The Albania national football team (Albanian: Kombëtarja Shqiptare e Futbollit) is the men's football team that has represented Albania in international competition since 1946. It is controlled by the Albanian Football Association, the governing body for football in the country.
At Euro 2016, Albania made its first debut at a major men's football tournament. Albania scored their first ever goal in a major tournament and secured their first ever win in a European Championship, when they beat Romania on 19 June 2016.
Although it never played any matches, the Albanian national football team existed before the Albanian Football Association was created in 1930. FSHF was founded on 6 June 1930, and in, Albania joined FIFA (during the congress 12 June – 16 June). Albania played its first international match against Yugoslavia in 1946 which ended in a 3–2 home defeat at Qemal Stafa Stadium. In 1946, Albania also participated for the first time in Balkan Cup in which Albania won by beating Romania 1–0 in the final. In 1954, Albania was one of the founding members of UEFA. Albania waited until 1962 to compete in a Euro Cup competition and the only time Albania was between the best 16 teams of the Continent, the reason being Albania got past the first leg as Greece, for political reasons forfeited the game. At the end of the tournament Albania ranked 9th in Europe.
Albania participated for the first time in a qualifying phrase of a World Cup in the qualifiers of the 1966 edition in England. The team was drawn in the Group 5 which finished in the last position with only one point from six matches. In the qualifiers of the UEFA Euro 1968 Albania had a draw 0–0 against West Germany that denied the Germans the participation to the UEFA Euro 1968 finals. In later years, Albania did not participate in the qualifiers of the World Cup 1970, UEFA Euro 1972, UEFA Euro 1976, World Cup 1978 and UEFA Euro 1980 for unknown political reasons. Again six years without playing any international match, Albania entered in the qualifiers of the World Cup 1982, and finished the group no longer last in the class, but "revenges" Finland allocating the Nordic country to get the "wooden spoon".
The qualifiers of the World Cup 1990 were probably the worst qualifier in Albania's history as there were 6 losses in as many games with no memorable matches. In the qualifiers of the World Cup 2002, Albania recorded a 2–0 win over Greece which was the only team that they beat during the qualifiers. Albania was able to make some impact in the qualifying of the UEFA Euro 2004 by beating 3–1 Russia at Loro Boriçi Stadium. This match was also the debut of the German coach Hans-Peter Briegel who led Albania to an undefeated run at home matches. Albania finished the group in the penultimate spot with only eight points. In the qualifiers of the World Cup 2006 Albania recorded some historical results. Two months after Greece beat Portugal to win the European Championship, Albania defeated Greece 2–1 in a match which Albania scored goals in the 2nd and 11th minutes.
In the qualifiers of the UEFA Euro 2008 Albania won two times in both matches against Luxembourg. Albania also drew 2–2 with Belarus and 0–0 away with Bulgaria. Albania's Euro campaign ended with a loss 6–1 away to Romania which resulted in the resignation of the coach Otto Barić and his assistant. On December 2007, Arie Haan was named Albania's head coach by signing a two-year contract for the qualifiers of the World Cup 2010, where Albania made a very negative performance by winning only one match. Albania won only seven points from ten matches and Haan was replaced by Josip Kuže in May 2009 following the end of the campaign. However, Kuže couldn't lead Albania to the better results as the team ended the qualifiers of the UEFA Euro 2012 with only nine points from ten matches. With Kuže in charge, Albania recorded its biggest win the history by defeating Cyprus 6–1 at home.
Josip Kuže parted ways with Albania three and a half years after he started the job, and in December 2011, Italian coach Gianni de Biasi replaced him. Albania started the qualifiers and was, at one point, 2nd in group with six matches played, and four in hand, but failed to be successful in the last four, losing away in Slovenia and Iceland, as well as at home against Switzerland, and drawing in Cyprus. Albania started the qualifiers of the UEFA Euro 2016 with an emphatic 1–0 away win against Portugal, which was followed by a 1–1 draw against Denmark at the newly renovated stadium Elbasan Arena. After beating Armenia 3–0 in the last qualifying match, Albania made history by qualifying for the UEFA Euro 2016, its first ever appearance at a major men's football tournament.
|24 March 2018 FIFA WCQ||Italy||2–0||Albania||Palermo, Italy|
|De Rossi 12' (pen.)
