Gjergji Muzaka

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Gjergji Muzaka
Personal information
Full name Gjergji Muzaka
Date of birth (1984-09-26) 26 September 1984 (age 32)
Place of birth Tiranë, Albania
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Skënderbeu Korçë
Number 17
Youth career
1999–2000 Partizani Tirana
2000–2001 Paris Saint-Germain
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2004 Partizani Tirana 59 (15)
2004–2005 Iraklis 3 (0)
2005–2008 Partizani Tirana 106 (23)
2008–2010 Tirana 59 (12)
2010–2011 Dinamo Tirana 15 (1)
2011–2012 Skënderbeu Korçë 40 (16)
2012–2013 Flamurtari Vlorë 24 (12)
2013–2014 Skënderbeu Korçë 31 (4)
2014 Flamurtari Vlorë 17 (3)
2015–2016 Tirana 43 (7)
2017– Skënderbeu Korçë 1 (1)
National team
2002–2003 Albania U19 3 (1)
2003–2007 Albania U21 9 (2)
2008– Albania 21 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20 February 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 7 January 2016

Gjergji Muzaka (born 26 September 1984 in Tiranë) is an Albanian footballer who plays for Skënderbeu Korçë in the Albanian Superliga as a midfielder. He has been a member of the Albanian national team between 2008 and 2012, and has earned 21 senior international caps.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Muzaka began his playing career with local side Partizani Tirana when he was just a teenager. He played for the Partizani U17s where he attracted the interest of several foreign clubs with his performances on the right hand side of midfield. One of these foreign clubs was French giants Paris Saint-Germain, who in 2000 offered Muzaka a contract at the club. Muzaka accepted and left Partizani at the age of just 16, joining the PSG youth team. However, after just one year in France, Muzaka moved back to Albania and back to Partizani before the beginning of the 2001–02 season.

Partizani Tirana[edit]

After returning to Albania Muzaka was placed into the Partizani first team.

Tirana[edit]

The president of Tirana, Refik Halili paid a total of €70,000 to buy the player from their fierce rivals Partizani in the summer of 2008.[1]

Dinamo Tirana[edit]

Muzaka signed a three-year contract with the 2009–10 champions Dinamo Tirana on 16 June 2010. The transfer was managed by the FIFA licensed agent Elton Marini, of 'M&M Management Agency'.[2] The contact is worth a total of €210,000, with Muzaka earning €70,000 a season with Dinamo.[3]

Skënderbeu Korçë[edit]

In January 2011 Muzaka joined a half-season loan at Skënderbeu Korçë.[4]

Return to Skënderbeu Korçë[edit]

In August 2013, Muzaka joined Skënderbeu on a free transfer, returning in Korçë after one season abstence.[5]

Return to Flamurtari[edit]

After becoming a free agent following the expiration of his one-year contract with Skënderbeu Korçë, Muzaka re-joined Flamurtari Vlorë, where had played between 2012 and 2013.[6] He officially signed a two-year contract with Flamurtari on 10 June 2014.[6] However, he left the club in January 2015 after a massive exodus, terminating his contract by mutual consent.[7]

Return to Tirana[edit]

Muzaka left Flamurtari Vlorë during a mass exodus at the club in January 2015, after terminating his contract through mutual consent. He then returned to KF Tirana, signing a contract until the end of the 2014–15 campaign, reportedly worth €5,500 a month.[8] On 7 January he was officially unveiled as a KF Tirana player to the media, holding a press conference alongside the club's president Refik Halili and newly appointed director Devi Muka.[9]

He made his return debut on 24 January by playing full-90 minutes in the 2–0 home win against Apolonia Fier in the matchday 19.[10] On 8 March 2015, during the league match against the title rivals Kukësi, Muzaka assised the Tomislav Bušić goal in the 72th minute, and scored himself six minutes later to seal the 2–0 win at neutral ground Niko Dovana Stadium.[11]

On 22 April 2015, during the 2014–15 Albanian Cup's semi-final second leg match against Laçi, Muzaka snapped his knee's ligament after a collision with Olsi Teqja and was stretched off the field in the 46th minute.[12][13] He underwent surgery on his knee on 11 May in Rome and was ruled out of action for 6 months.[14][15] He finished second part of 2014–15 season by playing 15 matches between league and club, including 12 in league, scoring once in the process.

On 19 November 2015, Muzaka returned to pitch after about six months as he appeared in the last 15 minutes of the goalless draw against Laçi.[16] He had to wait until 30 January of the following year to made his first start since the injury, as he played 75 minutes and scored a goal in the 1–3 away win at Tërbuni Pukë.[17] He followed up the goal by scoring another one in the 3–0 win at Laçi, helping Tirana to win the first match at Laçi Stadium since 5 May 2012.[18] Muzaka continued with his solid performances as he converted a penalty-kick in Tirana's 2–0 home defeat of Bylis Ballsh, helping Tirana to gain its first win at the newly renovated Selman Stërmasi Stadium.[19] It was his third goal of the season in the last three matches.[20]

On 17 April, during the league match at Bylis Ballsh, Muzaka suffered another injury, an fracture in shoulder which forced him to end of the season with six weeks remaining.[21] He finished the season by making 22 appearances, including 19 in league, and scoring four goals, and Tirana once again remained out of European competitions.

