Njazi Kuqi

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Njazi Kuqi
Personal information
Full name Njazi Kuqi
Date of birth (1983-03-25) 25 March 1983 (age 31)[1]
Place of birth Vučitrn, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)[2]
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Olympiacos Volou
Youth career
1998–1999 FinnPa
1999–2000 MP
2001 Kapa-51
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2005 Lahti 53 (16)
2005–2006 Birmingham City 0 (0)
2006 Blackpool (loan) 4 (0)
2006 Peterborough United (loan) 1 (0)
2006 Groningen 0 (0)
2007–2008 Carl Zeiss Jena 1 (0)
2008–2010 Koblenz 52 (11)
2010 Stevenage 1 (0)
2010 Dundee 3 (0)
2011 TPS Turku 21 (8)
2011–2012 Panionios 24 (10)
2012–2013 Atromitos 24 (1)
2014 Pro Vercelli 4 (0)
2014- Olympiacos Volou
National team
2005– Finland 12 (5)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 9 February 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 26 March 2013

Njazi Kuqi (born 25 March 1983 in Vushtrri, Kosovë) is a Finnish footballer of Kosovar Albanian origin who currently plays for Olympiacos Volou in Football League.

Kuqi started his career with FC Lahti of the Veikkausliiga in 2002, spending three years with the club and scoring twenty goals in all competitions. In January 2005, Kuqi signed for Birmingham City, but failed to make any first–team appearances during his 18-month spell with the club. During his time at Birmingham, Kuqi was loaned out for a month to Blackpool in January 2006, making four appearances before returning to his parent club. He was loaned out once again in March 2006, joining Peterborough United until the end of the 2005–06 season. However, he only made one appearance for Peterborough, and returned to Birmingham a month earlier than scheduled. At the end of the campaign, Kuqi was released by Birmingham.

Ahead of the 2006–07 season, Kuqi joined Dutch side FC Groningen on a free transfer. However, he was released just two months after signing for the club, having not made a single appearance for the club. Six months later, in January 2007, Kuqi signed for German outfit FC Carl Zeiss Jena, but made just one first–team appearance in twelve months, before signing for TuS Koblenz in January 2008 on a three–year deal. He spent two and a half seasons with Koblenz, scoring eleven times. In August 2010, Kuqi joined League Two side Stevenage, but left after playing just one game. Shortly after, in September 2010, Kuqi joined Dundee on a one-year deal, but was released a month later when the club went into administration. Kuqi has also played internationally for the Finland national team, earning three caps and scoring three goals for his country.

Club career[edit]

FC Lahti[edit]

Kuqi began his career with FC Lahti in 2002, where he was named Finland's Under-21 Player of the Year in 2004.[3] Kuqi spent three seasons with the club, scoring a total of 20 goals in 57 appearances in all competitions.[4]

Birmingham[edit]

In January 2005, Kuqi signed for Birmingham City for a fee of £400,000,[5] but failed to make any first–team appearances for the club during the latter stages of the 2004–05 season,[6] although he was an unused substitute in Birmingham's 2–0 away defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup.[7] Kuqi featured regularly for Birmingham's reserve side,[8] but had a number of more experienced strikers in front of him, including Emile Heskey and Mikael Forssell, which made it difficult for him to break into the starting eleven.[9] During the second half of the 2005–06 season, Kuqi was sent out on loan to Blackpool on a month's loan deal.[10] A day after joining the club, he made his debut in the club's 4–2 win against Doncaster Rovers, coming on as an 81st minute substitute.[11] Kuqi subsequently started in the club's 3–0 loss away to MK Dons,[12] and played a total of four times for Blackpool before returning to his parent club.[13] In March 2006, Kuqi was loaned out once more, this time to Peterborough United until the end of the season.[5] However, Kuqi played just once for the club, starting in Peterborough's 2–2 draw with Barnet,[14] before returning to Birmingham a month earlier than expected.[15] At the end of the 2006–07 season, Kuqi was released by Birmingham, having not made a single first–team appearance.[15]

Groningen[edit]

