Thomas Strakosha

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Thomas Strakosha
FC Salzburg versus S.S. Lazio Rom Euroleague-Viertelfinale (12. April 2018) 12.jpg
Strakosha with Lazio in April 2018
Personal information
Full name Thomas Fotaq Strakosha
Date of birth (1995-03-19) 19 March 1995 (age 24)
Place of birth Athens, Greece
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Lazio
Number 1
Youth career
2011–2012 Panionios
2012–2014 Lazio
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012– Lazio 93 (0)
2015–2016Salernitana (loan) 11 (0)
National team
2012 Albania U17 1 (0)
2012–2014 Albania U19 6 (0)
2013–2016 Albania U21 11 (0)
2016– Albania 7 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:40, 20 April 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10 September 2018

Thomas Fotaq Strakosha (born 19 March 1995) is an Albanian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Italian club Lazio and the Albania national team.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Strakosha began his youth career in 2011 at Panionios, from where in the next year he was signed by Lazio for a €75,000 transfer fee.[1][2] He became a regular starter for the Primavera team and was a key player with the primavera team that won the 2012–13 Campionato Nazionale Primavera after defeating Atalanta Primavera in the final, 3–0.[3]

Lazio[edit]

Following the departure of Lazio first-team starting goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo to Internazionale, in the second half of the 2012–13 season, Strakosha gained entry with the first team as third-choice goalkeeper, behind Federico Marchetti and Albano Bizzarri. He was member of the team that won 2012–13 Coppa Italia after defeating city rivals Roma 0–1 in the final on 26 May 2013.[4][5] On 18 August 2013, Strakosha was again on the substitutes' bench as Lazio lost 4–0 to Juventus in the 2013 Supercoppa Italiana.[6]

On 2 September 2013, Lazio sold Bizzarri to Genoa and at the same time purchased fellow Albanian goalkeeper Etrit Berisha from Kalmar. This made Strakosha to stand still as a third choice and being only an unused substitute for the 2013–14 season behind the strong challenge for the starting place between Berisha and Marchetti.[7]

On 11 July 2014, Igli Tare, Lazio's sports director, announced that Strakosha's contract was extended until 2019.[8] Strakosha was on the bench for the 2014–15 Coppa Italia final against Juventus on 21 May 2015 where Lazio lost 2–1 in extra-time following a 97th-minute goal by Alessandro Matri.[9]

Loan to Salernitana[edit]

In July 2015, Lazio agreed to loan Strakosha to newly promoted Serie B side Salernitana.[10] He was allocated squad number 12, and made his professional debut on 9 August 2015 in the 1–0 win against Pisa for the 2015–16 Coppa Italia second round.[11] A week after his debut, Strakosha played another Coppa Italia match, making several decisive saves and keeping his goal intact for 120 minutes as Salernitana won 1–0 against Chievo Verona to progress to the next round.[12]

Strakosha made his league debut for Salernitana on 6 September in the opening 2015–16 Serie B match against Avellino where he managed to play the full 90-minutes match and his side won 3–1.[13] He was an unused substitute in the next Coppa Italia game on 1 December 2015 against Spezia as the coach Vincenzo Torrente gave the starting place to Pietro Terracciano as Salernitana was eliminated from Coppa Italia, losing the game by 2–0.[14]

The return[edit]

In July 2016, following the loan's end, Strakosha returned to Lazio.[15] With the injury of Marchetti and the departure of Berisha to Atalanta, Strakosha was able to make his Lazio debut on 20 September in the league match against Milan.[16] Despite the 2–0 defeat, Strakosha's performance was considered positive, being man of the match for Lazio.[17] Five days later, Strakosha collected his first Serie A clean-sheet only in his second appearance in the 2–0 home win against Empoli, which led the 1982 FIFA World Cup-winner Dino Zoff to praise him by saying: "I can not judge him with only two matches played, but, according to me, he performed well in both matches."[18]

On 22 February 2017, Strakosha renewed his contract with Lazio until 2022.[19] He went on to play as starter until the end of the season, collecting 1844 minutes on field, as Lazio finished the championship in 5th position. He also contributed with 4 matches in the Coppa Italia, including the final, as Lazio was defeated by Juventus 2–0.[20]

Strakosha started the 2017–18 season on 13 August 2017 by playing in the 2017 Supercoppa Italiana against Juventus, winning his maiden trophy as Lazio won 3–2 after a last-minute goal.[21] Against the same opponent on 14 October, Strakosha saved Paulo Dybala's penalty in the 97th minute to rescue a 1–2 win for his team and to put Lazio in 3rd position.[22] It was Strakosha's first Serie A penalty save and Juventus' first Serie A home defeat since August 2015.[22] A week later, he agreed a contract extension, signing until June 2022. Later, he was named as the best young goalkeeper of the 2017-18 season.[23]

International career[edit]

Albania U17[edit]

