|Date of birth||13 February 1969|
|Place of birth||Shkodër, Albania|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|2003–2004||St Johnstone F.C.||15||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
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 U-21 team in France he sought political asylum in 1991.
Vata's career in Western football began in France in 1991, when the KS Dinamo Tirana player claimed political asylum following an international match. He played for Le Mans Union Club 72 and Tours FC, 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 F.C. in 2004. He retired from football in 2005 after a brief stint with KF Partizani Tirana. He was capped 58 times and scored 5 goals for the Albanian national team.
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.
|1991/92||Le Mans||Division 2|
|1996/97||Apollon Limassol||First Division||25||4|
|1998/99||Energie Cottbus||2. Bundesliga||25||0|
|2001/02||LR Ahlen||2. Bundesliga||8||0|
|2003||Yokohama FC||J2 League||24||3|
|2003/04||St Johnstone||First Division||15||0|
National team statistics
|Albania national team|
- Phil Gordan (2009-03-28). "Earrings and beards welcome as Rudi Vata helps Stark's boys". Times Online. Retrieved 2011-07-07.
- Gordon, Phil (25 March 2001). "The Albanian who came in from the cold". The Independent.
- TheCelticWiki profile
- Littbarski turns interest to Hibs
- BBC Sport - Celtic's Aiden McGeady likely to snup Spartak - Vata
- "Rudi Vata". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman.