12,000[1]
President Albania Refik Halili
Head Coach Albania Gugash Magani
League Albanian Superliga
2013–14 Albanian Superliga , 6th
Website Club home page
Current season
Active branches of KF Tirana
Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg
Football (Men's) Football (Women's) Football (B team) Football (Youth)
Football pictogram.svg Basketball pictogram.svg Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg
Futsal Basketball Volleyball (Men's) Volleyball (Women's)

KF Tirana is an Albanian football club based in the country's capital city, Tiranë. The men's football club is part of the multi-disciplinary sports club SK Tirana, and is the most successful in Albania, having won 49 recognized major trophies. They play their home games at the Qemal Stafa stadium and the Selman Stërmasi Stadium in Tiranë and they compete in Albania's highest tier of football, the Albanian Superliga.

The club was founded on 16 August 1920 as Shoqata Sportive Agimi, which translates to the Agimi Sports Association, and they have since participated in all the top tier national championships ever held in Albania, making them the only club in Albania to have never been relegated.[2] They have competed under the name of SK Tirana between 1927 and 1947, before renaming to 17 Nëntori Tirana, Puna Tirana and KS 17 Nëntori, which was the name of the club until 1991 when it was divided into two branches, the multi disciplinary SK Tirana and the football branch of KF Tirana.

KF Tirana is also the most successful Albanian team in European competitions, having progressed from the first rounds on 11 occasions since making their European debut in the 1965–66 European Cup. The club also holds the record of being the highest ever ranking Albanian club according to IFFHS, having been ranked 31st in the world in 1987, as a result of the success in their 1986-87 campaign. KF Tirana is also an ECA member.[3]

History[edit]

1911 tournament[edit]

Although still an unofficial even in Albanian footballing history, in 2012 historians revealed what is believed to be the first ever competitive football tournament in the country which took place in Fier between the 7th and 14 April 1911. The tournament featured 8 teams and was played in a one-legged format, similar to that of other European competitions at the time. The city of Tirana was represented what is believed to be the predecessor of KF Tirana, and in their first game on 7 April 1991 against Elbasani they won 9-4 to progress to the semifinals, where they defeated Kavaja 4-0 to reach the final. The final was held on 14 April and was contested between Tirana and Peqini, and ended 6-1 to Tirana, making them Albania's first ever champions, although this is still not officially recognised by the Albanian Football Association.[4]

Early years (1920–1929)[edit]

On 16 August 1920, shortly after Tiranë became the capital city of Albania, patriot and football enthusiast Palok Nika along with A. Erebara, P. Jakova, A. Hoxha, Anastas Koja, P. Berisha, Avni Zajmi, H. Fortuzi, B. Pazari, L. Berisha, S. Frasheri, H. Alizoti, A. Gjitomi and V. Fekeci founded the Agimi Sports Association, who took its name from the Agimi building in the centre of Tiranë where they would hold near meetings near to. The club was formed as a multi disciplinary one, but the emphasis on football was far greater than that of other sports. In October of the same year the club played its first ever football match at Shallvare in the centre of Tiranë against Juventus Shkodër, which was a selection of players from Bashkimi Shkodran, modern day Vllaznia Shkodër.

In 1925 the association's governing council was elected and its members were Avni Zajmi, Selman Stërmasi, B. Toptani, Irfan Gjinali and Anastas Koja. Shortly after in the same year, the club played its first international match against Yugoslav team Crnogorac Cetinje from Montenegro. On 16 August 1927, which was the seventh anniversary of the formation of the Agimi Sports Association, Stërmasi, Erebara, Zajmi and Koja changed the club's name to Sportklub Tiranë, which would be commonly referred to as SK Tiranë.[5]

Domestic dominance (1930-1937)[edit]

The first picture of the KF Tirana Squad

With the formation of the Albanian Football Association on 6 June 1930 came the first officially recognised football competition held in Albania, which was the 1930 National Championship, of which SK Tiranë had enrolled in. The club's reached the championship final after winning 5 games, drawing 4 and losing just one, to finish joint top along with Skënderbeu Korçë, albeit with a slightly better goal difference. The championship final games were due to be played on 26 June and 6 July respectively, but Skënderbeu Korçë forfeited both games by refusing to play which was a sign of protest against the bias of the competition and the Albanian Football Association towards the SK Tiranë. The club were awarded both games 2-0, thus crowning them the first champions of Albania who's winning team consisted of Rudolf Gurashi, Abdullah Shehri, Irfan Gjinali, Xhelal Kashari, Vasil Kajano, Gjon Sabati, Llazar Miha, Mark Gurashi, Bexhet Jolldashi, Shefqet Ndroqi, Isuf Dashi, Adem Karapici, Hysen Kusi, Mustafa Begolli, Hilmi Kosova, Emil Hajnali, Rexhep Maçi and Selman Stërmasi as player-manager. Maçi and Hainali were also won the inaugural golden boot for being the joint top goal scorers with 3 goals apiece.[6] As multi-disciplinary club, this was the second national championship that was won, as the athletics team had won the national championship a year earlier in 1929.

The following season the club introduced former Fenerbahçe goalkeeper Vasfi Samimi into the team, who had represented Sportklub Vlorë the previous season, who also joined with other new players who were Sabit Çoku, Muhamet Agolli and Halim Begeja. The Albanian Football Association decided to alter the format of the championship as they divided the teams into two groups, with SK Tiranë being placed in Group A along with Sportklub Vlorë and Bashkimi Shkodran. They played four games, winning two, drawing one and losing one, to finish top of the group level on points with Bashkimi Shkodran but still won the group due to a superior goal difference. The club met Group B winners Teuta Durrës in the championship final, who they drew 1-1 to at home at Shallvare in a notable game. SK Tiranë had opened the scoring and taken the lead through a Mark Gurashi goal, before Teuta Durrës' goalkeeper Niko Dovana instructed one one of the forwards to cover for him in goal as he went to play as a forward, and with a shot on goal he scored and equalised. His goal led to mass media coverage, with many Albanian football fans fascinated by the sight of the goalkeeper playing as a forward and scoring. SK Tiranë complained to the Albanian Football Association on the grounds that a registered goalkeeper cannot play as an outfield player,[7] but these complaints were not heard and the second leg of the tie was played a week later on 5 July 1931 in Durrës, which SK Tiranë won comfortably 3-0 to win 4-1 on aggregate and to regain the National Championship.

