Kosovo national football team

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Kosovo
Nickname(s) Dardanët (Dardanians)
Association Football Federation of Kosovo (Federata e Futbollit të Kosovës – FFK)
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Albert Bunjaki
Captain Samir Ujkani
Most caps Samir Ujkani
Fanol Përdedaj (11)
Top scorer Albert Bunjaku (3)
Home stadium Pristina City Stadium
Olympic Stadium Adem Jashari
Loro Boriçi Stadium (only 2018 FIFA World Cup's qualifying matches)
FIFA code KVX[1]
First colours
Second colours
Third colours
FIFA ranking
Current 164 Increase 1 (9 March 2017)
Highest 164 (October 2016, March 2017)
Lowest 190 (July–August 2016)
Elo ranking
Current 111 Steady (24 February 2017)
Highest 102 (14 February 1993)
Lowest 122 (June–July 2014)
First international
As FIFA member
 Kosovo 2–0 Faroe Islands 
(Frankfurt, Germany; 3 June 2016)
Permitted by FIFA
 Kosovo 0–0 Haiti 
(Mitrovica, Kosovo; 5 March 2014)
Unofficial
 Albania 3–1 Kosovo Albania
(Tirana, Albania; 14 February 1993)
Biggest win
As FIFA member
 Kosovo 2–0 Faroe Islands 
(Frankfurt, Germany; 3 June 2016)
Permitted by FIFA
 Kosovo 2–0 Equatorial Guinea 
(Pristina, Kosovo; 10 October 2015)
Unofficial
United Nations Kosovo 7–1 Monaco 
(Cap d'Ail, France; 22 April 2006)
Biggest defeat
 Kosovo 0–6 Croatia 
(Shkodër, Albania; 6 October 2016)

The Kosovo national football team (Albanian: Përfaqësuesja e Futbollit e Kosovës, Serbian: Фудбалска репрезентација Косова/Fudbalska reprezentacija Kosova) represents Kosovo in international men's football. It is controlled by the Football Federation of Kosovo,[2] the governing body for football in Kosovo. They have been a member of UEFA and FIFA since May 2016.[3] The team is coached by Albert Bunjaki, who took charge in July 2009.

History[edit]

Pre-independence[edit]

The squads of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro and Serbia at international competitions often included players from Kosovo, such as Fadil Vokrri and Stevan Stojanović. Three football players (Milutin Šoškić, Fahrudin Jusufi, Vladimir Durković) were part of the Yugoslavia team that won the gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics and silver medal at the 1960 European Championship.

The unofficial national team of Kosovo was formed following the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, and has played a number of friendly matches. Most of these friendly matches were played against club teams, although a number were played against national teams of other countries.

Official formation[edit]

On 6 May 2008, after the declaration of independence from Serbia, Kosovo applied for FIFA membership. Kosovo's application was discussed at the FIFA Congress in Zurich, in October 2008 when Kosovo was rejected membership in FIFA and could not play friendly matches as it was deemed it did not comply with article 10 of the FIFA statutes, that only "an independent state recognised by the international community" may be admitted into FIFA.[4][5] FIFA reverted that decision on 22 May 2012, stating that Kosovo may play other countries in international friendlies according to Article 79 of the FIFA Statutes.[6]

In September 2012, Albanian international Lorik Cana, along with Swiss internationals Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka and Valon Behrami (all of them with Kosovar Albanian origin) wrote a declaration to FIFA President Sepp Blatter, asking him to allow the Kosovo national team to be allowed to play friendly matches. The declaration was also signed by eight other Albanian footballers, hailing from Kosovo: Lorik Cana, Armend Dallku, Mërgim Mavraj, Samir Ujkani, Alban Meha, Burim Kukeli, Etrit Berisha, and Ahmed Januzi.[7] In a meeting held in May 2012, FIFA decided to allow friendly matches to be played, a decision it later revoked following a protest issued by Football Association of Serbia. Some players, especially Kosovo Serbs (such as Miloš Krasić and Milan Biševac), continued to play for the Serbia national football team. A new meeting was planned to be held at FIFA on 27 and 28 September in which the Kosovo issue was again planned to be discussed, which was then postponed until December.[8][9] In February 2013, FIFA announced that they would allow Kosovo to play against other nations in non-official competitions providing that they did not display national symbols.[10]

On 13 January 2014, the national team was given permission by FIFA to play against FIFA member associations in international friendlies, with the notable exception of "representative teams of countries of the former Yugoslavia". Even club teams would be allowed to play friendlies after a FIFA Emergency Committee meeting. However, it was stipulated that "clubs and representative teams of the (Football Federation of Kosovo) may not display national symbols (flags, emblems, etc.) or play national anthems." The go-ahead was given after meetings between the Serbian Football Association and Blatter. Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi welcomed the decision and expressed his hope that the country would be a full member of FIFA and UEFA in the near future.[11][12] Following FIFA's ruling, it was announced that Kosovo's first officially sanctioned international match[dubious ] would be against Haiti on 5 March in Mitrovica.

