Gilman Lika (#7) with Tirana
|Full name||Gilman Lika|
|Date of birth||13 January 1987|
|Place of birth||Shkodër, Albania|
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 2 November 2016.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 6 July 2015
Having started his career with Vllaznia Shkodër in 2004, he moved to Turkey in 2008 where he played for Hacettepe, Boluspor and Diyarbakırspor before returning to Albania to play for KF Tirana. He then had a brief stint in Saudi Arabia with Al-Faisaly before returning to Albania once again to play for Flamurtari Vlorë and now Vllaznia Shkodër.
A full international for Albania since 2008, Lika has earned over 15 caps for his country. He has also represented U-19 and U-21 side.
Lika started his playing career with Vllaznia Shkodër. After years working up the ranks at the club, Lika finally made his breakthrough during the 2005–06 season at the age of just 18. He made his debut in the Albanian Superliga against Lushnja on 18 September 2005 in a 1–3 win; he came on as a substitute on the 89th minute. During that season Lika managed to play 28 games. His first goal came against Dinamo Tirana on 29 April 2006. Lika came on as a substitute in the 46th minute and his goal came in the 86th minute. During his years at Vllaznia Shkodër, Lika produced many great performances and in total he played 77 games and scored 14 goals in the Albanian Superliga.
Along with fellow Vllaznia Shkodër players Admir Teli and Xhevahir Sukaj, he moved to the Turkish side Hacettepe Spor Kulübü on 4 August 2008. After joining the club Lika managed to make it into the starting lineup. During his time at Hacettepe, Lika played 24 matches and has scored two goals, being one of the valuable players of the team, which finished the 2008–09 season in the last position.
After leaving Hacettepe Spor Kulübü, Lika signed with fellow Turkish side Boluspor in August 2009. He scored two goals in his debut match against Mersin İdmanyurdu on 23 August, helping the team to win match 2–1. This was followed by another goal in the 2–1 away defeat to Çaykur Rizespor, which made him tempolary the TFF First League top goalscorer.
He returned to Albania following a two and a half year absence in January 2011, signing a two-year contract with Tirana. His Tirana debut came on 31 January 2011 against Dinamo Tirana in the Tirana derby, where Lika helped his side to a 2–1 win.
On 7 November 2012, in the returning leg of 2012–13 Albanian Cup's second round against Kukësi, Lika produced a Man of the Match performance by provining two assists and scoring a goal in an eventual 3–2 home win, which was not enough as Tirana was eliminated with the aggregate 6–3, losing the first leg 4–0. However, after the match it was reported that Lika suffered a ankle injury in his left leg.
On 23 January 2015 he agreed terms with his first club Vllaznia Shkodër to compete a return to his hometown club following a six-year absence, signing a six-month contract. He made his debut one week later, starting and playing the full 90 minutes in a 2–1 upset against Teuta Durrës at Niko Dovana Stadium. On 8 February, Lika played for the first time in Loro Boriçi Stadium as an Vllaznia player after six years absence, starting again and playing 90 minutes in another defeat, this time against his former employer Tirana. Lika scored his first goal for Vllaznia after his return, and also his first goal of 2014–15 season, in a 2–0 home win over Apolonia Fier.
During February he made his Albanian Cup debut as well, playing 90 minutes in a two-legged match against FK Kukësi, who advanced to the next round with the aggregate 2–0. On 18 April, during the league match against his former team Flamurtari Vlorë, Lika scored a free-kick in the 59th minute to help the team to leave the stadium with one point. He scored his third goal of the season again by free-kick, this time in a 1–1 draw against Elbasani at the neutral ground Gjorgji Kyçyku Stadium.
Vllaznia ended the season in the seventh place with 35 points, running out of objectives. In individual aspect, Lika ended the second part of the season with Vllaznia by playing 19 matches in all competitions, including 17 in Albanian Superliga, and scored two goals. His good performances attracted the attention of capital clubs, Tirana and Partizani. Lika left the club on 1 July after his contract expired, being a free agent. During an interview, Lika said that he left Vllaznia because of "difficult situation of the club", adding that "every player in his place would do the same thing".
