Armando Sadiku

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Armando Sadiku
Personal information
Full name Armando Durim Sadiku[1]
Date of birth (1991-05-27) 27 May 1991 (age 26)
Place of birth Cërrik, Elbasan, Albania
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Lugano
(on loan from Zürich)
Number 10
Youth career
2007–2008 Turbina Cërrik
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2009 Turbina Cërrik 40 (10)
2009–2010 Gramozi Ersekë 28 (8)
2010–2011 Elbasani 14 (5)
2011–2012 Locarno 39 (28)
2012–2013 Lugano 43 (24)
2014– Zürich 55 (15)
2015–2016 Zürich U21 8 (2)
2016 Vaduz (loan) 16 (7)
2017– Lugano (loan) 16 (9)
National team
2010–2011 Albania U19 1 (0)
2011–2012 Albania U21 7 (6)
2012– Albania 28 (9)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11:08, 3 June 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 June 2017

Armando Durim Sadiku (born 27 May 1991) is an Albanian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Lugano in the Swiss Super League on loan from Zürich and the Albania national team.

Born in Cërrik, Elbasan, Sadiku started his career at the youth ranks of his boyhood club Turbina Cërrik, and later made his professional debut in the Albanian First Division. In the summer of the 2009, he went to Gramozi Ersekë in club's first ever top flight season, where he had a breakthrough year, scoring eight goals, which ensured him a move to Elbasani.[2] Sadiku played only a half season with Elbasani, as he was banned from Albanian football due to non-sporting behavior, which led him to flee in Switzerland to play for Locarno.[2]

There Sadiku showed all his skills and abilities, scoring 54 goals in Swiss Challenge League, notably being the topgoalscorer in 2012–13.[3] In November 2013, he officially signed a 5-year deal with Zürich of Swiss Super League.[2] Sadiku struggeled to maintain his form in the top flight, however, scoring twice in 15 league appearances. He also suffered a major injury in May 2014 which kept him sidelined for 6 months.[2] He returned in the next season but failed to make an impact, scoring only three goals, winning the 2013–14 Swiss Cup. Sadiku enhanced his ratio in the first half of 2015–16 season, scoring eight goals in 18 appearances. Despite being the top scorer of the team at this time, he was sent of loan at fellow relegation strugglers Vaduz, which was dubbed as an "owngoal" by Swiss media.[4]

Sadiku helped Fürstenverein to stay in Super League for another season, relegation his parent club. After the loan ended, Sadiku, desptie being target of top European club from Serie A and Bundesliga, returned to Zürich due to the club's high economical demands.[5][6] In January 2017, Sadiku was sent again on loan, this time at his former side FC Lugano where he rejoined Paolo Tramezzani.[7]

An Albanian international, Sadiku with 9 goals scored, is his country's active player top goalscorer and 8th in the overall ranking. At youth level, he represented under-19 squad playing 1 match and the under-21 side with whom he scored 6 goals in only 7 appearances, thus being all time top goalscorer.[8] He made his senior debut in 2012 and was part of UEFA Euro 2016 squad where he scored Albania's first goal at a UEFA European Championship.[9]

Club career[edit]

Early career & Turbina Cërrik[edit]

Born in Cërrik, Elbasan, Sadiku started his career at the youth ranks of his boyhood club Turbina Cërrik, and later made his professional debut in the Albanian First Division whereas he played during the two seasons 2007–08 and 2008–09.[10]

Gramozi Ersekë[edit]

In 2009, he moved to newly promoted Albanian Superliga side Gramozi Ersekë, owned by the brother of Albanian oil tycoon Rezart Taci.[2] He made it his first debut for the club and in the Albanian Superliga in the opening day of the 2009–10 season in a goalless draw at home against Shkumbini Peqin, where Sadiku came in as a substitute for Brazilian forward Marko dos Santos in the 66th minute.[11] His first goal in the Albanian Superliga came on the fourth match of the season in a 4–1 away loss to fellow newly promoted side Skënderbeu Korçë. Sadiku started the game and played the full 90 minutes with his goal coming on 18th minute of the game to make the scores 1–1 at the time, he netted from close range with his right foot after an assist from Marko Dos Santos.[12]

In total Sadiku played in 28 games and scored 8 goals during the 2009–10 season.[13] Gramozi ranked in the last place of the table and were relegated to Albanian First Division.[14]

