Zymer Bytyqi

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Zymer Bytyqi
Zymer Bytyqi.JPG
Personal information
Full name Zymer Bytyqi
Date of birth (1996-09-11) 11 September 1996 (age 20)
Place of birth Sint-Truiden, Belgium[1]
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)[1]
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Number 11
Youth career
0000–2009 Lura
2010–2011 Sandnes Ulf
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012 Sandnes Ulf 5 (0)
2013–2014 Red Bull Salzburg 0 (0)
2013–2014 Sandnes Ulf (loan) 22 (0)
2015– Viking 39 (4)
National team
2011 Norway U15 3 (1)
2012 Norway U16 4 (1)
2014– Kosovo 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 3 November 2016.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 04 May 2016

Zymer Bytyqi (born 11 September 1996) is a Kosovar footballer who plays for Viking in Tippeligaen. He previously played for Sandnes Ulf and Red Bull Salzburg, and became the youngest player that has ever played in the Norwegian top league when he made his first-team debut in 2012 (the record has since been broken by Martin Ødegaard). Bytyqi, who is of Albanian descent, has represented Norway at youth international level and Kosovo at a senior international level.


Bytyqi was born in Belgium to Kosovar immigrants, but moved to Norway at the age of 2.[2] He did not play football before he was 10 years old,[3] when he started to play for Lura IL before he moved to Sandnes Ulf ahead of the 2010 season.[4] In 2011, he played several matches for Sandnes Ulf's reserve team in the Third Division. He also trained with the first team but was ineligible for play in the First Division because of his young age.[5] He gave an impressive performance for Norway U15 in September 2011, partly by scoring the winning goal in one of the matches,[6] and joined Newcastle United on a week-long trial in October 2011. His agent, Jim Solbakken, stated that despite the interest from bigger clubs, it would be best for Bytyqi's development to stay at Sandnes Ulf.[6][7]

Bytyqi signed a professional one-year contract with Sandnes Ulf in January 2012, and head coach Asle Andersen said that he had never seen such a talented striker,[5] and that he would get his chance in Tippeligaen, following Sandnes Ulf' promotion to the top league.[2] Bytyqi played for Sandnes Ulf during their pre-season,[8] and he also scored a goal in the 6–0 win against Randaberg.[4] After a very solid game for Norway U16 in April 2012, Sandnes Ulf's Director Tom Rune Espedal confirmed interest from English, German and Dutch clubs, but that no club had yet made an offer for Bytyqi, and that they most likely would sell the talented player during the summer. Bytyqi stated that his big dream was to play professionally abroad, but that he wouldn't leave Norway without his family.[2]

When Sandnes Ulf's forwards Tommy Høiland, Vetle Myhre and Gilles Mbang Ondo was out with injury,[8][9] Bytyqi was included in the squad for the match against Haugesund on 28 May 2012,[9] and made his debut for Sandnes Ulf when he came on as a substitute in the 77th minute. This made him the youngest player in the top league of Norway, aged 15 years, 261 days, beating Sverre Økland's (aged 16 years and 1 day) old record from 2009.[3][9][10] The record was broken on 13 April 2015, when Martin Ødegaard made his debut for Strømsgodset aged 15 years and 118 days.[11]

In August 2012, Bytyqi was called up for the Norwegian U16-team, a decision that neither Sandnes Ulf or the player was happy about, as Bytyqi could have played the league-game against Lillestrøm and even made his first appearance in the starting line-up due to injuries.[12]

Bytyqi signed a three-year contract with Red Bull Salzburg on 23 August 2012, and joined Norwegians Valon Berisha and Håvard Nielsen in the clubs first-team squad in January 2013. According to Norwegian TV2 Sandnes Ulf received 5M kr for Bytyqi.[13]

On 6 January 2015, Bytyqi signed a three-year contract with Viking.[14]


Although Bytyqi has been part of the Norway U16, he declared to the Albanian media that since he has an Albanian ethnic background, if he received a call-up from the Albanian Association of Football, he would give up representing Norway in order to be part of Albania.[15]

Bytyqi accepted a callup to the Kosovo national football team, and made his debut in a historic first FIFA sanctioned match in a 0-0 tie with Haiti.[16] However, he has since played for Norway under-21, and remains eligible for both nations.

Career statistics[edit]

As of 3 November 2016[1]
Season Club Division League Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2012 Sandnes Ulf Tippeligaen 5 0 0 0 5 0
2013 15 0 1 0 16 0
2014 7 0 1 0 8 0
2015 Viking 21 4 2 1 23 5
2016 18 0 2 0 20 0
Career Total 66 4 6 1 72 5


  1. ^ a b c "Zymer Bytyqi" (in Norwegian). altomfotball.no. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Nilssen, Stig; Fintland, Ola (24 April 2012). "Sandnes Ulf selger stortalent". aftenbladet.no (in Norwegian). Stavanger Aftenblad. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Jacobsen, Øyvind (28 May 2012). ""Karate-kid" ble tidenes yngste i eliteserien". vg.no (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Larsen, Jan-Erik (26 February 2012). "Bytyqi spås å bli en fremtidig Ulf-profil". aftenbladet.no (in Norwegian). Stavanger Aftenblad. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Larsen, Morten Wiik (9 January 2012). "Zymer Bytyqi signerte med A-laget" (in Norwegian). Sandnes Ulf. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Larsen, Morten Wiik (12 October 2011). "Norsk 15-åring jaktes av engelske storklubber". nrk.no (in Norwegian). Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  7. ^ Aarre, Ole (12 October 2011). "Bytyqi (15) på prøvespill i Newcastle" (in Norwegian). sandnesposten.no. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Iversen, Espen (25 May 2012). "15-åring kan få sjansen". rogalandsavis.no (in Norwegian). Rogalands Avis. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c Hugsted, Christian M. (28 May 2012). "Her blir han tidenes yngste Tippaliga-spiller". dagbladet.no (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  10. ^ Baardsen, Christer (28 May 2012). "Her blir Zymer Bytyqi (15) historisk: – Han er det største talentet jeg har spilt med". tv2.no (in Norwegian). TV 2 (Norway). Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "Tidenes yngste i Tippeligaen debuterte med målgivende" [Youngest ever in the Tippeliga made his debut with an assist] (in Norwegian). TV2 (Norway). 13 April 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2015. Med sine 15 år og 118 dager passerte Ødegaard Sandnes Ulfs Zymer Bytyqi (15 år og 261 dager) som tidenes yngste. 
  12. ^ Bergh-Johnsen, Jonas (3 August 2012). "Zymer Bytyqi tatt ut til landslagssamling – vil heller spille i Tippeligaen". tv2.no (in Norwegian). TV 2 (Norway). Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  13. ^ Bergh-Johnsen, Jonas; Nygård, Stug (23 August 2012). "Sandnes Ulfs stortalent klar for Red Bull Salzburg". tv2.no (in Norwegian). TV 2 (Norway). Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  14. ^ "Zymer klar for tre år" [Zymer ready for three years]. viking-fk.no (in Norwegian). Viking FK. 6 January 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  15. ^ "Bytyqi: Do hiqja dorë nga Norvegjia për një ftesë nga ekipi A i Shqipërisë" (in Albanian). Asport. 5 May 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  16. ^ http://www.norway-kosovo.no/ARKIV/Historical-match-Kosovo--Haiti-/#.VyrCY_mDGko