Valon Behrami

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Valon Behrami
AUT vs. SUI 2015-11-17 (196).jpg
Behrami with Switzerland in 2008
Personal information
Full name Valon Behrami[1]
Date of birth (1985-04-19) 19 April 1985 (age 30)
Place of birth Titova Mitrovica, Yugoslavia
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 8
Youth career
1993–1997 Stabio
1997–2000 Chiasso
2000–2002 Lugano
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2003 Lugano 2 (0)
2003–2005 Genoa 24 (0)
2004–2005 Verona (loan) 32 (3)
2005–2008 Lazio 65 (4)
2008–2011 West Ham United 58 (4)
2011–2012 Fiorentina 48 (0)
2012–2014 Napoli 54 (0)
2014–2015 Hamburg 22 (0)
2015– Watford 5 (0)
National team
2005– Switzerland 63 (2)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14:39, 22 September 2015 (UTC).
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17 November 2015

Valon Behrami[a] (born 19 April 1985) is a Swiss professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for English club Watford. His previous clubs include Stabio, Chiasso, Lugano, Genoa, Verona, Lazio, West Ham United, Fiorentina, and Napoli.

Behrami has been capped over 50 times at international level by the Switzerland national team, playing at three World Cups and Euro 2008 since his debut in 2005.

Early life[edit]

Behrami was born to Albanian parents in Titova Mitrovica, SFR Yugoslavia. When he was five, his parents both lost their jobs; his mother Halime as a secretary and his father Ragip as a manager of a plastics company.[2] As a result, Behrami along with his parents and older sister Valentina moved to Stabio, a village in Ticino, the Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland.[3] Behrami's mother described him as energetic: "As a child, running was Valon's favourite pastime – he just never got tired. Even now, he can hardly sit still for a second. He always needs a ball at his feet."[2] He was raised Muslim.[4]

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Behrami started out playing football with Swiss club sides FC Stabio, FC Chiasso and FC Lugano. After a number of impressive appearances with Lugano, he was signed by Italian teams Genoa in the 2003–04 season, and played for Genoa in the Serie B championship. In January 2004 he joined Udinese along with Rodrigue Boisfer in exchanged for Mohammed Gargo and Vittorio Micolucci, in flopped transfer price in co-ownership deal to create "paper" profit.[5]

In the 2004–05 season, Genoa bought out Udinese' rights to the player and loaned him out to Verona, again in Serie B.


After an impressive season with Verona, Lazio signed him on 25 July 2005, as first a co-ownership deal for €2.7 million.[6] and Lazio bought him outright in January 2006, for the same price.[7]

Despite his clearance hitting Rodrigo Taddei's head and ricocheting into Lazio's goal to concede their first goal of the match, his 92nd minute winning goal etched Behrami's name into Lazio's history books as they won the Derby della Capitale on 19 March 2008 and virtually finished the Scudetto hopes for rivals Roma.[8]

West Ham United[edit]

Behrami pictured at Upton Park, West Ham United's ground, on 11 September 2010

On 23 July 2008, West Ham United signed Behrami from Lazio, with the player signing a five-year contract for a fee of £5 million.[9] Behrami made his debut for West Ham in the 2–1 home win over Wigan Athletic on 16 August 2008.[10] His versatility would see him become a vital part of West Ham's midfield, having begun the season as a stand in for captain Lucas Neill at right back. He scored his first goal for West Ham in the 1–0 away win against Sunderland on 23 November 2008.[11] During the home win over Manchester City on 1 March 2009,[12] he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in his left knee[13] that required oxygen to be administered on the field during a six-minute break in play. His knee and ankle twisted badly when his studs caught in the turf resulting in a premature end to his 2008–09 season.

Behrami made his comeback as a substitute on 12 September 2009 against Wigan Athletic.[14] His return was interrupted by injury again for a month from November. He scored his first and only goal of the 2009–10 league campaign with the opener in a 3–0 home win over relegation rivals Hull City on 20 February 2010.[15]


Behrami playing for Fiorentina

On 26 January 2011, Behrami moved to Fiorentina for an undisclosed fee, signing a three-and-a-half-year contract.[16][17] He made his debut with Fiorentina on 29 January 2011, in a Serie A fixture against his former team Lazio.