In June 2006, Kuqi signed for FC Groningen on a free transfer, where he was to compete for a place in the team with players such as the former Manchester United striker Erik Nevland. After a range of conflicts, Kuqi was released by Groningen in August 2006, having made no first-team appearances for the club, with the season just two weeks old.[16]

Carl Zeiss Jena[edit]

Six months later, he signed an 18-month contract with FC Carl Zeiss Jena after failing to win a contract during a trial at his brother's former club, Ipswich Town.[17] However, Kuqi struggled to make first-team appearances for the club,[18] and was subsequently featuring regularly in the reserve side, FC Carl Zeis Jena II, in the German NOFV-Oberliga.[18]

TuS Koblenz[edit]

In January 2008, he joined TuS Koblenz on a three-year contract.[18] During the second half of the club's 2007–08 campaign, Kuqi scored four goals in nine appearances, scoring his first goal for Koblenz in a 1–1 draw away to FC St. Pauli.[19] He also scored in the club's 3–2 away win against Kaiserslautern ten days later.[18][20] He subsequently started the following season as the club's point of attack, and played a total of 29 games during the season, scoring five times as Koblenz narrowly avoided relegation.[18] Kuqi remained at the club ahead of the 2009–10 season, although his season was disrupted by persistent injuries,[21] only managing to play in 14 games, scoring twice in losses against FC St. Pauli and Karlsruher SC respectively.[22][23] Kuqi played his last game for the club in March 2010, coming on as an 83rd minute substitute in a 2–0 loss to Rot-Weiß Oberhausen.[24] He left the club at the end of the 2009–10 season.[18]

Kuqi spent a week on trial at Dutch Eerste Divisie side RBC Roosendaal in July 2010, scoring in the club's 1–0 friendly win against Royal Antwerp.[25] However, just three days after his trial at Roosendaal, Kuqi linked up with his brother Shefki once again, having previously played alongside him at Koblenz,[26] as he joined Championship side Swansea City on trial for two weeks.[3] He featured in a pre–season friendly against Port Talbot Town, scoring the winning goal in the 93rd minute.[27][28] He also netted in another friendly against Llanelli, scoring the final goal of the game from 25–yards in a 5–1 win.[29] However, he was unsuccessful in his attempt to earn a contract at Swansea, and subsequently requested a trial at League Two side Stevenage in August 2010.[17]

Stevenage[edit]

He played in a reserve match for the club against Ipswich Town.[17] Three days later, Kuqi made his debut in the club's 3–1 win against Stockport County, coming on as a substitute in the 84th minute.[30] He left Stevenage after failing to secure a full-time contract with the club.[21]

Dundee F.C.[edit]

Shortly after, on 1 September 2010, Kuqi signed for Scottish First Division club Dundee on a one-year contract.[31] He made his debut for the club in a 3–1 loss to Dunfermline Athletic,[32] and featured in two other games for the club.[33] However, in October 2010, Kuqi was one of nine players released by Dundee after the club went into administration.[34][35][36] On being released, Kuqi said "My family just moved in two weeks ago. Of course you feel let down. Before I came here they spoke differently. They promised things and then after five weeks you're in administration".[34]

TPS Turku[edit]

On 28 March 2011, TPS Turku announced that the club had signed Kuqi on a one-year contract.[37] He made his debut for the club on 6 May 2011, scoring in a 2–0 win over HJK Helsinki, the first game of the 2011 Veikkausliiga season.[38] Kuqi scored eight goals in 23 appearances for the club during the 2011 season.[21]

Panionios[edit]

In September 2011, Kuqi joined Super League side Panionios. He made his debut for the club in a 1–0 away win against Panetolikos, scoring the only goal of the game in the eleventh minute.[39] Two weeks later, in his third appearance for the club, Kuqi scored twice in a 3–0 victory away at Kerkyra.[40]

Atromitos[edit]

In June 2012 it was announced that Kuqi would transfer from Panionios to another Super League side Atromitos,[41] a club which he left after a mutual consent contract termination.

