Xhevahir Sukaj

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Xhevahir Sukaj
Personal information
Full name Xhevahir Sukaj
Date of birth (1987-10-05) 5 October 1987 (age 29)
Place of birth Shkodër, Albania
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Partizani Tirana
Number 20
Youth career
2002–2004 Vllaznia Shkodër
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2008 Vllaznia Shkodër 75 (19)
2005–2006 Elbasani (loan) 10 (0)
2008–2009 Hacettepe (loan) 11 (0)
2009 Vllaznia Shkodër 14 (11)
2010 Orduspor 10 (2)
2010 Ismaily 3 (0)
2010–2011 NK Zagreb 5 (1)
2011–2012 Vllaznia Shkodër 20 (15)
2012–2015 Sepahan 70 (15)
2015–2016 Partizani Tirana 31 (21)
2016 Perak FA 4 (2)
2017– Partizani Tirana 5 (2)
National team
2005–2009 Albania U21 15 (5)
2009– Albania 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 29 April 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21 August 2015

Xhevahir Sukaj (born 5 October 1987 in Shkodër) is an Albanian footballer who plays as a forward for Albanian club Partizani Tirana in Albanian Superliga.

He has played for Vllaznia Shkodër and Elbasani in Albania, Hacettepe and Orduspor in Turkey, Ismaily in Egypt, NK Zagreb in Croatia and most recently Sepahan in Iran.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Sukaj is a product of the Vllaznia academy and in 2004 he was promoted to the first team at the age of just 16. The 2004–05 season was his first in professional football and he made 15 league appearances scoring 1 goal along the way helping Vllaznia finish 4th in the table. In the Albanian Cup, Sukaj managed to grab 2 goals in the 8–0 thrashing of Tërbuni Pukë in the 2nd round of the cup. Vllaznia reached the semi-finals that season but were eventually knocked out by Tirana after a 3–2 aggregate loss.[1]

He was then loaned out to Elbasani for the 2005–06 season in order to gain some more first team experience, but Sukaj found it difficult to compete with the more experienced strikers at the club and only managed to feature in 4 league games without scoring, but he did win the Albanian Superliga that season with Elbasani. He reached the Albanian Cup semi-finals again but did not score in any game during his loan.

Sukaj returned to Vllaznia in 2006 and immediately established himself in the first team and was instrumental in helping Vllaznia finish 3rd in the league with 8 goals in 31 games. He also scored 3 goals in the cup where Vllaznia were narrowly knocked out in the quarter-finals through the away goal rule against Partizani Tirana.[2] Overall, he scored 11 goals in the 2006–07 season.

During the 2007–08 season Vllaznia played in the Intertoto Cup where Sukaj made his first European appearance in the return leg of the 1st round against NK Zagreb, but after wasting chances he was substituted by the coach Mirel Josa for Vioresin Sinani in the 69th minute. Vllaznia were then drawn against Turkish club Trabzonspor in the next round where Vllaznia were beaten 10–0 on aggregate, with Sukaj only playing the first leg, as he was dropped to the bench by Josa for the return leg.[3] In the league Vllaznia had a difficult season finishing only 7th, despite Sukaj scoring 10 goals in 28 games. His side did however manage to win the Albanian Cup with the help of 3 goals by Sukaj, including the winning goal in the final against KF Tirana.[4] His goal tally reached 13 for the 2007–08 season and he won his first trophy with Vllaznia.

In the 2008–09 UEFA Cup qualification Sukaj scored 2 away goals against Slovenian side NK Koper in the first half of the 2–1 win.[5] His goals put Vllaznia through to the second round as the 2nd leg finished goal less and his side were drawn against Italian giants Napoli. Sukaj's double in Slovenia earned his team their first win the competition in their 7 games played and Sukaj gained the record of becming the first ever Vllaznia player to score more than one goal in a European game.[6] He played his last game for the club before moving abroad in the first leg of the next round against Napoli, where Vllaznia were outclassed and beaten 3–0 at home.[7]

Turkey[edit]

His departure from Vllaznia Shkodër was announced on 4 August 2008. The club who actually secured his signature was Gençlerbirliği, who are the parent club of Hacettepe. He was loaned to Hacettepe, until the end of the season. After being unable to break into the first team he was loaned back to his homeland of Albania. He only started 2 games, but made other appearances off the bench.