The Albanian Football Association once again changed the format of the championship and opted for a five team league format, where every club would play each other twice and the winner would be decided by who finished top of the league, and not a championship final. SK Tiranë went unbeaten throughout the season, with five wins and three draws to their name, including emphatic 6-0 wins over Urani Elbasan and Teuta Durrës respectively and a 9-2 away win once again against Urani Elbasan. The club were crowned Albanian champions for a third consecutive season, which further cemented their place in history as the first club to dominate football in Albania.

The 1933 National Championship proved to be less fruitful for the club, as they missed out on a fourth consecutive title, finishing in a disappointing third place out of six, behind Bashkimi Shkodran and the winners Skënderbeu Korçë.[8] However, they bounced back firmly in the 1934 National Championship, finishing five points ahead of runners-up Skënderbeu Korçë in a seven team format. They won a total of ten games out of twelve, which included 9-0 wins over Teuta Durrës and Bashkimi Elbasanas respectively, as well as an 8-0 win over Sportklub Vlorë, with Mark Gurashi being named the top goalscorer with 12 goals.[9] The following year there was no official competition held by the Albanian Football Association, so only friendly games were played.

In 1936 the National Championship returned and SK Tiranë regained their title with a two point difference between them and runners-up Vllaznia Shkodër.[10] The ethnic-Albanian forward from Yugoslavia Riza Lushta was the top goalscorer with 11 goals scored in the campaign. The following season the club once again won the National Championship, with Vllaznia Shkodër coming in second place, and Riza Lushta being named the top goalscorer, this time with a record 25 goals.[11] This was the last pre-World War II competition held by the Albanian Football Association as there was no championship held in 1938 and World War II broke out in 1939.

=War Period[edit]

From 1939 to 1942, KF Tirana won two more national championships (out of 3 organized by the AFA during that period, the third won by KS Vllaznia), however, despites being official, these trophies are still not added to Tirana's palmares by AFA. Although these championships were played right after King's Cup was concluded (an event officially recognized from AFA) and the 1942 championship had a massive nationwide participation (the first and the only time in Albanian football history so far in which Kosovo teams compete alongside Albanian teams as a Nationwide League), it's meaningless why AFA are still hesitating to add these events as well, considering the fact that AFA are the official organizers![12][13]

The AFA finally made a decision in February 2013 that, according to them, although AFA admits the WWII Championships have indeed been played correctly and rightfully, are not legitimate and won't be recognized since they weren't organized by the AFA, but by the Fascist regime.[14]

1944–1957[edit]

After the war, KF Tirana made a good start reaching the second spot in 1945, after losing to Vllaznia Shkodër in the final. But soon the club would become a victim of the reigning communist regime in Albania. At the beginning of March 1946, at the "Nacional" movie theater in Tirana, as a result of instructions coming from the communist politburo, KF Tirana was forced to change its name to "17 Nentori". The club was thus denied its own name. The following decade would unroll in the same suffocating atmosphere, becoming even heavier after the foundation of two system-privileged teams that would follow the experiences of their sisters in the former USSR, former Yugoslavia, and the other eastern European countries: Partizani, the Defense Ministry team and Dinamo, the Internal Affairs Ministry team. Dozens of Tirana’s talented players were "convinced", against their will, to play for either Partizani or Dinamo. As a result "17 Nentori" struggled to stay at the top during the years 1947–1957, however the team managed to gain some of the lost groung during the second part of the 50's after replacing in part some of the first choice players of its line up.

1958–1970[edit]

From 1958 to 1964 Tirana kept on producing some good football and finishing the championship almost always at the third spot. These years were a prelude to what was about to happen later: Tirana reexperienced its pre-war glory spell under the services of the unforgettable coach Lym (Myslym) Alla. At the end of the 28th national championship Tirana became champions of Albania more than twenty years after their last title.

Championship of 1966-67[edit]

The team repeated the success the year after, but this was an obvious challenge to Partizani's generals and Dinamo's secret service bosses. After having practically won the 1966–1967 title three matches in advance, Tirana was banned from the competition and the title was assigned to Dinamo.[15][16]

After this, Tirana won the championship two years in a row in style, losing only two matches in 1968 and only one during the 1969–1970 season.[17]

1970s and 1980s[edit]

During the seventies Tirana struggled hard to stay at the top, the best result being the second place and the worst the thirteenth. Yet the club won the national cup twice. The generation of older players came to the end pf their careers and this could only mark the end of a highly successful era. However the unsuccessful spell would not last long this time. Tirana won the championship at the end of the 1981–1982 season, and they went on to win the title three other times during the eighties, in 1984–1985, 1987–1988, and 1988–1989 and the Albanian Cup in 1983, 1984, and 1986. The club was also successful in the European club competitions and many of the team players made up the core of the best Albania the country had ever had.[citation needed]

1990s and 2000s[edit]

During the first half of the nineties KF Tirana (which in August 1991 regained its old name), likewise the whole Albanian society, went through a period of profound changes. Almost all the best Albanian players left the country and went abroad looking for a richer team who could hire them. But it seems that the club simply could not stand being too long from the leading spots. Thus at the end of the 1994–1995 season, K. F. Tirana once again won the championship five matches in advance with 12 points ahead of the second placed team. During the recent years Tirana has dominated the Albanian football by winning 10 out of the last 18 Albania's championships.[18]

Recent seasons and the present[edit]

Utrecht-KF Tirana

Even though KF Tirana has dominated through the last 20 years, since 2006 club have displayed instability in management, which has also reflected in the results. Several factors have affected negatively the presentation, not only in the domestic competitions, but also the international appearances.