Elbasani[edit]

During the summer transfer window, Sadiku signed for his hometown club Elbasani. During the 2010–11 season first-half he played 14 matches and scored 5 goals. He made his debut with the club on 22 August 2010 during the opening league match against Tirana at home, playing 75 minutes in a 1–1 draw.[15] He scored his first goal of the season in his second appearance six days later, netting a last-minute winner in a 2–1 away win over Bylis Ballsh.[16]

On 19 December 2010, during the league match against Laçi, Sadiku, who had scored earlier in the match, was sent-off in the 82nd minute.[17] A minute before his dismissal, he scored but was caught offside by the assistant refeere Eduard Miho, which enraged Sadiku, who run towards him and pushed away by throat, spitting and also insulted him the process.[18] Disciplinary Committee suspended Sadiku from Albanian football for two years, also fining him.[18] That was his last match in Albanian football, as Sadiku left the club to purchase a career in Switzerland. As it happened with Gramozi Ersekë in previous season, Elbasani also ranked in the last place and were relegated to Albanian First Division.

Locarno[edit]

Sadiku played only a half season with Elbasani, as he was banned from Albanian football due to non-sporting behavior, which led him to flee in Switzerland to play for Locarno.[2] Sadiku signed for Swiss Challenge League side on 13 March 2011.[19] He arrived in the morning and even travelled with the side to the away fixture with FC Schaffhausen.[20] He made his debut for the club on the very day he signed, starting the game before being substituted in the 82nd minute in the 2–1 loss.[21] His first goal came in his third appearance of the season, against Chiasso on 1 April; he scored the winning goal in the 64th minute of 2–1 away win, before being substituted in the 75th minute.[22] His goal against Chiasso was then followed up by a brace against Kriens, scoring during the first half and then again in injury time in a game which ended 3–0 for Sadiku's side.[23] He then scored again in the next game against Aarau which took his tally to 4 goals in 3 games.[24] Sadiku scored against Winterthur on 7 May, opening the score in the 4–1 win.[25] This goal was followed up by another 4 goals in his next 3 appearances. During the second half of the 2010–11 season he scored 9 goals in 12 games, which helped his side avoid relegation.

Sadiku began the 2011–12 season in the same form as he ended the last, netting twice on the opening day of the new season against Wohlen in a match his side lost 5–2.[26] Sadiku's next goals came four games later against Étoile Carouge on 20 August, scoring twice in the first half of the 3–0 win.[27] He scored a late equaliser at home against Stade Nyonnais on 10 September to earn his side a draw.[28] In the next game he scored again, this time the opening goal in a 2–1 win against Vaduz.[29] Sadiku then scored in the Swiss Cup against Wil on 16 October, but Locarno were knocked out on penalties after a 1–1 draw.[30] His goal in the Swiss Cup was then followed by three goals in his next three league games, including the winner away at Chiasso.[31] Sadiku then ended 2011 in Switzerland with a goal in the 82nd minute against Aarau, to give his side a point that left them in 8th place at the end of the year.[32] He finished season 2012–13 of Swiss Challenge League as Top scorer with 19 goals.

Lugano[edit]

After much speculation about his future, on 23 July 2012 Locarno released a statement revealing that Sadiku had left the club and signed a three-year contract with Lugano, also in the Swiss Challenge League.[33][34]

On 13 February 2013, Sadiku scored twice against his previous former team Locarno in the opening match for second phase of the 2012–13 Swiss Challenge League, where the match finished in the 3–0 victory with Sadiku scoring the second and the last goal in the 42nd and 87th minutes.[35]

For the second consecutive season and also with two different teams, Sadiku finished the complete season as Top goalscorer. In the end of 2012–13 Swiss Challenge League he registered a total of 18 goals in 32 appearances and Lugano finished in the 7th place.

