|Founded||19 January 1910|
|Number of teams||10 (from 2014–15)|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||First Division|
|Domestic cup(s)||Albanian Cup|
|International cup(s)||UEFA Champions League|
UEFA Europa League
|Current champions||Skënderbeu (8th title) |
|Most championships||Tirana (24 titles)|
|Top goalscorer||Vioresin Sinani (207 goals)[note 1]|
|TV partners||SuperSport Albania|
|2018–19 Albanian Superliga|
The Albanian Superliga (Albanian: Kategoria Superiore) is a professional league for men's association football clubs. At the top of the Albanian football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. It is contested by 10 clubs, and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Albanian First Division. Seasons run from August to May, with teams playing 36 matches each (playing each team in the league four times, twice at home and twice away).
The competition was founded in 1930 as the Albanian National Championship during the reign of King Zog, shortly after the creation of the Albanian Football Association. Since 1930, 43 clubs have competed in recognized competitions, while only nine clubs have won the title: KF Tirana (24), Dinamo Tirana (18), Partizani (15), Vllaznia (9), Skënderbeu (8), KF Elbasani (2), Flamurtari (1), Teuta (1) and FK Kukësi (1). The current champions are Skënderbeu, who won their 8th title in 2017–18.
Football was first introduced to Albania by an English-Maltese priest named Gut Ruter, who visited the Saverian college in Shkodër in 1908. The first football club in Albania was Indipendenca, founded in Shkodër in 1912 by Palokë Nika. The first 90-minute game to be played with two 45 minute halves took place in October 1913 between Indipendenca Shkodër and the occupying Austro-Hungarian Imperial Navy. The game is considered to be the first international game to be played in Albania, and it ended in a 2–1 loss for Indipendenca, with the captain and founder of the club Palokë Nika scoring the only goal for the Albanians.
1911 Fier Fair Football Tournament
In 2012 historians discovered that a football tournament had taken place in Albania in 1911, some 19 years before the establishment of the Albanian National Championship and the Albanian Football Association. The Fier Fair Football Tournament (Albanian: Turneu Futbollistik i Panairit të Fierit) took place in Rahije, Fier while Albania was still under the administration of the Ottoman Empire and it consisted of 8 teams which were Tirana, Elbasani, Kavaja, Berati, Peqini, Vlora, Fieri and Lushnja. Tirana won the tournament after defeating Peqini 6–1 in the final. The tournament is not officially recognised by the Albanian Football Association or UEFA. The Albanian Football Association did not organise the tournament as the organisation was not formed until 1930.
World War II championships
Albania was invaded by Italy in April 1939 and World War II soon broke out, meaning the Albanian Football Association, much like the other organisations in the country, ceased operating. Despite the war, three championships were held between 1939 and 1942, with Tirana winning the championships in 1939 and 1942 and Shkodra winning in 1940. Despite calls to recognise these championships, the Albanian Football Association maintains the position that the championships were not organised by them and cannot be formally recognised.
Since the 2014–15 Albanian Superliga, the league consists of 10 clubs, who face each other four times in a conventional round-robin tournament for a total of 36 matches. At the end of the season, the two lowest-placed teams are relegated to Albanian First Division while two highest-placed teams of Albanian First Division are promoted in their place. Teams are ranked by total points, then head-to-head record, then goal difference, and then goals scored.
|Kukësi||Kukës||Zeqir Ymeri Stadium||5500|
|Partizani||Tirana||Selman Stërmasi Stadium (borrowed)||9500|
|Teuta||Durrës||Niko Dovana Stadium||12040|
|Tirana||Tirana||Selman Stërmasi Stadium||9500|
List of seasons
A list of clubs in order of most titles won is provided in the following table: Note: Bold indicates clubs currently playing in the top division.
|Dinamo||18||9||1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1960, 1966–67, 1972–73, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1979–80, 1985–86, 1989–90, 2001–02, 2007–08, 2009–10|
|Partizani||15||21||1947, 1948, 1949, 1954, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1970–71, 1978–79, 1980–81, 1986–87, 1992–93|
|Vllaznia||9||11||1945, 1946, 1971–72, 1973–74, 1977–78, 1982–83, 1991–92, 1997–98, 2000–01|
|Skënderbeu||8||3||1933, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2017–18|
- 6 Times: Skënderbeu
- 4 Times: Dinamo Tirana
Current rankings (2018–19)
UEFA Country Ranking for league participation in 2018–19 European football season (Previous year rank in italics).
- 32 (31) Liechtenstein Football Cup
- 33 (36) Nemzeti Bajnokság I
- 34 (37) Macedonian First Football League
- 35 (33) Moldovan National Division
- 36 (34) Albanian Superliga
- 37 (39) League of Ireland
- 38 (38) Veikkausliiga
- 39 (35) Úrvalsdeild karla (football)
- 40 (40) Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina
History of rankings
Below is a historical list of Albanian rankings and country coefficient.
- Admir Uruçi (12 January 2012). "Vioresin Sinani thotë mjaft: E mbyll si futbollist në fund të këtij edicioni" [Vioresin Sinani says enough: I finish as a player at the end of the season] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- Gjergj Kola. "Palokë Nika – personazhi historik i sportit Shqiptar" (in Albanian). Shkodra Sport. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
- "Një historik i shkurtër i futbollit në Shkodër" (in Albanian). Vllaznia.al. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
- Sport Ekspres, 14 February 2012, page 7 Archived 26 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- AFA's General Assembly: War championships are not legitimate Archived 20 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Albania Superliga: Summary". Soccerway. Perform. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
- "Albanian Superliga: Archive". Soccerway. Perform. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- "Albanian 1st league".
- (in Italian)"Albania – I capocannonieri del campionato". Calcio Mondiale Web.[dead link]
- Bert Kassies. "UEFA Country Ranking 2011". kassiesa.home.xs4all.nl. Retrieved 2016-11-06.
- Bert Kassies. "UEFA Country Ranking 2012". kassiesa.home.xs4all.nl. Retrieved 2016-11-06.
- Bert Kassies. "UEFA Country Ranking 2013". kassiesa.home.xs4all.nl. Retrieved 2016-11-06.
- Bert Kassies. "UEFA Country Ranking 2014". kassiesa.home.xs4all.nl. Retrieved 2016-11-06.
- Bert Kassies. "UEFA Country Ranking 2015". kassiesa.home.xs4all.nl. Retrieved 2016-11-06.
- Bert Kassies. "UEFA Country Ranking 2016". kassiesa.home.xs4all.nl. Retrieved 2016-11-06.
- Bert Kassies. "UEFA Country Ranking 2017". kassiesa.home.xs4all.nl. Retrieved 2016-11-06.
- Bert Kassies. "UEFA Country Ranking 2018". kassiesa.home.xs4all.nl. Retrieved 2016-11-06.