  • KF Tirana's last solid dominating season was the one 2006-07, when the title was easily achieved. However, since failure in Champions League qualifications on that year, KF Tirana started an unstable performance.
  • The season 2007-08 found them in 6th spot, an unusual position for this team for last 18 years.[19]
  • Although Tirana won the title in 2008-09, it was a glow-less season.
  • Other severe problems started again in 2009-10 and season ended a total failure, gaining no trophies.[20]
  • White and blues yet again didn't make a good start of the 2010-2011 Domestic League, due to some controversies between the president and club chief, as well as unexplainable delays in paying players salaries, which had a negative impact in the team. The continuous unpleasant results caused Tirana presidency changing coaches thrice in one season, starting with Sulejman Starova, then Nevil Dede and finally Croatian Mišo Krstičević. Contrary to the League, KF Tirana did well in the Cup, winning the final against Dinamo Tirana by penalty shoot-outs (regular and extra time finished in a 1–1 draw) earning also the participation in Europa League for second time in a row.[21]

Late preparations, late new players arrivals, even late new coach appointment gave the negative effects either in team consolidation, or poor performance in Europa League. Starting from 2-nd qualifying round, having drawn goalless first match home, Tirana suffered a 1–3 away loss against Slovakian opponent FC Spartak Trnava and were therefore knocked out early from the competition.[22]

  • The 2011-2012 season started very well for now a consolidated Tirana. They added another trophy in their wealthy palmares, the 9th Supercup, by winning the final match against defending champions KF Skënderbeu Korçë in Korçë, with a single goal of Bekim Bala.

12 October 2011 was another key event for club's future. The Municipality Council voted with unanimous consent the transformation of KF Tirana status to a shareholders association. Since then, the club is originally named as KF Tirana Sh.A (Shoqëri Aksionere). Municipality of Tirana will initially hold 100% of shares, however any future private sponsors or donors approaches to share stock would always be welcome.[23]

White and blues ended the League in the 3rd place, 5 points below crowned champions KF Skënderbeu Korçë, even though outstanding Spanish coach Julián Rubio had to re-create the squad twice, due to lack of players who left the club by late summer. Additionally, Tirana players and staff had to outface a temporary financial kink, caused from the latter club transformation to sh.a. which had negative influence in the limited number of quality players which approached from the market. At majority of the season coach Rubio had severe difficulties and wasn't able to even to create a proper official squad for a match! Nonetheless, despite all difficulties faced, Tirana finally ended the season in the best possible way earning 2 trophies out of 3, by also winning their 15th Cup trophy. Tirana won the final against their fierce rivals of last 2 seasons KF Skënderbeu Korçë, with Bekim Bala becoming again the key scorer, netting the winning goal at 107' at extra-time, since regular time ended goalless draw.[24]

  • The club could, however, get organized better for 2012-13 season, starting from Europa League participation. Even though having a healthy budget, club officials were too late to bring quality players on time, adding here the fact that they let go of main attacker, Bekim Balaj for a funny transfer sum to AC Sparta Prague despite Balaj still had 6 month of contract left! Tirana managed to pass only one round in Europa League, eliminating CS Grevenmacher of Luxembourg, before being knocked out from Norwegians of Aalesunds FK in the 2nd round. Tirana won again the Supercup (their jubilee 10th trophy), by beating on their 3rd final clash KF Skënderbeu Korçë. Despite due to extend his link with Tirana for the following two seasons and continuing the project, the successful Spanish coach, Rubio, did not sign that contract officially, due to some clauses on which himself and the club did not agree and eventually him and the club departed ways after over 13 months cooperation.[25] Artur Lekbello was appointed Tirana new coach, but despite his credits as a player in the past, he did not prove that successful as a coach and therefore presented his resignation to club administrator after only 42 days, following unpleasant results in Tirana's bench. Alban Tafaj once again took the vacant place as a temporary coach. On 19 February, Tafaj withdrew to his original technical director post and Nevil Dede became Tirana coach for the 2nd time in his career. With Dede in bench, Tirana ended the 2012-13 season in the 5th place, thus a total failure, considering neither trophy was won (not mentioning here the Supercup before season started) nor club earned the right to participate in Europe. Dede however extended his contract with the club for another 2 years, in order to take forward his project of activating mostly young players from youth academy and abroad.
  • In the verge of the new season, Tirana transported from last year the financial problems, ungiven salaries and long waiting failure of Tirana city council to sell club assets.[26] This situation went to the extreme and club was nearly starting Superliga with only 10 young players. But days before market was due to close three businessmen approached for Tirana; Ndriçim Babasi (initially appointed decision making head-donor, but then left passing the post to Mr. Halili at December, 2013), ex-donor Refik Halili (decision making head-donor since December, 2013) and Lulzim Morina and fortunately club was able to approach few players. New Tirana started to take shape, however last moment approaches had their negative effect in results, as continuous losses caused Tirana president suspend coach Dede and temporary replaced him with Alpin Gallo, who lasted only 5 matches. Tirana were also eliminated early from the Cup. Gugash Magani, an experienced coach was named instead. He stayed in duty even after changes at the club. With Magani as coach Tirana started to win matches and finally made it staying in Superliga and even ranked 6th in perhaps the worst season in club history.
  • 26 June was a significant date for the football club, as Tirana city council finally approved with 33 pro votes handling 66% of Municipality assets to private sponsors for the next 18 years (currently Mr Halili and Mr Morina), giving them the green light to invest in players, stadium, training pitches, youth academy, etc. in order to create a stronger club after lot of struggling past 5 years.[27]

Following this event and considering the fact that there was no European participation, club had all necessary time to organize well pre-seasonal preparations. Along with approaching the right players in the existing squad of last season and proper training project in Albania, a well prepared pre-seasonal training was organized for over 3 weeks in Ohrid, playing friendlies there and consolidate team further. Such well-planned project had not been seen for many years, perhaps since El Sayed era.