International career[edit]

In March 2005, Kuqi was called up to the Finland squad for a friendly against Kuwait. He started the match, and scored the only goal of the game in a 1–0 win.[42] Six days later, he came off the substitute's bench to score twice within the space of five minutes in Finland's 4–1 win against Saudi Arabia.[42][43] In 2005, he got a six month ban to the national team after leaving the team, after a U21-match against Czech Republic was played, for a birthday night out in Prague with a fellow international Toni Koskela. After that, Kuqi was out of the picture and it was thought that he was keen to play for Kosovo,[44] but in August 2008 he was called up to the squad once more when Stuart Baxter selected him for a friendly against Israel, although he was an unused substitute.[45] In September 2008, Kuqi gained his third cap as a 75th minute substitute in Finland's 2010 World Cup qualifier against Germany, with the game ending 3–3.[46]

Personal life[edit]

He is the younger brother of Shefki Kuqi.[29][47]

Career statistics[edit]

As of 20 January 2013.

Club[edit]

Club Season League[A] FA Cup League Cup Other[B] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Lahti
2002[48]
24 5 0 0 0 0 1 0 25 5
2003[49]
14 6 0 0 0 0 2 2 16 8
2004[4]
15 5 0 0 0 0 1 2 16 7
2005[50]
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 53 16 0 0 0 0 4 4 57 20
Birmingham City
2004–05[6]
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2005–06[9]
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Blackpool (loan)
2005–06[51]
4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Total 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Peterborough United (loan)
2005–06[52]
1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Groningen
2006–07[16]
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Carl Zeiss Jena
2006–07[53]
1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2007–08[54]
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Koblenz
2007–08[55]
9 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 4
2008–09[56]
29 5 0 0 0 0 2 2 31 7
2009–10[57]
14 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 16 2
Total 52 11 0 0 0 0 4 2 56 13
Stevenage
2010–11[58]
1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Dundee
2010–11[33]
3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Total 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
TPS Turku
2011[59]
21 8 0 0 0 0 2 0 23 8
Total 21 8 0 0 0 0 2 0 23 8
Panionios
2011–12[60][59]
24 10 2 0 0 0 0 0 26 10
Total 24 10 2 0 0 0 0 0 26 10
Atromitos
2012–13[61][59]
16 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 17 1
Total 16 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 17 1
Career totals 176 46 3 0 0 0 10 6 189 52

International[edit]

National team Year Apps Goals
Finland 2005[18] 2 3
2008[18] 1 0
2012[18] 8 2
2013[18] 1 0
Total 12 5

