Albania national under-21 football team

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Albania U21
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Kuq e Zinjtë (The Red and Blacks)
Shqiponjat (The Eagles)
Shpresat e Shqipërisë (Albanian Hopes)
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Alban Bushi
Captain Keidi Bare
Most caps Amarildo Belisha (16)
Top scorer Odise Roshi (7)
Home stadium Elbasan Arena
Loro Boriçi Stadium
FIFA code ALB
First colours
Second colours
Third colours
First international
 Yugoslavia 1–0 Albania 
(Thessaloniki, Greece; 25 June 1976)[1]
Biggest win
 Albania 7–1 Romania 
(Tirana, Albania; April 12, 1978)[2]
Biggest defeat
 Germany 8–0 Albania 
(Cologne, Germany; March 23, 2001)
UEFA U-21 Championship
Appearances 1 (first in 1984)
Best result Quarter-finals, 1984

The Albania national under-21 football team is the national under-21 football team of Albania and is controlled by the Football Association of Albania. The team competes in the European Under-21 Football Championship, which is held every two years.

Following the realignment of UEFA's youth competitions in 1976, the Albanian under-21 team was formed.

History[edit]

Balkan Youth Championship[edit]

Albania Under-21 participated in the Balkan Youth Championship as a succeder of Under-23 team, in the 1976–78 and 1981 competitions, winning both with finals against Romania and Bulgaria. Notably in 1978, the second leg of the final match against Romania was characterized by a large Albania's win 7–1, which is the largest win ever recorded by Albania U-21.[3]

1984 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship[edit]

Albania Under-21s have managed to qualify only once in their history, and that came in the year of 1984 when they managed to qualify for the 1984 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, although they were competing for the first time in such tournament. They were drawn in a very tough group which included the West Germany, Turkey and Austria. The historic event was the first time any Albanian squad qualified for a Europe or World Championship, and is only the second time any Albanian squad qualified for the major championships. To this day the team that qualified for 1984 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship are still regarded as the most successful team in Albanian football history. Albania U21 managed to qualify without losing a single game and managing two very good draws against one of the biggest and best footballing nations, West Germany.

Albania played the quarter finals against Italy, against which it lost twice 0–1, and 0–1, in Albania and Italy respectively. Italy advanced to the semifinals of Euro '84 and lost them against England, eventual champions of the tournament.

1986–1994[edit]

In the 1986 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania came last in group after Poland and Greece, and could not qualify. In the 1988 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania came again last in group after Spain, Romania and Austria. In the 1990 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania came last in group after Sweden, England and Poland. In the 1992 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship managed to precede Iceland as last in the group, but was preceded by Czechoslovakia, France and Spain. In the qualifiers of the 1994 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania preceded bottom team Republic of Ireland, but was preceded by Spain, Germany and Denmark.

1996–2002[edit]

In the 1996 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification Albania did not participate. In the qualifiers of the 1998 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania left behind Armenia, but had to trail in the final rankings Germany, Ukraine, and Portugal. In the qualifiers of the 2000 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania trailed Greece, Norway, Georgia, Latvia, and Slovenia and closed at the bottom of the group. In the qualifiers of the 2002 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania came again last behind England, Greece, Germany, and Finland.

2004–2007[edit]

In the qualifiers of the 2004 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania had the best result since Euro '84, when it had won the group, as it left two teams behind (Republic of Ireland and Georgia), but was preceded by Switzerland and Russia, and thus failed to qualify to the main tournament. In the qualifiers of the 2006 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania left behind itself Kazakhstan, but was preceded by Denmark, Ukraine, Greece, Turkey, and Georgia. In the qualifiers of the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, in a 3 teams group, Albania came last behind Spain and Slovakia and failed to qualify.

2009–2013[edit]

In the qualifiers of the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania was fourth out of 6 teams in the final ranking, leaving behind the Faroe Islands and Azerbaijan, but trailing behind Italy, Croatia and Greece. In the qualifiers of the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania left again behind Azerbaijan but trailed Scotland, Belarus, and Austria in the final rankings. In the qualifiers of the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania came last trailing behind Russia, Portugal, Poland, and Moldova. However, as a consolation for the first time an Albanian footballer, Armando Sadiku was the top goalscoarer of the group. Albania drew in Russia against the famous hosts during that tournament, a noticeable fact.

