|Full name||Burim Nue Kukeli|
|Date of birth||16 January 1984|
|Place of birth||Gjakovë, Albania|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive midfielder|
|2003–2004||Wangen bei Olten|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 9 December 2017|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 5 September 2017
An Zofingen product, Kukeli started his professional career in the 2004–05 season where he played 24 matches before earning a transfer to Schötz where he played in the next two seasons. In 2008, he joined Luzern where he made more than 100 top flight appearances. From 2012 to 2017, he joined Zürich where he made played more than 80 league matches. However, his spell was marred by injuries. In 2017, he joined Sion, also in top flight.
An Albanian international, Kukeli has more than 20 caps to his name since making his debut in 2012. He also was part of UEFA Euro 2016 squad.
Kukeli was born in Gjakova, SAP Kosovo, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia, but moved to Switzerland at the age of four following his father road along with other part of his family. He started his youth career at age of 9 with the Solothurn youth academies. Later he was in the squad of Wangen bei Olten and SC Zofingen.
With Zofingen he played 21 matches and scored 4 goals during the 2004–05 season of the Swiss 3rd league. He also managed to play a full 90-minutes match, valid for the Swiss Cup against Schaffhausen, finished in the 1–5 loss.
He moved to FC Schötz during the 2005 Summer Transfers Window. In the 2005–06 season of the 1. Liga Promotion (Swiss 3rd league) Kukeli played in total 11 matches all as a starter and in only 1 substituted off, also he scored 4 goals and where Schötz relegated to the 1. Liga Classic, Swiss 4th league, for the next season.
Kukeli missed out the entire 2006–07 season of 1. Liga Classic due to a long injury. Schötz were promoted again in the 1. Liga Promotion.
During the 2007–08 season first half Kukeli made it 14 Appearances and scored 2 goals. He played 1 match in the Swiss cup against Mendrisio, which finished in the 3–1 loss, where Kukeli himself played a full 90-minutes match.
He suffered an injury which kept him out of play from the first half of the 2008–09 season. He played first match of the 2008–09 season only in the second half when he came in as a substitute in the 85th minute for Davide Chiumiento in the 2–3 loss against Young Boys on 15 February 2009. The second and last match of that season came on 30 May 2009 when he played as a starter in the 2–1 victory against Neuchâtel Xamax.
On 15 April 2012, Kukeli completed a transfer to Zürich, rejoining his former Luzern boss Rolf Fringer. The transfer was set to be official on 1 July. Kukelli officially signed a contract until June 2015. He took squad number 20 and made his competitive debut on 15 July 2012 in the opening matchday of 2012–13 season against Luzern. He played 13 matches during the campaign, including one in cup.
On 3 February 2013, during the friendly against AC Bellinzona, Kukeli suffered a major injury after a challenge with Simon Grether, which resulted Kukeli injured with a tibia and fibula fracture in the leg. More than two weeks later, medical staff announced that Kukeli would be sidelined for the next nine months. He returned in training in January of the following year, and played his first match also that month as he appeared in a friendly versus MSV Duisburg which was an indicator for the player that he was not fully fit.
In April 2014, Kukeli undergo surgery again as the club had failed to treat his condition appropriately. On 11 June 2014, manager Urs Meier stated that Kukeli was ready to get back to action along with his teammate Alain Nef, who was also suffering from a long-time injury.
He made his first competitive appearance after 21 months on 20 July 2014 in the first day of 2014–15 Swiss Super League, assisting the lone goal of the match. Later on, in the 4–1 defeat at Basel, Kukeli had damaged legs' muscle and remained outside for 3 weeks. He returned on 31 August in the match against St. Gallen, and scored his maiden goal on 5 October in the 3–0 comfortable win over Vaduz.
Kukeli was sold to fellow top flight side Sion in July 2017. His last Zürich match on 30 July against Thun was also his 100th for the club in all competitions. During his 5-year spell, Kukeli managed to make 82 league appearances, in addition 7 cup appearances, and 11 Europa League appearances. He also scored two times, both in league.