Crest and colors[edit]

The typical kit of the team is that of a shirt with white and blue vertical stripes, and blue or white shorts and socks. The shirt has taken different forms during the history of the club, for example with thin or wider stripes. The second most common kit is the all-white one with blue shorts.

Stadiums[edit]

The home ground of KF Tirana is Selman Stërmasi Stadium, which is shared with city rivals Dinamo Tirana and Partizani Tirana. However, most derby and significant matches are played at the national team's Qemal Stafa Stadium; the stadium is also used if the Selman Stërmasi Stadium is unavailable as it is used by three different teams. The club has expressed its desire to rebuild the current Selman Stërmasi Stadium into a modern complex with around 15,000 to 20,000 season. They want it to be Albania's first modern post-Communism stadium without an athletic track around the field, which they hope will provide more atmosphere and attract more fans. However, it has not yet been decided when this will be built but it is rumoured to be the club's 100th anniversary present in 2020.[28]

Selman Stërmasi Stadium[edit]

KF Tirana plays most of its official and friendly games at the Selman Stërmasi Stadium in Tirana. The Selman Stërmasi Stadium was built in 1956 and was previously named the 'Dinamo' Stadium till 1991 when it was permanently given its new name. The Football Association of Albania and the club decided to name the stadium post mortem after the eminent KF Tirana player, coach and president, Selman Stërmasi. The stadium has a capacity of 12,500 (of which 6000 seated) and has recently ended a long phase of construction, involving development of the main pitch, central seated area, facilities around the ground and general lineaments. There are still improvements expected to be made soon,[when?] as side seated areas, an electronic clock and a KF Tirana shopping centre just under central seated. The internal facilities include a press conference room, journalists' corner and modern showers. The main parking area is located at the front of the stadium, which leads to the entrance. The whole external part of the stadium is surrounded by a 2.7 M (9 ft) rail fence.[29]

Supporters[edit]

Tirona Fanatics

The supporters of KF Tirana are organised in Tirona Fanatics, a fan club started on 8 January 2006 and popular with football fans of KF Tirana. The name Tirona Fanatics was chosen because it is written in the dialect of Tirana. Tirona Fanatics are the most organized fan club, not only in Tirana but also in the country. They have a well-prepared agenda which is set in advance for either home or away club support, self-established funds, their own logo, all technical gear needed for every match and always express their serious dedication to KF Tirana emblem through ovations, slogans, songs, gestures and pyrotechnics with a high civilization, without violence and swearing towards opponent team players, staff or fans. The group has shown good support and preparations even beyond Albanian borders, in away matches such as in Trnava, Grevenmacher, etc. Tirona Fanatics are in close cooperation with Plisat of Pristina and Shvercerat of Shkupi and have also attended in many Albania National Football Team matches. Since creation, the fans number has been in a constant increase and new members are recruited every week.

Rivalries[edit]

Honours[edit]

KF Tirana are regarded as the Albania's top football team having won:

Domestic[edit]

*Including the Championships which are awaiting to be officially recognized from AFA.

International[edit]

Runners Up (1)1981.

Records[edit]

Domestic[edit]

  • Biggest ever home league victory: KF Tirana – KS Flamurtari 11:0 (05.07.1936) [30]
  • Biggest ever home league defeat: KF Tirana – KS Vllaznia 0:6 (1947)
  • Biggest ever away league victory: KF Elbasani – KF Tirana 2:9 (12.06.1932)
  • Biggest ever away league defeat: KS Besa – KF Tirana 7:1 (1992)
  • Most league appearances: Albania Elvis Sina (419)
  • Most league goals: Albania Indrit Fortuzi (152)
  • Most points in a season: 84 (2004–05)
  • Least points in a season: 7 (1940)
  • Most wins in a season: 26 (2004–05)
  • Least wins in a season: 3 (1931, 1933, 1940, 1942)
  • Most ties in a season: 15 (1974–75)
  • Least ties in a season: 0 (1939, 1946)
  • Most losses in a season: 13 (1972–73, 1976–77, 1991–92)
  • Least losses in a season: 0 (1932, 1936, 1937, 1939, 1942)
  • Best Goal Differential: +66 (1936)
  • Worst Goal Differential: -5 (1972–73)

Europe[edit]

  • Biggest ever European home victory: KF Tirana – Malta Sliema Wanderers 5:0 (27 September 1989)
  • Biggest ever European home defeat: KF Tirana – Croatia NK Croatia Zagreb 2:6 (24 July 1996)
  • Biggest ever European away victory: Belarus FC Gomel – KF Tirana 0:2 (14 July 2004)
  • Biggest ever European away defeat: Norway Aalesunds FK – KF Tirana 5:0 (26 July 2012)
  • Most European appearances: Albania Elvis Sina (31)
  • Most European goals: Albania Indrit Fortuzi (10)

Last 25 Seasons[edit]