|Stadium: Stadio Renzo Barbera
Referee: Slavko Vinčić (Football Association of Slovenia)
|28 March Friendly||Albania||1–2||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Elbasan, Albania|
|Balaj 68'||Report||Džeko 7' (pen.)
|Stadium: Elbasan Arena
Referee: Dimitar Meckaroski (Macedonia)
|4 June Friendly||Luxembourg||2–1||Albania||Luxembourg City, Luxembourg|
|Report||Roshi 53'||Stadium: Stade Josy Barthel
Referee: Tim Marshall (Northern Ireland)
|11 June 2018 FIFA WCQ||Israel||0–3||Albania||Haifa, Israel|
|Sadiku 22', 44'
|Stadium: Sammy Ofer Stadium
Referee: Aleksei Kulbakov (Belarus)
|2 September 2018 FIFA WCQ||Albania||2–0||Liechtenstein||Elbasan, Albania|
|Stadium: Elbasan Arena
Referee: Sergey Lapochkin (Russia)
|5 September 2018 FIFA WCQ||Macedonia||1–1||Albania||Strumica, Macedonia|
|Trajkovski 78' (pen.)||Report (FIFA)
|Roshi 53'||Stadium: Stadion Mladost
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden)
|6 October 2018 FIFA WCQ||Spain||3–0||Albania||Alicante, Spain|
|Stadium: Estadio José Rico Pérez
Referee: Aleksei Eskov (Russia)
|9 October 2018 FIFA WCQ||Albania||0–1||Italy||Shkodër, Albania|
|Candreva 73'||Stadium: Loro Boriçi Stadium
Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (Norway)
|13 November Friendly||Turkey||2–3||Albania||Antalya, Turkey|
|18:30 (UTC+1)||Ünder 47'
|Report||Sadiku 24', 39'
|Stadium: New Antalya Stadium
Referee: Georgi Kabakov (Bulgaria)
|26 March Friendly||Albania||0–1||Norway||Elbasan, Albania|
|19:00 (UTC+1)||Report||Rosted 71'||Stadium: Elbasan Arena
Referee: Fyodor Zammit (Malta)
|10 September 2018–19 UEFA Nations League||Scotland||v||Albania||Glasgow, Scotland|
|20:45 (UTC+1)||Stadium: Hampden Park
|#||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Etrit Berisha (3rd captain)||10 March 1989||48||0||Atalanta|
|23||GK||Thomas Strakosha||19 March 1995||5||0||Lazio|
|12||GK||Alban Hoxha||23 November 1987||3||0||Partizani Tirana|
|15||DF||Mërgim Mavraj (Vice-captain)||9 June 1986||41||3||Hamburger SV|
|4||DF||Elseid Hysaj (4th captain)||20 February 1994||38||0||Napoli|
|3||DF||Ermir Lenjani||5 August 1989||26||3||Sion|
|18||DF||Arlind Ajeti||25 September 1993||19||1||Crotone|
|6||DF||Berat Gjimshiti||19 February 1993||14||1||Benevento|
|17||DF||Naser Aliji||27 December 1993||12||0||Virtus Entella|
|5||DF||Herdi Prenga||31 August 1994||0||0||Inter Zaprešić|
|2||MF||Andi Lila||12 February 1986||68||0||PAS Giannina|
|21||MF||Odise Roshi (Captain)||21 May 1991||48||4||Akhmat Grozny|
|14||MF||Taulant Xhaka||28 March 1991||21||0||Basel|
|7||MF||Eros Grezda||15 April 1995||7||1||Osijek|
|9||MF||Liridon Latifi||6 February 1994||5||0||Puskás Akadémia|
|22||MF||Kamer Qaka||11 April 1995||2||0||Politehnica Iași|
|8||MF||Bujar Lika||11 August 1992||1||0||Grasshoppers|
|20||MF||Ylber Ramadani||12 April 1996||1||0||Vejle|
|13||MF||Keidi Bare[a]||28 August 1997||1||0||Atlético Madrid|
|11||MF||Enis Gavazaj||21 March 1995||0||0||Skënderbeu Korçë|
|24||MF||Kristal Abazaj||6 July 1996||0||0||Luftëtari Gjirokastër|
|10||FW||Armando Sadiku||27 May 1991||33||11||Levante|
|16||FW||Sokol Cikalleshi||27 July 1990||26||2||Osmanlıspor|
|19||FW||Bekim Balaj||11 January 1991||22||4||Akhmat Grozny|
The following players have been called up within the last 12 months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Enea Koliçi||13 December 1986||0||0||Kukësi||v. Italy, 9 October 2017|
