Enkeleid Alikaj

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Enkeleid Alikaj
Personal information
Full name Enkeleid Alikaj
Date of birth (1981-12-27) 27 December 1981 (age 36)
Place of birth Tiranë, Albania
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Dinamo Tirana
Number 8
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2007 Dinamo Tirana 57 (0)
2003Apolonia Fier (loan) 24 (2)
2005Partizani Tirana (loan) 20 (0)
2007 Partizani Tirana 8 (0)
2007–2008 Besa Kavajë 35 (4)
2009 Teuta Durrës 14 (1)
2009–2010 Vllaznia Shkodër 20 (2)
2010–2012 Kastrioti Krujë 54 (7)
2012–2013 Kukësi 32 (2)
2014–2015 Skënderbeu Korçë 32 (1)
2015–2016 Kastrioti Krujë 25 (4)
2016 Elbasani 10 (0)
2017– Dinamo Tirana 11 (1)
National team
2000–2003 Albania U21 6 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16 May 2017

Enkeleid Alikaj (born 27 December 1981 in Tiranë), known as Enkel Alikaj, is an Albanian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Albanian club Dinamo Tirana in the Albanian First Division.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

In March 2006, while still playing for Dinamo Tirana, Alikaj was given permission to go to Norway on a one-week trial at Vålerenga Fotball.[1] Following the trial he was not given a contract after Lars Bohinen, sporting director of the club at that time, claimed that he was not "good enough" to play for the team.[2]

Vllaznia Shkodër[edit]

On 30 July 2009, Alikaj joined Vllaznia Shkodër on a one-year contract.[3] He was presented a day later, stating: "To be part of a team like Vllaznia it's a pleasure for every player."[3]

Kastrioti Krujë[edit]

After one season in Shkodër, on 1 September 2010, Alikaj completed a transfer to fellow Albanian Superliga side Kastrioti Krujë by signing a one-year contract.[4] Alikaj made his first appearance for Kastrioti in the opening league match against Shkumbini Peqin, playing for 54 minutes as the team kicked off the new season with a 2–2 at the neutral ground of Qemal Stafa Stadium.[5] He missed the second matchday because the club gave him permission to go to Azerbaijan on trial with an unknown team.[6]

Kukësi[edit]

On 9 August 2012, Alikaj joined newly promoted Albanian Superliga club Kukësi by signing a contract until the end of the 2012–13 season.[7] Alikaj was part of the team which made history by becoming the first Albanian team to reach the UEFA Europa League play-off round, and also the first Albanian team to pass more than a round in the competition. He contributed with seven matches as Kukësi was eliminated by Trabzonspor.[8][9]

Skënderbeu Korçë[edit]

On 31 January 2014, one day after leaving Kukësi, Alikaj joined the rivals of Skënderbeu Korçë by signing until the end of the season, turning down offers from clubs such as Partizani Tirana and Kastrioti Krujë.[10] He played his first match with the new team two days later against his former side Vllaznia Shkodër, entering in the last 24 minutes of a 2–1 home win, helping Skënderbeu to extend the lead gap to 9 points.[11]

After winning his second consecutive title with Skënderbeu Korçë, he left the club at the end of the 2014–15 season through a mutual agreement to terminate his contract which was due to expire a year later in 2016.[12][13]

Kastrioti Krujë return[edit]

On 27 August 2015, Alikaj completed a transfer to Kastrioti Krujë by signing a one-year contract despite being the target of several top flight clubs.[14][15] During the 2014–15 season, he served as team captain, and concluded the season with 27 appearances, including 25 in league, scoring 4 goals in the process, as Kastrioti failed to clinch a spot for the Albanian Superliga next season.[16]

Elbasani[edit]

On 13 September 2016, Alikaj joined fellow Albanian First Division side Elbasani by signing a one-year contract, having begun training with the team days before.[17][18] In December 2016, he along with the rest of the team boycotted the training after not getting paid for months.[19] In an interview, he stated that the club didn't pay him, and that he was one of the five players to urge other players to boycott the training.[20] He was suspended by the club for his actions along with the other four players.[20] Shortly after, he officially terminated his contract with the club, becoming a free agent in the process.[20]

Dinamo Tirana return[edit]

In January 2017, Alikaj begun training with Dinamo Tirana.[21] On 2 February, he officially returned to the club for the first time after 11 years by signing until the end of the season.[22] He made his return debut two days later in the match against Sopoti Librazhd by playing in the last 30 minutes of a goalless draw.[23] Alikaj scored his first goal for Dinamo in his second appearance six days later, netting the final goal of a 3–1 win at Apolonia Fier.[24]

International career[edit]

A former Albania youth international, Alikaj made his competitive debut with the under-21 squad on 1 April 2003 against Republic of Ireland for the qualifiers of 2004 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. He played the whole match as Albania won 1–0 at Selman Stërmasi Stadium thanks to an Erjon Rizvanolli winner.[25] Alikaj made only one appearance during the tournament, as Albania had the best result since 1984 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, 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.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Alikaj is a practising Muslim.[27] He has said: "I have fasting for many years and for me it is usual now, I do not feel any obstacle in my activity as a footballer.[27]

Honours[edit]

Dinamo Tirana
Skënderbeu Korçë

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Enkel Alikaj për provë në Norvegji" [Enkel Alikaj on trial in Norway] (in Albanian). Xtratime.org. 29 March 2006. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  2. ^ "Vålerenga dropper Alikaj" [Vålerenga drops Alikaj] (in Norwegian). Dagbladet.no. 28 March 2006. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Enkel Alikaj, në Shkodër për titullin" [Enkel Alikaj, in Shkodër for the title] (in Albanian). FKVllaznia.net. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  4. ^ "Kastrioti firmos me Geseouski dhe Alikaj" [Kastrioti signs with Geseouski and Alikaj] (in Albanian). Arkiva Lajmeve. 1 September 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "Shkumbini Peqin vs. Kastrioti Krujë 2 – 2". Soccerway. 22 August 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  6. ^ "Levizjet / Enkel Alikaj per prove ne Azerbajxhan" [Transfers / Enkel Alikaj on trial Azerbajxhan] (in Albanian). Albania Soccer. 29 August 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  7. ^ "Kukësi është i pandalshëm në merkato. Merr Alikajn e Malotën, pret dhe Biskup" [Departures, here's the "revolucion" in Korçë, the list of footballers ready to leave is unveiled] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 19 December 2015. 
  8. ^ "UEFA Europa League 2013/14 - History - Kukës". UEFA.com. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  9. ^ "Kukesi ne play-off te Europa League" [Kukesi in play-off of Europa League] (in Albanian). Shqipëria.com. 8 August 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2015. 
  10. ^ Jorgis Memo (31 January 2014). "Alikaj transferohet te Skënderbeu, por lë akuza pas: Trajneri Shensoji prishi Kukësin" [Alikaj transfers to Skënderbeu, but leave accusations behind sim: Coach Şensoy quashed Kukësi] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  11. ^ Llazi Saro (4 February 2014). "Enkel Alikaj: I lumtur që debutova me fitore, jam gati të sakrifikoj pozicionin për titullin" [Enkel Alikaj: Happy that i debuted with win, i'm ready to sacrifice my position for the title] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  12. ^ "Largimet, ja "revolucioni" në Korçë, zbardhet lista e futbollistëve në prag "divorci"" [Departures, here's the "revolucion" in Korçë, the list of footballers ready to leave is unveiled] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 19 December 2015. 
  13. ^ "Skënderbeu, largohen Sefa dhe Alikaj" [Skënderbeu, Sefa and Alikaj leaves] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 9 June 2015. Retrieved 19 December 2015. 
  14. ^ "Godet Kastrioti, akord me Enkel Alikajn" [Kastrioti strikes, agreement with Enkel Alikaj] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  15. ^ "Kastrioti firmos me Alikajn" [Kastrioti signs with Alikaj] (in Albanian). Minuta90.al. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  16. ^ "Kapiteni Alikaj jep garanci për elitën" [Captain Alikaj guarantees for elite] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 26 February 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  17. ^ "Firmos Enkel Alikaj, mesfushori bëhet pjesë e superprojektit ambicioz" [Enkel Alikaj signs, the midfielder becomes part of the ambitious superproject] (in Albanian). Newsportl.al. 13 September 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  18. ^ "Elbasan / Firmosin Alikaj dhe Agastra, te verdheblutë vjen Shehaj" [Elbasan / Alikaj and Agastra signs, Shehaj arrives at Yellow&Blue] (in Albanian). Albanian Sport. 14 September 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  19. ^ "Alikaj: Na hoqën edhe bukën" [Alikaj: They took away from us even the food] (in Albanian). Sportal.al. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  20. ^ a b c Armand Halili (10 December 2016). "Dramë në Elbasan, Alikaj: Na hoqën bukën një javë, hanim byrekë" [Drama in Elbasan, Alikaj: They took away the food for one week, we ate pie] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  21. ^ "Alikaj shfaqet te Dinamo" [Alikaj appears at Dinamo] (in Albanian). Sportal.al. 18 January 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  22. ^ "Firmos Enkel Alikaj" [Enkel Alikaj signs] (in Albanian). Sportal.al. 2 February 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  23. ^ "Dinamo Tirana vs. Sopoti Librazhd 0 – 0". Soccerway. 4 February 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  24. ^ "K. Pare, Dinamo mposht Apoloninë" [First Division, Dinamo defeats Apolonia] (in Albanian). Super Sport Albania. 10 February 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  25. ^ "Albania-Republic of Ireland". UEFA.com. 1 April 2003. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  26. ^ "Qualifying round". UEFA.com. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  27. ^ a b "Futbollistët i ngelen besnikë agjërimit" [Footballers remain loyal to the fast] (in Albanian). Drita Islame. 22 July 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 

External links[edit]