Valon Berisha

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Valon Berisha
FC Red Bull Salzburg gegen RSC Anderlecht (Testspiel 7. Juli 2017) 14.jpg
Berisha with Red Bull Salzburg in 2017
Personal information
Full name Valon Berisha
Date of birth (1993-02-07) 7 February 1993 (age 26)
Place of birth Malmö, Sweden
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 7
Youth career
1998–2008 Egersund
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008 Egersund 31 (11)
2010–2012 Viking 56 (4)
2012–2018 Red Bull Salzburg 165 (31)
2018– Lazio 8 (0)
National team
2010 Norway U15 4 (0)
2009 Norway U16 10 (2)
2010 Norway U17 8 (0)
2010 Norway U18 7 (0)
2011 Norway U19 8 (0)
2011–2014 Norway U21 18 (3)
2013 Norway U23 1 (1)
2012–2016 Norway 20 (0)
2016– Kosovo 16 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 08:10, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10 September 2019

Valon Berisha (born 7 February 1993) is a professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Italian club Lazio and the Kosovo national team. He previously played for Norway national team.

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Berisha was born in Malmö, Sweden, to Kosovo Albanian immigrants from Podujevo,[1][2] but grew up in Norway, living in Egersund, a town south of Stavanger.[3] He spent his early years at local club Egersunds IK.

Berisha spent three trial periods with Premier League side Chelsea between the ages of 14 and 15,[4] whilst also spending time with Manchester City and Aston Villa. The latter two clubs offered him a contract, both of which he turned down in favour of staying in Norway.[5] On 20 June 2008, at the age of just 15 years, Berisha made his senior debut for EIK against Staal Jørpeland IL in the Norwegian Third Division.


Berisha signed for Viking FK in March 2009. He made his Tippeligaen debut against Brann on 21 March 2010, coming on for Vidar Nisja in the 85th minute.[6] He started twelve league appearances that season, four in the starting line-up and all on the left wing. It was from the left that he scored his first professional goal on 31 October in a 1–1 draw against Lillestrøm.[5] The goal, which showcased a 20-yard in-field dribble and shot 25 yards from goal, was nominated for Tippeligaen 2010 Goal of the Season.[7] Berisha kept his place in the side for the season ender against Kongsvinger, where his man of the match performance inspired Viking to a 3–1 come back.[8]

Before Tippeligaen 2011, Viking manager Åge Hareide talked up Berisha as one of the best players he had coached,[9] and in May, hewon the Statoil Talent Prize, an award handed to outstanding young Norwegian footballers each month. Each winner is given the opportunity to donate a scholarship of 50,000 Norwegian kroner to the club he or she thought had the most importance to their development; Berisha chose to give the money to his first club, Egersunds IK.[10]

As with 2010, one of his season's highlights was a goal scored from an almost replicate 25-yard shot against Lillestrøm on 3 July 2011.[11] Throughout that year, Berisha duly became a guaranteed starter for Viking, playing 88% of possible playing time. Despite continuing to play on the left wing for most of that time, Berisha became more prominent in his favoured central attacking midfield position as the season went on,[12] something Stig Torbjørnsen, one of Norway's most famous talent scouts, wished for prior to the season start.[13] On 19 June 2011, Valon and his brother Veton became the first brothers to play together for Viking in 22 years since Jan and Egil Fjetland played against Molde in the 1989 Norwegian Cup final.[14] Despite both moving to Viking from Egersund, it was the first time the Berisha brothers had played a senior game together.

On 15 February 2012, the day after Berisha was called up by Egil Olsen to play Northern Ireland, his agent Jim Solbakken told Stavanger Aftenblad: "We are already in talks with several clubs that have Valon Berisha high or at the very top of their list when the international transfer market opens this summer ... Now we just need to find the club that fits Berisha and who will pay a lot for him." To this, Berisha said, "I must be much better before I am ready for the league I aim to. I see [my next club] as an intermediate step, such as in the Netherlands [in Eredivisie] which focuses on young players."[15]

Red Bull Salzburg[edit]

Berisha with Red Bull Salzburg in 2012

In July 2012, Berisha signed a deal with Red Bull Salzburg, joining the club at the same time as fellow Norwegian Håvard Nielsen[16] After a brief illness, he made his debut against Admira on 18 August 2012. He twice assisted his compatriot Nielsen, and was involved in what was his hat trick goal in a 4–4 draw.[17] He scored his first goal for Red Bull the next week in the 1–1 draw against Wiener Neustadt,[18] and scored another in the 4–0 victory against Wacker Innsbruck on 1 September.[19] Of his 27 Goals for Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga 14 of those strikes have come from outside of the box.