Season Div. Albanian Superliga M W D L GSco GCon Pts Albanian Cup Albanian Supercup
1990–91 1st 4 39 16 12 11 52 40 44 1/4 Finals -
1991–92 1st 8 30 11 6 13 38 32 28 1/4 Finals -
1992–93 1st 11 30 7 13 10 24 28 27 1/8 Finals -
1993–94 1st Runners-up 26 13 7 6 36 16 33 Winners Winners
1994–95 1st Champions 30 19 6 5 57 27 44 Runners-up -
1995–96 1st Champions 34 19 10 5 52 22 55 Winners -
1996–97 1st Champions 22 14 4 4 40 9 46 1/8 Finals -
1997–98 1st Runners-up 34 19 8 7 54 18 65 1/4 Finals -
1998–99 1st Champions 30 18 7 5 48 20 61 Winners -
1999–00 1st Champions 27 16 5 6 41 15 53 1/4 Finals Winners
2000–01 1st Runners-up 26 16 6 4 56 13 54 Winners Runners-up
2001–02 1st Runners-up 26 19 5 2 52 15 62 Winners Winners
2002–03 1st Champions 26 19 3 4 57 17 60 1/2 Finals Winners
2003–04 1st Champions 36 24 8 4 90 36 80 1/2 Finals Runners-up
2004–05 1st Champions 36 26 6 4 82 32 84 Runners-up Winners
2005–06 1st Runners-up 36 17 11 8 54 33 62 Winners Winners
2006–07 1st Champions 33 22 6 5 64 33 72 1/4 Finals Winners
2007–08 1st 6 33 14 7 12 46 36 49 Runners-up -
2008–09 1st Champions 33 19 11 3 58 27 68 Runners-up Winners
2009–10 1st 3rd Place 33 15 7 11 38 32 52 1/4 Finals -
2010–11 1st 5 33 11 11 11 42 31 44 Winners Winners
2011–12 1st 3rd Place 26 16 5 5 33 21 53 Winners Winners
2012–13 1st 5 26 12 7 7 30 23 43 1/8 Finals -
2013–14 1st 6 33 14 8 11 36 31 50 1/8 Finals -
2014–15 1st 36

KF Tirana in Europe[edit]

In addition to being the best team in all domestic competitions, K.F. Tirana (Men) have also given the best performances in Europe among Albanian teams. Although Tirana have passed 11 times one European round, they have never gone further than that. However, white and blues hold the all-time record for the highest IFFHS ranking of an Albanian football club, being ranked as high as 31st in the World in 1987, as result of success preceded 1986-87.[31] In their European path, Tirana have played against "big guns" such as: AFC Ajax, FC Bayern Munich, A.C. Milan, etc. Drawn against reputable teams such as FC Dinamo București, Ferencvárosi TC, PFC CSKA Sofia, Stabæk IF, FC Utrecht, NK Dinamo Zagreb, IFK Göteborg, Malmö FF, Standard Liège, etc. In several occasions, respectable European names such as: FC Dinamo București, FC Dinamo Tbilisi, ND Gorica, NK Varteks, etc. have been eliminated from white and blues.

The best squad to compete in Europe was that of season 2004/05. After having easily passed FC Gomel of Belarus in the first round, Tirana played against Ferencvárosi TC in the second round. Having lost the first leg at home 2–3, KF Tirana produced fantastic football in Budapest and was leading 1–0, after which the team missed a penalty and the ball hit woodwork twice, but they just could not score the qualifying goal and therefore were eliminated with a 3–3 on aggregate.[32]

KF Tirana friendly match for social initiative[edit]

KF Tirana vs A.C. Milan. On 14 October 2008, KF Tirana and A.C. Milan took part, for the first time ever, in the "Taci Oil Albania Reads" project in Tirana. This new initiative had the goal to raise funds for the construction of new and modern libraries across Albania, a project launched by UNICEF. The proceeds of this event, sponsored by Taçi Oil helped to create 100 new libraries in Albanian schools, whilst also driving forward the improvement in learning, teaching and reading standards in schools. KF Tirana won the match 2–1.[33]

World & European Rankings[edit]

UEFA club coefficient ranking[edit]

(As of 21 October 2013), Source: Bert Kassies website

Rank Team Points
315 Liechtenstein FC Vaduz 3.650
316 Bulgaria Botev Plovdiv 3.625
317 Bulgaria Lokomotiv Sofia 3.625
318 Bulgaria Cherno More Varna 3.625
319 Albania KF Tirana 3.600
320 Serbia FK Jagodina 3.575
321 Estonia Flora Tallinn 3.575
322 Georgia (country) WIT Georgia Tbilisi 3.475
291 Montenegro Rudar Pljevlja 3.450

IFFHS Europe club ranking of the 21st century[edit]

(As of 29 January 2013), Source: IFFHS published 29 January 2013

Rank Team Points
168 France FC Nantes 739.0
169 Belgium Germinal Beerschot 735.0
170 Denmark Aalborg BK 727.0
171 France AS Saint-Étienne 718.0
172 Albania KF Tirana 716.0
173 Cyprus Anorthosis Famagusta FC 716.0
174 Sweden Helsingborgs IF 712.0
175 Russia Dinamo Moscow 710.5
176 Republic of Macedonia FK Rabotnički 710.0

IFFHS World club ranking of the last decade[edit]

(1 January 2001 – 31 December 2011), Source: IFFHS published 21 March 2012

Rank Team Points
303 Syria Al-Karamah SC 650.0
304 South Korea Pohang Steelers 647.5
305 Japan Shimizu S-Pulse 643.5
306 Jordan Al-Wehdat SC 643.5
307 Albania KF Tirana 643.0
308 Bolivia Oriente Petrolero 641.0
309 England West Ham United F.C. 641.0
310 France AS Saint-Étienne 640.0
311 Iran Zob Ahan Isfahan F.C. 632.0

IFFHS Europe club ranking of the last decade[edit]

(1 January 2001 – 31 December 2011), Source: IFFHS published 21 March 2012

Rank Team Points
80 Albania KF Tirana 643.0
81 Belgium K.V.C. Westerlo 656.0
82 Portugal Boavista F.C. 656.0
83 Russia FC Krylia Sovetov Samara 653.0
84 England West Ham United F.C. 641.0
85 France AS Saint-Étienne 640.0
86 Croatia NK Varaždin 632.0
87 Netherlands FC Groningen 629.0