Return to Tirana
On 6 July 2015, Lika returned to Tirana after three seasons abstence, signing a one-year contract. Before the transfer, the media's started to speculating that Lika will not move to Tirana if the capital club will not pay more than half of the 30,000 € debt that the club had not paid during the last time that Lika was part of Tirana. During his presentation in Thursday, Lika said that "Tirana is his second home after Shkodra", by adding that "with this return, he felt like he's returning home".
Lika had played for Albania under-21 since making his debut on 11 October 2005 in a match against Turkey. The match ended in a draw and although Lika started on his debut, he was subbed off in the 55th minute. He has nine appearances for under-21 side since from 2005 to 2008. Lika has also played for Albania U-19, although he only played 4 games during 23 October 2005 and 27 October 2005.
Lika made his senior international debut in a friendly against Azerbaijan on 19 November 2008 following a call up by Arie Haan. He was a 73rd-minute substitute for Klodian Duro in the 1-1 draw. His first competitive cap came just a few months later against Malta where he started the game on the left of the five man midfield and helped his side to a goal less draw.
|Vllaznia Shkodër||2004–05||Albanian Superliga||3||0||0||0||—||—||3||0|
|Boluspor||2009–10||TFF First League||28||3||1||0||—||—||29||3|
|Diyarbakırspor||2010–11||TFF First League||4||0||0||0||—||—||4||0|
|Skënderbeu Korçë||2013–14||Albanian Superliga||—||—||2[c]||0||0||0||2||0|
|Al-Faisaly||2013–14||Saudi Professional League||12||1||1||0||—||—||13||1|
|Flamurtari Vlorë||2013–14||Albanian Superliga||16||2||5||0||—||—||21||2|
|Vllaznia Shkodër||2014–15||Albanian Superliga||17||3||2||0||—||—||19||3|
- As of 21 October 2014
|Albania national team|
- Vllaznia Shkodër
- Flamurtari Vlorë
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- Sporti Shqiptar (15 August 2010). "Sporti Shqiptar" (in Albanian). Sporti Shqiptar. Retrieved 16 August 2010.[dead link]
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- Adela Merko; Leonard Karaj (6 April 2013). "Tirana thyen Skënderbeun" (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
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- "Elbasani vs. Vllaznia Shkodër 1 – 1". Soccerway. 2 May 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- "Vllaznia e mbyll sezonin me humbje. Vit per tu harruar" (in Albanian). TV1-Channel. 23 May 2015. Archived from the original on 8 July 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- "Gilman Lika: Nuk i kam thënë "jo" Tiranës e Partizanit, ja kushtet për klubin" (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 22 June 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- "Gilman Lika largohet përfundimisht nga Vllaznia" (in Albanian). Star Plus. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- "Largohet edhe Gilman Lika" (in Albanian). TV-Channel. 1 July 2015. Archived from the original on 4 July 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- Eduard Ilnica (1 July 2015). "Gilman Lika: Ja arsyeja e largimit tim nga Vllaznia" (in Albanian). Telesport.al. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- "Gilman Lika lë Vllazninë, rivishet bardheblu" (in Albanian). Sport Ekspres. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
- "Tirana, zyrtarizohen Dushku dhe Gilman Lika" (in Albanian). MAPO. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- "Tirana duhet të paguajë 1.5 mln euro, nga Seferi te Pigoni…" (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 26 May 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- "MUKA PREZANTON DUSHKUN DHE LIKEN" (in Albanian). KF Tirana Facebook. 6 July 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
- "Gilman Lika: Tirana shtëpia ime e dytë" (in Albanian). Gazeta Dita. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
- "Azerbaijan 1-1 Albania". Football Database. 2008-11-19. Retrieved 2011-09-08.
- "Malta 0-0 Albania". Football Database. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
- "Albania - G. Lika - Profile with news, career statistics and history". Soccerway. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
- "Football : Gilman Lika". Football DataBase. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
- "Gilman Lika Football Statistics". WhoScored.com. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
- "Profile of Gilman Lika at Scoresway.com". Scoresway.com. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
- Gilman Lika at National-Football-Teams.com
- "Shkodrani Gilman Lika më i miri i Shtatorit" (in Albanian). Shkodra Sport. 9 October 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
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