In March 2015 Michel Platini, UEFA's president, declared that Kosovo will be likely accepted in UEFA in 2016.[citation needed]

In September 2015 at an Executive committee meeting in Malta, UEFA approved the request from the federation to the admission in UEFA to the next Ordinary Congress to be held in Budapest on 3 May 2016.[13] At the Ordinary Congress on 3 May 2016, Kosovo were accepted into UEFA after members voted 28–24 in favor of Kosovo.[14]

On 13 May 2016 Kosovo was accepted in FIFA during their 66th congress in Mexico with 141 votes in favour and 23 against.[15] The association joined Gibraltar as the 210th and 211th members of FIFA, respectively.

Match record[edit]

Kosovo has played a number of unofficial international friendlies. The first one was against Albania on 14 February 1993, lost 1–3. The line-up of that match was: Ahmet Beselica (Afrim Tovërlani), Fadil Berisha, Isa Sadriu (Nushi), Bardhyl Seferi, Gani Llapashtica, Selaudin Jerlini (Osmani), Kushtrim Munishi, Sadullah Ajeti (Ramiz Krasniqi), Muharrem Sahiti (Abdullah Rafuna), Genc Hoxha (c) (Idrizi) and Ardian Kozniku.[16]

One of the most important international matches was a 1–0 win over Saudi Arabia,[17] played in Ankara, Turkey, on 15 June 2007. It was the first time that Kosovo played a team that has taken part in the FIFA World Cup and the winning goal was scored by Kristian Nushi from the penalty spot on the 84th minute. The biggest win for Kosovo is the 7–1 defeat of Monaco,[18] who hosted the event on 24 April 2006. The team that played against Monaco was led by the former Kosovo national team coach, Muharrem Sahiti, who after the match stated that: "I am very pleased with the team's performance even though we had predicted a stronger opponent. However, I want to emphasize that our players have been fantastic. The fact that we do not play many international matches may have inspired the players to give it their all this time".[19]

In 2005 they participated in the KTFF 50th Anniversary Cup in Northern Cyprus, finishing second out of three. They lost 1–0 against the host and won 4–1 against Sàpmi.[citation needed]

On 5 March 2014, Kosovo played its first international friendly against Haiti. The match ended in a 0–0 draw.[20] Before the match, a selection of Kosovo players posed with guns at a shooting range, causing a stir in Serbia.[21] On the eve of the match, Kosovo supporters burned the flag of Serbia.[22][23] This incident prompted the FSS to request that FIFA revoke Kosovo's right to play international friendlies.[24] On 14 October 2014 the Kosovo, has played another unofficial international test match against the Swiss team FC Wil 1900 at IPG Arena, Wil, and won 1–0 which was scored by Kushtrim Lushtaku at the 77' minute.[25] On 24 March 2015 the Kosovo, has played another unofficial international test match against the German team courses equated with Eintracht Frankfurt with score 0–0 and the date 27 March 2015, lost from Werder Bremen with score 2–0.

FIFA World Cup[edit]

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
Year Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
1930 to 2006 Part of Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro
2010 to 2014 Not a FIFA member Not a FIFA member
Russia 2018 Qualification Group I 4 0 1 3 1 12
Qatar 2022 To be determined
Total 0/22 - 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 1 3 1 12

UEFA European Championship[edit]

UEFA European Championship record Qualification record
Year Round Pos Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
1960 to 2004 Part of Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro
2008 to 2016 Not a UEFA member Not a UEFA member
Europe 2020 To be determined  —  —  —  —  —  —
Total 0/16 - 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Non-FIFA Tournament[edit]

Kosovo has so far only participated in one international tournament, the KTFF 50th Anniversary Cup, held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Northern Cyprus Football Federation.[26]

Year Round Pos Pld W D* L GF GA
Northern Cyprus 2005 Group stage Runners-up 2 1 0 1 4 2