2015 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification[edit]

Group stage[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Spain 8 7 1 0 24 6 +18 22 Play-offs
2  Austria 8 5 1 2 15 12 +3 16
3  Hungary 8 3 0 5 12 13 −1 9
4  Bosnia and Herzegovina 8 2 0 6 10 22 −12 6
5  Albania 8 2 0 6 7 15 −8 6
Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers

2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification[edit]

Group 4[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Portugal 10 8 2 0 34 5 +29 26 Final tournament 0–0 1–0 4–0 2–0 4–0
2  Israel 10 6 3 1 21 4 +17 21 0–3 4–0 4–0 3–0 4–0
3  Greece 10 4 1 5 13 14 −1 13 0–4 0–1 2–1 3–1 5–0
4  Albania 10 3 3 4 11 20 −9 12 1–6 1–1 0–0 2–1 2–0
5  Hungary 10 3 3 4 19 16 +3 12 3–3 0–0 2–1 2–2 4–0
6  Liechtenstein 10 0 0 10 1 40 −39 0 1–7 0–4 0–2 0–2 0–6
Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification[edit]

Group 2[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Spain 6 6 0 0 19 6 +13 18 Final tournament 5–1 11 Sep 1–0 6 Sep 3–1
2  Slovakia 7 4 0 3 12 15 −3 12 Play-offs if among four best runners-up 1–4 1–0 0–2 4–1 12 Oct
3  Northern Ireland 7 3 2 2 11 10 +1 11 3–5 16 Oct 0–0 1–0 4–2
4  Iceland 6 2 2 2 7 6 +1 8 16 Oct 10 Sep 11 Oct 2–3 5 Sep
5  Albania (Z) 7 1 3 3 7 11 −4 6 11 Oct 2–3 1–1 0–0 0–0
6  Estonia (E) 7 0 1 6 7 15 −8 1 0–1 1–2 1–2 2–3 16 Oct
Updated to match(es) played on 27 March 2018. Source: UEFA
(E) Eliminated; (Z) Cannot qualify directly, but can still qualify via play-offs.

Recent results and forthcoming fixtures[edit]

2017[edit]

2018[edit]

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

COACH: Albania Alban Bushi

The following players were called up for the 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification match against Northern Ireland U21 on 10 November 2017.[4]

Caps and goals as of 10 November 2017

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Gentian Selmani (1998-03-09) 9 March 1998 (age 20) 5 0 Albania Laçi
12 1GK Elhan Kastrati (1997-02-02) 2 February 1997 (age 21) 0 0 Albania Teuta Durrës

3 2DF Irlian Ceka (1998-03-03) 3 March 1998 (age 20) 5 0 Italy Sambenedettese
22 2DF Albi Doka (1997-06-26) 26 June 1997 (age 21) 5 0 Albania Tirana
4 2DF Shaqir Tafa (1998-11-14) 14 November 1998 (age 19) 5 0 Italy Monopoli
5 2DF Ardit Toli (1997-07-12) 12 July 1997 (age 21) 5 0 Greece AO Chania Kissamikos
17 2DF Bardhec Bytyqi (1997-01-08) 8 January 1997 (age 21) 1 0 Denmark AaB
20 2DF Arijan Qollaku (1997-02-04) 4 February 1997 (age 21) 0 0 Switzerland Grasshopper

7 3MF Qazim Laçi (1996-01-19) 19 January 1996 (age 22) 13 1 France Ajaccio
10 3MF Endri Çekiçi (Vice-captain) (1996-11-23) 23 November 1996 (age 21) 12 1 Croatia Dinamo Zagreb
8 3MF Keidi Bare (Captain) (1997-08-28) 28 August 1997 (age 20) 10 0 Spain Atlético Madrid
11 3MF Kristal Abazaj (1996-07-06) 6 July 1996 (age 22) 5 2 Albania Luftëtari Gjirokastër
6 3MF Ylber Ramadani (1996-04-12) 12 April 1996 (age 22) 5 1 Denmark Vejle Boldklub
16 3MF Ardit Krymi (1996-05-02) 2 May 1996 (age 22) 3 0 Albania Vllaznia Shkodër
21 3MF Emanuele Ndoj (1996-11-20) 20 November 1996 (age 21) 3 0 Italy Brescia
18 3MF Agim Zeka (1998-09-06) 6 September 1998 (age 19) 2 0 Portugal Varzim

9 4FW Rubin Hebaj (1998-07-30) 30 July 1998 (age 20) 4 0 Slovenia Domžale
15 4FW Valdrin Mustafa (1998-03-11) 11 March 1998 (age 20) 4 0 Germany FC Kaiserslautern

Recent call-ups[edit]

Following players have been called up in the previous 12 months and are still eligible to represent Under 21 team.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Mario Dajsinani (1998-12-23) 23 December 1998 (age 19) 0 0 Albania Erzeni Shijak v.  Iceland, 10 October 2017 PRE