Players[edit]

First team squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Albania GK Stivi Frashëri
2 Albania DF David Domgjoni
4 Albania DF Gentian Muça (3rd captain)
5 Albania DF Entonio Pashaj
6 Albania DF Debatik Curri
7 Rwanda FW Meddie Kagere
8 Albania MF Ervin Bulku (captain)
9 Croatia FW Tomislav Bušić
10 Albania FW Mario Morina
11 Burundi FW Selemani Ndikumana
13 Albania MF Erando Karabeci (vice-captain)
15 Albania FW Marlind Nuriu
17 Albania MF Renato Hyshmeri
No. Position Player
18 Albania MF Dorian Kërçiku
19 Albania MF Elis Bakaj
20 Albania FW Grend Halili
21 Uganda FW Francis Olaki
22 Albania GK Marsel Çaka
23 Kosovo MF Argjend Malaj
26 Albania MF Afrim Taku (4th captain)
27 Albania DF Endrit Idrizaj
28 Albania DF Hanc Llagami
29 Albania MF Alush Gavazaj
31 Albania GK Edvan Bakaj
99 Albania DF Renaldo Kalari

International players[edit]

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Albania GK Xhino Sejdo (to KS Kamza)
Albania DF Mario Roshi (at Kastrioti)
Albania GK Terenc Mema (at KF Bulqiza)
Albania DF Markeliano Tabaku (at FC Eagles)
Albania MF Devi Rrokaj (at FC Internacional Tirana)
Albania MF Donald Muça (at KS Egnatia)
No. Position Player
Albania DF Albert Doda (to KF Valbona)
Albania DF Erion Hoxhallari (to Teuta Durrës)
Albania MF Ardit Peposhi (to Teuta Durrës)
Albania MF Mateos Cake (to Sopoti Librazhd)
Albania FW Ergys Sorra (to Dinamo Tirana)

Reserves and academy[edit]

For the reserve and academy squads, see KF Tirana Reserves and Academy

KF Tirana B[edit]

Recently, KF Tirana have established their reserve team which initially started to compete from the lowest category.

Main article: KF Tirana B

Former players[edit]

For details on former players, see Category:KF Tirana players.

Players[edit]

  Active players are highlighted
Elvis Sina is the most capped player in the history of KF Tirana with 419 caps.
As of 8 June 2014 [34]
# Name Career Caps Goals
1
Elvis Sina
1999–2006
2007–2008
2009–2014
419 8
2
Blendi Nallbani
1990–1993
1997–2001
2004–2010
310 1
3
Nevil Dede
1994–2004
2006–2007
299 30
4
Agustin Kola
1980–1991
1994–1997
250 133
5
Rezart Dabulla
1998–2006
2008–2013
242 8
6
Eldorado Merkoçi
1994–1999
2001–2008
222 40
7
Devi Muka
1998–1999
2003–2010
210 61
8
Ervin Bulku
1998–2007
2014–present
209 15
9
Indrit Fortuzi
1993–1998
2000–2005
2007–2008
191 152
10
Arben Minga
1977–1991
1994–1996
189 103

Most goals[edit]

Below is a list of the 10 players with the most goals for KF Tirana, as of 8 June 2014 [35]

Arben Minga, Big Ben is the 3-rd goal player in the history of KF Tirana with 103 goals.
# Name Career Goals Caps
1
Indrit Fortuzi
1993–1998
2000–2005
2007–2008
152 191
2
Agustin Kola
1980–1991
1994–1997
140 250
3
Arben Minga
1977–1991
1994–1996
108 189
4
Shkëlqim Muça
1976–1988 88 92
5
Petrit Dibra
1970–1980 70 187
6
Devi Muka
1998–1999
2003–2010
61 210
7
Skënder Hyka
1965–1974 60 122
8
Mahir Halili
2001–2005 46 133
9
Hamdi Salihi
2005–2007 42 52
10
Riza Lushta
1934–1939 39 69

Managers[edit]

Managerial record[edit]