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Finland's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 12 March 2005 Kuwait National Stadium, Kuwait City  Kuwait 1–0 1–0 Friendly
2. 18 March 2005 Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium, Dammam  Saudi Arabia 2–1 4–1 Friendly
3. 4–1
4. 1 June 2012 Tamme Stadium, Tartu  Estonia 1–0 2–1 Friendly
5. 2–0
A. ^ The "League" column constitutes appearances and goals (including those as a substitute) in 2. Fußball-Bundesliga, Scottish First Division, The Football League, and Veikkausliiga.
B. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals (including those as a substitute) in the DFB-Pokal, Finnish League Cup and UEFA Europa League.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Njazi Kuqi profile". Soccerway. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  2. ^ "Njazi Kuqi – ESPN". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Now Swansea have a look at Kuqi jr". This Is South Wales. 10 July 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "FC Lahti – 2004". National Football Teams. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Peterborough seal Kuqi loan deal". BBC Sport. 17 March 2006. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Birmingham City 2004/2005 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  7. ^ "Chelsea 2–0 Birmingham". BBC Sport. 30 January 2005. Retrieved 25 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Blues For Newcastle Reserves". Newcastle United F.C. 18 October 2005. Retrieved 25 December 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "Birmingham City 2005/2006 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  10. ^ "Blackpool sign Birmingham's Kuqi". BBC Sport. 23 January 2006. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  11. ^ "Blackpool 4–2 Doncaster". BBC Sport. 24 January 2006. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  12. ^ "MK Dons 3–0 Blackpool". BBC Sport. 11 February 2006. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "Games played by Njazi Kuqi in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  14. ^ "Peterborough 2–2 Barnet". BBC Sport. 17 March 2006. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  15. ^ a b "Njazi Kuqi – All time playing career". Soccerbase. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  16. ^ a b "FC Groningen – 2006/07". National Football Teams. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  17. ^ a b c "Ipswich 3–1 Stevenage". Ipswich Town F.C. 18 August 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Njazi Kuqi". National Football Teams. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  19. ^ "St. Pauli 1–1 Koblenz". Soccerway. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  20. ^ "Kaiserlautern 2–3 Koblenz". Soccerway. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  21. ^ a b c "Matches played by N.Kuqi". Soccerway. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  22. ^ "Koblenz 1–5 St Pauli". Soccerway. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  23. ^ "Karlsruher 2–1 Koblenz". Soccerway. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  24. ^ "Rot-Weiß Oberhausen 2–0 Koblenz". Soccerway. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  25. ^ "RBC trial Blues striker". Sky Sports. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2010. 
  26. ^ "Koblenz claim Kuqi deal". Sky Sports. 11 July 2009. Retrieved 22 August 2010. 
  27. ^ "Trialist Njazi Kuqi nets winner on Swansea debut". BBC Sport. 10 July 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  28. ^ "Young Swans leave it late at Port Talbot". Swansea City F.C. 10 July 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  29. ^ a b "Llanelli 1–5 Swansea City". BBC Sport. 20 July 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  30. ^ "Stevenage 3–1 Stockport". BBC Sport. 21 August 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  31. ^ "Njazi Kuqi joins the Dee". Dundee F.C. 1 September 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  32. ^ "Dunfermline 3–1 Dundee". BBC Sport. 11 September 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2010. 
  33. ^ a b "Dundee 2010/2011 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  34. ^ a b "Axed Dundee players feel let down by administration hit club". STV. 15 October 2010. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  35. ^ Spence, Jim (15 October 2010). "Dundee given 50–50 survival chance by administrator". BBC Sport. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  36. ^ "Axed Dundee players seek clarity from union chief". BBC Sport. 15 October 2010. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  37. ^ "Njazi Kuqi returns to Veikkausliiga". TPS Turku. 28 March 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  38. ^ "TPS 2–0 HJK". Soccerway. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  39. ^ "Panetolikos 0–1 Panionios". Soccerway. 10 September 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  40. ^ "Kerkyra 0–3 Panionios". Soccerway. 24 September 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  41. ^ "Njazi Kuqi vaihtaa joukkuetta Kreikassa" (in Finnish). kymppipaikka.fi. 21 June 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  42. ^ a b "International Friendly Matches 2005". RSSSF. 31 December 2005. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  43. ^ "Saudi Arabia 1–4 Finland". ESPN Soccernet. 18 March 2005. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  44. ^ "Football in Kosovo: What Does Independence Bring?". Pitch Invasion. 19 February 2008. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  45. ^ "International Friendly Matches 2008". RSSSF. 31 December 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  46. ^ "Finland 3–3 Germany". Soccerway. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  47. ^ "Making a play for citizenship". Six Degrees. 26 February 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  48. ^ "FC Lahti – 2002". National Football Teams. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  49. ^ "FC Lahti – 2003". National Football Teams. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  50. ^ "FC Lahti – 2005". National Football Teams. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  51. ^ "Blackpool 2005/2006 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  52. ^ "Peterborough 2005/2006 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  53. ^ "Carl Zeiss Jena – 2006/07". National Football Teams. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  54. ^ "Carl Zeiss Jena – 2007/08". National Football Teams. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  55. ^ "TuS Koblenz – 2007/08". National Football Teams. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  56. ^ "TuS Koblenz – 2008/09". National Football Teams. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  57. ^ "TuS Koblenz – 2009/10". National Football Teams. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  58. ^ "Stevenage 2010/2011 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  59. ^ a b c "Matches of Njazi Kuqi". Soccerway. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  60. ^ "Panionios 2011/2012 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  61. ^ "Atromitos 2012/2013 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 

External links[edit]