Vllaznia

On his first match back he was able to get a hat-trick in the match against Besa Kavajë, helping the team to win the match 4–1.[8] In the other 14 matches that season he scored another 7 goals.

Orduspor

After an uneventful spell in Turkish top flight, Sukaj joined fellow Turkish side Orduspor by signing a two-year contract.[9] He made his club debut on 30 August by appearing as a second-half substitute in the 2–0 home defeat to Altay.[10] Two goals in nine appearances were not enough to impress the club directors, who terminated his contract in January 2010.

Ismaily[edit]

In January 2010, Sukaj signed a contract with Ismaily for the second part of 2009–10 season.[11]

NK Zagreb[edit]

Sukaj signed a three-year contract with Croatian side NK Zagreb on 15 July 2010, after it was widely believed that he would join Vllaznia once again.[12][13] He only made five league appearances and scored one goal before termingating his contract in January.[14]

Vllaznia Shkodër[edit]

Sukaj returned to his first club Vllaznia Shkodër by signing a two-year contract on June 2013. On the opening day of the 2011–12 Albanian Superliga, he scored a hat-trick against Laçi to secure a win for his side, despite Vllaznia trailing the game after 43 minutes. Sukaj's goals came in the 73rd, 80th and 92nd minute of the game.[15]

Sepahan[edit]

In January 2012, Sukaj completed his transfer to Iran Pro League side Sepahan by signing an 18-month deal.[16] During the second part of 2011–12 season, he managed to score only two goals in ten appearances.

Sukaj won his third trophy with Sepahan in May 2015 after his club secured the league title in the very last week after beating 2–0 Saipa, where Sukaj featured in the last 14 minutes.[17] After the end of the season, the club's directors decided not to renew his contract, leaving him as a free agent.[18]

Partizani Tirana[edit]

He returned to Albania in the summer of 2015 and after being linked with a host of Albanian Superliga sides including his former club Vllaznia Shkodër he signed a one-year contract with Partizani Tirana on 21 July.[19][20] In the opening match of 2015–16 Albanian Superliga against Laçi at Qemal Stafa Stadium, Sukaj scored a goal with free-kick in the 64th minute to secure his side one point.[21]

Sukaj was one of the top form players in the league as he scored a goal in each of his first seven matches for the team. For his performances, he was awarded Albanian Superliga Player of the Month for October 2015.[22] After that, he suffered a goal drought as only netted once after 17 October 2015, which was against Tërbuni Pukë on 2 December 2015.[23]

On 19 December 2015, he immediately got sent off against Skënderbeu Korçë for an altercation with Renato Arapi only seconds after coming into the pitch.[24] It was his first ever red card career.[24] He was banned for 5 matches by the Disciplinary Committee of AFA.[25]

He played his first match in 2016, coming off the bench to score in the 89th minute against Flamurtari Vlorë on 6 February 2016.[26] With 21 league goals, Sukaj was the second highest scorer in the Albanian Superliga for the 2015–16 season, only six goals behind Golden Boot winner Hamdi Salihi.[27]

On 21 June 2016, Sukaj signed a new contract with Partizani Tirana, keeping him at the club until 2017.[28] However, he announced his departure from the club eight days later after being told that he was not on the new coach's plans for the new season.[29]

Perak FA[edit]

On 28 June 2016, Sukaj joined Malaysia Super League club Perak FA on a 18-month contract, worth $500,000 per season.[30] He made his competitive debut with the team in the matchday 14 against FELDA United on 16 July, playing 83 minutes in a 1–1 away draw.[31] Three days later, Sukaj opened his scoring account in a Malaysian Cup Group C match against PDRM, which ended in a 2–1 home defeat.[32] Then he scored his first goals in the league in his third appearance, netting a brace in a 2–1 win at Pahang.[33] Four days later, during the next cup match against Johor Darul Ta'zim in which Sukaj opened the score in the 12nd minute, he suffered a major injury which forced him to leave the match.[34][35]

International career[edit]