Coach from until Major Titles
Albania Selman Stërmasi 1930 1937 6 6x National Championships
Albania Myslym Alla 1956 1971 4 4x National Championships
Albania Enver Shehu 1971 1973
Albania Enver Shehu 1980 1985 2 2x National Championships
Albania Fatmir Frasheri 1985 1987 0
Albania Shyqyri Rreli 1987 1990 2 2x National Championships
Albania Shkëlqim Muça 1 July 1994 1 July 1995 1 Albanian Superliga, Albanian Supercup
Albania Sulejman Mema 1 July 1995 1 July 1996 1 Albanian Superliga
Albania Enver Shehu 1 July 1996 3 May 1998 1 Albanian Superliga
Albania Millan Baçi 3 May 1998 1 July 1998 0
Albania Sulejman Mema 1 July 1998 1 July 1999 1 Albanian Superliga
Albania Shkëlqim Muça 1 July 1999 1 July 2000 1 Albanian Superliga
Hungary Miklós Temesvári 1 July 2000 14 April 2001 1 Albanian Supercup
Albania Shkëlqim Muça 14 April 2001 1 July 2002 0
Bosnia and Herzegovina Enver Hadžiabdić 1 July 2002 23 November 2002 1 Albanian Supercup
Albania Krenar Alimehmeti 23 November 2002 28 February 2003 0
Albania Fatmir Frashëri 28 February 2003 1 July 2003 1 Albanian Superliga
Albania Sulejman Mema 1 July 2003 25 October 2003 1 Albanian Supercup
Albania Krenar Alimehmeti 25 October 2003 2 November 2013 0
Albania Mirel Josa 2 November 2013 20 August 2004 1 Albanian Superliga
Albania Luan Sengla 20 August 2004 1 September 2004 0
Albania Sulejman Starova 1 September 2004 1 July 2005 1 Albanian Superliga
Italy Leonardo Menichini 1 July 2005 11 November 2005 0
Albania Krenar Alimehmeti 13 November 2005 15 February 2006 0
Albania Mirel Josa 17 February 2006 13 November 2006 0
Albania Shkëlqim Muça 14 November 2006 1 July 2007 1 Albanian Superliga
Albania Sulejman Starova 1 July 2007 19 September 2007 0
Albania Ardian Mema 22 September 2007 25 September 2007 0
Albania Astrit Hafizi 25 September 2007 3 February 2008 0
Albania Sulejman Mema 3 February 2008 1 July 2008
Bosnia and Herzegovina Blaž Slišković 1 July 2008 10 December 2008 0
Albania Agustin Kola 11 December 2008 2 May 2009 1
Albania Alban Tafaj 2 May 2009 21 June 2009 1 Albanian Superliga
Croatia Ilija Lončarević 21 June 2009 6 October 2009 1 Albanian Supercup
Albania Alban Tafaj 6 October 2009 26 January 2010 0
Albania Nevil Dede 28 January 2010 2 February 2010 0
Albania Devis Mukaj 4 February 2010 29 March 2010 0
Albania Sulejman Starova 29 March 2010 10 October 2010 0
Albania Nevil Dede 11 October 2010 6 February 2011 0
Croatia Mišo Krstičević 8 February 2011 22 June 2011 1 Albanian Cup
Spain Julian Rubio 22 June 2011 31 August 2012 3 Albanian Cup,Albanian Supercup(2)
Albania Alban Tafaj 1 September 2012 16 September 2012 0
Albania Artur Lekbello 17 September 2012 30 October 2012 0
Albania Alban Tafaj 31 October 2012 18 February 2013 0
Albania Nevil Dede 19 February 2013 24 October 2013 0
Albania Alpin Gallo 25 October 2013 28 November 2013 0
Albania Sokol Bulku 28 November 2013 1 December 2013 0
Albania Gugash Magani 1 December 2013

Current coaching staff[edit]

Position Name
Head Coach Albania Gugash Magani
Assistant Manager Albania Klodian Dervishi
Translator Manager Nigeria Ndubuisi Egbo
Physiotherapist Albania Altin Haxhia
Physiotherapist Albania Arzen Voci
Coordinator Albania Eduard Gjini
Goalkeeping Coach Albania Astrit Nallbani
U-19 Head Coach Albania Agustin Kola
U-17 Head Coach Albania Saimir Malko
U-15 Head Coach Albania Kadri Pengili
U-12 Head Coach Albania Irfan Bujari
U-10 Head Coach Albania Bujar Lubani

Top scorers Golden Foot[edit]

Season Top-scorer Team Goals
1930 Albania Emil Hajnali
Albania Rexhep Maçi
SK Tirana 3
1932 Albania Haki Korça SK Tirana 4
1934 Albania Mark Gurashi SK Tirana 12
1936 Albania Riza Lushta SK Tirana 11
1937 Albania Riza Lushta SK Tirana 25
1959 Albania Enver Shehu
Albania Gani Merja
SK Tirana 6
1965–66 Albania Josif Kazanxhi SK Tirana 14
1968 Albania Skënder Hyka SK Tirana 19
1978–79 Albania Petrit Dibra SK Tirana 14
1984–85 AlbaniaArben Minga SK Tirana 13
1987–88 Albania Agustin Kola SK Tirana 18
1988–89 Albania Agustin Kola SK Tirana 19
2000–01 Albania Indrit Fortuzi SK Tirana 30
2001–02 Albania Indrit Fortuzi SK Tirana 24
2002–03 Albania Mahir Halili SK Tirana 20
2005–06 Albania Hamdi Salihi SK Tirana 29
2008–09 Albania Migen Memelli SK Tirana 22

Kit suppliers[edit]

Kit provider Period Shirt sponsor
United KingdomUmbro 1988–1992 Ariston
1993–1997 Parmalat
Germany Adidas 1998–1999 Kent
1999–2000 Hawaii
Spain Joma 2000–2001
2001–2002 Volkswagen
Germany Jako 2002–2004
Germany Puma 2004–2006
Germany Adidas 2006–2008
Germany Puma 2008–2009
Italy Lotto 2009–2010 none
Germany Adidas 2010–2011
Italy Macron 2011–2012 BPP
Italy Errea 2012–2013 none
Italy Legea 2013–2014
2014–2017

KF Tirana Sponsorship[edit]

Sponsor Type Name
Main Sponsors Halili Constructions, Municipality of Tirana
Secondary Sponsors Lani ltd, BHI-Tiranë, Lajthiza Water, Boga ltd
Official clothing provider Legea

Presidents[edit]

Main article: KF Tirana Presidents

KF Tirana has historically been managed and owned by one president. The only exception is during period of 2007–2008, when the presidency was vacant and club was managed by a number of sponsors. KF Tirana has had numerous presidents over the course of its history, most of which have also been the owners of the club, whilst others have only been honorific presidents such as Bamir Topi and Fatmir Frasheri. The club has had a total of 13 presidents, in total from 1920 until the present day. The most successful president in history is considered to be the Egyptian millionaire Metwally El Sayed who was president of the club during the period 1999–2004. The president who has had the longest management over the club has been Selman Stermasi who was owner and president from 1936 until 1960, whilst the president with the shortest management has been Fatmir Frasheri, who only lasted a single year from 2004–2005. Below is the official presidential history of KF Tirana, from when the club was formed, until the present day.[36]

List of presidents[edit]

Name From–To
Albania Bahri Toptan 1920–1933
Albania Stefan Shundi 1933–1936
AlbaniaSelman Stermasi 1936-1960
Albania Lame Konomi 1960–1970
Albania Nuri Bylyku 1970-1983
Albania Clirim Hysi 1983-1985
Albania Zija Shaba 1985-1993
Albania Metush Seferi 1993-1998
Albania Lutfi Nuri 1998-1999
Egypt Metwally El Sayed 1999-2004
Albania Fatmir Frasheri 2004–2005
Albania Bamir Topi 2005-2008
Albania Refik Halili 2008-

KF Tirana Statistics in Albanian Superliga[edit]

Since the Kategoria superiore began in 1930, KF Tirana have played 1784 Superliga matches, scored 3021 goals and conceded 1614. The club has collected so far 2628 points, won 938 games, drawn 456 and lost 390. The club's goal difference is +1407 and the winning difference is +548.[37]

Historical Goals Wins Draws Losses +/-Goals +/- Wins Points Matches
TOTAL 3057-1645 952 464 401 +1412 +551 2678 1817

Data correct up to the end of the 2013–14 season.