During the 2017–18 season Salzburg had their best ever European campaign. They finished top of their Europa League group, for a record fourth time, before beating Real Sociedad and Borussia Dortmund thus making their first ever appearance in the UEFA Europa League semi-final.[20] On 3 May 2018, he played in the Europa League semi-finals as Olympique de Marseille played out a 1–2 away loss but a 3–2 aggregate win to secure a place in the 2018 UEFA Europa League Final[21]


On 3 July 2018, Berisha joined Serie A side Lazio,[22] on a five-year contract. Lazio reportedly paid a €7.5 million transfer fee.[23] On 4 October 2018, he made his debut with Lazio in the group stage of 2018–19 UEFA Europa League against the German side Eintracht Frankfurt after coming on as a substitute at 64th minute in place of Sergej Milinković-Savić.[24] Three days later, he made his first Serie A appearance by entering in the 85th minute of the 1–0 home win over Fiorentina in place of Ciro Immobile.

International career[edit]


Berisha has amounted over forty appearances for all of Norway's age-specific national sides. He has played in all four of Norway under-21 side's four games during the 2013 European Under-21 Championship qualification campaign. He scored Norway's only goal in the 2–1 loss against England under-21 side.[25]

On 23 November 2011, Berisha was called up to mostly domestic-based Norway squad for the 2012 King's Cup in Thailand. He was one of fourteen players who made their international debut at the friendly tournament which ran from 15 January until 21 January.[26] Berisha made his debut for the national team when he replaced Alexander Søderlund as a 62nd-minute substitute in a 1–1 friendly draw against Denmark League XI on 15 January 2012.[27] He started the remaining two games of the tournament against Thailand and South Korea U23.[28] When asked whether he agreed with the plaudits he had gained from the press and coaches at the tournament, Berisha said, "I am very happy ... I've tried to show that I can work hard both ways, that I can take initiative with or without the ball, in challenge and with speed – I feel I've managed well."[29]

On 14 February 2012, Berisha was called up to play Northern Ireland on 29 February 2012. He was one of seven players to keep their place in the national side following the King's Cup, and the only player to be called up for the first time to a squad that also contains expatriate players.[30]


At a meeting in December 2012, FIFA voted to allow Kosovo to take part in friendly matches against its members.[31] Ahead of the team's first match, in March 2014, Stavanger Aftenblad reported that Berisha had been approached by Kosovo, but he had not made a decision as to whether he would switch allegiance.[32] In 2016, after Kosovo became a FIFA member, he elected to play for them and was granted clearance.[33] He scored on his debut for Kosovo on 5 September as his 60th-minute penalty earned a 1–1 draw against Finland in a World Cup qualification match.[34]

Personal life[edit]

Berisha's younger brother, Veton, is also a professional footballer who currently plays for Brann.


  • Austrian League: 2013–14, 2014–15
  • Austrian Cup: 2013–14

Career statistics[edit]


As of match played 7 February 2019[35][36]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Viking 2010 Tippeligaen 12 1 3 0 15 1
2011 28 3 4 2 32 5
2012 16 0 1 0 17 0
Total 56 4 8 2 0 0 64 6
Red Bull Salzburg 2012–13 Bundesliga 30 6 3 0 33 6
2013–14 32 5 3 3 12 0 47 8
2014–15 14 4 3 0 2 0 19 4
2015–16 33 5 6 1 4 0 43 6
2016–17 34 7 3 0 9 1 46 8
2017–18 24 4 3 2 18 7 45 13
Total 167 31 21 6 45 8 233 45
Lazio 2018–19 Serie A 8 0 1 0 5 0 14 0
Total 8 0 1 0 5 0 14 0
Career total 231 35 30 8 50 8 302 51


As of 10 September 2019[37]
National team Year Apps Goals
Norway 2012 8 0
2013 3 0
2014 2 0
2015 3 0
2016 4 0
Total 20 0
Kosovo 2016 4 1
2017 6 0
2018 4 0
2019 2 2
Total 16 3

International goals[edit]

As of march played 10 September 2019[38]
Scores and results list Kosovo's goal tally first.
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition Ref
1. 5 September 2016 Veritas Stadion, Turku, Finland  Finland 1–1 1–1 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification [39]
2. 10 September 2019 St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, England  England 1–0 3–5 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying
3. 2–5


