Arlind Ajeti

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Arlind Ajeti
SwitzerlandU21 04 Arlind Ajeti 130606 Sve-Sch 3-2 183733 6601.jpg
Ajeti playing for Switzerland U21 in 2013.
Personal information
Full name Arlind Afrim Ajeti
Date of birth (1993-09-25) 25 September 1993 (age 25)
Place of birth Basel, Switzerland
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Centre-back
Club information
Current team
Number 23
Youth career
2002–2004 Concordia Basel
2004–2010 Basel
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2013 Basel U21 67 (4)
2011–2015 Basel 27 (1)
2015–2016 Frosinone 23 (1)
2016–2018 Torino 4 (1)
2017–2018Crotone (loan) 21 (0)
2018– Grasshopper 0 (0)
National team
2010 Switzerland U17 7 (0)
2010–2011 Switzerland U18 5 (0)
2011–2012 Switzerland U19 11 (1)
2012 Switzerland U20 2 (1)
2013–2014 Switzerland U21 12 (1)
2014– Albania 18 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20 May 2018
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 13 November 2017

Arlind Afrim Ajeti (born 25 September 1993) is an Albanian professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Swiss club Grasshopper and the Albania national team. He holds dual Albanian and Swiss nationality.

Early life[edit]

Ajeti was born in Basel, Switzerland from Albanian parents originally from Podujevo, Kosovo, Serbia who had emigrated to Switzerland as did many Kosovans in the 1990s.[1] Arlind was the first child of Afrim and Sylbije Ajeti. He is the older brother of twins also footballers, Albian who plays for Basel and the Switzerland national under-21 team and Adonis who plays for St. Gallen.[2] In July 2015 the whole family became Albanian citizens.[3] His father Afrim was also a footballer who played as a goalkeeper.

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Ajeti's father Afrim was an inspiration for Arlind to start the football, where initially at age of 8 Arlind started playing each day with his father before beginning to play youth football with FC Concordia Basel at age of 10.[4] In 2004 he became a player of Basel,[2] representing the under-16, under-18 and under-21 teams. With the under-21 team he played from the 2010–11 season until the 2014–15 in the 1. Liga Promotion, collecting overall 67 appearances in which he scored 4 goals.[5]


On 2 January 2011, he signed his first professional contract for Basel, valid over two and a half years, and was called up to the first team ahead of the 2011–12 season,[6] He was eligible to play for the newly formed Basel under-19 team in the 2011–12 NextGen series, playing the team's first game against Tottenham Hotspur on 17 August 2011.[7]

He made his league debut as a substitute on 28 August 2011, in the 2–1 home win against FC Thun.[8] At the end of the 2011–12 season he won the Double, the League Championship title[9] and the Swiss Cup[10] with Basel. He only played once in the league and had just two Swiss Cup appearances with the first team squad, but played regularly with the U21 team.

At the end of the 2012–13 Swiss Super League season Ajeti won the Championship title[11] for the second time and was Swiss Cup runner up with Basel.[12] In the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League Basel advanced to the semi-finals, there being matched against the reigning UEFA Champions League holders Chelsea, but were knocked out being beaten 2–5 on aggregate.[13]

During the beginning of the 2013–14 season on 5 October 2013 Ajeti scored his first league goal in the 2–1 away win against Lausanne-Sport.[14] At the end of the 2013–14 Super League season Ajeti won his third league championship with Basel.[15] They also reached the final of the 2013–14 Swiss Cup, but were beaten 2–0 by Zürich after extra time. In the 2013–14 Champions League season Basel in the group stage finished the group in third position to qualify for Europa League knockout phase and here they advanced as far as the quarter-finals.

The season 2014–15 was a very successful one for Basel. The championship was won for the sixth time in a row[16] that season and in the 2014–15 Swiss Cup they reached the final. But for the third season in a row, they finished as runners-up, losing 0–3 to FC Sion in the final. Basel entered the Champions League in the group stage and reached the knockout phase as on 9 December 2014 they managed a 1-1 draw at Anfield against Liverpool.[17] But then Basel then lost to Porto in the Round of 16. Basel played a total of 65 matches (36 Swiss League fixtures, 6 Swiss Cup, 8 Champions League and 15 test matches). However under trainer Paulo Sousa the season 2014–15 was not a successful one for Ajeti. He totaled solely 17 appearances for the team, just 3 in the League, 2 in the Cup and only 1 in the Champions League, however 11 appearances in test games.[18]

Ajeti became one of the three Albania international footballers who participated in the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in history, along with his Basel teammates Shkëlzen Gashi and Taulant Xhaka.[19]


On 24 November 2015, after six months as a free agent after the ending of his contract at Basel, Ajeti signed a contract until the end of the season with the newly promoted Serie A side Frosinone.[20][21] He was given the vacant number 93, a number which he choose due to his year of birth.[22] He was presented to the media two days later, where he said that playing in Serie A was a "dream come true", and thanked the club for giving him this opportunity.[22]

He was called up for his first game on 6 December 2015, against Chievo Verona at the Stadio Matusa where he was an unused substitute. He finally made his debut against Sassuolo on 6 January when he was involved in an own goal but he scored too in that match.[23]

In the end Frosinone was relegated to Serie B.[24]


On 7 July 2016, Torino completed the signing of Ajeti on a free transfer.[25][26] He penned a three-year contract, with the option to extend for a further two years. His salary was reported to be €500,000 per season.[27] He made it his debut on 5 February 2017 against Empoli in a 1–1 draw.[28] A week later he scored his first goal against Pescara in the 9th minute to send the score 2–0 and conceded an own goal later, but however Torino won the match 5–3.<[29]

Loan to Crotone[edit]

On 1 August 2017, Ajeti was loaned out to fellow Serie A team F.C. Crotone until the end of the 2017–18 season with buying option.[30] In the matchday 17 against Chievo on 17 December 2017, Ajeti made a strike for goal that was diverted in to the empty net by Ante Budimir and served enough to give Crotone the 1–0 victory.[31][32]


On 13 September 2018, Ajeti officially become a player of Grasshopper by signing an initial one-year contract with an option to extend for a further two years, thus returning in Switzerland after three years.[33]

International career[edit]


Ajeti made his debut for the Switzerland U17 team in the game against Sweden on 4 March 2010. He made his debut for the Switzerland U-18 team on 15 September 2010 in the 2–2 draw with the Belgium U18. During the qualifications to the 2011 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship Ajeti played his first game for the Switzerland U19 as substitute in the game Group 2 game against England on 2 June 2011.

