|Date of birth||8 July 1993|
|Place of birth||Korçë, Albania|
|Height||1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive midfielder|
|2011–2012||→ Anagennisi Epanomi (loan)||19||(1)|
|2016||→ Viktoria Plzeň (loan)||4||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 6 March 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 31 August 2016
Ergys Kaçe (born 8 July 1993) is an Albanian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Greek club PAOK and the Albania national football team. He has been described by the media as "a classic agile defensive midfielder".
- 1 Club career
- 2 International career
- 3 Career statistics
- 4 Honours
- 5 References
- 6 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.
Controversy of PAOK and Greece's opinion
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.
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.
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.
- Scores and results list Albania's goal tally first.
|1.||14 August 2013||Qemal Stafa Stadium, Tirana, Albania||Armenia||2–0||2–0||Friendly Match|
|2.||13 June 2015||Elbasan Arena, Elbasan, Albania||France||1–0||1–0||Friendly Match|
|Anagennisi Epanomi||2011–12||Football League (Greece)||19||1||0||0||-||-||19||1|
|Total Anagennisi Epanomi||19||1||0||0||0||0||19||1|
|Viktoria Plzeň||2016–17||Czech First League||4||0||2||1||4||0||10||1|
|Total Anagennisi Epanomi||4||0||2||1||4||0||10||1|
- As of 31 August 2016
|Albania national team |
- "Ergys Kace - PAOKFC". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- Chastas, Theodoros (3 January 2011). ΠΑΟΚ Τόπο στα νιάτα [PAOK: Room for youth]. Makedonia (in Greek). Retrieved 18 September 2012.
- "Ergys Kace profile". paokfc.gr. Archived from the original on 9 September 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
- Chatzigeorgoudis, Vangelis (31 December 2010). Αυτοί είναι οι "νέοι" του ΠΑΟΚ [These are the "rookies" of PAOK] (in Greek). olapaok.gr. Archived from the original on 2 January 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
- "Stafylidis and Kace signed a contract". paokfc.gr. 30 December 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2012.[permanent dead link]
- Tzoumas, Christodoulos (5 January 2011). Το 1-0 δεν είναι πάντα αρκετό... [1-0 is not always enough...] (in Greek). SentraGoal. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
- Tsakaleas, Antonis (10 February 2011). Ολοι περιμένουν την ευκαιρία [Everybody waiting for a chance]. Goal News (in Greek). Retrieved 18 September 2012.
- Κάτσε: "Πολλές επιλογές" [Kaçe: "Lots of choices"] (in Greek). epanomifc.gr. 8 August 2011. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
- Κάτσε: "Στο χέρι μας η εξάδα" [A top-6 placing in our hands] (in Greek). epanomifc.gr. 16 January 2012. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
- "Anagennisi Epanomis vs. Panachaiki - 9 January 2012 - Soccerway". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- Tsakaleas, Antonis (19 August 2012). Ο Δώνης τεστάρει συνέχεια τους πιτσιρικάδες [Donis continuously checking the youngsters]. Goal News (in Greek). Retrieved 19 September 2012.