Following his shoulder injury, Muzaka returned in training in September 2016.[22] He made his first appearance of the season in the second leg of Albanian Cup first round against Sopoti Librazhd, playing in the second half as Tirana recorded an empathic 7–0 home win, progressing to the next round with the aggregate 8–1.[23] Later on 12 October, Muzaka made his first league appearance of the season in the matchday 6 against Korabi Peshkopi, scoring a 91st-minute winner with a diving header to give Tirana its second consecutive league win.[24]

Third spell at Skënderbeu Korçë[edit]

On 30 January 2017, Muzaka joined Skënderbeu Korçë on a free transfer for a third time, taking the vacant number 17 for the second part of 2016–17 season.[25] During an interview, Muzaka said that he strongly considered to quit football, but Skënderbeu motivated him to change his mind.[26] Manager Ilir Daja who worked with him during his time at Tirana called Muzaka a "valuable player", adding that "he has experience and speed".[27] After two games as an unused substitute, Muzaka made his return debut on 19 February against Luftëtari Gjirokastër, scoring in the first half in an eventual 3–0 home win.[28] It was his third Skënderbeu Korçë debut inaugurated with a goal.[29]

International career[edit]

He is also playing for the Albania national football team. He scored his first goal against Romania in a Euro 2012 Qualifier, he came on the field in the 81st minute, just one minute after Romania had taken the lead. He made an immediate impact and in the 87th minute he managed to find a head onto Ansi Agolli's free kick which he guided past the Romanian goalkeeper, which levelled the tie at 1–1 and earned Albania a very important and well-deserved point in the opening match of the Euro 2012 qualifiers.[30][31]

Style of play[edit]

He is typically an attacking midfielder, who operated primarily on the right side of the midfield, but he can also play through the middle as well as the left occasionally. He is known for his crossing and playmaking abilities but he is also an able goalscorer.

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 5 April 2016[32][33]
Club Season League Cup Continental[a] Other[b] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Partizani Tirana 2001–02 Albanian Superliga 8 1 0 0 8 1
2002–03 18 4 0 0 2 0 20 4
2003–04 33 10 0 0 33 10
Total 59 15 0 0 2 0 61 15
Iraklis Thessaloniki 2004–05 Superleague Greece 3 0 3 0
Total 3 0 3 0
Partizani Tirana 2004–05 Albanian Superliga 11 2 0 0 11 2
2005–06 34 6 0 0 34 6
2006–07 29 5 0 0 29 5
2007–08 32 10 0 0 32 10
2008–09 2 1 2 1
Total 106 23 0 0 2 1 108 24
Tirana 2008–09 Albanian Superliga 29 2 9 1 38 3
2009–10 30 10 2 0 1 0 33 10
Total 59 12 11 1 1 0 71 13
Dinamo Tirana 2010–11 Albanian Superliga 15 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 18 1
Total 15 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 18 1
Skënderbeu Korçë 2010–11 Albanian Superliga 16 8 2 2 18 10
2011–12 24 8 0 0 2 0 1 0 27 8
2012–13 2 0 0 0 2 0
Total 40 16 2 2 2 0 1 0 45 18
Flamurtari Vlorë 2012–13 Albanian Superliga 24 12 9 6 33 18
Total 24 12 9 6 33 18
Skënderbeu Korçë 2013–14 Albanian Superliga 31 4 6 1 2 0 1 0 40 5
Total 31 4 6 1 2 0 1 0 40 5
Flamurtari Vlorë 2014–15 Albanian Superliga 17 3 0 0 4 0 1 0 33 18
Total 17 3 0 0 4 0 1 0 33 18
Tirana 2014–15 Albanian Superliga 12 1 3 0 15 1
2015–16 16 4 3 0 19 4
Total 28 5 6 0 34 5
Career total 382 91 34 10 15 1 4 0 435 102
  1. ^ Including continental competitions, such as UEFA Champions League and UFEA Cup/UEFA Europa League
  2. ^ Including other competitions, such as Albanian Supercup

International[edit]

As of 5 April 2016[34]
Albania national team
Year Apps Goals
2008 1 0
2009 2 0
2010 8 1
2011 10 0
2012 1 0
2013 1 0
Total 13 2