*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

List of matches[edit]

The following is a list of matches of Kosovo since 1993.[27]

Unofficial matches from 1993 to 2010[edit]

FIFA recognized matches from 2014 to 2016[edit]

Official matches from 2016[edit]

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following 23 players were called up for the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification match against Iceland on 24 March 2017.[30]
All caps and goals as of 12 November 2016 after match against Turkey.[31]

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Samir Ujkani (1988-07-05) 5 July 1988 (age 28) 11 0 Italy Pisa
12 1GK Adis Nurković (1986-01-28) 28 January 1986 (age 31) 0 0 Bosnia and Herzegovina Travnik
16 1GK Bledar Hajdini (1987-06-19) 19 June 1987 (age 29) 0 0 Kosovo Trepça'89

2 2DF Fanol Përdedaj (1991-07-16) 16 July 1991 (age 25) 11 0 Germany 1860 Munich
19 2DF Leart Paqarada (1994-08-10) 10 August 1994 (age 22) 8 0 Germany Sandhausen
4 2DF Alban Pnishi (1990-10-20) 20 October 1990 (age 26) 6 0 Switzerland Grasshopper
13 2DF Amir Rrahmani (1994-02-24) 24 February 1994 (age 23) 5 0 Croatia Lokomotiva
20 2DF Benjamin Kololli (1992-05-15) 15 May 1992 (age 24) 1 0 Switzerland Lausanne-Sport
22 2DF Fidan Aliti (1993-10-03) 3 October 1993 (age 23) 0 0 Croatia Slaven Belupo
3 2DF Mërgim Vojvoda (1995-02-01) 1 February 1995 (age 22) 0 0 Belgium Mouscron
2DF Ardian Ismajli (1996-09-30) 30 September 1996 (age 20) 0 0 Croatia Hajduk Split

23 3MF Bernard Berisha (1991-10-21) 21 October 1991 (age 25) 7 0 Russia Terek Grozny
14 3MF Valon Berisha (1993-02-07) 7 February 1993 (age 24) 5 1 Austria Red Bull Salzburg
9 3MF Bersant Celina (1996-09-09) 9 September 1996 (age 20) 5 1 Netherlands Twente
7 3MF Milot Rashica (1996-06-28) 28 June 1996 (age 20) 5 0 Netherlands Vitesse
11 3MF Herolind Shala (1992-01-02) 2 January 1992 (age 25) 4 0 Turkey Kasımpaşa
15 3MF Arber Zeneli (1995-02-25) 25 February 1995 (age 22) 4 0 Netherlands Heerenveen
3MF Hekuran Kryeziu (1992-12-12) 12 December 1992 (age 24) 3 0 Switzerland Luzern

18 4FW Vedat Muriqi (1994-04-24) 24 April 1994 (age 22) 3 0 Turkey Gençlerbirliği
4FW Elba Rashani (1993-05-09) 9 May 1993 (age 23) 2 2 Norway Rosenborg
4FW Besart Berisha (1985-05-29) 29 May 1985 (age 31) 0 0 Australia Melbourne Victory
4FW Atdhe Nuhiu (1989-07-29) 29 July 1989 (age 27) 0 0 England Sheffield Wednesday
4FW Donis Avdijaj (1996-08-25) 25 August 1996 (age 20) 0 0 Germany Schalke 04


Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called up for the team within the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Flamur Neziri (1987-05-22) 22 May 1987 (age 29) 0 0 Kosovo Feronikeli v.  Finland, 5 September 2016
GK Granit Kolshi (1990-08-17) 17 August 1990 (age 26) 0 0 Kosovo Besa Pejë v.  Finland, 5 September 2016

DF Avni Pepa (1988-11-14) 14 November 1988 (age 28) 6 0 Iceland ÍBV v.  Turkey, 12 November 2016
DF Eroll Zejnullahu (1994-10-19) 19 October 1994 (age 22) 4 0 Germany Union Berlin v.  Turkey, 12 November 2016
DF Bajram Jashanica (1990-07-25) 25 July 1990 (age 26) 3 0 Albania Skënderbeu Korçë v.  Finland, 5 September 2016
DF Lum Rexhepi (1992-08-03) 3 August 1992 (age 24) 3 0 Netherlands Go Ahead Eagles v.  Faroe Islands, 3 June 2016

