Kaçe with Albania in March 2016.
|Full name||Ergys Kaçe|
|Date of birth||8 July 1993|
|Place of birth||Korçë, Albania|
|Height||1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive midfielder|
|AEL (on loan from PAOK)|
|2011–2012||→ Anagennisi Epanomi (loan)||19||(1)|
|2016||→ Viktoria Plzeň (loan)||4||(0)|
|2018–2019||→ Panathinaikos (loan)||27||(2)|
|2019–||→ AEL (loan)||8||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:30, 11 November 2019 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 1 September 2019
Ergys Kaçe (born 8 July 1993) is an Albanian professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for AEL, on loan from PAOK, and for the Albanian national team. He has been described by the media as "a classic agile defensive midfielder".
- 1 Club career
- 2 International career
- 3 Controversy
- 4 Career statistics
- 5 Honours
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Kaçe was born in Korçë, Albania, but moved to Greece at the age of three. He started his youth career at Achilleas Triandrias, from where he was transferred to the youth academies of PAOK in 2005 and signed his first professional contract in December 2010.
Kaçe made his league debut for PAOK on 5 January 2011 during an away game against Panserraikos (1–1), coming as a substitute for Stefanos Athanasiadis in the 68th minute. He didn't play another game for the first team during the 2010–11 season and instead he was featured in PAOK under-20's fixtures in order to maintain match fitness.
Loan to Anagennisi Epanomi
Kaçe was loaned out to Football League side Anagennisi Epanomi for the 2011–12 season. Soon enough, he was established in the starting eleven at Epanomi due to his consistent performances and finished the season with 19 league appearances and 1 goal to his name against Panahaiki, in a home game which ended 6–1.
Return to PAOK
After his return to PAOK, the club's new manager Giorgos Donis seemed to trust him a place in the starting eleven, alongside other youngsters from the club's youth team. Kaçe featured in both legs of the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round against Bnei Yehuda, as well as in both legs of the play-off round against Rapid Wien. On 31 October, the player renewed his contract for a duration of four to five years. The new contract came as an award for the good appearances that he made. On 3 March he scored his first goal for the club with a long-distance shot from 33 yards out against Panionios in a 4-2 win. Kaçe had a good season with PAOK, providing two assists and a goal in twenty-seven appearances.
After serving his internal suspension, Kaçe returned to the team three months later. On 18 December 2013 he was included in the team for the match against Atromitos and he was an unused substitute for the match. His first match after the suspension came on 9 January 2014 against Iraklis for the Greek Football Cup where Kaçe came in as a substitute, taking the place of Alexandros Tziolis on 76th minute.
In the league, after five consecutive matches at the bench, on 26 January 2014 he played his first league game after the suspension, against Veria where he played for the full 90-minutes. The match resulted in a 4–1 victory. He returned playing on 2013–14 UEFA Europa League knockout phase against Benfica on 20 February 2014, a 0–1 loss, were Kaçe played for the full 90-minutes. Kaçe scored a goal in the victory 3–0 against Panthrakikos on 23 February 2014. Also he was voted as Man of the match.
At the end of 2014-15 season, the Albanian midfielder has attracted a lot of interest from abroad and he seems to be weighing up his options as he was coy when asked about his contract renewal and his future at the Greek club.“We have not talked about my contract extension. At the time being I'm a PAOK player but I don't know what happens next. We'll see. Only God knows,” Kace underlined.
Loan to Panathinaikos
On 31 January 2018, he was loaned to rivals Panathinaikos for six months, with a purchase option at the end of the 2017-18 season. Eventually, due to player's effort, PAOK after Panathinaikos' improved financial bid for the Albanian international agreed to extent his loan until the summer of 2018-19 season.
On 11 November 2018, Kace clipped the ball over Andreas Bouchalakis and then fired an audacious volley past José Sá, who got a hand to the ball but only succeeded in guiding the goal-bound effort in off the post, as the first 2018-19 season's derby ended in a 1-1 draw against Panathinaikos at the Karaiskakis Stadium. It was his first goal with the club in all competitions.
Loan to AEL F.C.
Albania senior team
In an interview to Panorama Sport, a major Albanian sports magazine, Kaçe said that he is looking forward to play for the Albanian senior team. In early 2013, he cast doubt on this claim by refusing to be called up for Albania's friendly against Georgia and applying for Greek citizenship while stating that he wanted to play for Greece. In March 2013 he was contacted by the FSHF where he declared that was yet undecided for his national side choose. However, Albanian and Greek media outlets suggested that Kaçe has already accepted the invitation from Gianni De Biasi, coach of the Albanian national football team, to join the team for the upcoming game against Norway, in Tirana on 7 June 2013.