See also: KF Tirana Statistics in Albanian Superliga

KF Tirana's champions[edit]

(4 times or more)

# Champion Times Seasons
1 Nevil Dede 8 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2007
Blendi Nallbani 8 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2009
3 Krenar Alimehmeti 7 1985, 1988, 1989, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000
Eldoraldo Markoçi 7 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005
5 Adem Karrapici 6 1930, 1931, 1932, 1934, 1936, 1937
Arben Minga 6 1982, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1995, 1996
Agustin Kola 6 1982, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1995, 1997
Ardian Mema 6 1989, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000
Sokol Bulku 6 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004
Elvis Sina 6 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005
Devi Muka 6 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009
Rezart Dabulla 6 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009
Ervin Bulku 6 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007
Isli Hidi 6 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007
15 Mark Gurashi 5 1930, 1931, 1934, 1936, 1937
Rudolf Gurashi 5 1930, 1931, 1934, 1936, 1937
Emil Hajnali 5 1930, 1931, 1932, 1936, 1937
Florian Riza 5 1988, 1989, 1996, 1997, 2000
Indrit Fortuzi 5 1995, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2004
Alpin Gallo 5 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000
Alban Tafaj 5 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005
Saimir Patushi 5 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009
23 Selman Stërmasi 4 1930, 1931, 1932, 1934
Hysen Kusi 4 1930, 1931, 1932, 1936
Pavllo Bukoviku 4 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970
Luigj Bytyçi 4 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970
Fatmir Frashëri 4 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970
Skënder Hyka 4 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970
Bahri Ishka 4 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970
Ali Mema 4 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970
Osman Mema 4 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970
Niko Xhaçka 4 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970
Shkëlqim Muça 4 1982, 1985, 1988, 1989
Mirel Josa 4 1982, 1985, 1988, 1989
Leonard Liti 4 1982, 1985, 1988, 1989
Bedri Omuri 4 1982, 1985, 1988, 1989
Bujar Sharra 4 1982, 1985, 1988, 1989
Anesti Stoja 4 1985, 1988, 1989, 1995
Ansi Agolli 4 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009
Gentjan Hajdari 4 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "World Stadiums – Stadiums in Albania". Worldstadiums.com. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Unrelegated association football clubs". Wikipedia. 
  3. ^ "KF Tirana". ECA. 
  4. ^ a b "peshkupauje.com". Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  5. ^ Kampionatet e kohës së Luftës II Botërore
  6. ^ Kampionati 1, sezoni 1930
  7. ^ Dovana, portieri që shënoi në Tiranë
  8. ^ Albania 1933
  9. ^ Albania 1934
  10. ^ Albania 1936
  11. ^ Albania 1937
  12. ^ Kampionatet e kohës së Luftës II Botërore (Albanian)
  13. ^ Giovanni Armillotta: "DREJT NJOHJES SË TRE KAMPIONATEVE KOMBËTARE TË LUFTËS: 1939, 1940 DHE 1942 (1942: KAMPIONAT MBARËKOMBËTAR ME PJESËMARRJEN E PRIZRENIT, PEJËS E PRISHTINËS)" – GIOVANNI ARMILLOTTA ON LINE PËR SHQIPTARËT
  14. ^ FSH (2013-02-28). "AFA's General Assembly: War championships are not legitimate". Partizani.net. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  15. ^ "SK Tirana Forum". Sktirana.com. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  16. ^ "Dictature eliminates true champions". Ballikombit.org. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  17. ^ "RSSSF Albania". Rsssf.com. 2014-03-06. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  18. ^ "RSSSF Champions". Rsssf.com. 2014-03-06. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  19. ^ "Albania 2007-08". Rsssf.com. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  20. ^ "Albania 2009/10". Rsssf.com. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  21. ^ "Albania 2010/11". Rsssf.com. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  22. ^ Česky. "2011–12 UEFA Europa League – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  23. ^ Tirana kthehet ne sh.a. (in Albanian)
  24. ^ "2011–12 Albanian Cup – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  25. ^ Dreka e lamtumirës Rubio, drejtuesve: Do të iki të punoj te Reali i Madridit; Sport Ekspres, 29 August 2012 (Albanian)
  26. ^ "Give Tirana what belongs to...Tirana". Panorama-sport.com. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  27. ^ "Tirana given for use for next 18 years". Panorama-sport.com. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  28. ^ New stadium plans (in Albanian)
  29. ^ "Selman Stermasi Stadium". Kftirana.info. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  30. ^ Kategoria superiore 1936
  31. ^ "Skenderbeu 178th but Tirana 31st". 
  32. ^ "CHL season 2004-05". 
  33. ^ "Tirana upsets Milan". Youtube. 19 February 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  34. ^ name="KF Tirana Record League Players"
  35. ^ name="KF Tirana - Record International Players - Goals"
  36. ^ kftirana.info. "Club Presidency". kftirana.info. Retrieved 1 June 2010. 
  37. ^ KF Tirana Statistics in Albanian Superliga

External links[edit]