MF Enis AlushiSUSP (1985-12-22) 22 December 1985 (age 31) 6 0 Israel Maccabi Haifa v.  Turkey, 12 November 2016
MF Alban Meha (1986-04-28) 28 April 1986 (age 30) 3 0 Turkey Konyaspor v.  Turkey, 12 November 2016
MF Valmir Sulejmani (1996-02-01) 1 February 1996 (age 21) 1 0 Germany Hannover 96 v.  Ukraine, 9 October 2016

FW Albert BunjakuINJ (1983-11-29) 29 November 1983 (age 33) 6 3 Germany Erzgebirge Aue v.  Turkey, 12 November 2016
FW Labinot KabashiINJ (2000-02-28) 28 February 2000 (age 17) 0 0 Spain Barcelona v.  Ukraine, 9 October 2016
FW Flamur Kastrati (1991-11-14) 14 November 1991 (age 25) 3 0 Norway Sandefjord v.  Faroe Islands, 3 June 2016
FW Mërgim Brahimi (1992-08-08) 8 August 1992 (age 24) 2 2 Switzerland Grasshopper v.  Faroe Islands, 3 June 2016
Notes

Stadiums[edit]

The main stadium of Kosovo national football team is Pristina City Stadium (Albanian: Stadiumi i Qytetit), a multi-purpose stadium based in Pristina, but also the second used stadium is Olympic Stadium Adem Jashari (Albanian: Stadiumi Olimpik Adem Jashari), a multi-use stadium in Mitrovica. But these two stadiums do not meet rules and regualtions and Kosovo expected will play qualifying matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Loro Boriçi Stadium in Shkodër, while their stadiums are renovated to meet UEFA standards,[32][33] while Edi Rama, the Prime Minister of Albania in a post in Facebook, he says that the Kosovo national football team will play their qualifying matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the Loro Boriçi Stadium.[34]

Individual all-time records[edit]

Below are two lists of the top 10 players with the most caps and goals for Kosovo.

As of 14 March 2017[16][35][36][37][38][39]
  Active players are highlighted

Appearances records[edit]

# Name Career Caps Goals
1
Kristian Nushi
2007–2014 5 1
Shpëtim Hasani
2005, 2010, 2014– 5 1
3
Kushtrim Mushica
2005, 2010, 2014– 4 0
Anel Raskaj
2010, 2014– 4 0
Fanol Përdedaj
2014– 11 0
6
Ilir Nallbani
2005–2010 3 0
Yll Hoxha
2010, 2014– 3 0
Samir Ujkani
2014– 11 0
Albert Bunjaku
2014– 3 2
Imran Bunjaku
2014– 7 3
Enis Alushi
2014– 3 0
Faton Toski
2014– 3 0
Dardan Rexhepi
2014– 3 0
Shkodran Metaj
2014– 3 0
Liridon Krasniqi
2014– 3 0
Loret Sadiku
2014– 3 0

Top goalscorers[edit]

# Name Career Goals Caps
1
Albert Bunjaku
2014– 3 7
2
Mërgim Brahimi
2015– 2 1
3
Kushtrim Munishi
1993 1 1
Shpëtim Hasani
2005, 2010, 2014– 1 5
Kristian Nushi
2007–2014 1 5
Dukagjin Gashi
2007–2010 1 2
Imran Bunjaku
2014– 1 3

Head-to-head records against other countries[edit]

As of 12 November 2016
Albert Bunjaku scored Kosovo's first goal in a FIFA recognised match and the first goal for Kosovo in an official match.
Opponent Pld W D L GF GA GD Ref
 Albania 4 0 1 3 5 9 −4 [40][41][42]
 Croatia 1 0 0 1 0 6 −6 H2H results
 Equatorial Guinea 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 H2H results
 Faroe Islands 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 H2H results
 Finland 1 0 1 0 1 1 +0 H2H results
 Haiti 1 0 1 0 0 0 +0 H2H results
 Monaco 1 1 0 0 7 1 +6 H2H results
 Northern Cyprus 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1 H2H results
H2H results
 Oman 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 H2H results
 Sápmi 1 1 0 0 4 1 +3 H2H results
 Saudi Arabia 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 H2H results
 Senegal 1 0 0 1 1 3 −2 H2H results
 Turkey 2 0 0 2 1 8 −7 [43][44]
 Ukraine 1 0 0 1 0 3 −3 H2H results
14 Countries 18 6 3 9 25 33 −8

References[edit]

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External links[edit]