After enjoying a successful Under-21 career with Albania's U-21 team, Sukaj was called up by then coach Arie Haan for the friendly against Azerbaijan in Baku on 19 November 2008. He made his senior debut in this match by appearing as a substitute in the last minutes of the match, which finished in a 1–1 draw.[36]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 17 October 2015[37][38]
Club Season League Cup Continental[a] Other[b] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Vllaznia Shkodër 2004–05 15 1 0 0 0 0 15 1
Total 15 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 1
KF Elbasani 2005–06 4 0 0 0 1 0 5 0
Total 4 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 5 0
Vllaznia Shkodër 2006–07 31 8 0 0 0 0 31 8
2007–08 28 10 1 1 2 0 31 11
2008–09 3 2 3 2
Total 59 18 1 1 5 2 0 0 65 21
Hacettepe 2008–09 11 0 1 0 1 0 13 0
Total 11 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 13 0
Vllaznia Shkodër 2008–09 14 11 4 0 3 2 21 13
Total 14 11 4 0 3 2 0 0 21 13
Orduspor 2009–10 10 2 1 1 11 3
Total 10 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 11 3
Ismaily 2009–10 3 0 2 0 0 0 5 0
Total 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
NK Zagreb 2010–11 5 1 0 0 5 1
Total 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 1
Vllaznia Shkodër 2010–11 11 6 4 4 15 10
2011–12 9 9 3 3 4 2 16 14
Total 20 15 7 7 4 2 0 0 31 24
Sepahan 2011–12 10 2 0 0 6 2 16 4
2012–13 32 11 5 2 7 3 44 16
2013–14 7 0 0 0 6 2 13 2
2014–15 8 1 0 0 0 0 8 1
Total 70 15 0 0 19 7 0 0 89 22
Partizani Tirana 2015–16 7 7 0 0 7 7
Total 7 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 7
Career total 218 70 21 11 33 13 0 0 272 94
  1. ^ Including continental competitions, such as UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League
  2. ^ Including other competitions, such as Albanian Supercup

International[edit]

As of 17 October 2015[39]
Albania national team
Year Apps Goals
2009 1 0
Total 1 0

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Elbasani[37]
Vllaznia Shkodër[37]
Sepahan[37]