Zürich[edit]

After speculations of last days about his transfer to Zürich, on 13 November 2013 he officially signed with the Zürich in the Swiss Super League and in this way in December 2013 he finished his adventure with Lugano and after window of transfers opens, he joined his new club Zürich, exactly on 1 January 2014.[36] He made it his presentation with the new club Zürich days later on 18 November 2013, where he was given the shirt with the number 11 and he signed the new contract until June 2018.[37] Coming in Zürich, Sadiku joined there another fellow Albanian player Burim Kukeli. His first match with Zürich came on 14 January 2014 and was a friendly against MSV Duisburg, where Sadiku also scored a goal.[38]

2013–14 season[edit]

Sadiku made it his first debut in the Swiss Super League with Zürich, on 1 February 2014 against Sion coming on as a substitute in the 82nd minute in place of Franck Etoundi.[39] On 26 March 2014, Sadiku played in the semi-final match of Swiss Cup against Thun as he came in as a substitute in the 19th minute of the extra-time, after the full 90-minutes and also 30-minutes of the extra-time had finished in the goalless draw, match decided by penalties were Zürich won 5–4 with Sadiku scoring the 3rd penalty take.[40] He played first match as a starter for Zürich on 16 April 2014 in the 4–2 loss against Basel, where he got substituted off in the 80th minute.[41] Sadiku played five days later, on 21 April 2014 even against Basel in the Swiss Cup final match, as he came in as a substitute in the 91st minute (1st minute of stoppage time) in place of Franck Etoundi, were the full 90-minutes finished in the goalless draw and the match passed in to the 30 minute extra-time, were the Zürich striker Mario Gavranović scored twice on the 10th & 24th minutes to give it the final match result 2–0, with Zürich declaring the champions of the 2013–14 Swiss Cup.[42] Sadiku scored on 26 April 2014 against Luzern but his goal wasn't enough as Zürich lost with 1–2 result.[43] During the match between Zürich and St. Gallen on 10 May 2014, Sadiku came in as a substitute in the 70th minute in place of Franck Etoundi and after just nine minutes he suffered a hard injury as he broken knee ligament, then substituted off for Amine Chermiti in the 79th minute. He ended the season two weeks before the end as he remained six months out of play due to his injury.[44]

2014–15 season[edit]

Sadiku got returned from the long-injury on 22 November 2014 as he participated in to the 16th week match of the 2014–15 Swiss Super League against FC Sion. He was an unused substitute during the entire match.[45] Five days later he was on the bench again for the entire match of the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League group stage against Apollon Limassol.[46] Another three days after he made it his new season debut by coming on as a substitute in the 71st minute in place of Davide Chiumiento in a 1–2 loss in extreme against Basel. For Basel scored twice the fellow Albanian international striker Shkëlzen Gashi in the 41st minute an goal which equaled by the Zürich midfielder Yassine Chikhaoui in the 88th minute and where then Gashi scored in the 94th to sign the victory for opponents of Basel.[47] Being returned before just a week, on 3 December 2014 Sadiku played as a starter and scored the first season goal in a 5–0 victory over Cham valid for the third round of Swiss Cup, in where Sadiku scored the 3rd goal in the 73rd minute.[48]

Loan to Vaduz[edit]

During the first part of 2015–16 season, Sadiku was used scarcely, and often as a substitute by coach Sami Hyypiä despite being the team's top goalscorer in the league. That lead him to request a loan to an other Swiss Super League side in order to play more to be ready to represent Albania in the UEFA Euro 2016 in France.[49] His wish was fulfilled and on 12 January 2016 Sadiku was loaned out to the bottom-side Vaduz until the end of season.[50][51] During his presentation one day later, Sadiku was allocated squad number 32 and dubbed his Vaduz move as the "right decision".[49] His parent club Zürich was criticized by the Swiss media, which dubbed the loan an "own goal" and an "arrogant" decision.[52][4]

Sadiku made his debut for the club on 6 February scoring a brace and providing two assists in a 5–2 away win against fellow relegation strugglers Lugano, one of his former sides.[53] On 28 February, he was again on the scoresheet scoring his team's only goal in a 1–1 draw against Grasshopper, giving Vaduz one point.[54]

On 6 April, he scored a brace in the 2015–16 Liechtenstein Cup semi-final match against Eschen/Mauren, helping the team to win the 2–1 and progress to the final.[55] Four days later, Sadiku scored his fourth league goal for Vaduz and also provided an assist during the 3–0 home win against St. Gallen, helping Vaduz to a first success after six consecutive winless league matches.[56] He scored his tenth league goal of the season during the 5–4 away defeat to Young Boys.[57]

Loan to Lugano[edit]

Following arrival of Paolo Tramezzani from Sadiku's national team Albania at FC Lugano made Sadiku himself to move on loan at FC Lugano making also a return.[58][7] He made his return debut on 4 February in team's 4–0 away defeat at Basel.[59] Following that, he went on to score in five consecutive league matches, including the winner against St. Gallen,[60] as Lugano become a contenter for a European spot next season. During his time at Lugano, Sadiku formed a fierce partnership with Ezgjan Alioski, as the duo scored 25 goals together.[61][62][63] On 21 May, Sadiku scored against Vaduz to open Lugano's way for a 3–0 victory which secured them participation in the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League next season.[64] He finished the second part of 2016–17 season by scoring 9 times in 16 appearances.

