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)
Association Federata Shqiptare e Futbollit (FSHF)
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Alban Bushi
Captain Thomas Strakosha
Most caps Amarildo Belisha (16)
Top scorer Armando Sadiku (6)
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.

History[edit]

Albania U-21 participated in the Balkan Youth Championships, which started in 1969 and ended in 1981 in 10 overall competitions, and won the two last, the 1978 and the 1981 ones with finals against Romania and Bulgaria. Notably in 1978 the second leg of the final match against Romania was characterized by a large Albania win (7–1), which is, until September 2014, the largest win ever recorded of Albania U-21.[3]

1984 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship[edit]

Albania Under-21's 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 in Albanian football history is the only occasion where any Albanian national team has ever managed to qualify for a major European or even World championship. 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 nd 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 leave last in groupe Iceland, but was preceded by Czechoslovakia, France and Spain. In the qualifiers of the 1994 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Albania againe left at bottom the 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 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Final tournament 14 Nov '17 9 Nov '17 6 Sep '18 27 Mar '18 11 Sep '18
2  Slovakia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Play-offs if among four best runners-up 10 Oct '17 5 Oct '17 27 Mar '18 12 Oct '18 5 Sep '17
3  Iceland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 16 Oct '18 11 Sep '18 4 Sep '17 6 Sep '18 11 Oct '18
4  Albania 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 Oct '18 23 Mar '18 10 Oct '17 12 Jun '17 10 Nov '17
5  Estonia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 Sep '17 1 Sep '17 14 Nov '17 16 Oct '18 8 Jun '17
6  Northern Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 22 Mar '18 16 Oct '18 26 Mar '18 31 Aug '17 10 Oct '17
First match(es) will be played on 8 June 2017. Source: UEFA

Players[edit]

Current Squad[edit]

COACH: Albania Alban Bushi

The following players have been called up to for a double Friendly match against Moldova U21 on 25 & 27 March 2017.[4]

Caps and goals as of 10 October 2016

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Elhan Kastrati (1997-02-02) 2 February 1997 (age 20) 0 0 Albania Teuta Durrës
12 1GK Gentian Selmani (1998-03-09) 9 March 1998 (age 19) 0 0 Albania Laçi
6 2DF Enea Mihaj (1998-07-05) 5 July 1998 (age 18) 1 0 Greece Panetolikos
2 2DF Ardit Toli (1997-07-12) 12 July 1997 (age 19) 0 0 Greece Olympiacos
4 2DF Leonardo Maloku (1998-05-18) 18 May 1998 (age 18) 0 0 Italy Pescara
14 2DF Shaqir Tafa (1998-11-14) 14 November 1998 (age 18) 0 0 Italy Palermo
5 2DF Bardhec Bytyqi (1997-01-08) 8 January 1997 (age 20) 0 0 Denmark AaB
15 2DF Marlind Nuriu (1997-07-05) 5 July 1997 (age 19) 0 0 Albania Tirana
3 3MF Qazim Laçi (1996-01-19) 19 January 1996 (age 21) 9 1 Greece Levadiakos
17 3MF Endri Çekiçi (Captain) (1996-11-23) 23 November 1996 (age 20) 8 1 Croatia Lokomotiva Zagreb
16 3MF Ylber Ramadani (1996-04-12) 12 April 1996 (age 21) 1 0 Albania Partizani Tirana
7 3MF Taulant Seferi (1996-11-15) 15 November 1996 (age 20) 0 0 Switzerland Young Boys
18 3MF Ardit Deliu (1997-10-26) 26 October 1997 (age 19) 0 0 Croatia Hajduk Split
8 3MF Emanuele Ndoj (1996-11-20) 20 November 1996 (age 20) 0 0 Italy Brescia
19 3MF Elvir Maloku (1996-05-14) 14 May 1996 (age 20) 0 0 Cyprus AEK Larnaca
21 3MF Sherif Kallaku (1998-03-01) 1 March 1998 (age 19) 0 0 Italy Cremonese
11 3MF Kristal Abazaj (1996-07-06) 6 July 1996 (age 20) 0 0 Albania Luftëtari Gjirokastër
10 3MF Nazmi Gripshi (1997-07-05) 5 July 1997 (age 19) 0 0 Albania Skënderbeu Korçë
9 4FW Valdrin Mustafa (1998-03-11) 11 March 1998 (age 19) 0 0 Germany FC Kaiserslautern
20 4FW Grent Halili (1998-05-24) 24 May 1998 (age 18) 0 0 Albania Tirana
13 4FW Gerbi Gjepali (1998-05-26) 26 May 1998 (age 18) 0 0 Italy Südtirol