On 6 February 2013 Ajeti made his debut for the Swiss U21 team in the El Madrigal stadium in Villarreal, Spain. He played the entire game, but it ended in a 0–1 defeat against the Slovakian U21 team. He played his final game for the Swiss youth teams on 24 September 2014. This was in the 0–2 defeat against the Ukraine U21 team during the qualification matches to the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.


After the abandoned match between Serbia and Albania on 14 October 2014, many footballers of Albanian descent started to express their desire to play for Albania. Ajeti was one of them as he declared that he will play for the senior team of Albania.[34]

He made his first debut for Albania on 14 November 2014 in the "Group I" friendly Match against the Euro 2016 hosts, France,[35] coming on as a substitute in the 69th minute in place of Amir Abrashi. On 5 March 2015 Ajeti received the Albanian citizenship among fellow defender of Basel Naser Aliji[36] to be eligible to play for Albania national team in official qualifiers matches even.[37]

Euro 2016[edit]

On 21 May 2016, Ajeti was named in Albania's preliminary 27-man squad for UEFA Euro 2016,[38] and in Albania's final 23-man UEFA Euro 2016 squad on 31 May where he was given the shirt number 18.[39]

On 28 May, he scored his first international goal during the Euro 2016 warm-up match against Qatar, which ended in a 3–1 win.[40][41]

Ajeti was an unused substitute in Albania's first ever UEFA Euro match against Switzerland which ended in a 1–0 defeat.[42] In the second match against the host country France, due to the dismissal of Lorik Cana, Ajeti started and put on a strong performance but was forced to be replaced in the 85th minute due to an injury; his ouster weakened the team who conceded two late goals.[43] In the third and final match against Romania on 19 June, Ajeti produced a Man of the Match performance by helping the team to keep a clean sheet in a 1–0 victory to provide last 16 hope.[44] With Ajeti on the pitch, Albania did not conceded any goal during the course of the competition, making him a favourite of many Albania fans. Albania finished the group in the third position with three points and with a goal difference –2, and was ranked last in the third-placed teams, which eventually eliminated them.[45]

2018 FIFA World Cup qualification[edit]

Ajeti was unable to join the Albania national team in their 3 first 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification matches in September and October 2016 due to an injury. He was gathered for the 4th game against Israel on 12 November 2016 but unable to recover in time to play in this match.[46] He was called up for the first time after the full recovery for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Italy on 24 March and the Friendly match against Bosnia and Herzegovina on 28 March 2017.[47]

Personal life[edit]

In June 2015 he married Pranvera Krasniqi.[48] Despite having born and grown up in Switzerland, all "Ajeti brothers" have knowledge of the Albanian language, and mostly communicated in Albanian language in their private life.[49]

Career statistics[edit]


As of 20 May 2018 [50][5][51]
Club statistics
Club Season League Cup Europe[a] Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Basel U21 2010–11 1. Liga Promotion 23 1 23 1
2011–12 18 1 18 1
2012–13 23 2 23 2
2014–15 3 0 3 0
Total 67 4 67 4
Basel 2011–12 Swiss Super League 1 0 2 0 0 0 3 0
2012–13 4 0 3 0 1[b] 0 8 0
2013–14 19 1 4 0 12[c] 0 35 1
2014–15 3 0 2 0 1[d] 0 6 0
Total 27 1 11 0 14 0 53 1
Frosinone 2015–16 Serie A 16 1 16 1
Torino 2016–17 Serie A 4 1 1 0 5 1
Crotone 2017–18 Serie A 21 0 2 0 23 0
Career total 135 7 14 0 14 0 164 7
  1. ^ Including continental competitions, such as UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League
  2. ^ All appearance(s) in UEFA Europa League
  3. ^ Eight appearances in UEFA Champions League, four appearances in UEFA Europa League
  4. ^ All appearance(s) in UEFA Champions League


As of 3 June 2018 [5][52]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Albania 2014 2 0
2015 5 0
2016 5 1
2017 6 0
2018 2 0
Total 20 1

International goals[edit]

As of 29 May 2016. Albania score listed first, score column indicates score after each Ajeti's goal.[52]
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 29 May 2016 Stadion Hartberg, Hartberg, Austria 9  Qatar 1–1 3–1 Friendly



Basel U21[5]



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  4. ^ "Arlind Ajeti – Euro 2016 profile" (in Albanian). Retrieved 30 November 2017. • Kur i keni patur fillesat me futbollin? Kur keni filluar të luani si futbollist profesionist? Kontakti I parë me futbollin ka ardhur pak a shumë , përpara 15 vjetësh. Isha 8 vjec dhe fillova të shikoja tim atë , që luante. Ai ishte portier. Më pas fillova të luaja me babai cdo ditë. Kur isha 10 vjec fillova të luaj me një ekip të vogël në Bazel, të quajtur Concordia Basel.
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  46. ^ Trajneri i Shqipërisë paraqet planin anti-Izrael
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  51. ^ Arlind AjetiUEFA competition record
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External links[edit]