Mërgim Brahimi

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Mërgim Brahimi
Personal information
Full name Mërgim Brahimi
Date of birth (1992-08-08) 8 August 1992 (age 24)
Place of birth Istog, FR Yugoslavia
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Grasshopper Club Zürich
Number 11
Youth career
1997–2007 Red Star Zürich
2007–2012 Grasshopper Club Zürich
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2012 Grasshopper Zürich II 50 (6)
2011–2014 Grasshopper Club Zürich 31 (3)
2013–2014 FC Aarau (loan) 4 (0)
2014 FC Wohlen (loan) 13 (5)
2014–2015 FC Wohlen 17 (5)
2015– Grasshopper Club Zürich 5 (1)
National team
2011–2012 Albania U21 10 (1)
2012 Albania 1 (0)
2013–2014 Switzerland U21 11 (3)
2015 Kosovo 2 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 13 November 2015

Mërgim Brahimi (born 8 August 1992) is an Kosovo Albanian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Swiss club Grasshopper Club Zürich

Early life[edit]

Brahimi was born in Istok, FR Yugoslavia to Kosovar Albanian parents. He lived in Istok for two years before moving to Zürich, Switzerland along with his mother, brother and two sisters due to the growing tension in Kosovo. Prior to moving, his father had been living for a number of years in Switzerland as a Gastarbeiter. He then signed for local side FC Red Star Zürich in 1997 before being spotted by Grasshopper Zürich in 2007.[1]

Club career[edit]

Youth clubs[edit]

At the age of five, Brahimi signed for local side FC Red Star Zürich before being spotted by Grasshopper Zürich in 2007.[2] Brahimi moved up the ranks of the youth divisions at Grasshopper Zürich, eventually playing for the under-21s in 2010. In the under-21s, Brahimi made a total of thirty two appearances and scored three goals before joining the senior team.

Grasshopper Club Zürich[edit]

Brahimi made his first team appearance against city rivals FC Zürich on the 2 October 2011. He came on in the 21st minute and made a good impact, in a game that was later abandoned due to FC Zürich fan violence. A 3–0 victory was awarded to GC.

Brahimi made his first starting appearance in the second round of the Schweizer Cup against FC Chiasso on 16 October 2011. He started the game and was substituted in the 77th minute for Davor Landeka in the 1–0 win.[3]

On 28 July 2012, Brahimi scored his first goal for Grasshopper against FC Basel three minutes after he came off the bench on the 80th minute.[4]

International career[edit]

Originating from Kosovo with ethnic Albanian parents and raised in Switzerland, Brahimi was eligible to play for Switzerland, Albania and Kosovo if a national team should be formed, but in March 2011 he answered the call by Albania's Under-21 coach Artan Bushati for a non official friendly tournament held in Slovenia.[5]

On 26 August 2011 Brahimi was called up by Switzerland U-20 for two friendlies against Italy and Germany in September, but he refused the offer and decided to represent Albania instead.[6]

He officially gained Albanian citizenship on 26 August 2011 along with his Grasshopper team mate Imran Bunjaku, in order to compete in the UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifiers .[7][8]

Albania senior team[edit]

He received his first senior international call up for friendliest by Gianni De Biasi against Qatar and Iran in May 2012.

Brahimi made his international debut on 27 May 2012 against Iran, at age of 19.

Switzerland under-21[edit]

Brahimi switched to play for Switzerland national under-21 football team in 2013–15 season. He scored 2 goals in 4 qualifying matches.

Kosovo senior team[edit]

Brahimi switched his nationality again in 2015. He scored a brace in his debut match for Kosovo national football team, against Equatorial Guinea.

He was invited by Albert Bunjaki, in a friendly with Faroe Islands on 3 June 2016.[9] However, as he also played for national teams of Albania and Switzerland, his switch to Kosovo competitively was dependent on the approval of FIFA's Bureau of the Players' Status Committee. Brahimi and Football Federation of Kosovo had to submit a formal request to the committee in order to know the eligibility of Brahimi.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Andi Matraxhiu (2011-11-29). "Rasti "Brahimi", si ia rrëmbeu Shqipëria Zvicrës" (in Albanian). Sporti Shqiptar. Retrieved 2011-11-30. 
  2. ^ Andi Matraxhiu (2011-11-29). "Rasti "Brahimi", si ia rrëmbeu Shqipëria Zvicrës" (in Albanian). Sporti Shqiptar. Retrieved 2011-11-30. 
  3. ^ "FC Chiasso 0–1 Grasshopper Zürich". Football Database. 2011-10-16. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  4. ^ Brahimi's first goal
  5. ^ "Bushati merr 10 talentë në Slloveni" (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 2011-03-16. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  6. ^ "Brahimi ftohet nga Shqipëria e Zvicra" (in Albanian). Koha. 2011-08-26. Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
  7. ^ "Brahimi e Bunjaku bëhen "shqiptarë"" (in Albanian). Koha. 2011-08-27. Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
  8. ^ "Brahimi e Bunjaku bëhen "shqiptarë"" (in Albanian). RTV21. 2011-08-27. Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
  9. ^ "Bunjaki makes public the list of players for the friendly match against Faroe Islands". Football Federation of Kosovo. 2016 [circa]. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  10. ^ "Change of association to the Football Federation of Kosovo". FIFA. 7 September 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 

External links[edit]