|GK||Orges Shehi||25 September 1977||7||0||Skënderbeu Korçë||v. Israel, 11 June 2017|
|DF||Iván Balliu||1 January 1992||1||0||Metz||v. Turkey, 13 November 2017|
|DF||Freddie Veseli||20 November 1992||11||0||Empoli||v. Turkey, 13 November 2017 INJ|
|DF||Ansi Agolli||11 November 1982||73||3||Qarabağ||v. Italy, 9 October 2017|
|DF||Hysen Memolla||3 July 1992||2||0||Hajduk Split||v. Italy, 9 October 2017|
|MF||Sabien Lilaj[a]||10 February 1989||14||0||Skënderbeu Korçë||v. Norway, 26 March 2018 INJ|
|MF||Migjen Basha||5 January 1987||29||3||Bari||v. Turkey, 13 November 2017|
|MF||Ledian Memushaj||7 December 1986||29||1||Benevento||v. Turkey, 13 November 2017|
|MF||Valon Ahmedi||7 October 1994||2||0||Maribor||v. Turkey, 13 November 2017|
|MF||Astrit Ajdarević||17 April 1990||1||0||AEK Athens||v. Turkey, 13 November 2017|
|MF||Amir Abrashi||27 March 1990||27||0||SC Freiburg||v. Turkey, 13 November 2017 INJ|
|MF||Ergys Kaçe||8 July 1993||21||2||Panathinaikos||v. Italy, 9 October 2017|
|MF||Emanuele Ndoj||20 November 1996||0||0||Brescia||v. Italy, 9 October 2017|
|MF||Burim Kukeli||16 January 1984||27||0||Sion||v. Italy, 9 October 2017 INJ|
|MF||Jahmir Hyka||8 March 1988||46||2||San Jose Earthquakes||v. Macedonia, 5 September 2017|
|FW||Azdren Llullaku||15 February 1988||6||0||Virtus Entella||v. Turkey, 13 November 2017|
Below are two lists of the top 10 players with the most caps and goals for Albania.
Current coaching staff:
|Head Coach||Christian Panucci|
|Assistant Coach||Paolo Rodolfi|
|Assistant Coach||Ervin Bulku|
|Athletic Coach||Alessandro Ciullini|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Ilir Bozhiqi|
|Video analyst||Marco Rossi|
|Team Doctor||Gianluca Stesina|
|Material Base||Fatos Kademi|
This is a chronological list of the managers who have guided Albania since 1946.
In November 2013, Qemal Stafa Stadium was shut down by FIFA for not fulfilling international standards. Due to Albania being undeveloped and having very poor infrastructure, not a single stadium in Albania fulfills FIFA standards for international competitions. As a result, the Albanian government is upgrading Ruzhdi Bizhuta stadium of Elbasan named Elbasan Arena in time for the Euro 2016 qualifiers beginning in September 2014, and Loro Boriçi Stadium in Shkodër in time for the October 2015 Euro Qualifier against Serbia.
|Albania national football team home stadiums|
|Image||Stadium||Capacity||Location||First match||Last match||Ref|
|131||Qemal Stafa Stadium||20,000||Tirana, Albania||v. Yugoslavia, 7 October 1946||v. Georgia, 16 November 2015|||
|9||Elbasan Arena||12,800||Elbasan, Albania||v. Denmark, 11 October 2014||v. Norway, 26 March 2018|||
|8||Loro Boriçi Stadium||16,022||Shkodër, Albania||v. Russia, 29 March 2003||v. Italy, 9 October 2017|||
|6||Niko Dovana Stadium||12,040||Durrës, Albania||v. Uzbekistan, 11 August 2010||v. Malta, 5 March 2014|||
|1||Tomori Stadium||17,890||Berat, Albania||v. Cuba, 6 August 1988|||
|Flamurtari Stadium||16,500||Vlorë, Albania||v. Romania, 28 October 1987|||
National Arena (Albanian: Arena Kombëtare) is an under-construction all-seater football stadium in Tirana, the capital of Albania. This planned stadium will be the new home of Albania national football team and it will serve as a venue for major football club cup finals and other sports and non-sports related activities.