On 9 August 2017, Sion and Zürich reached an agreement for the transfer of Kukeli for €200,000. He signed a contract until June 2019. There he found his Albania teammate Ermir Lenjani and ex assistant manager Paolo Tramezzani.
Kukeli received a call up by Albania manager Gianni de Biasi for the friendlies against Qatar and Iran in May 2012, but declined due to being tired and needed to rest following the end of the season. Later on 24 August 2012, Albanian government had started the procedures to give him an Albanian citizenship by the end of the month, so that he could be ready to represent Albania at 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification. He was declared eligible on 4 September after receiving the Albanian citizenship.
Kukeli made his competitive debut by playing entire match of the opening matchday against Cyprus as Albania begun Group E with a 3–1 home win. He continued to be regular at the lineup, starting in the next three matches but his injury while at Zürich meant that his campaign was over. Albania finished their group in 5th place with 11 points from 10 matches.
He returned to the national team in September 2014 for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers. He put on a strong performance as Albania begun their qualifying campaign with a historical 1–0 win at Aveiro. Kukeli went on to play 6 other matches as Albania made history by qualifying for the UEFA Euro 2016, its first ever appearance at a major men's football tournament.
He made his first European Championship appearance on 11 June in the first Group A match against Switzerland. He also played in the second matchday against hosts of France as Albania's hopes for a spot in the next round were faded. After receiving yellow cards in both matches, Kukeli was suspended for the third one against Romania which was on 1–0. 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.
Style of play
On 1 November 2016, Kukeli confirmed that he had become the father to twins.
|Zofingen||2004–05||1. Liga Promotion||21||4||1||0||—||22||4|
|Schötz||2005–06||1. Liga Promotion||11||4||0||0||—||11||4|
|2006–07||1. Liga Classic||23||8||1||0||—||24||8|
|2007–08||1. Liga Promotion||15||2||1||0||—||16||2|
|Luzern||2007–08||Swiss Super League||10||0||0||0||—||10||0|
|Luzern U21||2007–08||1. Liga Promotion||2||0||0||0||—||2||0|
|Zürich||2012–13||Swiss Super League||12||0||1||0||—||13||0|
|2016–17||Swiss Challenge League||25||0||3||0||5[a]||0||33||0|
|2017–18||Swiss Super League||2||0||0||0||—||2||0|
|Sion||2017–18||Swiss Super League||9||0||1||0||—||10||0|
- All appearance(s) in UEFA Europa League
- "It has been confirmed by FC Luzern that defensive midfielder Burim Kukeli has agreed a move to join FC Zürich in the summer". NLC News - Non League Channel. 15 April 2012. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "Burim Kukeli kämpft sich zurück" [Burim Kukeli is fighting back] (in German). FC Zürich. Archived from the original on 24 January 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Mjekimi i gabuar, Burim Kukeli operohet tri herë" [Wrong treatment, Kukeli operated three times] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 29 April 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "Kukeli te Sion, i bashkohet Lenjanit e Tramezzanit" [Kukeli at Sion, joins Lenjani and Tramezzani] (in Albanian). Top-Channel.tv. 9 August 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "De Biasi shpall listën zyrtare të Euro 2016" [De Biasi announces the official list for Euro 2016] (in Albanian). FSHF.org. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- "Ekskluzive: Burim Kukeli "PËR" Shqipërinë" [EXCLUSIVE: Burim Kukeli "FOR" Albania] (in Albanian). aSport.al. 30 August 2012. Archived from the original on 13 May 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- Kukeli: I lumtur që do luaj për Shqipërinë (Kukeli: Happy to play for Albania) Archived 22 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Burim Kukeli wechselt zum FC Zürich" [FCZ Pros - News - Burim Kukeli joins FC Zurich] (in German). FC Zürich. Archived from the original on 8 May 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Burim Kukeli". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "Luzern vs. Young Boys - 15 February 2009". Soccerway. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Luzern vs. Neuchâtel Xamax - 30 May 2009". Soccerway. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Luzern vs. Zürich 0 – 0". Soccerway. 