International career[edit]

Youth teams[edit]

He was included in Ramadan Shehu's Albanian U19 squad for their 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualification and played only one game.[65]

In the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification Sadiku scored two goals as a second-half substitute against Moldova U21 on 7 September 2011 to earn Albania their first points of the campaign. He then scored twice against Poland in a 3–4 loss for Albania. He followed this up with another two goals in a 2–2 draw with Portugal, taking his tally to 6 goals in his first 7 games for Albania U21.[66]

Senior team[edit]

New senior national team coach Gianni De Biasi, called up Sadiku for a friendly against Georgia on 29 February 2012 at Mikheil Meskhi Stadium in Tbilisi. He made his senior international debut in the game, coming on as an 82nd-minute substitute for goalscorer and fellow debutant Edgar Çani in the 2–1 loss for Albania.[67] He was called up then to Albania's next two friendliest against Qatar and Iran in May, where he played as a second-half substitute in both games, which Albania won them both.[68]

2014 FIFA World Cup qualification[edit]

For the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, new coach Gianni De Biasi had introduced young forwards into the senior national team to create more competition for places in the team. Young forwards such as Sadiku was among Edgar Çani and Bekim Balaj provided competition for the established and mature internationals which were Erjon Bogdani and Hamdi Salihi. In the opening match against Cyprus for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers on 7 September 2012, Sadiku managed to play as a starter among Salihi forming the duo strikers partnership and Sadiku himself managed to score his first international goal. His goal came in the 36th minute after an cross from free-kick in the right side by Alban Meha and it was the opening goal of the game to open Albania's way towards a 3–1 win.[69]

UEFA Euro 2016 campaign[edit]

Armando Sadiku on the ball during the final group stage match against Romania.

On 11 October 2015, in the last qualifying match against Armenia at Yerevan, Sadiku came on the field as a substitute in the 59th minute and scored in the 76th minute after a cross by Odise Roshi and with a weak shoot inside the box, helping Albania qualified for the UEFA Euro 2016 in its first ever appearance at major football tournament.[70][71]

On 29 March 2016 Sadiku scored his 3rd goal for Albania in a friendly match against Luxembourg won 2–0 by Albania.[72]

On 21 May 2016, Sadiku was named in Albania's preliminary 27-man squad for UEFA Euro 2016,[73] and in Albania's final 23-man UEFA Euro 2016 squad on 31 May.[74] Prior to the start of the tournament, Sadiku scored in both friendly games played by Albania against Qatar on 29 May (3–1 win) and Ukraine on 3 June (3–1 loss).[68]

Sadiku played all Group A matches as a starter completing 1 full 90-minutes match against hosts of France where they lost 2–0.[75] Then in the UEFA Euro 2016 - Group A last game at Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Lyon, against Romania on 19 June 2016, Sadiku scored a header becoming the first Albanian player to score a goal in the UEFA European Championship giving Albania the 1–0 victory, which was also their first victory in a major football tournament.[9] 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.[76]

2018 FIFA World Cup qualification[edit]

For the qualifiers of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification, Sadiku's Albania was placed in Group G along with Spain, Italy, Israel, Macedonia and Liechtenstein.[77] On 29 August 2016, he was in the team's for the friendly against Morocco and the opening qualifying match against Macedonia.[78] He played as a second half substitute in team's goalless draw against Morocco at the newly renovated Loro Boriçi Stadium.[79] On 5 September in the match against Macedonia, Sadiku opened the score with right-footed shoot just outside the box as Albania won 2–1 thanks to a goal in the last minutes.[80] Later that month, Sadiku suffered an injury while playing for Zürich which kept him sidelined for the next two qualifying match against Liechtenstein and Spain in October, which ended respectively with a 2–0 win and 0–2 defeat.[81][82] He also missed the match at Elbasan Arena against Israel which ended in a 0–3 defeat as Albania was dropped to fourth place.[83]