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Giovanni Nappi (1 September 2005). "Albania Cup 2004/05". RSSSF. Retrieved 10 September 2009. 
  2. ^ Giovanni Nappi (7 September 2009). "Albania Cup 2006/07". RSSSF. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  3. ^ Marcel Haisma (21 September 2007). "UEFA Intertoto Cup 2007". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 24 September 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2009. 
  4. ^ Giovanni Nappi (4 September 2007). "Albania Cup 2007/08". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 18 August 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2009. 
  5. ^ "Koper 1-2 Vllaznia". UEFA.com. 17 July 2008. Retrieved 10 September 2009. 
  6. ^ "Sukaj, rekord unikal me Vllazninë". Zemra Shqiptare (in Albanian). 20 July 2008. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  7. ^ "Vllaznia 0-3 Napoli". UEFA.com. 14 August 2008. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "Vllaznia Shkodër vs. Besa Kavajë 4 – 1". Soccerway. 4 February 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2017. 
  9. ^ "Xhevahir Sukaj Orduspor'da" [Xhevahir Sukaj in Orduspor] (in Turkish). Fanatik.com.tr. 21 August 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2017. 
  10. ^ "Orduspor vs. Altay 4 – 1". Soccerway. 4 February 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2017. 
  11. ^ "Sukaj, një "faraon" shqiptar në Egjipt" [Sukaj, an Albanian "pharaon" in Egypt] (in Albanian). Arkiva Lajmeve. 5 March 2010. Retrieved 29 April 2017. 
  12. ^ "Sukaj firmos për 3 vjet me NK Zagreb" [Sukaj signs for 3 years with NK Zagreb] (in Albanian). Gazeta Start. 15 July 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  13. ^ Gjergji Mima (15 July 2010). "Xhevahir Sukaj, kontratë 3 vjeçare me NK Zagreb" [Xhevahir Sukaj, 3-year contract with NK Zagreb] (in Albanian). Yll Press. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  14. ^ "NK Zagreb release Sukaj". HRV Soccer. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  15. ^ "Vllaznia Shkodër vs. Laçi 3 – 1". Soccerway. 10 September 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  16. ^ "Xhevahir Sukaj zyrtarizon transferimin tek Sepahan në Iran" [Xhevahir Sukaj formalizes the transfer to Sepahan in Iran] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 17 January 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  17. ^ "Legjionarët / Xhevahir Sukaj shpallet "kampion" në Iran me Sepahanin" [Legionaries / Xhevahir Sukaj is "champion" in Iran with Sepahan] (in Albanian). Albanian Sport. 16 May 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "Sukaj largohet nga Sepahan-i" [Sukaj leaves Sepahan] (in Albanian). Sportal.al. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  19. ^ Andi Deçka (21 July 2015). "Partizani zyrtarizon goditjen e madhe, Xhevahir Sukaj" [Partizani officialized the big move, Xhevahir Sukaj] (in Albanian). Super Sport Albania. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  20. ^ "Partizani bën supergoditje në sulm, vjen Xhevahir Sukaj" [Partizani makes supermove in attack, Xhevahir Sukaj arrives] (in Albanian). Sot.com.al. 21 July 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  21. ^ "Partizani dhe Laçi e nisin me "paqe", në "Qemal Stafa" mbyllet 1-1" [Partizani and Laçi begins with "peace", it finished 1-1 in "Qemal Stafa"] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 21 August 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  22. ^ a b Afred Lleshi (4 November 2015). "Xhevahir Sukaj shpallet "Lojtari i Muajit" në Superiore" [Xhevahir Sukaj is announced "Player of the month" in Superleague] (in Albanian). Telesport.al. Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  23. ^ "Partizani shkatërron Tërbunin 4-0, shpërthejnë Raçiç dhe Sukaj" [Partizani destroys Tërbuni 4-0, Račić and Sukaj explodes] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2017. 
  24. ^ a b Gjergji Stefa (20 December 2015). "Sukaj: Jam penduar për veprimin ndaj Arapit" [Sukaj: I regret for the action against Arapi] (in Albanian). Super Sport Albania. Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
  25. ^ "VIEDO/ I gjuajti me grusht Arapit, Sukaj pezullohet me 5 ndeshje, Partizani luan pa tifozë" [VIDEO/ Punched Arapi, Sukaj banned for 5 matches, Partizani plays without fans] (in Albanian). Java News. 21 December 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
  26. ^ "Partizani Tirana vs. Flamurtari Vlorë 1 – 1". Soccerway. 6 February 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
  27. ^ "Summary - Superliga - Albania - Results, fixtures, tables and news". Soccerway. Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
  28. ^ "Zyrtare / Xhevahir Sukaj, edhe një vit pjesë e Partizanit" [Official / Xhevahir Sukaj, one more year part of Partizani] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 21 June 2016. Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  29. ^ "Xhevahir Sukaj shpjegon arsyet e lamtumirës nga Partizani" [Xhevahir Sukaj explains the reasons of farewell from Partizani] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. 29 June 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
  30. ^ Alfred Lleshi (28 June 2016). "Sukaj firmos me Perak, do të luajë në stadiumin prej 44 mijë vendesh" [Sukaj signs with Perak, is going to play at 44,000 seat stadium] (in Albanian). Telesport.al. Retrieved 29 April 2017. 
  31. ^ "Felda United vs. Perak 1 – 1". Soccerway. 16 July 2016. Retrieved 29 April 2017. 
  32. ^ "SPMB" (in Malaysian). Retrieved 29 April 2017. 
  33. ^ Andi Deçka (26 July 2016). "Sukaj dygolësh dhe fitore me Perak" [Sukaj brace and win with Perak] (in Albanian). Super Sport Albania. Retrieved 29 April 2017. 
  34. ^ "Kupa e Malajzisë, Xhevahir Sukaj shënon dhe dëmtohet" [Malaysian Cup, Xhevahir Sukaj scores and gets injured] (in Albanian). Ora Sport. 31 July 2016. Retrieved 29 April 2017. 
  35. ^ Nik Afiq (7 August 2016). "Perak miss Elias and Sukaj, Gomez happy with three points". Goal.com. Retrieved 29 April 2017. 
  36. ^ "Shqipëria barazon në Azerbajxhan" [Albania draws at Azerbaijan] (in Albanian). Ora News. 20 November 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
  37. ^ a b c d "Albania - X. Sukaj - Profile with news, career statistics and history". Soccerway. 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  38. ^ "Football : Xhevahir Sukaj". Football Database. 30 June 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
  39. ^ "Xhevahir Sukaj - national football team player". EU-Football.info. 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 

External links[edit]