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Albania's goal tally first.[35]
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition Ref
1 3 September 2010 Stadionul Ceahlăul, Piatra Neamţ, Romania 6  Romania 1–1 1–1 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying [36]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Partizani Tirana[32]
Tirana[32]
Skënderbeu Korçë[32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Leshon Xhani, Gjergj Muzaka, zyrtarisht i Tiranës" (in Albanian). Arkiva Lajmeve. 28 August 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  2. ^ "Gjergji Muzaka, lojtar i Dinamos" (in Albanian). Futboll Klub Dinamo. 16 June 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2010. 
  3. ^ "Gjergji Muzaka firmos për Dinamon" (in Albanian). Albania-Sport. 17 June 2010. Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  4. ^ "Cikalleshi dhe Muzaka perforcimet e Skënderbeut" (in Albanian). Arkiva Lajmeve. 27 December 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
  5. ^ "Gjergji Muzaka transferohet te Skënderbeu" (in Albanian). ABCNews.al. 5 August 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Muzaka firmos për 2 vite me Flamurtarin" (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "Gilman Lika fal 4 rroga, ikin edhe Muzaka e Metaj, shkon në 11 numri i largimeve" (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 6 January 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2016. 
  8. ^ "Muzaka: U riktheva në shtëpi, dua titullin" [Muzaka: I'm back home, i want the title] (in Albanian). Sport Ekspres. 6 January 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "Muzaka prezantohet te Tirana: Kthehem në shtëpi, jam borxhli ndaj bardhebluve" (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 8 January 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Tirana vs. Apolonia Fier 2 – 0". Soccerway. 24 January 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2016. 
  11. ^ "Tirana – Kukesi 2-0 FT" (in Albanian). KF Tirana. 8 March 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2016. 
  12. ^ "Muzaka mbyll para kohe sezonin, operacion për gjurin" (in Albanian). KF Tirana. 24 April 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  13. ^ Gerti Carcani (23 April 2015). "Muzaka, probleme serioze me gjurin" (in Albanian). Ora Sport. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  14. ^ Andi Deçka (11 May 2015). "Gjergji Muzaka operohet me sukses" (in Albanian). Super Sport Albania. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  15. ^ Alfred Lleshi (6 June 2015). "Gjergji Muzaka, riaftësimi vazhdon në Greqi (video)" (in Albanian). Telesport.al. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  16. ^ "Gjergji Muzaka, nga Laçi tek Laçi" (in Albanian). Minuta90.al. 19 November 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  17. ^ "Tërbuni Pukë vs. Tirana 1 – 3". Soccerway. 30 January 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2016. 
  18. ^ "VIDEO/ Shpërfytyrohet Laçi, Tirana i jep leksion" (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 7 February 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 
  19. ^ "Plotësojnë kartonët, Bakaj dhe Karan humbasin Bylisin" (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 8 February 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 
  20. ^ "3 rrjeta e 2 asiste/ Abonim me golin, Muzaka: Radhën e ka Flamurtari" (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 15 February 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2016. 
  21. ^ "Tirana kundër arbitrit. Muzaka i dëmtuar" (in Albanian). Top Channel. 18 April 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2016. 
  22. ^ Eduard Ilnica (25 September 2016). "Muzaka, në stërvitje me Tiranën pas 5 muajsh" (in Albanian). Telesport.al. Retrieved 13 October 2016. 
  23. ^ Adela Merko (6 October 2016). "Ilir Daja fërkon duart: Peci, 'bast' i fituar" (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. Retrieved 13 October 2016. 
  24. ^ Sotir Kora (12 October 2016). "Muzaka bën "heroin", Tirana mposht Korabin" (in Albanian). Super Sport Albania. Retrieved 13 October 2016. 
  25. ^ "Zyrtare/ Muzaka rikthehet në Korçë, firmos me Skënderbeun" [Official/ Muzaka returns in Korçë, signs with Skënderbeu] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 30 January 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  26. ^ "Muzaka: Skënderbeu më dha motivin për të qëndruar në futboll" [Muzaka: Skënderbeu gave me the motivation to stay in football] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 30 January 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  27. ^ "Ilir Daja: Na duhet Muzaka sepse ka eksperiencë dhe shpejtësi" [Ilir Daja: We need Muzaka because he has experience and speed] (in Albanian). minuta90.com. 31 January 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  28. ^ Erald Kodheli (19 February 2017). "Skënderbeu dhuron spektakël me Luftëtarin" [Skënderbeu gives show with Luftëtari] (in Albanian). Super Sport Albania. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  29. ^ "Debutimi i "zakonshëm" i Muzakës: Normale që do përqafoja trajnerin" [“Normal” debut of Muzaka: Normal that I would hug the coach] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 19 February 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  30. ^ ""Dakët" thyejnë brirët në "bunkerin" e Kuzhes" (in Albanian). Sporti Shqiptar. 3 September 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2010. [dead link]
  31. ^ "Romania 1-1 Albania". Football Database. 3 September 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  32. ^ a b c d "Albania - G. Muzaka - Profile with news, career statistics and history". Soccerway. 5 April 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2016. 
  33. ^ "Football : Gjergji Muzaka". Football Database. 5 April 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2016. 
  34. ^ "Gjergj Muzaka - national football team player". EU-Football.info. 5 April 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2016. 
  35. ^ "Gjergj Muzaka - national football team player". EU-Football.info. 11 October 2015. Retrieved 11 October 2015. 
  36. ^ "Romania vs. Albania 1 – 1". Soccerway. 3 September 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 

External links[edit]