On 17 July 2012, Behrami and his Fiorentina team-mate Alessandro Gamberini were signed by Napoli for undisclosed fees.[18]


On 31 July 2014, Behrami flew into Germany to complete a medical ahead of his €4.5 million move to Hamburg. The subsequent bonuses could raise the fee to €6.5 million based on 20 appearances in his first season. He committed to a three-year contract with an option for a fourth.[19]

On 2 August 2014, the move was completed.[20]


On 11 July 2015, Behrami watched on as his teammates drew 2-2 with AFC Wimbledon, later that afternoon the club confirmed Behrami signed a three-year contract with Watford.[21]

International career[edit]

Behrami has also been capped for the Swiss national team at the Under-18, Under-19 and "A" levels; making it the 2006 FIFA World Cup, 2010 FIFA World Cup, and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Behrami scored a key goal against Turkey at the Stade de Suisse in the first leg of their World Cup 2006 qualifier playoff tie.During the 2006 World Cup, he endured a groin injury which put him on the sidelines for the first two group matches. In the third match against South Korea, he was substituted late in the game in the 88th minute. He did not participate in the loss to Ukraine in the last 16 knockout round of matches.

Behrami was in the starting eleven of Switzerland for all three matches during the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship playing a total of 272 minutes.

On 21 June, in the 2010 World Cup, after appearing to elbow Chilean player Arturo Vidal, Behrami was sent off with a red card in the second Group H match against Chile and became the first Swiss player to be sent off in a World Cup match.[22][23]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Switzerland's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 12 Nov 2005 Stade de Suisse, Bern, Switzerland  Turkey 2–0 Win 2006 World Cup qualifying
2 24 May 2008 Stadio Cornaredo, Lugano, Switzerland  Slovakia 2–0 Win Friendly




a.   ^ Albanian spelling: Valon Behrami, Serbian Cyrillic spelling: Валон Бехрами.
b.   ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has been recognised as an independent state by 108 out of 193 United Nations member states.


  1. ^ "2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil: List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. 11 June 2014. p. 30. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Valon Behrami: a Kosovo-born Swiss". Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. 14 June 2006. Archived from the original on 15 November 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  3. ^ "Player Profile – Valon Behrami". West Ham United F.C. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  4. ^ Stephan Uersfeld (30 June 2014). "World Cup players to forego Ramadan". ESPN. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  5. ^ "Udine, indagati Pozzo e Pierpaolo Marino". Tutto Mercato Web (in Italian). 31 July 2008. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "SS Lazio draft 2005–06 annual report" (PDF). SS Lazio (in Italian). Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  7. ^ "SS Lazio 2005–06 third quarter report" (PDF). SS Lazio (in Italian). Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  8. ^ "Lazio 3–2 Roma: Derby della Capitale Goes to Lazio, Are Roma’s Scudetto Chances Now Really Over?". Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  9. ^ "Valon Behrami signs 5-year deal with West Ham United FC". Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  10. ^ McIntyre, David (16 August 2008). "West Ham 2–1 Wigan". BBC News. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  11. ^ McKenzie, Andrew (23 November 2008). "Sunderland 0–1 West Ham". BBC News. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  12. ^ Stevenson, Jonathan (1 March 2009). "West Ham 1–0 Man City". BBC News. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  13. ^ Wilson, Steve (11 March 2009). "West Ham's Valon Behrami ruled out for six months". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 19 October 2010. 
  14. ^ Shea, Julian (12 September 2009). "Wigan 1 – 0 West Ham". BBC News. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  15. ^ "Hammers too strong for Hull". Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  16. ^ "Transfer round-up: Behrami to Fiorentina". 26 January 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  17. ^ "Behrami departs". 26 January 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  18. ^ "Napoli take Behrami and Gamberini from Viola". UEFA. 17 July 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  19. ^ "Medien: Behrami absolviert Medizincheck in Hamburg". Die Welt (in German). 31 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  20. ^ "Napoli, ceduto Behrami all'Amburgo". S.S.C. Napoli (in Italian). 2 August 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  21. ^ "Watford sign Valon Behrami from Hamburg". Sky Sports. 11 July 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  22. ^ "BBC Sport – Football – World Cup 2010: Ottmar Hitzfeld slams Behrami red card". BBC News. 21 June 2010. Retrieved 22 June 2010. 
  23. ^ "Fifa World Cup 2010 , Group H , Chile , Wins , Switzerland , Port Elizabeth – Oneindia News". 30 October 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2010. 

External links[edit]