- "Rapid Wien vs. PAOK - 30 August 2012 - Soccerway". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "PAOK vs. Rapid Wien - 23 August 2012 - Soccerway". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Συμφωνία της ΠΑΕ ΠΑΟΚ με τον Ergys Kace" (in Greek). paokfc.gr. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- Ο Κάτσε και το κίνητρο στους υπόλοιπους (in Greek). paok24.com. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- "Paok 4-2 Panionios / Ergys Kace Goal". YouTube. 2012-02-19. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
- "Ergys Kaçe me bluzën e UÇK-së, bëhet çështje në Greqi, irritohen tifozët e PAOK-ut | aSport.al". aSport.al. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
- "Golden Dawn vs PAOK Fans: Uproar over Albanian Player Ergys Kace Sparks Thessaloniki Clashes". Ibtimes.co.uk. 2013-09-12. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
- "UEFA dhe De Biasi dalin në mbrojtje të Kaçes". aSport.al. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
- "Berisha: Kaçe viktima e fundit e albanofobisë | aSport.al". aSport.al. 2013-09-18. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
- "Stivens: Po e ekzagjerojnë me Kaçen | aSport.al". aSport.al. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
- "Çështja "Kaçe": Duka i shkruan letër UEFA-s | aSport.al". aSport.al. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
- "Kaçe del para bordit të klubit: Kërkon falje por mbetet i pezulluar | aSport.al". aSport.al. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
- "Hamburgu, Udineze e Verona pas Ergys Kaçes - aSport.al". 20 November 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Atromitos vs. PAOK - 18 December 2013 - Soccerway". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Iraklis vs. PAOK - 9 January 2014 - Soccerway". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "PAOK vs. Veria - 26 January 2014 - Soccerway". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "PAOK vs. Benfica - 20 February 2014 - Soccerway". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "PAOK vs. Panthrakikos - 23 February 2014 - Soccerway". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- E, S. "Videolajm: Kace vlersohet si lojtari i ndeshjes - SportEkspres.com". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "PAOK vs. Panathinaikos - 26 April 2014 - Soccerway". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Kace coy on PAOK future". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- Prezantohet Kaçe Sportal.al/
- Ελεύθερος ο Κάτσε, επιστρέφει στον ΠΑΟΚ www.sport24.gr/
- "Ergys Kaçe merr pasaportë greke" [Ergys Kace takes Greek passport]. Panorama (in Albanian). 8 September 2012. Archived from the original on 5 October 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
- "Bushati merr 10 talente ne Slloveni" [Bushati gets 10 talents in Slovenia]. Panorama-sport (in Albanian). albania-sport.com. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
- "Kaçe refuzon kombetaren e greqise dua te vishem kuqezi" [Kaçe refuses the Greek national team: I want to dress red and black]. Panorama-sport (in Albanian). 24 December 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-12-27.
- ""Οχι" του Κάτσε στην Αλβανία για το φιλικό με την Γεωργία, περιμένει ελληνικό διαβατήριο και... Σάντος — ΣΚΑΪ". www.skai.gr. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
- "FSHF kontakton Kaçen". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Ergys Kaçe zgjedh Shqipërinë, kuqezi që ndaj Norvegjisë". Panorama-sport.com. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
- "Albania vs. Norway - 7 June 2013 - Soccerway". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Albania vs. Armenia - 14 August 2013 - Soccerway". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- "Lista anti-Bjellorusi: De Biazi rikthen Memushajn, Sadikun e Mehën, Vajushi e Salihi jashtë | aSport.al". aSport.al. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
- "Under-21 2015 - Hungary-Albania Report –". Uefa.com. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
- Risia per Malten, Taulant Xhaka vishet kuqezi | Lajme Futboll SuperSport
- Albania enjoy afterglow of Portugal success - UEFA EURO - News UEFA.com
- Ergys Kaçe matches Soccerway
- Kaçe free-kick gives Albania win against France - UEFA EURO - News UEFA.com
- "Albania vs. France - 13 June 2015 - Soccerway". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- De Biazi shpall listën anti-Francë, mungojnë Agolli, Kukeli, Xhaka dhe Shkëlzen Gashi Panorama Sport
- Fatjon Pandovski (21 May 2016). "De Biasi leaves out Albanian top scorer Salihi". UEFA. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
- "De Biasi shpall listën zyrtare të Euro 2016". FSHF.org. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- UEFA EURO 2016 - Albania - Matches UEFA.com
- "Albania out of Euro 2016 after Portugal draw with Hungary". Fourfourtwo.com. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
- Ergys Kaçe at Soccerway
- Ergys Kaçe at National-Football-Teams.com
- Ergys Kaçe - national football team player EU-Football.info