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 18) 0 0 Albania Partizani Tirana Gathering in Durrës, Albania, 25 January 2017
GK Klevis Hasanbelli (1997-06-30) 30 June 1997 (age 19) 0 0 Albania Kukësi v.  Israel, 10 October 2016
GK Alen Sherri (1997-12-15) 15 December 1997 (age 19) 0 0 Albania Vllaznia Shkodër v.  Hungary, 28 March 2016
DF Ymer Shaba (1998-07-21) 21 July 1998 (age 18) 0 0 Albania Dinamo Tirana Gathering in Durrës, Albania, 25 January 2017
DF Arlind Amidi (1997-03-15) 15 March 1997 (age 20) 0 0 Austria Rheindorf Altach Gathering in Durrës, Albania, 25 January 2017
DF Laurant Sadiki (1997-09-24) 24 September 1997 (age 19) 0 0 Switzerland Young Boys Gathering in Durrës, Albania, 25 January 2017
DF Idriz Voca (1997-05-15) 15 May 1997 (age 19) 0 0 Switzerland Luzern Gathering in Durrës, Albania, 25 January 2017
DF Kostandin Kariqi (1996-01-01) 1 January 1996 (age 21) 2 0 Greece Trikala v.  Israel, 10 October 2016
DF David Domgjoni (1997-05-21) 21 May 1997 (age 19) 0 0 Albania Tirana v.  Israel, 10 October 2016
DF Esin Hakaj (1996-12-06) 6 December 1996 (age 20) 0 0 Albania Partizani Tirana v.  Czech Republic, 23 May 2016
MF Keidi Bare (1997-08-28) 28 August 1997 (age 19) 6 0 Spain Atlético Madrid v.  Moldova, 25 March 2017
MF Emir Sahiti (1998-11-29) 29 November 1998 (age 18) 0 0 Republic of Macedonia Rabotnički Gathering in Durrës, Albania, 25 January 2017
MF Federico Zenuni (1997-01-19) 19 January 1997 (age 20) 0 0 Italy Tuttocuoio Gathering in Durrës, Albania, 25 January 2017
MF Fabio Sakaj (1998-02-02) 2 February 1998 (age 19) 0 0 Italy Modena Gathering in Durrës, Albania, 25 January 2017
MF Romeo Shahinas (1996-02-25) 25 February 1996 (age 21) 0 0 Italy Racing Roma Gathering in Durrës, Albania, 25 January 2017
MF Amarildo Gjoka (1997-06-03) 3 June 1997 (age 19) 0 0 Belgium Kortrijk Gathering in Durrës, Albania, 25 January 2017
MF Heroid Gjoshi (1997-05-18) 18 May 1997 (age 19) 0 0 Switzerland Wil Gathering in Durrës, Albania, 25 January 2017
MF Alfred Ajdarević (1998-06-20) 20 June 1998 (age 18) 0 0 Sweden Örebro Gathering in Durrës, Albania, 25 January 2017
MF Jurgen Bardhi (1997-11-06) 6 November 1997 (age 19) 3 0 Albania Partizani Tirana v.  Israel, 10 October 2016
MF Realdo Fili (1996-05-14) 14 May 1996 (age 20) 2 0 Albania Partizani Tirana v.  Israel, 10 October 2016
MF Uendi Vecaj (1997-02-18) 18 February 1997 (age 20) 1 0 Albania Vllaznia Shkodër v.  Israel, 10 October 2016
MF Ardit Krymi (1996-05-02) 2 May 1996 (age 20) 0 0 Albania Vllaznia Shkodër v.  Israel, 10 October 2016
MF Emiliano Hysi (1996-06-16) 16 June 1996 (age 20) 0 0 England Backenham Town v.  Czech Republic, 23 May 2016
FW Fiorin Durmishaj (1996-11-14) 14 November 1996 (age 20) 3 0 Greece Panionios v.  Moldova, 18 March 2017
FW Olger Merkaj (1997-07-23) 23 July 1997 (age 19) 0 0 Italy Tuttocuoio Gathering in Durrës, Albania, 25 January 2017
FW Arian Kabashi (1997-03-14) 14 March 1997 (age 20) 0 0 Sweden Elfsborg Gathering in Durrës, Albania, 25 January 2017
FW Çlirim Shabani (1998-06-16) 16 June 1998 (age 18) 0 0 Switzerland Luzern Gathering in Durrës, Albania, 25 January 2017
FW Rubin Hebaj (1998-07-30) 30 July 1998 (age 18) 0 0 Albania Vllaznia Shkodër v.  Israel, 10 October 2016
FW Rey Manaj (1997-02-24) 24 February 1997 (age 20) 6 3 Italy Pisa v.  Greece, 2 September 2016
FW Fabian Mirdita (1997-05-21) 21 May 1997 (age 19) 0 0 France Monaco v.  Greece, 2 September 2016
  • MOV = Withdrew to play for Kosovo.

Coaching staff[edit]

Current coaching staff:[5]

Position Name
Head Coach Albania Alban Bushi
Assistant Coach Albania Vasillaq Zëri
Goalkeeping Coach Albania Alfred Osmani
Team Doctor Albania Erald Derveni
Physiotherapists Albania Gledi Rexha
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
2019 To Be Determined
Total: 1/20 Best: Quarter-finals 2 0 0 2 0 2 Total 129 25 29 75 112 249

*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

*The 2017 Competition in Italic hasn't finished completely

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]