Strakosha was called up for the first time to Albania's U17 squad by coach Džemal Mustedanagic to participate in the 2012 UEFA European Under-17 Championship elite round. He was an unused substitute for all 3 matches, serving as second choice goalkeeper behind Aldo Teqja.[24]

Albania U19[edit]

Strakosha was called up to the Albania national under-19 football team to participate in the 2013 UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualification, coached by his father, Foto Strakosha.[25] Thomas played every minute of all 3 matches of the Group 7. Albania finished in the 4th place, with Strakosha conceding in total 6 goals, despite Albania beating top of the table Belgium 3–1 with goals from Enis Gavazaj, Elvis Kabashi and Lorenc Shehaj.[26][27][28][29]

In the 2014 UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualification, Strakosha again played every minute in all 3 matches of the Group 6, leaving behind youth Juventus goalkeeper, Entonjo Elezaj.[30]

Albania U20[edit]

Strakosha was called up to the U20 team by coach Skënder Gega for the 2013 Mediterranean Games football tournament, which began on 19 June, in Mersin, Turkey. However, Strakosha didn't participate in any match of the tournament.[31]

Albania U21[edit]

Strakosha playing for Albania U-21 in 2014.

Strakosha was selected for the Albania U21 side that took part in the 2015 UEFA Euro Under-21 qualification. He played in half of all Group 4 matches (4 of 8), as the 4 other matches were played by fellow goalkeepers, Aldo Teqja and Orestis Menka, who each played 2 matches.[32]

In the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification he retained his starting place playing overall 7 out 10 games for full 90-minutes under coach Redi Jupi. He missed out the opening match due to the injury, the closing match due to engagement with Albania senior team and was left on the bench for 1 game against Portugal U21 as Jupi wanted to test Teqja. Following the engagement of Amir Rrahmani with Albania senior team and then his departure to Kosovo national team in September 2016, Strakosha became the under-21 team's captain playing for his 6 last games.[33]

Senior team[edit]

Strakosha was called up for the first time to the senior Albania squad in August 2016 by coach Gianni De Biasi for the friendly match against Morocco on 31 August 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification opening match against Macedonia on 5 September 2016 as a 4th choice keeper along Etrit Berisha, Orges Shehi and Alban Hoxha.[34] However, he did not feature in both matches. He continued to be part of the team for the next matches, making his competitive debut on 24 March 2017 due to Berisha's suspension in the match against Italy as Albania trailed 0–2.[35] He went on to make another appearance in Albania's 3–0 win over Israel as Albania finished Group G in 3rd position with 13 points.[36]

Style of play[edit]

In a 2017 interview, Strakosha stated that his main influences and his Idol as a goalkeeper was his own father Foto Strakosha, whom he tries to imitate.[37]

Personal life[edit]

Thomas is the son of Foto Strakosha, former goalkeeper who played for various Albanian clubs and several Greek clubs, in addition to representing the Albanian national team in the years spanning 1990–2005.[38]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 17 March 2019[39][40]
Club statistics
Club Season League Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Lazio 2012–13 Serie A 0 0 0 0 0 0
2013–14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2014–15 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016–17 21 0 4 0 25 0
2017–18 38 0 4 0 10[a] 0 1[b] 0 53 0
2018–19 27 0 3 0 4[a] 0 0 0 34 0
Total 86 0 11 0 14 0 1 0 112 0
Salernitana (loan) 2015–16 Serie B 11 0 2 0 13 0
Career total 97 0 13 0 14 0 1 0 125 0
  1. ^ a b All appearance(s) in UEFA Europa League
  2. ^ Appearance in Supercoppa Italiana

International[edit]

As of 10 September 2018 [41][42]
National team Year Apps Goals
Albania 2017 4 0
2018 3 0
Total 7 0

