Rudi Vata

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Rudi Vata
Personal information
Date of birth (1969-02-13) 13 February 1969 (age 51)
Place of birth Shkodër, Albania
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Position(s) Defender
Youth career
1980–1988 Vllaznia
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988–1990 Vllaznia 40 (5)
1990–1991 Dinamo Tirana 20 (2)
1991 Le Mans 18 (0)
1992 Tours
1992–1993 Dinamo Tirana 22 (3)
1993–1996 Celtic 45 (4)
1996–1998 Apollon Limassol 50 (9)
1998–2001 Energie Cottbus 81 (2)
2001–2002 Rot-Weiß Ahlen 10 (0)
2002–2003 Tirana 30 (2)
2003 Yokohama FC 24 (3)
2003–2004 St Johnstone 15 (0)
2004–2005 Partizani 20 (1)
Total 375 (31)
National team
1990–2001 Albania 59 (5)
Teams managed
2011–2012 Vllaznia
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Rudi Vata (born 13 February 1969) is an Albanian former footballer who played as a defender, and had also a short stint as a manager of Albanian team KF Vllaznia Shkodër.

Club career[edit]

Early life[edit]

Vata was born in the northern city of Shkodër and joined local side Vllaznia Shkodër at a young age, making his first team debut in 1988. Whilst travelling with the Albania national football team in France he sought political asylum in 1991.[1]

Vata's career in Western football began in France in 1991, when the KS Dinamo Tirana player claimed political asylum following an international match.[2][3] He played for Le Mans and Tours, before playing for Celtic between January 1993 and 1995–96. He became the first Albanian to win an honour in a major European country when he won the 1995 Scottish FA Cup with Celtic.

Vata went on to play for Apollon Limassol (1996–1998), Energie Cottbus (1998–2001), Rot-Weiß Ahlen (January–June 2002) and SK Tirana (2002–2003). This was followed by a spell in Japan, after which he signed for St Johnstone in 2004. He retired from football in 2005 after a brief stint with KF Partizani Tirana.[4]

Since retiring from the professional game, Vata has become a sports agent, specialising in Eastern European football, and facilitating the transfer of players such as Garry O'Connor and Aiden McGeady.[5]

International career[edit]

He made his debut for Albania in a May 1990 European Championship qualification match away against Iceland and earned a total of 59 caps, scoring 5 goals.[6] His final international was a September 2001 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Finland.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Vata is married to Anne Frances from Wishaw, Lanarkshire in Scotland, whom he met during his time playing at Celtic. They have two sons together, Ruan and Rocco, both of whom were born in Scotland. They live in Hamilton, Scotland.[8] In November 2019, his son Rocco was set to make his Republic of Ireland U-15 debut against Poland.[9]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition[10]
Club Season League
Division Apps Goals
Vllaznia Shkodër 1988–89 Superliga
1989–90
Dinamo Tirana 1990–91 Superliga 6 0
Le Mans 1991–92 Division 2
Tours 1991–92 Division 2
Dinamo Tirana 1992–93 Superliga
Celtic 1992–93 Premier Division 22 2
1993–94 10 1
1994–95 7 1
1995–96 6 0
Total 60 4
Apollon Limassol 1996–97 First Division 25 4
1997–98 24 5
Total 49 9
Energie Cottbus 1998–99 2. Bundesliga 25 0
1999–2000 25 1
2000–01 Bundesliga 30 1
2001–02 1 0
Total 81 2
LR Ahlen 2001–02 2. Bundesliga 8 0
Tirana 2002–03 Superliga 13 4
Yokohama FC 2003 J2 League 24 3
St Johnstone 2003–04 First Division 15 0
Career total 241 22

International[edit]

Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Albania 1990 1 0
1991 1 0
1992 5 0
1993 6 0
1994 3 0
1995 5 1
1996 4 0
1997 7 1
1998 8 0
1999 8 1
2000 7 2
2001 4 0
Total 59 5

Honours[edit]

Dinamo Tirana

Celtic

KF Tirana

Albania

References[edit]

  1. ^ Phil Gordan (28 March 2009). "Earrings and beards welcome as Rudi Vata helps Stark's boys". Times Online. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  2. ^ Gordon, Phil (25 March 2001). "The Albanian who came in from the cold". The Independent.
  3. ^ TheCelticWiki profile
  4. ^ Littbarski turns interest to Hibs
  5. ^ BBC Sport - Celtic's Aiden McGeady likely to snup Spartak - Vata
  6. ^ Hoxha, Florent; Mamrud, Roberto (11 December 2009). "Albania – Record International Players". RSSSF. Retrieved 21 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Player Database". eu-football.info. Retrieved 21 November 2019.
  8. ^ Interview: Rudi Vata on his journey from Albania to Celtic - Scotsman
  9. ^ https://www.pressreader.com/uk/daily-record/20191122/283798560596919
  10. ^ "Rudi Vata". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman.
  11. ^ a b Albania - Championship Winning Teams - RSSSF
  12. ^ Albanian Supercup 2002 RSSSF. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  13. ^ Rothmans Tournament 2000 (Malta) RSSSF. Retrieved 3 April 2020.

External links[edit]