The stadium was designed with a capacity of 22,500 spectators, making it the first-highest capacity stadium for football in Albania. Ever since an initial stadium proposal in 2010, Albanian Football Association has had two additional stadium proposals that failed to be built. The stadium is planned to be completed by June 2018, Albania national football team began playing in September of the same year. The stadium will be built on the same site of Qemal Stafa, demolished in June 2016.
The old Qemal Stafa was closed for demolition in June 2016, and the site will be redeveloped with a new larger-capacity National Arena. The final design of the new stadium was done by Marco Cassamonti of Archea Associati, and the construction is scheduled to be finished in 2018. It is expected to cost around €60 million
Tifozat Kuq e Zi (English: Red and Black Fans, also known as the Albania National Football Team Supporters Club) is a non-profit football supporters' association for the Albania national football team and various national team sportive activities. It was founded on 25 December 2003. In cooperation with FSHF, it organises trips for football fans to visit games, and develops and sells merchandise to support itself and fund sporting related projects.
Tifozat Kuq e Zi stands firm in the political view that Albanians should share only one national team and have continuous aspirations to join in one state (Një Komb, Një Kombëtare), i.e. unification of Albania, Kosovo, etc. In this sense, TKZ is joined by different supporters' associations throughout Albanian-speaking regions mainly in Kosovo (Shqiponjat of Peja, Kuqezinjet e Jakoves of Gjakova, Plisat of Pristina, Torcida of Mitrovica, etc.), Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Ballistët of Tetovo, Ilirët of Kumanovo, Shvercerat of Skopje, etc.) and in Albania itself (Ultras Guerrils of Partizani Tirana, Tirona Fanatics of KF Tirana, Vllaznit Ultras of Vllaznia Shkodër, Ujqërit e Deborës (English: Snow Wolves) Skënderbeu Korçë, Shqiponjat of KF Besa Pejë and many other different Albanian fans).
The ongoing dispute between the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and the Football Association of Albania has been seen as a political intrusion by FIFA and UEFA, which led to the banning of Albania from international sportive activities. FSHF president Armand Duka is highly unwanted by the TKZ who have numerously asked for his resignation believing he is responsible for internal corruption in the Albanian Football Association.
The TKZ have been praised by many different football players and managers, whom were not just Albanian. Switzerland's former coach, Ottmar Hitzfeld was astonished by how many Albanian fans turned up and how enthusiastic they were in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA) between Switzerland and Albania where the Swiss won 2–0 thanks to goals from Gökhan Inler and Kosovo-born Xherdan Shaqiri. He didn't believe that there was 12,000 Albanian fans in the stands which was more than how many Swiss fans turned up for the game. He stated Albanian fans are fantastic and the most passionate fans I have ever seen. During that campaign, TKZ attended all games Albania played apart from a match against Cyprus in Nicosia and were also large in numbers in the away games to Slovenia where they lost 1–0 and Norway where they won 1–0 thanks to a stunning goal by Hamdi Salihi.
The Albanian kit has been mostly red and black with few changes throughout the years.