  1. ^ Lumi, Alban (11 October 2012). "Valon Berisha mund t'i bashkohet Granit Xhakës te Gladbach". Bota Sot. Retrieved 12 November 2012. Sulmuesi shqiptar, që është zhvilluar në futbollin norvegjez The Albanian forward who has grown up in Norway's football
  2. ^ "Valon Berisha, kampion me Salzburgun në Austri" [Valon Berisha, champion with Salzburg in Austria]. (in Albanian). 9 May 2016. Valon Berisha është 23-vjeçar, me prejardhje nga Podujeva, por është pjesë e përfaqësueses norvegjeze. Në synimet e tij është Bundesliga gjermane, ndërsa ekipi i preferuar është Borussia Dortmund. Më pranimin e Kosovës në UEFA, ai më herët ka thënë se ndoshta një ditë mund të veshë edhe fanellën e përfaqësueses së Kosovës
  3. ^ Valon Berisha på landslaget, men føler seg ikke norsk (in Norwegian)
  4. ^ Nå reiser Valon (14) til Chelsea (in Norwegian)
  5. ^ a b Sa nei til City og Villa (in Norwegian)
  6. ^ Viking 4–0 Brann (in Norwegian)
  7. ^ Kandidater til Årets mål i Tippeligaen 2010 (in Norwegian)
  8. ^ Viking 3–1 Kongsvinger (in Norwegian)
  9. ^ Sammenligner Berisha med Solskjær Archived 17 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine (in Norwegian)
  10. ^ Månedens fotballtalent – Mai 2011 (in Norwegian)
  11. ^ "Lillestrøms unggutter senket Viking". Norwegian News Agency (in Norwegian). 3 July 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  12. ^ Legger om til 4–4–2 i diamant (in Norwegian)
  13. ^ Se opp for disse tenåringene! (in Norwegian)
  14. ^ Familien Berishas store dag Archived 22 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine (in Norwegian)
  15. ^ Valon Berisha blir trolig solgt i sommer (in Norwegian)
  16. ^ Sandberg, Fredrik Økstad (26 July 2012). "Berisha solgt til Salzburg". (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  17. ^ Tremåls-Nielsen hyller Berisha (in Norwegian)
  18. ^ Skeie, Terje (25 August 2012). "Berisha reddet ett poeng for Red Bull Salzburg" (in Norwegian). TV 2. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  19. ^ "Berisha-mål i storseier". Norwegian News Agency (in Norwegian). NRK. 1 September 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "FC Red Bull Salzburg 2–1 Marseille". BBC Sport. 3 May 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  22. ^ "#WelcomeBerisha/Alla scoperta del nuovo acquisto biancoceleste" [#WelcomeBerisha/Discovering the new biancoceleste purchase] (in Italian). Rome: S.S. Lazio. 3 July 2018. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  23. ^ "Official: Lazio sign Berisha". Football Italia. London: Tiro Media. 3 July 2018. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  24. ^ "Valon Berisha debuton me humbje me Lazion" [Valon Berisha debuts with defeat with Lazio] (in Albanian). Gazeta Express. 4 October 2018. Gjashtë minuta më vonë në fushë debutimin për herë të parë për Lazion do ta bënte Valon Berisha, i cili ka qenë i lënduar dhe ende nuk e kishte pasur këtë mundësi. Për koincidencë ai zëvendëson Sergej Milinkovic-Savic që luan për Serbinë
  25. ^ Under-21 England 2–1 Norway
  26. ^ Landslagstroppen til Thailand turnering (in Norwegian)
  27. ^ "Elyounoussi reddet Norge: – Dette lover godt". (in Norwegian). VG. 15 January 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  28. ^ Norway in King's Cup 2012
  29. ^ Valon Berisha: – Jeg er en ny Mini (in Norwegian)
  30. ^ "Klokkeklar Drillo: – Carew må skifte klubb". (in Norwegian). TV 2. 14 February 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
  31. ^ "Circular no 1342: Friendly games with teams of the Football Federation of Kosovo" (PDF). FIFA. Zurich. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  32. ^ Larsen, Jan-Erik; Fisketjøn, Lars (21 February 2014). "Kosovo ønsker Berisha". Stavanger Aftenblad (in Norwegian). Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  33. ^ "World Cup 2018: Kosovo get Fifa clearance for six players on matchday". BBC Sport. 5 September 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  34. ^ "Finland 1 Kosovo 1". BBC Sport. 5 September 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  35. ^ "V.Berisha". Soccerway. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  36. ^ "Valon Berisha » Club matches". Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  37. ^ "Valon Berisha".
  38. ^ "Valon Berisha". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  39. ^ "Finland 1–1 Kosovo". FIFA. 5 September 2016.

External links[edit]