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Lazio[39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Zyrtare: T. Strakosha te Lazio" [Official: T. Strakosha at Lazio] (in Albanian). Korneri.net. Archived from the original on 27 May 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Lazio sign Thomas Strakosha from Panionios". Soccerfame. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Un poker per la storia, la Coppa Italia Primavera torna a tingersi di biancoceleste dopo 35 anni!" [A poker for history, the Coppa Italia Primavera is dying of white-collar after 35 years!] (in Italian). lalaziosiamonoi.it. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Roma vs. Lazio 0 – 1". Soccerway. 26 May 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Lulic scrive la storia del calcio: a Roma c'è SOLO LA LAZIO!" [Lulic writes the story of football: in Rome there is ONLY LA LAZIO!] (in Albanian). lalaziosiamonoi.it. 26 May 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Juventus vs. Lazio 4 – 0". Soccerway. 18 August 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  7. ^ "Strakosha: 'Voglio diventare il primo portiere della Lazio'" [Strakosha: 'I want to become the first goalkeeper of Lazio'] (in Italian). Calciomercato.com. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Strakosha edhe 5 vjet te Lacio" [Strakosha for 5 years at Lazio] (in Albanian). aSport.al. 11 July 2014. Archived from the original on 13 May 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  9. ^ "Juventus, in bacheca la decima Coppa Italia! Lazio freddata da mitra Matri" [Juventus, in the tenth cup of Coppa Italia! Lazio cold-blooded by Matri]. tuttomercatoweb. 30 May 2015.
  10. ^ Sotir Kora (9 July 2015). "Thomas Strakosha zyrtarisht te Salernitana" [Thomas Strakosha officially at Salernitana] (in Albanian). SuperSport Albania. Archived from the original on 11 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  11. ^ "Salernitana vs. Pisa 1 – 0". Soccerway. 9 August 2015. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Strakosha vendimtar, Salernitana kualifikohet" [Strakosha decisive, Salernitana qualifies] (in Albanian). minuta90.com. 17 August 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  13. ^ "Salernitana vs. Avellino 3 – 1". Soccerway. 6 September 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  14. ^ "Spezia vs. Salernitana 2 – 0". Soccerway. 1 December 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  15. ^ "Strakosha rikthehet te Lazio: Të kënaqur me Inzaghin" [Strakosha returns to Lazio: Pleased with Inzaghi] (in Albanian). Gazeta Express. 18 July 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  16. ^ "Milan 2-0 Lazio: On-form Bacca scores again in Rossoneri victory". Goal.com. 20 September 2016. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  17. ^ "Strakosha rrëfen emocionet në debutimin ndaj Milanit" [Strakosha confesses the emotions in his debut against Milan] (in Albanian). Durrës Lajm. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  18. ^ "Elozhe nga Dino Xof: Strakosha, debutim pozitiv" [Praise from Dino Zoff: Strakosha, a positive debut] (in Albanian). Press Reader. 29 September 2016. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  19. ^ "Zyrtare, Strakosha rinovon me Lacion" [Official, Strakosha renew with Lazio] (in Albanian). Sport Ekspres. 22 February 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  20. ^ "Juventus 2-0 Lazio: Dani Alves and Leonardo Bonucci strike in the first half to seal Coppa Italia triumph". Daily Mail. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  21. ^ Gianni Verschueren (13 August 2017). "Lazio Stun Juventus in 3-2 Thriller to Win Italian Super Cup". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  22. ^ a b "Juventus 1-2 Lazio: Ciro Immobile brace threatens the Old Lady's grip on Serie A after six seasons of dominance". DailyMail. 15 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  23. ^ "Comunicato 21.10.17" [Communication 21.10.17] (in Italian). ss.lazio.it. 21 October 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  24. ^ Under-17 - Matches UEFA.com
  25. ^ U-19/ Foto Strakosha shpall listen per ndeshjet eleminatore te Europianit AlbaniaSoccer
  26. ^ Under-19 2013 - Italy-Albania UEFA.com
  27. ^ Under-19 2013 - Belgium-Albania UEFA.com
  28. ^ Under-19 2013 - Albania-Belarus UEFA.com
  29. ^ Summary - UEFA U19 Championship - Europe - Results, fixtures, tables and news - Soccerway
  30. ^ Summary - UEFA U19 Championship - Europe - Results, fixtures, tables and news - Soccerway
  31. ^ "Lojërat Mesdhetare: Shqipëria merr pjesë me 75 sportistë (Lista e plotë)" (in Albanian). aSport.al. 14 June 2013. Archived from the original on 13 May 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  32. ^ Summary - UEFA U21 Championship - Europe - Results, fixtures, tables and news - Soccerway
  33. ^ Thomas Strakosha matches Soccerway
  34. ^ "De Biasi: Duhet të japim 101 % të mundësive tona" [De Biasi: We have to give 101% of our chances] (in Albanian). FSHF.org. 29 August 2016. Archived from the original on 3 October 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  35. ^ "Italy 2-0 Albania: Gianluigi Buffon's 1,000th career appearance nearly cut short by fan trouble". Mirror.co.uk. 24 March 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  36. ^ "Group G". FIFA.com. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  37. ^ Jeton Stamolla (13 October 2017). "Karbonara dhe kartonë të animuar japonezë, Thomas Strakosha sfidon Bufonin" [Carbonara and Japanese anime, Thomas Strakosha challenges Buffon] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  38. ^ Dritan Ikonomi (6 April 2013). "Foto Strakosha: Krenar për djalin tim" [Foto Strakosha: Proud for my son] (in Albanian). Gazeta Dita. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  39. ^ a b Thomas Strakosha at Soccerway. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  40. ^ "Football : Thoma Strakosha". Football DataBase. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  41. ^ "Thomas Strakosha". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  42. ^ Thomas Strakosha - national football team player EU-Football.info

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Amir Rrahmani
Albania U21 captain
2016
Succeeded by
Keidi Bare