2015 third color
Euro 2016 third color
2017 third color
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup Qualification record|
|Year||Round||Position||Pld||W||D *||L||GF||GA||Position||Pld||W||D *||L||GF||GA|
|1930||Did Not Participate|
|1966||Did Not Qualify||4/4||6||0||1||5||2||12|
|1970||Entry Not Accepted|
|1974||Did Not Qualify||4/4||6||1||0||5||3||13|
|1978||Did Not Participate|
|1982||Did Not Qualify||4/5||8||1||0||7||4||22|
|2022||To Be Determined|
|UEFA European Championship record||UEFA European Championship Qualification record|
|Year||Round||Position||Pld||W||D *||L||GF||GA||Squad||Position||Pld||W||D *||L||GF||GA|
|1960||Did Not Participate|
|1964||Did Not Qualify||First round||4||3||0||1||7||4|
|1976||Did Not Participate|
|1984||Did Not Qualify||5/5||8||0||2||6||4||14|
|2020||To Be Determined|
|Total||Best: Group Stage||1/15||3||1||0||2||1||3||—||Total||93||18||22||53||78||159|
|Albania's European Championship record|
(11 June 2016; Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens, France)
(19 June 2016; Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon, France)
(15 June 2016; Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France)
|Opponent||Games||Wins||Draws||Losses||Goals For||Goals Against||Goal Differential||Reference|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||4||1||2||1||3||3||0||H2H results|
|China PR||2||1||1||0||4||3||+1||H2H results
|East Germany||3||0||1||2||2||7||−5||H2H results|
|Northern Ireland||9||2||2||5||5||13||−8||H2H results|
|Republic of Ireland||4||0||1||3||2||6||−4||H2H results|
|San Marino||2||2||0||0||6||0||+6||H2H results|
( Yugoslavia 1946–1967)
|H2H results[note 1]|
|62 Countries||327||86||68||173||307||505||−198||All results at EU-Football.info|
|22 September 1946||Friendly||Shkodër, Albania||Montenegro||5 – 0||FIFA unofficial. Largest ever victory (without conceding)|
|9 October 1946||Balkan Cup in Albania||Tirana, Albania||Bulgaria||3 – 1|
|13 October 1946||Balkan Cup in Albania||Tirana, Albania||Romania||1 – 0|
|2 May 1948||Balkan Cup in Romania||Bucharest, Romania||Romania||1 – 0|
|29 November 1952||Friendly||Tirana, Albania||Czechoslovakia||3 – 2|
|30 October 1963||1964 European Nations' Cup qualifying||Tirana, Albania||Denmark||1 – 0|
|9 December 1952||Friendly||Tirana, Albania||Czechoslovakia||2 – 1|
|29 November 1953||Friendly||Tirana, Albania||Poland||2 – 0|
|14 November 1971||UEFA Euro 1972 qualifying||Tirana, Albania||Turkey||3 – 0|
|10 October 1976||Friendly||Tirana, Albania||Algeria||3 – 0|
|22 December 1984||1986 FIFA World Cup qualification||Tirana, Albania||Belgium||2 – 0|
|14 February 1993||Friendly||Tirana, Albania||Kosovo||3 – 1||Unofficial first international for Kosovo was hosted by Albania.|
|30 November 1995||Friendly||Tirana, Albania||Bosnia and Herzegovina||2 – 0||First FIFA international for Bosnia-Herzegovina was hosted by Albania|
|10 September 1997||1998 FIFA World Cup qualification||Zürich, Switzerland||Northern Ireland||1 – 0|
|21 January 1998||Friendly||Ankara, Turkey||Turkey||4 – 1|
|11 October 2000||2002 FIFA World Cup qualification||Tirana, Albania||Greece||2 – 0|
|25 April 2001||Friendly||Gaziantep, Turkey||Turkey||2 – 0|
|29 March 2003||UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying||Shkodër, Albania||Russia||3 – 1|
|18 February 2004||Friendly||Tirana, Albania||Sweden||2 – 1|
|4 September 2004||2006 FIFA World Cup qualification||Tirana, Albania||Greece||2 – 1||Victory over top 15 ranked team at the time (14th)
and current UEFA Euro 2004 champion.
|12 August 2009||Friendly||Tirana, Albania||Cyprus||6 – 1||Largest ever victory|
|17 February 2010||Friendly||Pristina, Kosovo||Kosovo||3 – 2||Unofficial international.|
|25 May 2010||Friendly||Podgorica, Montenegro||Montenegro||1 – 0|
|22 May 2012||Friendly||Madrid, Spain||Qatar||2 – 1|
|27 May 2012||Friendly||Istanbul, Turkey||Iran||1 – 0|
|16 October 2012||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification||Tirana, Albania||Slovenia||1 – 0|
|22 March 2013||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification||Oslo, Norway||Norway||1 – 0|
|7 September 2014||UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying||Aveiro, Portugal||Portugal||1 – 0||Victory over top 15 ranked team at the time (11th)|
|14 October 2014||UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying||Belgrade, Serbia||Serbia||3 – 0||Awarded victory as Serbia forfeited by Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling.|
|13 June 2015||Friendly||Elbasan, Albania||France||1 – 0||Victory over top 15 ranked team at the time (9th)
and the hosts also of the UEFA Euro 2016, tournament of the time.
|11 October 2015||UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying||Yerevan, Armenia||Armenia||3 – 0||Qualified to UEFA Euro 2016; first senior final tournament.|
|19 June 2016||UEFA Euro 2016||Lyon, France||Romania||1 – 0||First ever win in a senior final tournament.|
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