Debut and the 2014 FIFA World cup qualification
He debuted for the first time with Albania senior team on 7 June 2013 against Norway for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification by coming on as a substitute in the 85th minute in place of Emiljano Vila in a 1–1 draw.
On 14 August 2013, Kaçe scored his first goal for Albania in the 2–0 win of the Friendly Match against Armenia in Qemal Stafa Stadium, where his goal was the second in the 67th minute, 2 minutes after came in on the pitch in place of Migjen Basha.
In the 4 remaining matches for the Group E of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification in September and October 2013, Kaçe played every minute of all matches, as a Central Midfielder.
Temporary return at Albania youth U21
Kace wasn't included in the published list of called-up players by the coach Gianni De Biasi for a friendly match against Belarus on 15 November 2013, because he was called up once again with Albania U-21 for the two matches against Hungary U-21 and Spain U-21 on 14 and 18 November 2013, valids for the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification. In the first match against Hungary U-21 he was named the national team's Captain and the match resulted as a successful 2–0 win for Albania in Budapest.
UEFA Euro 2016 qualification
In the opening match of the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying against Portugal, Kaçe played as a substitute coming on in the 66th minute in place of fellow Albanian central-midfielder Burim Kukeli, in a match which Albania won 1-0. Also in the 3 other fixtures valids for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Group I against Denmark and Serbia in October 2014 and Armenia on 29 March 2015, Kaçe participated from on the bench as the coach Gianni De Biasi played in the starting eleven with other trio of central-midfielders, consisting Burim Kukeli, Taulant Xhaka and Amir Abrashi.
On 13 June 2015 Kaçe scored a free-kick goal to give Albania the 1–0 victory over France in a Group I centralised friendly match. Being a friendly match, the coach Gianni De Biasi left out all 3 starting trio consisted by Kukeli-Xhaka-Abrashi and Kaçe gained the chance to play it as a starter among Migjen Basha and Andi Lila to consist the central-midfielders trio and his goal were scored at the end of the first half in the 43rd minute.
Kaçe played as a 62nd-minute substitute for Taulant Xhaka against Switzerland in a 0–1 loss and was an unused substitute in 2 next matches against hosts France where they lost 2–0 and against Romania in an Albania's historical 1–0 win with a goal scored by Armando Sadiku. 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.
2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
Following some disagreement with coach Gianni De Biasi remained 8 months out of national team. He was returned to the national team for the Friendly match against Luxembourg on 4 June 2017 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Israel on 11 June 2017.
On 4 September 2013, Kaçe was involved in a political racist scandal after a photo of himself wearing a jersey with the symbol of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UÇK) was published on a Facebook page with his name. This sparked criticism in Greece and Kaçe came under fire in the media. Kaçe declared that he didn't know the meaning of the symbol having left Albania at the age of three. He also apologized. He was later criticised by the Greek neo-nazi party Golden Dawn, which prompted a confrontation between PAOK fan clubs and GD, leading to a group of PAOK supporters to attack the headquarters of Golden Dawn. According to Albanian media sources, UEFA stated: "Don't mess with the player cause this isn't in your jurisdiction", whereas Albania national football team's Gianni De Biasi spoke to PAOK's chairman Zisis Vryzas, whom he coached as manager of Perugia, and asked to leave the player in peace, blaming a misunderstanding for the situation. Sali Berisha, former Prime-Minister of Albania, also came to Kaçe's defense saying: "Kaçe is a victim of racist nationalism" while PAOK's manager Huub Stevens accused the club of overreacting: "you're exaggerating much with that player". The head of the Albanian Football Association, Armand Duka, sent a letter to UEFA president Michel Platini claiming that the situation had been exaggerated. Kaçe apologised to the club but remained suspended. After he served his suspension time Kaçe returned to training, among rumours that the club was looking to sell him during the winter transfer window.
|Anagennisi Epanomi||2011–12||Football League (Greece)||19||1||1||0||—||—||20||1|
|Viktoria Plzeň||2016–17||Czech First League||4||0||2||1||4||0||—||10||1|
- As of 13 June 2015. Albania score listed first, score column indicates score after each Kaçe's goal.
|1||14 August 2013||Qemal Stafa Stadium, Tirana, Albania||2||Armenia||2–0||2–0||Friendly|
|2||13 June 2015||Elbasan Arena, Elbasan, Albania||12||France||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
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