DF Leonardo Maloku (1998-05-18) 18 May 1998 (age 20) 3 0 Italy Santarcangelo v.  Iceland, 10 November 2017 PRE
DF Enea Mihaj (1998-07-05) 5 July 1998 (age 20) 1 0 Greece Panetolikos v.  Iceland, 10 October 2017
DF Amer Duka (1999-01-21) 21 January 1999 (age 19) 0 0 Albania Laçi v.  Iceland, 10 October 2017 PRE
DF Marlind Nuriu (1997-07-05) 5 July 1997 (age 21) 0 0 Albania Dinamo Tirana v.  Iceland, 10 October 2017 PRE
DF Kristian Bushaj (1999-04-06) 6 April 1999 (age 19) 0 0 Greece Panionios v.  Iceland, 4 September 2017

MF Sherif Kallaku (1998-03-01) 1 March 1998 (age 20) 1 0 Albania Laçi v.  Iceland, 10 November 2017 PRE
MF Marlon Marishta (2000-06-11) 11 June 2000 (age 18) 0 0 Republic of Ireland Home Farm v.  Iceland, 10 November 2017 PRE
MF Jurgen Bardhi (1997-11-06) 6 November 1997 (age 20) 3 0 Albania Partizani Tirana v.  Iceland, 10 October 2017 PRE
MF Elvir Maloku (1996-05-14) 14 May 1996 (age 22) 0 0 Cyprus AEK Larnaca v.  Iceland, 4 September 2017

FW Fiorin Durmishaj (1996-11-14) 14 November 1996 (age 21) 5 1 Greece Panionios v.  Iceland, 10 October 2017 INJ
FW Grent Halili (1998-05-24) 24 May 1998 (age 20) 0 0 Albania Tirana v.  Iceland, 10 October 2017 PRE
Notes
  • INJ = Withdrew due to the injury.
  • KOS = Withdrew to play for Kosovo U21.

Coaching staff[edit]

Current coaching staff:[5]

Position Name
Head Coach Albania Alban Bushi
Assistant Coach Albania Arjan Bellaj
Goalkeeping Coach Albania Alfred Osmani
Athletic Coach Albania Iris Selimi
Team Doctor Albania Erald Derveni
Physiotherapists Albania Gledi Rexha
Physiotherapists Albania Edison Koçi
Base materials Albania Roland Rarani

Competitive record[edit]

UEFA European Under-23 Championship[edit]

The event was classified as a U-23 tournament where at time were played three competitions, 1972, 1974 & 1976.

UEFA U-21 Championship Record[edit]

UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship record UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Qualification record
Year Round Pld W D * L GF GA Position Pld W D * L GF GA
1978 Did Not Participate
1980
1982
1984 Quarter-finals 2 0 0 2 0 2 Qualifying stage 1/4 6 4 2 0 9 3
1986 Did not qualify Qualifying Stage 3/3 4 1 0 3 3 7
1988 Qualifying Stage 4/4 6 0 2 4 4 10
1990 Qualifying Stage 4/4 6 0 1 5 1 8
1992 Qualifying Stage 4/5 7 1 2 4 3 13
France 1994 Qualifying round 4/5 8 1 2 5 5 18
Spain 1996 Did Not Participate
Romania 1998 Did not qualify Qualifying round 4/5 8 1 1 6 6 19
Slovakia 2000 Qualifying round 6/6 10 1 4 5 8 21
Switzerland 2002 Qualifying round 5/5 8 1 1 6 3 19
Germany 2004 Qualifying round 3/5 8 3 1 4 10 10
Portugal 2006 Qualifying round 6/7 12 2 3 7 9 27
Netherlands 2007 Qualifying round 3/3 2 0 1 1 0 3
Sweden 2009 Qualifying round 4/6 10 3 3 4 10 13
Denmark 2011 Qualifying round 4/5 8 1 1 6 11 20
Israel 2013 Qualifying round 5/5 8 1 2 5 11 18
Czech Republic 2015 Qualifying round 5/5 8 2 0 6 7 15
Poland 2017 Qualifying round 4/6 10 3 3 4 11 20
Italy San Marino 2019 To Be Determined Qualifying round 5/6 7 1 3 3 7 11
Total: 1/20 Best: Quarter-finals 2 0 0 2 0 2 Total 136 26 32 78 119 260

*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

*The 2019 Competition in Italic is currently playing

Balkan Youth Championship Record[edit]

Balkan Youth Championship record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA
1976–1978 Champions 1st 6 3 2 1 12 6
Greece 1981 Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 6 2
Total 2 Titles 2/2 8 5 2 1 18 8
*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty shoot-out.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.

Honours[edit]

Balkan Youth Championship
  • Winners (2): 1978, 1981

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]