15 July 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Mjeku jep verdiktin për Kukelin, mesfushori kthehet pas 9 muajsh" [Doctor give the verdict for Kukeli, the midfielder will return after 9 months] (in Albanian). Sporti Shqiptar. 19 February 2013. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "Sadiku dhe Kukeli, bashkë te Zyrihu" [Sadiku and Kukeli, together at Zürich] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 19 February 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "Sadiku e nis me gol te Zurichu" [Sadiku starts with goal at Zürich] (in Albanian). aSport.al. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "Pressespiegel" [Press Review] (in German). FC Zürich. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Zürich vs. Grasshopper 1 – 0". Soccerway. 20 July 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Burim Kukeli i pafat, dëmtohet përsëri" [Burim Kukeli unlucky, injured again] (in Albanian). aSport.al. 18 August 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "St. Gallen vs. Zürich 0 – 2". Soccerway. 31 August 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Zürich vs. Vaduz 3 – 0". Soccerway. 5 October 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Zürich vs. Thun 2 – 1". Soccerway. 30 July 2017. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
- "Zyrtare, Kukeli bashkohet me Tramexanin në Sion" [Official, Kukeli joins Tramezzani at Sion] (in Albanian). Sport Ekspres. 9 August 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "Transferimi, zbulohet shifra që Sioni pagoi për kartonin e Burim Kukelit" [The transfer, the fee that Sion paid for Burim Kukeli's carton is unveiled] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 11 August 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "Kukeli i zene per Shqiperine" [Kukeli busy for Albania] (in Albanian). Sport Kosova. 13 May 2012. Archived from the original on 18 May 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
- "Zyrtare: Alban Meha e Burim Kukeli marrin pasaportat shqiptare (Foto)" [Official: Alban Meha and Burim Kukeli receives Albanian passports (Photo)] (in Albanian). aSport.al. 4 September 2017. Archived from the original on 9 May 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "Albania leave it late against Cyprus". UEFA.com. 8 September 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "Qualifying round". UEFA.com. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "De Biazi flet për ndeshjen me Portugalinë" [De Biasi talks about the match with Portugal]. FSHF.org. 30 August 2014. Archived from the original on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- Pedro Marques (7 September 2014). "Balaj pounces as Albania stun Portugal". UEFA.com. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "Jubilant Albania defy the odds to reach a maiden European Championship". Daily Mail. 11 October 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- Fatjon Pandovski (21 May 2016). "De Biasi leaves out Albanian top scorer Salihi". UEFA.com. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
- Tweedale, Alistair; Liew, Jonathan (11 June 2016). "Switerzland down 10-man Albania as Xhaka derby is settled by Fabian Schar header". Telegraph. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
- Ed Maylon (16 June 2016). "France 2-0 Albania: Late double breaks Albanian hearts - 5 things we learned". Mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
- Richard Amofa (16 June 2017). "Euro 2016: Romania 0 Albania 1 - Armando Sadiku scores the only goal to seal his country's first ever win at a major competition". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
- "Albania out of Euro 2016 after Portugal draw with Hungary". Fourfourtwo.com. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
- "Burim Kukeli: Në mbrojtje ndihem mirë, por vendos trajneri" [Burim Kukeli: I feel good at the defence, but coach decides] (in Albanian). Gazeta Tema. 22 March 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
- "Kukeli, këtë radhë në kombëtare si baba binjakësh" [Kukeli, this time on the national team as father of twins] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 5 November 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
- Burim Kukeli at Soccerway. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
- "Football : Burim Kukeli". Football Database. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "Burim Kukeli - national football team player". EU-Football.info. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
- Burim Kukeli – UEFA competition record
- FC Sion official profile
- Burim Kukeli at National-Football-Teams.com
- Burim Kukeli – Euro 2016 profile at FSHF.org