Sadiku returned to the national team in March for the match against Italy and the friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina.[84] He returned to the field for the match against Italy, entering in the final 23 minutes as Albania suffered another defeat.[85] On 12 June 2017, in the match against Israel at Sammy Ofer Stadium, Sadiku returned to the starting lineup after nine months to score twice in the first half, both long-range strikes, as Albania avenged Israel with a 3–0 away victory.[86]

Sponsorship[edit]

In April 2016, Sadiku signed a sponsorship deal with American sportswear and equipment supplier, Nike.[87]

Personal life[edit]

Sadiku was born on 27 May 1991 in the municipality of Elbasan Country, Cërrik. His father, Durim, is from Trebisht, Albania and his mother from Podujevo, Kosovo. Sadiku is related to Taulant and Granit Xhaka through his mother.[88] He also holds Bulgarian passport.[89] He is also known to be a supporter of Socialist Party of Albania, having taken part in 2013 and 2017 electoral campaign.[90]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 11:08, 3 June 2017 (UTC) [10][13][91][92]
Club Season League Cup Continental[a] Other[b] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Turbina Cërrik 2007–08 Albanian Second Division 0 0 0 0 0 0
2008–09 Albanian First Division 3 1 1 0 4 1
Total 3 1 1 0 4 1
Gramozi Ersekë 2009–10 Albanian Superliga 29 8 3 0 32 8
Total 29 8 3 0 32 8
Elbasani 2010–11 Albanian Superliga 14 5 0 0 14 5
Total 14 5 0 0 14 5
Locarno 2010–11 Swiss Challenge League 12 9 0 0 12 9
2011–12 27 19 2 3 29 22
2012–13 1 0 0 0 1 0
Total 40 28 2 3 42 31
Lugano 2012–13 Swiss Challenge League 33 20 2 2 35 22
2013–14 11 6 1 1 12 7
Total 44 26 3 3 47 29
Zürich 2013–14 Swiss Super League 15 2 2 0 17 2
2014–15 14 3 1 1 0 0 15 3
2015–16 14 5 2 3 2 0 18 8
2016–17 12 5 0 0 3 1 15 6
Total 55 15 5 4 5 1 65 20
Zürich U21 2014–15 Swiss Promotion League 2 2 2 2
2016–17 6 0 6 0
Total 8 2 8 2
Vaduz 2015–16 Swiss Super League 16 7 1[c] 2 17 9
Total 16 7 1 2 17 9
Lugano 2016–17 Swiss Super League 16 9 16 9
Total 16 9 16 9
Career total 225 101 15 12 5 1 0 0 245 114
  1. ^ Including continental competitions, such as UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League
  2. ^ Including other competitions, such as Albanian Supercup and Swiss Super Cup
  3. ^ One appearance and two goals in 2015–16 Liechtenstein Cup

International[edit]

As of 11 June 2017 [10][93]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Albania
2012 7 1
2013 3 0
2014 1 0
2015 5 1
2016 9 5
2017 3 2
Total 28 9

International goals[edit]

As of 11 June 2017. Albania score listed first, score column indicates score after each Sadiku's goal.[93]
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 7 September 2012 Qemal Stafa Stadium, Tirana, Albania 4  Cyprus 1–0 3–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
2 11 October 2015 Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium, Yerevan, Armenia 14  Armenia 3–0 3–0 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
3 29 March 2016 Stade Josy Barthel, Route d'Arlon, Luxembourg 18  Luxembourg 1–0 2–0 Friendly
4 29 May 2016 Stadion Hartberg, Hartberg, Austria 19  Qatar 3–1 3–1 Friendly
5 3 June 2016 Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, Bergamo, Italy 20  Ukraine 1–1 1–3 Friendly
6 19 June 2016 Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon, France 23  Romania 1–0 1–0 UEFA Euro 2016
7 5 September 2016 Loro Boriçi Stadium, Shkodër, Albania 25  Macedonia 1–0 2–1 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
8 11 June 2017 Sammy Ofer Stadium, Haifa, Israel 28  Israel 1–0 3–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
9 2–0

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Zürich
Vaduz

References[edit]

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External links[edit]